Skin Care

In elasticity, spots, roughness, wrinkles— these are the natural signs of aging skin. Especially as we grow older, it’s important to maintain good skin hygiene to manage these changes. Consider the following six “skin basics” to keep your skin fresh and healthy-looking.

Six Basics for Keeping Skin Fresh and Healthy

By Laura Childers

#1: Moisturize, Moisturize.

As women age, the skin does not produce as much natural oil as it used to, so the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines are exaggerated. Moisturize regularly. A moisturizer supplies water to the skin’s surface and holds it there. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, regular hydration firms up your skin surfaces and visibly diminishes fine lines and wrinkles.

#2: Protect Yourself From the Sun.

This may be the most important way to take care of your skin. A lifetime of exposure can cause wrinkles and age spots, and it dramatically increases your risk of skin cancer. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15—every day. Be particularly careful about lips, which have almost no melanin (pigment that absorbs harmful UV-radiation). A colorless lip balm or an opaque lipstick with an SPF rating of 15 is ideal for lip protection.

#3: If You Smoke, QUIT.

Smoking has been shown to accelerate the aging of skin and contributes to wrinkles. If you smoke, do everything you can to quit…now. Not only will you decrease your risk of other health issues, you’ll look younger.

#4: Be Gentle.

Limit long baths and showers in hot water than can strip your skin of natural oils. Try turning the faucet to warm instead of hot, and keep it to less than five minutes. Also, don’t shave without some sort of cream, lotion, or gel, and shave in the direction of the hair growth.

#5: Choose Your Products Carefully.

Know that products for thicker skin on the body will be different than those made for the delicate thinner skin of the face and hands, which grows even more delicate as women age. Be careful of using deodorant soaps and other harsh bar soaps that can leave your skin dry and tight. Consider a non soap cleanser or a moisturizing or oil-based one.

#6: Make Good Lifestyle Choices.

Exercise, get your sleep, stay hydrated, and eat a well-balanced diet, full of foods rich in vitamin A, C, E, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. This may seem like “Health Class 101,” but these lifestyle choices will play out when it comes to your skin. A healthy diet provides your body with nutrition needed to help repair ongoing damage from the sun and other environmental elements.