You Look Fabulous! Skin Care for Older Adults
Although who we are on the inside is what matters, looking good on the outside is still important to most people. And wanting to look your best doesn’t stop at age 50, 60, 70 — or 80 or 90!
Here are seven simple skin care tips to keep you looking (and feeling) your best at every age:
- Drink more water. The fountain of youth begins within. Our bodies are mostly water: the reason babies look and feel so soft is that their bodies are up to 90 percent water! At the other end of the life spectrum, our water content is approximately 60 percent.
Water is vital to heart, brain, and lung function, so staying hydrated is essential. Yet awareness of thirst declines with age, so just when we need to be drinking more water, we may drink less, because our body isn’t sending “I’m thirsty” signals as often.
Solution: Keep a glass of water on your table or another nearby surface at all times, and sip it throughout the day. If you’re going to be out and about, bring a stainless steel water bottle. Be sure you’re drinking filtered water, not tap (which is full of chemicals). Plain water too boring for you? Add the juice of fresh lemon or lime.
- Eat hydrating foods. In addition to drinking plenty of water, eat more high water content foods. Foods containing the highest amount of water include:
- Cucumber (96.7% water)
- Celery (95.4% water)
- Tomatoes (94.5% water)
- Watermelon (91.5% water)
- Spinach (91.4% water)
- Strawberries (91% water)
- Broccoli (90.7% water)
- Grapefruit (90.5% water)
- Cantaloupe (90.2% water)
Besides keeping you hydrated, these fruits and veggies are nutritional powerhouses, packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants to support your skin in myriad ways. You can also get both your water and nutrients by drinking fresh juices made from various combinations of these foods.
Here at The Kensington FallsChurch, Chef Samir is known for infusing his meals with healthy, nutritious ingredients full of flavor and flair. If you’d like to see a hydrating food added to our menus or snack café, please let us know!
- Bathe like a baby. Just as we need much more water inside as we age, we need to minimize the water we use externally. Though it may sound shocking, you probably do not need to bathe or shower daily, unless you’ve worked up a sweat exercising, or have a health condition that requires you to keep scrupulously clean. As recently as a century ago, a once-a-week bath was typical.
When you bathe:
- Keep the water warm rather than hot to preserve your skin’s natural oils.
- Use a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser in lieu of bar soap.
- Take short showers or baths (under 10 minutes).
- Apply a non-toxic, unscented moisturizer to damp skin to help lock in moisture.
- Use sunscreen. Yes, you do need some sun exposure for Vitamin D, bone health, and to ward off the wintertime blues. But overdoing it can lead to wrinkles, age spots, and skin cancer. Even if you loved basking in the sun and working up a tan when you were younger, now your skin demands more practical measures:
- Apply a broad-spectrum, water resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day.
- Invest in a sunhat that shields your face and neck, ideally with a built-in SPF as well.
- Wear sun-protective clothing, especially if you plan to be outdoors for a while, gardening or exercising, for example.
- Alert your doctor to any skin changes.
Men shouldn’t think they’re exempt from sun protection by virtue of their gender. A recent study found that older men were more likely than any other group to be diagnosed with invasive melanoma.
- Quit smoking. This should be obvious: tobacco smoke not only contains thousands of harmful chemicals that can contribute to heart disease, stroke and cancer, it also prematurely ages your skin. If you still smoke, talk with your doctor about smoking cessation programs. Your lungs, heart, skin, and those who love you will thank you.
- Choose healthier skin care products. You may have been using the same skin care products for years — but they might be harming your skin and overall health. Believe it or not, industrial chemicals are also prevalent in common skin care and hair care products.
Read the ingredients on each of your personal care products. Propylene glycol, for example, is a petroleum-based chemical used in brake fluid and antifreeze — and thanks to its water retention properties, it’s also added to facial moisturizers and hair conditioners. One of the most common chemical additives, sodium lauryl sulfate, shows up in everything from facial cleanser to toothpaste, due to its foaming and lathering qualities.
Fragrance is also a major concern. If you have “allergies”, it may actually be a reaction to a skin care product you use every day.
To choose products kinder to your skin, look for indications that they are organic and/or non-GMO certified, and read product labels carefully. Long, unpronounceable words are probably chemicals. Look for “no added fragrance” or a fragrance that is naturally derived from essential oils, rather than synthetic.
- Embrace your age. Finally, honor who you are at this stage of your life. Wrinkles signify character. You’ve earned those laugh lines. Rather than attempting to look as you did at 30 or 40, embrace the beauty of your age now. This is who you’ve become. And you’re beautiful.
At The Kensington Falls Church, we see every resident as a shining example of a life well lived. Our promise, to love and care for your family as we do our own, is apparent in the joie de vivre reflected in the faces that grace our community. We know beauty is so much more than skin deep, and we demonstrate this love and care with our loved ones every day.
Come visit us soon, and discover why The Kensington Falls Church may be the perfect new home for your loved one.