Nothing helps to maintain a youthful appearance like healthy skin. That doesn’t mean the lack of wrinkles; it means that skin is smooth and has a healthy color. It’s currently National Healthy Skin Month and thusly a great time to review skin care tips that caregivers and seniors can practice during the winter months.
First it’s important to know that aging causes the skin to become thinner, drier, and more fragile. Age makes skin more susceptible to damage from the sun and the cold. Extreme temperatures can cause eczema which causes inflammation of the skin and dermatitis which leads to flaky and itchy skin.
Here are 5 great ways to protect the skin, and help to maintain a healthy glow.
Exfoliate and Moisturize
Exfoliating gets rid of dead skin cells and signals the skin to make more collagen. Exfoliating is best when done two times a week. It’s important to be gentle on aging skin. Remember: this isn’t sanding wood, rather sloughing off dead skin cells!
Moisturize every day. Look for heavier creams and ointments and avoid those that contain lanolin, a common allergen for seniors. Vaseline petroleum jelly works wonders, just make sure you use the right amount for your skin to prevent greasiness. Remind seniors to apply moisturizer right after they shower when the pores are open so the cream can seep into the skin for maximum effect.
There are many benefits to drinking eight glasses of water a day. Your organs need it to function and the skin is the body’s largest organ. If you are drinking enough, instead of looking dry and thin, your skin will look hydrated and healthy.
Cover up as much of your skin as possible before venturing into the frigid winter air. Be especially careful to cover the tips of the fingers and toes which are the most vulnerable to frostbite.
It’s not just for summer! Sunscreen moisturizes while it protects the skin. Whether the sun is shining on a summer’s day or reflecting off the snow, it’s all the same for skin.
Shorten Shower Time
Too much of a hot, steamy thing can strip the skin of its moisture. It’s important to shower and bathe regularly, but they’re best when kept short. Emollient bath soaps and oils reduce scaling and prevent moisture from evaporating.
Crank up Interior Humidity
The rooms throughout your senior’s house may need additional humidity because the heating system is making the air artificially dry. Consider installing a full room humidifier. This will help to keep skin from drying out.