While it’s great for seniors to get outside on a warm sunny day, taking proper skincare precautions is of the utmost importance. As we age, our skin becomes more delicate and prone to damage. For adults over the age of 65, protection from the elements is essential. Sun damaged skin is weaker, leathery and easily bruised.
Before going outside to bask in the warm rays of the sun, take the time to choose the appropriate sunscreen. With multiple types, brands and strengths of sunscreen available, picking the right combination can quickly become confusing. Luckily, the Environmental Working Group puts out an updated list of safest and most effective sunscreens each year.
The highest scores are awarded to sunscreens that provide excellent UV (ultraviolet) protection and are made from nontoxic ingredients. For 2014, the following sunscreens made the Environmental Working Group’s “top 10” list:
When going outside for more than 15 minutes, seniors should apply sunscreen first. Remember to apply the lotion or cream liberally. Experts suggest using at least two tablespoons of sunscreen for areas of the body that are normally exposed and a nickel-sized portion just for the face.
Older adults or senior caregivers should apply sunscreen about an hour before heading outside and into the sunshine. Additionally, it’s important to reapply the product every two hours, even sooner if the hot weather is causing the senior to sweat.
In-home caregivers should either purchase a new tube of sunscreen each spring or check to make sure the existing tube of sunscreen has not expired. Past the listed expiration date, sunscreen is ineffective and has the potential to cause serious skin irritation.
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