Everyone wants healthy, smooth, young looking skin. Good skin care at an early age helps promote healthy skin as an adult and can have long-term effects as we age.
Some skin changes are due to the aging process or hormones. Skin becomes thinner and drier, loses elasticity, becomes more fragile, and wrinkles and age spots may appear.
Most changes seen in aging skin are caused by a lifetime of sun exposure. Many adults grew up with sunscreens that were geared towards maximizing a tan, not protecting the skin from damaging sun rays. You cannot reverse the damage that has been done to your skin, but there are ways to help minimize the effects and maintain healthy skin as you age.
1. Protect against sun exposure
- Wear protective clothing when outdoors including long sleeved shirts, hats, and sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.
- Avoid prolonged sun exposure during the day from 10am-4pm.
- Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher. Apply on all exposed skin every day of the year when outdoors, even when it’s cloudy and reapply.
2. Cleanse your skin regularly
- Avoid harmful cleansing agents in your daily cleansers. Harsh soaps and cleansing agents tend to dry the skin.
- Mild, fragrance-free cleansers tend to be less irritating and gently remove dirt and oils.
- Always cleanse your face before going to bed at night.
3. Moisturize frequently
- Moisturize your skin throughout the day, every day.
- Dry skin is damaged skin. Moisturizers help keep the skin from becoming dry.
- Always apply a moisturizer after bathing or showering.
- Don’t be afraid to change your moisturizer as the seasons change. What you may have used in the summer may not work for you during the winter months.
4. Shave with care
- Shaving can irritate the skin, especially older skin which is typically thin, dry and sensitive.
- Always use a sharp razor.
- Use a shaving cream formulated for sensitive skin that protects against razor burn, nicks and cuts.
- Apply a moisturizer after shaving.
5. Develop good habits
- Watch what you eat. A healthy diet promotes healthy skin.
- Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.
- Daily exercise helps reduce stress and increases oxygen circulating in our body.
- Don’t smoke, or quit smoking.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Not enough quality sleep will make your skin look tired and older.
Remember that aging skin can become more fragile and sensitive to products you normally use. Aging skin may become less tolerant of common irritants found in ordinary skin care products and you may want to avoid them in your day to day skin care regime.
Perform skin self-examinations on a regular basis for changes in your skin and schedule an appointment with your dermatologist for any concerns.