Did you know that the skin is the largest organ in the human body? As such, it is just as important that you keep your skin healthy and hydrated. As we age, that barrier begins to break down, especially during winter, when it seems like no matter what you do, your skin starts to get dry and cracked. Although it may feel like a losing battle, there are many things that older adults can do to keep their skin healthy this winter season. Read the following tips to learn more!:
1. Eat Healthy
Your skin needs a good fuel source to be at its best. Eat foods that are high in healthy fats, such as fish, avocados, and nuts. These contain nutrients that help keep your skin full, healthy, and moisturized. If you aren’t already, make sure that you incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables into your diet. This helps your cells rejuvenate and repair more quickly.
2. Drink Water
Keeping your skin hydrated starts with keeping your body hydrated. Make sure that you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Men should aim to drink around 15 cups of water, and women should try to get at least 11. Try keeping a bottle of water with you throughout the day to help remember to stay hydrated.
3. Shower Consciously
While drinking enough water will help, your daily routine may be making the problem worse. If you enjoy taking long hot showers or baths, you will need to start making some changes. Shorten your showers, try to keep them around 10 minutes (or less), and use warm, not hot water, which increases the drying of your skin. Ensure that you are using gentle cleansers that aren’t going to strip your skin of its natural barrier.
As our skin dries, it becomes less effective at removing that top layer of dead skin. This makes the skin look duller and creates that tight, uncomfortable feeling. Choose a good exfoliating scrub. Popular scrubs contain sugar or coffee as the exfoliant. Don’t exfoliate too often; just a couple of times a week should be enough to remove the dead skin without damaging your healthy skin.
Immediately after getting out of the shower, make sure that you moisturize. This helps trap all that moisture from your bath in your skin. For added benefits, use an ointment or a cream rather than your usual lotion. These provide greater moisture barriers. Look for ones designed for older adults or that contain hyaluronic acid. This is a super hydrating ingredient that will help your skin absorb and retain as much moisture as possible.
6. Wear Sunscreen
One of the most important things you can do for your skin is to wear sunscreen every day. Winter is no different. Even though you aren’t at the beach on a hot summer day, the sun can still be very damaging if you don’t protect your skin. Choose a sunscreen with at least SPF 15, but aim for higher if needed, and make sure that you apply enough to make it effective. If you will be out during the middle of the day when the sun’s rays are the strongest or live in an area where there is snow, make sure that you re-apply as needed throughout the day. Snow reflects the light and can cause as much damage as direct sun exposure.
7. Don’t Forget Your Lips
How could you forget that dry, cracked feeling on your lips? Start using a lip scrub to help remove that dry layer of skin and start using chapstick throughout the day. Choose a lip scrub containing beeswax or jojoba oil as these are ultra-moisturizing and help repair your natural barrier. When choosing a chapstick, look for one that has at least SPF 15.
8. Keep Warm
Keeping warm in winter is essential but sitting too close to the fire or blowing the car heater directly on your skin does more damage than good. While this may feel good, it is terrible for your skin and can counter the benefits of all the other steps you have taken to repair your skin. So wrap up in a warm blanket, drink some coffee, and consider heating the car before you leave the house.
Some more ideas on how to protect your skin during winter:
- Wear gloves and scarves to keep as much of your skin protected from the cold, dry winter air as possible.
- Start using a humidifier in your house. Running the heat dries out the air inside, so counteract that with a humidifier.
- Try a hydrating mask to relax and keep your skin healthy.
Older adults must continue to take care of their skin during the winter by changing some habits, eating healthy, making sure to drink plenty of water, and creating that barrier from the elements. Your skin does so much for you; it’s time to repay the favor.
Let us know in the comments below - Did we miss anything? How do you keep your skin healthy?