With the onset of my sixties fast approaching, I wondered what skin care changes I should make. To find out, I talked with experts — women already in their sixties — about what they have learned about changing skin care needs as you age. Based on my many conversations, I have come up with 13 resolutions for skin care when you are over 60.
Clean out cosmetics. Assess which cosmetics worked and which did not. Throw away those that weren’t the right color or didn’t perform as well as expected. Check expiration dates and throw away any that are past those dates. Look for signs of aging, such as drying out and throw those away, as bacteria can build on old cosmetics.
Wear sunscreen every day. No list of resolutions for skin care is complete without one for sunscreen. Add applying sunscreen to the morning ritual, in between washing face and putting on makeup. Check to make sure sunscreens are broad spectrum and have an SPF of at least 30.
Pay attention to often forgotten areas, such as neck and hands. These areas can be sensitive and are prone to age spots, wrinkles, and sagging. Use a thick, creamy moisturizer on these areas every night before bed. Use scarfs and gloves to protect them when outdoors.
Clean cosmetic tools. Use baby shampoo — once a week or at least once a month — or mild liquid hand soap and lukewarm water. Rinse well, reshape, and let them dry.
Exfoliate skin once a week (maybe). Pay attention to sky after exfoliating. Exfoliating with a harsh cleanser or doing it too often can cause drying or irritation, because skin thins and does not produce as much oil as you age.
Eat more fruits and vegetables. Your skin can look sallow and dull if you aren’t eating a balanced diet.
Drink plenty of water. Moisturizer is important, but skin hydrates from the inside, too. Not drinking enough water can make skin dry and flaky. Aim for at least eight glasses of water each day.
Apply moisturizer immediately after showering. Oil production decreases with age so it’s important to add extra moisturizer. Also, applying moisturizer when your skin is still damp locks moisture in.
Use thicker moisturizers, especially at night. Thick and creamy moisturizers, such as shea butter, applied every night can help your skin stay moist and soft.
Don’t forget your lips. There are no sebum (oil producing) glands in the lips, which is why they easily become dry and chapped. Use an emollient lip balm with SPF every day. Keep extra with you to reapply throughout the day.
Have an annual skin check by a dermatologist. This only takes an hour out of the entire year but could lead to early detection and treatment of skin cancer.
Use warm, instead of hot, water when showering. Hot water strips the skin of natural oils and causes dry skin. Lowering the temperature can help keep your skin from drying out.
Embrace who you are. Don’t try to look younger — accept who you are and remember that you look younger when you live life to the fullest, smile often, and laugh every day.