11 Steps to Healthy Skin After 50by Eileen Bailey Health Writer
The focus of skin care for women, especially those over 50, is usually on ways to keep skin looking younger. But instead of focusing on having youthful skin, work on keeping your skin healthy. When you have healthy skin, you look your best, no matter what your age. Here are 11 ways to do just that.
1. Practice sun safety
This is the backbone of any skin-care regimen. Overexposure to the sun causes wrinkles, makes skin look leathery and dull, and increases your risk of skin cancer. No matter what your age, use sunscreen, stay out of the direct sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
2. Eat your fruits and veggies
What you eat influences your skin health and complexion. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats to keep skin healthy. One Scottish study found that the carotenoids (the orange-red pigment) in fruits and vegetables give your skin a healthy tone.
3. Drink plenty of water
Your skin needs moisture, and drinking water helps to hydrate it from the inside. As people age they become more susceptible to dehydration because they lose some of their sense of thirst, according to a report on hydration and health published in 2010. Dehydration can lead to dry skin as well as other health problems.
4. Use a humidifier
During the cold months when you’re heating your home, add a humidifier. You can add a whole-house humidifier to your heating equipment or place a room-size one where you spend the most time. And be sure to place a humidifier in your bedroom.
5. Avoid using soap
Soaps tend to dry your skin. Opt for a mild cleanser instead. Look for unscented products.
6. Wash your face twice a day
Use a mild cleanser with warm water to keep your face clean and fresh. Avoid scrubbing your skin, which eliminates essential oils and can dry it out. Always wash your face before going to bed to wash away the dirt and the grime of the day.
7. Skip the long, hot baths or showers
You might find long baths or showers relaxing, but spending too much time in hot water dries out your skin. Lower the temperature of the water and limit the time to 10 minutes.
8. Moisturize every day
As you age and your skin becomes drier, you might have to change your moisturizer to one more suited to your new skin type. Look for thick, creamy moisturizers that are oil based. Be sure to apply moisturizer all over at least once a day.
Exfoliating your skin gets rid of dead skin cells that can make your skin look dull and flaky. But don’t do it more than once a week or your skin can get dried out. Use a mild store-bought product or make your own from brown sugar and coconut oil.
10. Check ingredients
Many products are available to treat the signs of aging. Ask your doctor about tretinoin, a prescription topical cream in the vitamin A family. It’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat fine facial wrinkles. Over-the-counter products containing retinol (in the vitamin A family, but weaker) or alpha hydroxy acid can smooth your skin, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
11. Celebrate your life
Embrace your flaws. Your lines and wrinkles tell the story of your life. The lines around your eyes show that you’ve spent time laughing. The lines on your forehead might show you are insightful or a deep thinker. Every line is part of your story. Embrace who you are and the life you have lived.