Tips for Maintaining Healthy Skin as You Age

June 20, 2019


Nearly 50% of people over the age of 65 are treated for a skin disease each year, with an average of 2.2 skin diseases diagnosed per senior. The skin undergoes a number of changes as it ages; beginning around age 20, it begins to produce 1% less collagen each year, resulting in loss of elasticity over time. The production of oils, which keep the skin nourished and hydrated also begins decreasing with age, resulting in dryer skin.


The outermost layer of skin begins to thin, leaving the skin vulnerable to bruising and damage. While many of these changes occur naturally, there are steps you can take to preserve your skin and keep it healthy as you get older.

Moisturize Regularly to Keep Skin Hydrated

One of the most common skin conditions affecting people over 65 is xerosis, which is an excessive dryness of the skin that can be itchy, uncomfortable and leaves the skin looking rough and flaky. Age-related xerosis occurs as the sweat glands become less active with age. Declining hormone levels can also contribute to xerosis, especially in women. Taking steps to help your skin retain moisture include using a humidifier, taking shorter and cooler showers, drinking enough water and using emollients and moisturizers on the skin regularly. Keeping skin hydrated prevents cracking and discomfort, and also reduces the appearance of wrinkles.

Protect Your Skin Against UV Damage

While many factors of aging are not within our control, sun damage is one major contributor to extrinsic aging that you can protect against. UV rays from the sun contribute to wrinkles, dark spots and skin cancer. Wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every time you go outside is important at any age, and helps prevent cumulative sun damage. For older people, who have thinner skin with less natural protection, wearing sunscreen, avoiding tanning beds, and staying in the shade is especially important. If you’re concerned about the the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles there are a number of prescription strength and over-the-counter products that can help, such as retinol, hyaluronic acids and Vitamin C serums. Be sure to moisturize and wear sun protection when using products to minimize wrinkles.

Make The Right Nutritional Choices for Healthier Skin

What you eat affects every organ in your body, including your skin, and to keep your skin healthy and radiant, it’s important to choose nutrient rich foods. Foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, eggs and nuts help fight inflammation and improve the skin’s lipid barrier. Used topically or consumed as part of your diet, Vitamin E also benefits the skin as an antioxidant that can prevent and repair oxidative damage to skin cells. Vitamin E levels, which decrease with age, can be bolstered by eating enough nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables.
Maintaining healthy skin as you age is important to your overall health, as well as your sense of confidence. Protecting and nourishing your skin is an important act of self care that can keep you looking and feeling your best. Talk to your dermatologist about developing a skin care routine that meets your individual needs.

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By Karoline Gore

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