Skincare Secrets for Seniors

Mar 28, 2016

Skincare Secrets for Seniors

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The skin is the largest organ of our body, which is why a little TLC and pampering is in order, especially as we age. With time, skin starts to lose elasticity and vibrance, often resulting in unfavorable fine lines, dryness and dark spots. However, this is no reason to fret—Especially with all the recent advances in skincare and dermatology.

Six Secrets of Senior Skincare has consolidated some tips and tricks for you to ensure that your skin stays looking and feeling its best.

  1. Stop smoking: This should be a no-brainer, but sometimes old habits are hard to kick. Smoking has been linked to skin appearing dry and dull, in addition to causing more refined fine lines and wrinkles.
  2. Stay out of the sun: While the sun provides us with Vitamin D, it also causes premature dark spots, some of which can develop into skin cancer. With age, our skin cannot combat UV rays like it once did, so lather up on the SPF on days you’re in the sunshine! Also be sure to wear sunglasses, especially considering that squinting causes excessive wrinkles around the eyes.
  3. Start taking vitamins: Beauty starts from within. While there may be a handful of daily medications taken for various conditions, be sure to invest in a pretty pill, if you will, such as biotin, B vitamins (especially B12), zinc, vitamin E, and fish oil. Many of these supplements are sold as one super pill, so there are a variety of options for those who want to keep their hair, skin, and nails strong.
  4. Soothe dry skin: Avoid harsh soaps, and perhaps avoid scented scrubs and lotions. Dyes and perfumes used in these can cause the skin to become cracked and irritated. Also, be sure to invest in a good skin cream rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin E, aloe, cucumber extract, and other natural antioxidants.
  5. Stay hydrated: Water is crucial to survival, but staying hydrated does more for our bodies than make us feel good. Hydrated skin is healthy, glowing skin. If it’s difficult to stay hydrated, opt for other options. Invest in a cute water bottle, or start drinking coconut water for some hydrating flavor.
  6. Sleep on your back: Studies suggest that those who sleep with their face on the pillow develop more wrinkles than those who sleep on their back, which makes sense when it’s taken into consideration the odd positions our face can take on when pressed up against a pillow or mattress.

In addition to the Six S’s of skincare, be sure to eat foods rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Some super foods to work into a diet include green vegetables, melons, berries, walnuts, salmon, and avocados. Not to mention, super foods like avocado, which are great when consumed as food but can also double as a moisturizing face mask.

It is also of vital importance to have a frequent dermatologist as we age to check for skin cancer and provide cosmetic procedures if desired.

Some Treatments a Dermatologist Can Provide Include:

  • Injections of Botox or Dysport - these treatments can ease wrinkles in the upper third of your face.
  • Chemical peels - these treatments can remove fine lines and smooth skin, especially around the eyes and mouth.
  • Wrinkle fillers - these treatments can plump up your skin and erase lines.
  • Microdermabrasion - these treatments erase ultrafine lines, rejuvenates your complexion, and improve skin tone and color.
  • Laser resurfacing - these treatments can improve sun-damaged skin, scars, wrinkles, and other facial problems.

Whether taking a health or cosmetic approach to skin care, there is no reason to think beautiful skin is only found among the youthful. Follow the six S’s of skincare, eat a well-balanced diet, and visit the dermatologist, and surely, everyone will be envious of that glowing complexion.

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Frequently Asked Questions

My mom has dementia and sometimes she will bathe with no fuss but other times, she just flat out refuses. It doesn't matter whether it is day or night. How can I get her to bathe easier?!

I'm sorry you're having some struggles getting your mother clean! There are many different reasons why your mother may not want to bathe. It could be due to dementia symptoms but it could also be because she is embarrassed you have to bathe her or because she has trouble getting in or out of the bath. 

Try to keep your mother on a bathing schedule. Routines are especially helpful for caring for seniors with dementia. Also how often are you bathing your mother? Depending on her lifestyle it may be too much. Seniors have much drier skin, and typically less active lifestyles than other adults, so they may not need a full bath or shower daily.

Try to keep the environment peaceful. Play some of your mother's favorite tunes or sounds from nature to help soothe her. Keep conversations casual in an attempt to keep your mother from feeling embarrassed. Also, let your mother do as much of the self-care that she is able. Even if it takes her longer, it allows your mother to maintain independence and dignity. 

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My mother needs constant assistance, and lately she’s refusing to bathe. How should I handle this?

First, try and understand what it must be like to be at a stage in life where the same child you used to bathe now must bathe you. Getting older and more dependent is hard for many people to accept. Next, try and figure out why your mother does not want to bathe. Does she feel so helpless, that by refusing a bath, she is trying to gain some control over her daily life? In this case, you could give her more control by letting her choose when she bathes.

Perhaps your mother has had a fall or a near-accident, and no longer feels safe. If that is the case, you could install new safety features in the bathroom and shower like grab bars, non-slip shower mats, or even getting a walk-in tub.

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