Summer is nearly upon us, and with summer comes sunshine and lots of it. And while that sunshine is beautiful and feels fantastic, it’s important that we all remember to protect our skin from its harmful rays. Here are five ways that seniors can protect their skin, not just from sunlight, but from other things that can speed up the aging process.
1. Eat Healthy
Proper nutrition can keep your skin looking and feeling younger. Try to get your daily vitamins by eating lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Portion control is also an important part of a healthy diet. Overeating can lead to many different health complications, like cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes, which can shorten your lifespan. Focus on getting 2-3 cups of vegetables a day, 2-3 servings of fruit, 6-7 ounces of whole grains, 3 cups of dairy, and 2-4 ounces of protein. If you are worried that you aren’t getting the proper nutrition even with a healthy diet, ask your doctor if taking a daily vitamin is right for you.
2. Get Enough Sleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the most people over the age of 65 need about 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Not getting enough sleep puts you at a higher risk of developing heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. According to one study, taking short naps of about 45-60 minutes during the daytime could help improve learning and memory function. Just like your brain, your skin needs sleep to stay healthy. “Beauty sleep” is a real thing, and getting enough sleep can help you to have fewer wrinkles, less puffy eyes, and have a generally happier appearance.
3. Limit Your Sun Exposure
The sun’s UV rays help our bodies to produce vitamin D, so we all need some sun, but it’s best to get your sunshine in small doses. Too much sunshine can lead to increased wrinkles, dark spots, and even skin cancer. When you are outside for long periods of time, make sure you wear sunscreen, even if it’s a cloudy day. Use a sunscreen that has both UVA and UVB protection. It is recommended that you use products with no lower than 30 SPF protection and no higher than 50 SPF. Any SPF that does not fall within those boundaries will not protect against both types of UV rays. Remember to dress for the sun as well. Adding a hat or a light sweater to your attire is a great idea, and use makeup that has SPF protection.
4. Drink Enough Water
Keeping your body hydrated keeps your skin hydrated, and hydrated skin is plump, smooth, and young-looking. Seniors become dehydrated more quickly and more often than younger adults do. Every year, people between the ages of 85 and 99 are admitted to the hospital for dehydration six times more often than anyone else. If left untreated, dehydration can lead to serious complications, like seizures, kidney failure, and even death. make sure you drink lots of water, milk, or 100% juice throughout the day. Another good way to stay hydrated is by eating fruits and vegetables that are high in water content, like watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit, zucchini, radishes, and celery.
5. Have a Good Skincare Routine
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have an easy, healthy morning and evening skincare routine. There are many affordable store-bought products that won’t strain your wallet. In addition to purchasing lotions, makeup, and other products that contain UV protection for the morning, you also want to find products that can help your skin while you sleep. Wash your face when you wake up in the morning and before you go to sleep. At night, make sure you remove all makeup and perfume. Apply a light moisturizer to your face and neck. Reapply throughout the day if necessary. Sleep in clean sheets and on a clean pillowcase.