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Your skin is one area of your body that shows the signs of aging the most. Aging skin can become dry, wrinkled, creased, crepe-like, and spotted. Fortunately, you can take steps to minimize these effects to remain comfortable in your own skin and help to slow the ravages of time.

1. Avoid Water Impurities

Sometimes it is not your age or habits cause your skin problems but the water you use for cleansing and bathing. When you have hard water, the minerals present can contribute to a loss of moisture. It can also interfere with the effectiveness of soap, leaving behind a residue that can make skin itchy and dry. A water softener removes these dissolved minerals, which leads to more efficient lathering and rinsing to leave your skin softer and more hydrated.

2. Limit Hot Baths

There is nothing more relaxing than a long soak in a hot bathtub. However, too much exposure to hot water can cause your skin to dry out. You don’t have to cut out baths entirely, but you should save them for an occasional indulgence and favor showers for everyday grooming. When you do take a bath, use moisturizer afterward while your skin is still wet to protect it from the unwanted side effects of a long soak.

3. Watch for Signs of Cancer

Skin cancer is highly treatable if caught early on, but it can develop quickly. Pay attention to any changes in your skin, especially new moles or moles that grow in size or become a different color. See a dermatologist for regular skin examinations.

4. Protect Your Skin From Sun Damage

Ultraviolet radiation from sunlight can contribute to skin cancer and other problems as well, such as wrinkles and age spots. Whenever possible, wear opaque clothing that protects you from the sun. Stay in the shade as much as you can, and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen whenever you can’t.

5. Avoid Fragrances

Personal care products that contain fragrance can be irritating to your skin. Avoid these altogether if possible, or limit your use. This also makes it more comfortable for friends and family members who have allergies or sensitivities to be around you.

6. Protect Your Hands

There are many elements both inside and outside that can do damage to the skin of your hands. When working outside in your garden or cleaning inside the house, wear gloves appropriate to the task. This can protect you from sunlight, harsh chemicals, and other irritants.

7. Maintain Internal Humidity

When the air inside your house is too dry, it can cause dryness and itchiness of your skin. Many people experience this problem during the winter because not only is the air drier but central heating exacerbates the problem. Air conditioning can also strip the air of humidity, which can be good up to a point but can also cause skin problems, especially if you already live in an arid environment.

You can measure the humidity of the air inside your home by purchasing a hydrometer from your local hardware store. You can then use a humidifier to replace moisture in the air. You should maintain 45% to 60% indoor humidity.

8. Try a Different Cleanser

When you bathe, consider using a liquid cleanser rather than a bar of soap. The former can help your skin retain moisture, while the latter may leach it out. Try to find one with a creamy consistent and emollient properties that help soften your skin.

9. Be Careful Exfoliating

Exfoliating means removing the top layer of dead skin cells. As you become older, your skin can become more delicate, and harsh exfoliation can cause damage. Instead of using a bath brush or a puff, clean your skin with a soft cloth.

10. Revise Bad Skin Habits

Stop any habits that are bad for your skin. For example, smoking can cause premature aging and a plethora of other health problems. There may be programs available to help you quit smoking more easily. Discuss these with your doctor.

Above all, try to focus more on keeping your skin healthy. Look at changes in your skin as a patina that bears witness to the good life you have lived and adds to your value and dignity.