We should always be taking care of our skin whether it’s summer or another season but the hot weather can add the risk of skin cancer and damage from too much sun exposure. For seniors, this goes double. Aging skin thins and loses some of its fat. This makes your bones and veins more visible, your skin less smooth and full. Any damage, including bruises and scratches, can take longer to heal.
How can seniors take care of their skin during the hot months?
- Spend less time in the sun. Time outdoors is healthy for us but avoid the hottest time of day. Try to get out before 10 a.m. and avoid the time when the sun can do the most damage. Early morning and evenings are best. Remember, even on cloudy days the sun’s rays can still be strong! If you must be outside when the sun is strong, try to spend your time under a sun umbrella.
- Cover up. Invest in a large hat and lightweight, loose long sleeved tops. Linen is a good choice. Pants or a long skirt are better than shorts.
- Apply sunscreen. Invest in a good quality sunscreen. There are many available and some do the job much better than others. The protection level should be over 15 and look for the words “Broad Spectrum” on the bottle. Sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours or even more if you are swimming.
Take care of your skin as you age. Many of us are carrying skin damage from days spent in the sun when we were much younger. Sun damage is cumulative, meaning it adds up over the years, so don’t make it worse by sunbathing in the middle of the day. Use lukewarm water to cleanse and apply moisturizers daily. Your skin will thank you. Battling wrinkles and sunspots is a difficult enough job without adding sun damage on top of that.
To read the complete article on how seniors can take care of their skin during the summer months, click here.