Were you one of those teens or young adults who sunbathed with abandon? Spent time in a tanning bed? Eschewed moisturizer, sunscreen, and beauty products containing ingredients you didn’t understand (like retinoids and peptides)? You’re not alone.
But just because skin care wasn’t high on your list of priorities in your younger years doesn’t mean you’ve missed the proverbial boat. Whatever age you are, taking steps to protect yourself from further sun damage and addressing skin concerns now can create enormous benefits, including:
- Preventing or clearing up a blotchy complexion and/or age spots
- Keeping skin firmer longer
- Reducing fine lines and wrinkles
- A brighter complexion
- Preventing “leathery” skin
- Reducing your risk of developing skin cancer
Care for Aging Skin
Don’t worry if you are in your 40s, 50s, 60s or beyond. The time to start taking care of your skin is now! Maybe you have started to notice skin changes and want to do something about them, but you aren’t sure where to start. Here is a dermatologist-approved list of steps you can take to improve your skin… at any age!
First of all, book a skin check. Forget about wrinkles for a minute, the first thing we need to be concerned about is skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the world, and your risk of developing skin cancer or precancerous growths goes up every year. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer by age 70. Over two people die of cancer every hour in the U.S. If you’ve had more than five sunburns, your risk of deadly melanoma doubles. Skin cancer can be difficult to diagnose, so let a board certified dermatologist assess your skin and address any suspicious areas sooner rather than later.
Embrace sunscreen. The sun is the biggest culprit of premature skin aging (called photo-aging), and that means you need to make sunscreen a regular part of your routine. Choose a broad-spectrum, 30 SPF or higher sunscreen and cover all exposed skin half an hour before going outside, every day. Yes, every day.
Moisturize. Moisturizing is a good idea at any age, and especially in our older years. During menopause, skin loses some of its ability to remain hydrated. Dry skin may appear flaky, itchy, or sore. It may even crack and bleed, especially on the hands. Lack of moisture in your face can leave skin looking lax. Start and end your day by washing your face with a gentle cleanser, then follow with a moisturizer containing hyaluronic acid, which helps maintain hydration in the skin. Use a fragrance-free moisturizer on your body and apply it while skin is still damp after showering. Another tip: avoid hot showers, which dry skin out. Opt for warm water instead.
Gentle is better. As we age, and especially at menopause, skin grows thinner, so it’s important to choose a gentle cleanser. That doesn’t mean you can’t exfoliate or use microdermabrasion, but be sure to check with your dermatologist first. Opt for a mild cleanser instead of soap, which can contain harsh chemicals.
Anti-aging products can help. There’s a multi-billion dollar anti-aging industry out there, and it can be hard to tell which products work and which are just hype. Even if you figure out the active ingredients that make a difference (spoiler alert: they include retinol and hyaluronic acid), you need to make sure you’re getting the right strength to get the results you want. Your dermatologist’s office can end the guessing game. At Arizona Dermatology we offer physician-strength anti-aging products that can make a real difference for wrinkles, fine lines, dry skin, lax skin, uneven skin tone and more.
Addressing adult skin conditions. If you still have pimples past your teen or young adult years, over-the-counter acne products may be too harsh and drying for your skin. Choose a cleanser with salicylic acid rather than harsher ingredients like benzoyl peroxide. If you can’t get your breakouts under control, see your dermatologist who may need to prescribe a hormonal treatment. We can also help with skin problems like rosacea, eczema, melasma and more.
It’s never too late to start taking care of your skin. Make healthy skin a priority now and you’ll be glad you did. If signs of aging are distressing you and can’t be corrected with regular skin care, Arizona Dermatology offers minimally invasive and non-invasive facial rejuvenation procedures that can help. Just ask your doctor.