Protecting your skin from the sun to prevent premature aging is one of the most well-known benefits to wearing sunscreen. As you get older, the skin naturally ages and one might not be worried about aging skin as much as someone in their 20s or 30s, but older adults should still be proactive about protecting their skin and wearing sunscreen.
As we age, skin becomes increasingly delicate and vulnerable, making skin cancer more likely and we have less T cells, which helps the skin heal in damaged areas. With this added vulnerability, it’s important to take special precautions to limit sun exposure.
Here are our tips for protecting your aging skin:
- Seek the shade. Avoiding sun exposure does not mean you can never go outside again! When you’re outside, be sure to seek out shade from trees, porches, and umbrellas.
- Wear protective clothing. When outdoors, opt for long pants and long shirts that are loose and lightweight. Opting for materials that offer a tight weave to block UV rays from making their way through the material. There are now brands that offer UV protection clothing that make it that much easier. Also remember to always wear a hat! The scalp and face can burn easily and a wide brim hat can offer extra protection.
- Moisturize daily. As the skin ages, it is prone to dryness and sun damage increases this. By applying a moisturizer one or two times a day, the skin gets the adequate amount of moisture to keep it soft, smooth, and healthy.
- Know when to stay inside. The sun is strongest between the hours of 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM each day. During these times, it’s important to take precautions if you need to go outside by wearing protective clothing and seeking shade. If it’s not necessary to be outdoors, pick up a new indoor hobby.
- Use sunscreen daily. Even in the winter months, the UV rays are still as damaging as they are come summertime, they’re just not as noticeable due to the cold weather. Always keep a bottle of SPF 35 around to apply throughout the day to your arms, neck, face, and legs even if you’re just walking to the car, mailbox, or walking by sunny windows indoors.
- Avoid getting a tan. The skin tans as a mechanism to protect itself from harmful rays and is often a sign that there is already damage to the skin. As you get older, your skin has seen more sun making it more likely to have damage, increasing the risk of skin cancer. Take precaution and protect yourself no matter your age.