10/14/2022 | By Kari Smith

Do you make the effort to have beautiful skin? It’s easy to consider makeup, moisturizers, and anti-aging products as the solutions to skin problems as we age, but beauty is truly more than skin deep. By taking care of our body, we can achieve healthy skin from the inside out. Here’s how.

Skin is the largest organ of the body, and it can be one of the most visible signs of aging. What seems to be the obvious fix? Products, products, and more products. Sure, using gentle, fragrance-free soaps, washes, cleansers, and lotions can be helpful. Avoiding detrimental products helps, too: perfumed lotions, harsh soaps, and creams with irritating ingredients may do more harm than good. Ingredients such as fragrance, alcohol, salicylic acid, and retinols can wreak havoc, especially on sensitive or aging skin. On top of that, bath oils and even oil-based scrubs can be a slipping hazard when used while bathing or showering.

The good news is that you can better achieve beautiful, healthy skin from the inside out.

Simple steps to support healthy skin

The H2O factor

It may seem obvious, but water matters to skin health, in more ways than one.

beautiful senior couple. Image by Russian Huzau, Dreamstime. Do you want beautiful skin? By taking care of your body, you can achieve healthy skin from the inside out.
  • Are you drinking enough? Water accounts for over half of your body weight, and all of your body functions suffer when you are not drinking enough – skin included.
  • I love a steaming shower, especially when it is cold outside. Unfortunately, it’s not the best for my skin. Use warm – not hot – water to bathe in and do not dry your skin vigorously after. Also, keep in mind that you may not need to bathe daily, especially in cooler months where you are not sweating. When you do bathe or shower, keep it under 10 minutes if possible. (Bonus: you’re conserving water!)
  • If your air is overly dry, put water in it. No, really! Use a humidifier to add extra moisture into the air when factors such as dry climate, air conditioning, or heat dry the air in your home out. Using a simple hygrometer, check your daily humidity to see that it is between 30% to 40% in winter and 40% to 60% in summer. You can also purchase a clock that includes a hygrometer. Look for a digital display, as some movement clocks and hygrometer gauges can be small and difficult to read. Hygrometers take the guesswork out of knowing whether your air is maintaining proper moisture levels.

Related: The importance of hydration for seniors

Get your beauty sleep

Wait – is that actually real?

Think about how you look in a mirror after a sleepless night. You’re probably picturing pale skin, under-eye circles, and puffy, swollen eyes. That is because restoration happens during those hours. While you’re sleeping, skin cells regenerate more quickly. Blood flow is increased, collagen is rebuilt, and cortisol levels are diminished, which helps fight inflammation and redness. So yes, getting sufficient sleep at night will actually help your skin.

Eating for healthy skin

What you eat also has an impact on the health of your skin. Think about what nutrients your skin needs to look healthful and youthful and consume those to further support the health of your skin.

The following foods pack in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that your skin needs, like Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E, protein, and zinc:

  • Fatty fish, such as herring, tuna, and salmon
  • Certain types of nuts, including almonds and walnuts
  • Seeds, such as chia or flax seeds
  • Citrus fruits and vegetables like broccoli, peppers, and tomatoes are great sources of Vitamin C, which can help fight wrinkles. They also contain beta-carotene, lycopene, and other vitamins and minerals that support skin health.

Don’t forget to protect your skin!

Sun damage goes beyond the very real, potentially very serious possibility of skin cancer. Sun damage can hasten wrinkles and cause spots and blotches. Other external elements can damage your skin, too.

You can protect it by embracing basic common-sense habits:

  • Choose clothing and accessories that protect you – a wide-brimmed hat that completely covers your head, face, and ears, or lightweight clothing with UPF (ultraviolet protection factor).
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and find shade when possible.
  • Wear gloves when using harsh cleaning products, gardening, doing yardwork, or tackling other chores where more sensitive skin could be damaged.
  • Minimize sun exposure.

Although changes to skin are normal and expected (and even to celebrated as you embrace your age!) be sure to check with your doctor if dry skin persists, as it can be an indication of an underlying health issue such as diabetes or kidney disease.

Not only is it good news that you can achieve beautiful skin from the inside out, these common sense measures will help you be healthier through and through.

Kari Smith

Kari Smith is a frequent contributor to Seniors Guide, helping to keep those in the senior industry informed and up-to-date. She's a Virginia native whose love of writing began as a songwriter recording her own music. In addition to teaching music and performing in the Richmond area, Kari also enjoys riding horses and farming.

Kari Smith