6 Tips to Care for Your Skin as You Age
Author: Vanessa Gagliardi Date Posted:29 July 2019
Our skin is the largest and most visible of our organs. It performs so many amazing functions like temperature regulation and protection from physical injuries. Our skin is also part of our immune system – it acts a protective barrier between our internal organs and the environment, preventing toxins and unhealthy microorganisms from entering our bodies.
The most visible signs of ageing are most likely to be seen in our skin. Skin ageing occurs in every layer of the skin, and is dependent on factors like genetics, UV radiation, pollutants and microorganisms. We like to think that every fine line and wrinkle is a beautiful representation of how much wisdom and experience has accumulated in a person.
As our skin takes care of us, we think it deserves a little TLC especially as we age. Here are our top 6 tips to promote healthy skin as we age!
1) Sun protection
We know that being in the sun for too long can cause sunburn, and with sunburn comes damage to our skin cells. Being sun safe as we age is great to protect our cells from any further damage. If you are out in direct sunlight for extensive periods of time (i.e. more than 30mins at a time) ensure to cover your skin with any (or all) of the following:.
- Protective clothing i.e. long sleeves
In saying this, we can’t forget that sunlight is also a great source of vitamin D, which has plenty of benefits on skin health! It is recommended to enjoy direct sunlight exposure for about 20 minutes daily – that’s a perfect amount of time to enjoy your breakfast or a cuppa in the backyard sunlight.
Collagen seems to be the latest hot topic - and with good reason! Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and plays a role in many different bodily functions, including skin elasticity. As we age, collagen production diminishes, so it can be helpful to add collagen into our diets to continue to promote skin elasticity.
Collagen can be found in any recipe using animal bones – think bone broths, osso bucco, whole chicken soup and lamb shanks. Have you noticed how these dishes can become gelatinous when cooled down? That’s due to all the beautiful collagen, which is so beneficial at promoting skin elasticity. We love the Meadow and Marrow® range of bone broth concentrates – all 7 of their flavours are available on our website. Try adding some to soups or in a mug of hot water to sip on!
Vitamin C rich foods can help promote collagen production in the body. Enjoy citrus fruits, leafy greens, tomatoes and broccoli as often as you can to increase your vitamin C intake – and in turn, to promote beautiful skin!
3) Weight bearing exercise
As we get older, we may notice our skin start to sag a little in areas like our upper arms, tummy and thighs. Did you know that weight bearing exercises can promote skin elasticity and reduce skin sagging?
Weight bearing exercises include any movements that involve the use of weights (like using a leg press and curling dumbbells) or the use of your own body weight (like lunges and push ups).
By including weight bearing exercises as part of your weekly routine, it helps to build lean muscle mass which helps our skin to appear firmer.
Tip: building lean muscle mass is also great at reducing fat mass AND protects our bones!
4) Keep your skin moisturised
One of the functions of our skin is to produce sebum (oil). Sebum naturally contains vitamin E which is an antioxidant responsible for protecting the skin from the sun, as well as preventing wrinkles.
As we get older, the production of sebum starts to decrease. Keeping our skin moisturised is a great way to compensate, as well as making our skin feel super smooth and hydrated.
There are many products on the market, and choosing the right moisturiser can seem a little overwhelming! We love our Natural Vitamin E Cream® as an all-body moisturiser – infused with lavender, calendula and rose to soften and smooth skin, and packed with vitamin E to improve skin elasticity and hydration!
5) Essential fatty acids
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are a type of nutrient that our bodies are actually unable to make – we need to get them from our diet. Salmon, avocado, olive oil, flaxseeds and chia seeds some examples of foods rich in these fatty acids. We can also find EFAs in supplements like fish oil, krill oil, flaxseed oil and evening primrose oil.
EFAs are found in the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (middle layer) of the skin, affecting its appearance. Their roles in regards to healthy ageing skin include:
- Reducing inflammation caused by UV exposure
- Reducing the risk of skin thinning
- Promoting collagen production
- Improving the skin’s wound healing capacity
6) Regular skin checks
Australia has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world. Performing regular skin checks is super important as we age to ensure our skin is healthy, and for early detection of potential skin cancers. It is recommended to see a dermatologist for a full skin check at least once a year. Always consult your doctor if you notice any new or changed marks on your skin.
Please contact your healthcare professional if you are concerned about your skin, or are wanting to try a new product or exercise regime.
- Angelo, G. (2012), Essential Fatty Acids and Skin Health, Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, <https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/essential-fatty-acids#references>
- Bocheva, G., Slominski, R.M., Slominski, A.T. (2019), Neuroendocrine Aspects of Skin Aging, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, DOI: 10.3390/ijms20112798
- Sinclair, R. (2012), Skin checks, Australian Family Physician (41:7, p.464-469), <https://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2012/july/skin-checks/>
- Yasin, Z.A.M., Ibrahim, F., Razif, M.F.M., Yusof, R., (2017), the Importance of Some Plant Extracts as Skin Anti-Aging Resources: A Review, Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (18:11), DOI: 10.2174/1389201019666171219105
|Written by Vanessa Gagliardi|
Vanessa (BHSc Naturopathy) is a qualified naturopath with a passion for good food. She uses nutrition and herbal medicine to help people feel their best, from the inside out.
Vanessa enjoys nature walks and Pilates, and loves a good almond mocha.
Very informativeBy: Joe Campisi on 11 September 2019I loved this information, sometimes people feel they can't get to the gym, a simple workout using body weight is a great idea, and no gym fees! I also liked the part about the collagen, all foods I love, so winning in that department. Thank you.
Sun protectionBy: Lyn on 8 August 2019I have had both surgical removal and treatment with chemotherapy cream for skin cancer on my nose. My skin care specialists has advised that I cover with sunscreen every day. I find sunscreens heavy on my face. Do you have a face moisturiser with 30+ protection?
Australian NaturalCare Response
Hi Lyn, thank you for your comment. Unfortunately we don't stock a 30+ moisturiser at this stage, we only have sunscreen. Thanks, Vanessa