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article imageSkin care tips for people in their 40s and 50s Special

By Tim Sandle     Nov 12, 2014 in Health
In the U.S., November is National Healthy Skin Month. The focus is with people in “middle age” (40s and 50s). To provide some tips for healthy skin, a leading dermatologist offers some advice.
Keeping skin healthy is important, especially as people get older, according to Bethanee J. Schlosser, MD, PhD, FAAD, assistant professor of dermatology and director of Women’s Skin Health at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. Schlosser has provided Digital Journal readers with some skin health tips.
The main risks with skin and aging relate to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun overtime. This, together with indoor tanning (from sunbeds) damages the DNA found in skin cells. This exposure can raise the risk of skin cancer and it can also result in premature skin aging, which takes the form of wrinkles and sun spots.
Raising these concerns, Dr. Schlosser notes that healthy skin is still possible: “It’s possible to have vibrant skin at any age, as long as you take steps to properly care for your skin.” She went onto add: “For example, wearing sunscreen protects the skin from both harmful UVA and UVB rays and is one of the most effective ways to prevent wrinkling and sun damage.”
To help out Digital Journal readers, Dr. Schlosser provides some useful tips to protect skin:
1. Use gentle skin care products: For healthier-looking skin, consider using mild, unscented products year-round. Deodorant soaps, alcohol-based toners and products that contain fragrance can leave aging skin feeling irritated and dry.
2. Consider using an AHA or retinoid product: Products with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or retinoids can make your skin look younger. If you want to reduce the signs of aging, ask your dermatologist if a product that contains a retinoid, such as tretinoin, may be right for you. Also consider using products with antioxidants, as these may help repair and prevent further skin damage. Regimens can also be tailored to minimize potential skin irritation.
3. Be gentle with acne-prone skin: If you struggle with acne as an adult, use – and overuse – of anti-acne cleansers and products may irritate your skin. Consider switching to a mild cleanser with salicylic acid or sulfur. Make sure all skin care products and cosmetics are labeled non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic or oil-free. In addition, wash gently, as scrubbing can further irritate the skin.
4. Moisturize: Oil production in the skin diminishes in our 40s, so it is important to moisturize your skin regularly. The best time to moisturize is right after taking a bath or shower. If your skin still feels dry with consistent daily moisturizing, apply moisturizer a few times throughout the day.
5. Protect your skin from the sun: Research has shown that ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun accelerate skin aging – making sun protection a critical part of every anti-aging skin care plan. To protect your skin, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to your face, neck and body whenever you are going outside. For additional protection, seek shade and wear sun-protective clothing whenever possible.
6. Keep your hands protected: Be sure to also apply sunscreen to your hands to protect them from premature aging. Consider applying a glycolic acid or antioxidant product to your hands to help repair sun damage.
7. Do not smoke: Tobacco smoke contains toxins that can lead to “smoker’s” face - a term used by doctors to describe the dull and dry complexion, loss of skin firmness, premature lines and wrinkles, especially around the mouth, and leathery-looking skin that smokers often have.
To complement these tips, the American Academy of Dermatology has made a video.
In addition to the tips, Dr. Schlosser adds: “Many things cause our skin to age – some we cannot do anything about, and others we can influence. If your complexion bothers you or you’re worried about wrinkles, you should consult a board-certified dermatologist.”
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