Winter Skin Care for Seniors

Spring may be just a few weeks away, but many of us continue to feel the effects of winter on our skin – especially seniors. Why? As we age skin becomes thinner and produces less oil, which can lead to dryness and sensitivity. Even in the safety and comfort of an assisted living community, dry winter air can cause winter skin woes.

For seniors, the arms, hands, and lower legs are most often affected. Following are some tips for keeping seniors living with dry skin comfortable during the winter months.

the hands of an elderly woman with hand cream

Warm up from the inside out.

A hot shower or steamy bath may be a tempting way to warm up on a chilly day, but beware: hot water strips oil from the skin, causing dryness. Instead, try warming up from the inside out! Drink hot water or herbal tea to stay warm and help keep skin (and the rest of the body) well hydrated.

The right lotion makes all the difference.

Using a high quality, emollient lotion after bathing and hand washing can help keep skin soft and comfortable. Just make sure you choose the right one! Avoid heavily fragranced and alcohol based lotions, which can cause irritation. Instead, choose fragrance-free, oil-based lotions, which are more gentle on sensitive skin.

A spa day for your hands.

Pair petroleum jelly or shea butter with spa gloves for a calming and therapeutic treat for dry hands. Apply a thick layer of petroleum jelly or shea butter to your hands, pull on the gloves, and sit back and relax for an hour. Your hands will thank you!

Combat dry air.

A humidifier can make the air more comfortable and reduce dryness, especially when run overnight. Stay safe and choose a humidifier that can be filled easily and has an automatic shut-off.

Bundle up naturally.

Whether bundling up on a chilly day or settling into cozy pajamas for the night, opt for natural fibers like cotton that are less likely to irritate skin. When skin is extra sensitive, be sure to wash clothing in detergent that is free from dyes and fragrances, and avoid using chemical fabric softeners.

Think summer!

Even during the cold winter months, remember summer essentials like cover-ups and sunscreen. Protect your skin from the sun’s radiation when heading out into cold, dry air, and continue to use sunscreen throughout the winter especially when there is snow on the ground. Snow reflects sunlight just like a swimming pool or lake!

The all new Sunnyside Manor, located in Wall Township, is the area’s premier senior living community. It features three distinctive neighborhoods: Independence ‘Plus’ Assisted Living, Memory Care and Skilled Nursing.

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