Put your best face forward

By Carol Higgins Taylor,
Posted April 18, 2011, at 9:42 p.m.

We all know that beauty is more than just skin deep, but putting your best face forward is never a bad idea. Practicing good skin care habits will not only make your skin look better, but also will make you feel better. A well-done facial can leave you glowing from the inside out.

I have heard seniors say, “I’m older now and have wrinkles so what’s the point of a skin care  regimen.” Or they feel vain and think that lotions and potions are frivolous. But this is not about vanity. It’s about making you feel good and about keeping your skin supple and healthy. There is nothing wrong with taking care of your largest organ, which is your skin. While proper skin care is important at all ages, there are special concerns for seniors. Older skin has thinned over the years and is not as hearty as it used to be, so one of the most important things to remember is to be gentle and not to scrub vigorously when washing. There are exfoliating products on the market that contain granules designed to whisk away dead skin cells, but use them with caution. Some are just too harsh for senior skin.

Because skin becomes very delicate as it ages, treat it with love. Remember, it is going to be with you for the rest of your life. If you try a product and it doesn’t feel good, don’t use it.

Look for products that are not irritating, such as those especially made for sensitive skin or hypoallergenic. For instance, if your skin feels tight or dry after cleansing, then that is not the cleanser for you. What works for a friend may not work for you.

Drinking water to stay hydrated, and eating right is good for your general health, which will give you a natural glow. Avoid hot water, as it dries out skin. Be sure to use a good moisturizer every day, and if you smoke — quit.

As for cosmetics, remember the rule: Less is more. Some ladies think lots of makeup will hide their facial lines, but the opposite is true. Excess makeup will just settle in those lines and make the face appear older. It’s best to apply cosmetics lightly and evenly with a damp, latex-free, sponge. The drug store or supermarket is full of products, but some people prefer a professional’s touch. While most places are reputable, some may not be. If you’re interested in getting a facial or perhaps buying products from a center or salon, listen to your instincts.

Don’t be pressured into buying products that you don’t want or need. Ask friends, family and hairdressers for referrals. Some salons are full-service now, so you can have a day of beauty in one place.

After the winter we have had, sunny days are clearly good for the mind and soul, but they are not so good for your skin. Make sure that whatever moisturizer you use has at least a SPF 15.

Have a dermatologist or your primary care doctor keep an eye on any lesions, moles, or changes that may have occurred since your last visit. Skin cancer can be treatable if caught early.

Taking care of the skin you’re in is one of the best ways of taking care of yourself. Some women are so busy caring for others, they forget to take care of themselves and a little pampering goes a long way.

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Save the date. The annual Senior Expo will be held Friday, May 20, at Spectacular Event Center, 395 Griffin Road, Bangor, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be dozens of exhibitors, screenings and door prizes. Don’t miss it!

Carol Higgins Taylor is director of communications at Eastern Area Agency on Aging. E-mail Higgins Taylor at chtaylor@eaaa.org. For information on EAAA, call 941-2865, toll-free 800-432-7812, email info@eaaa.org or visit http://www.EAAA.org. TTY 992-0150.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/04/18/health/put-your-best-face-forward/ printed on August 28, 2014