The body undergoes a diverse array of changes to varying extents as time passes. These changes do not necessarily signal an inherent illness, but they can be disconcerting for the individual. While the ageing process is inevitable, staying mindful of these changes and embracing a healthy lifestyle can mitigate their impact on one’s overall health.

Gaining insight into the process and causes of skin ageing empowers you to take a proactive approach to skin health and preventive measures. Understanding the reasons behind and mechanisms of skin ageing enables you to make informed and effective treatment choices for skin rejuvenation when desired.

In this blog, we explore the ageing process, skin care tips for elderly skin and the best solutions for restoring and maintaining skin in older adults.

The Ageing Process

As we age, skin cell regeneration decelerates, leading to reduced efficiency in healing, moisture retention and oil secretion. Ageing skin exhibits characteristics such as fine lines, wrinkles and diminished volume, influenced by various contributing factors. One of the most important parts of the skin barrier is the stratum corneum. 

The stratum corneum consists of strong dead skin cells surrounded by a lipid matrix, comprising of cholesterol, fatty acids, and ceramides. This structure serves to prevent excessive loss of fluids and electrolytes. These structures not only regulate permeability but also confer crucial protective functions to the skin epidermis.

During ageing, various structures and functions of the skin barrier undergo changes or disruptions, including the skin barrier structure, permeability barrier function, epidermal calcium levels, epidermal lipid formation, stratum corneum (SC) lipid processing, SC acidity, SC hydration, and antimicrobial barrier.

The reduced hydration in aged skin is attributed to diminished natural humectant content and the lipid content in the stratum corneum decreases. The aged epidermis shows reduced levels of binding proteins and its moisturising components. Sebum and glycerol contents are also reduced in aged skin, along with a decrease in certain types of skin proteins, leading to a reduction in stratum corneum hydration.

Previous studies have indicated a >30% reduction in total lipid content in aged stratum corneum compared to young stratum corneum, primarily due to decreased epidermal lipid synthesis, particularly in cholesterol synthesis, both under normal conditions and after skin barrier disruption.

The skin barrier faces daily assaults from hot water, mechanical trauma, occupation-related chemicals, tape stripping, detergents, and solvents, depleting the skin of its lipids.

The skin barrier is influenced by two classes of lipids: non-physiological lipids and physiological lipids. These lipids, with their differing characteristics, determine their clinical effectiveness when formulated in the correct proportions. Barrier repair principles rely on physiological lipids (ceramides, cholesterol, and free fatty acids) in appropriate ratios to address abnormalities, while non-physiological lipids like petrolatum and beeswax provide only transient restoration without distinguishing between different barrier abnormalities.

Dressings, whether vapour-permeable for ongoing metabolic repair or non-permeable to halt the repair process, also play a role in supporting the skin barrier.

Skin Care Tips for the Elderly

While ageing is a natural process, we acknowledge that numerous individuals wish to decelerate its effect on the skin and pursue treatments to counteract premature signs of ageing. Here are a few ways one can maintain healthy skin.

Maintain a Well Balanced Diet

Consuming a variety of foods rich in vitamins, nutrients, and minerals enhances overall bodily functions. Additionally, a well-balanced diet facilitates quicker skin repair and lowers sensitivity to bruising. Seek foods high in vitamins A, C, and E, such as fish, fruits, and nuts.

Stay Hydrated

Where’s that water bottle? Maintaining proper hydration is essential for overall well-being, irrespective of your age. The significance of adequate water intake extends beyond simple thirst quenching; it plays a pivotal role in eliminating toxins from your body and ensuring optimal skin health. By keeping your body well-hydrated, you contribute to the prevention of dryness and itchiness, promoting a radiant and supple complexion.

Moreover, the benefits of hydration extend beyond physical aspects to cognitive functions. Adequate water intake can significantly enhance mental clarity, helping you steer clear of the notorious “brain fog” that may impair your focus and concentration. This mental sharpness becomes particularly crucial in avoiding inadvertent accidents or injuries that can occur when your cognitive functions are compromised.

In essence, the multifaceted advantages of staying hydrated underscore its vital role in fostering both physical and mental well-being. Embracing a consistent habit of proper hydration not only quenches your body’s thirst but also contributes to a healthier, more vibrant lifestyle.

Moisturise

When in search of the optimal product to cater to the specific needs of elderly skin care, the plethora of options available can be quite staggering. To choose the best moisturiser for your skin, focus on a selection that prioritises the health of mature skin. A good choice in this regard involves opting for moisture-rich cleansers and lotions. These formulations play a pivotal role in nurturing the skin by aiding in the restoration of its moisture barrier.

The significance of moisture-rich products lies in their ability to replenish and maintain the skin’s hydration levels. As individuals age, the skin tends to lose its natural moisture content, leading to dryness and a compromised moisture barrier. By incorporating soaps and lotions with enhanced moisturising properties into a skincare routine, the elderly can effectively address these concerns, promoting healthier and more resilient skin.

Therefore, a streamlined and practical approach to elderly skincare involves focusing on products designed to offer ample moisture, aiding in the restoration of the skin’s natural balance. Simultaneously, the avoidance of artificial dyes and perfumes ensures that the skincare regimen is gentle and considerate, minimising the risk of adverse reactions. By adhering to these guidelines, older adults can confidently embrace a skincare routine that not only supports the health of their skin but also enhances their overall well-being.

Final Thoughts

It is crucial to remain vigilant about any emerging skin conditions, dryness or roughness on your skin. Early detection and timely treatment play a pivotal role in maintaining skin health and preventing discomfort. If needed, seek advice from your healthcare professional and address any concerns related to your skin, ensuring that potential issues are addressed proactively.

In addition, we want to emphasise the importance of regular skin monitoring as an integral part of your overall well-being. By staying attuned to changes in your skin’s appearance, you contribute to the early identification of any potential issues, facilitating effective and efficient medical attention.

At Prolox, we prioritise your skin health, and if you ever find yourself in need of guidance or information regarding skincare products, please visit our website at www.prolox.com.au. Our team is dedicated to formulating the most effective skincare products for aged skin and assisting you in making informed decisions about the best skincare routine tailored to your unique needs. Your skin deserves the utmost care, and we are committed to supporting you on your journey to healthy, radiant skin.