We all know that it’s crucial to have, and keep up with, a good skin care routine. But continuing that routine as we get older is just as important.

As we age, fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin or sunspots become more visible — all of which are part of the natural aging process.

Just as you adjust diet and exercise routines over time, adopting a regular skin care routine is an essential part of self-care as you age. Nurturing your skin can make a positive difference in the way you look and feel. Here are a few easy steps to get started.

Aging skin challenges

Mature skin carries a distinct set of challenges — dry, rough and itchy spots are common; decreased elasticity causes skin to sag; and fine lines and deep wrinkles set in. You can’t expect to tackle a new set of age-related issues with the same skin care routine you once relied on. Tried and true products might not be as effective anymore, and some might even irritate your skin. Making simple changes to your skin care routine or product line can help alleviate some age-related concerns.

Cleansing is still key

Cleansing is the first step in a good skin care routine at any age. To combat dry, rough skin, use a gentle, moisturizing cleanser on your face in the morning and night. Avoid products that have alcohol or heavy fragrances, or that can deplete your skin of natural oils. Instead, look for dermatologist-tested products that moisturize and are suitable for sensitive skin. Cleansers that contain ingredients like shea butter or oats are a great place to start. Remember not to scrub too hard while cleansing, as it can further aggravate rough or broken skin. Also, when bathing or showering, use warm water instead of hot and leave your skin a little damp when drying off to retain moisture.

Optimal toners

Applying a facial toner after cleansing gets rid of any residual dirt. It can also adjust your skin’s pH levels to help serums and moisturizers be more effective. Optimal anti-aging toners will brighten dull skin and reduce fine lines, dark spots, and sunspots. Look for a toner with powerful antioxidants that combat free radicals that can damage skin and cause additional signs of aging. Products that contain vitamin C, vitamin E and retinol (vitamin A) are prime examples.

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Serums and moisturizers

Serums geared toward reducing fine lines and wrinkles contain active ingredients such as vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, peptides and vitamin E. These agents can help boost collagen and improve your skin’s elasticity. It’s important to choose a serum that matches your skin type — such as for sensitive skin — or one rated “for all skin types.” Check out this list of anti-aging serums to get an idea of what’s out there.

Mature skin sheds less often. Therefore, it also loses the opportunity to renew itself, which leads to duller looking skin. Applying moisturizers for aging skin daily can combat this issue and help restore your skin’s youthful, rosy tone. Using fragrance-free products can help reduce skin irritation. The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends using a moisturizer to “trap water in your skin” as part of your anti-aging skin care routine.

Never skip or skimp on sunscreen

Blocking harmful UV rays from the sun is essential at every age, so apply a generous amount of sunscreen with a minimum of 30 SPF protection when you’re exposed to the sun. Some moisturizers might already contain sunscreen. Damaging UV rays from years in the sun can cause dark spots and fine lines, not to mention skin cancer. Remember to reapply sunscreen after swimming, excessive sweating or long periods outdoors to reduce your risk. Seek shady areas, wear protective clothing and a hat, and limit your time in the sun for extra protection.

Do regular skin cancer checks

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. You should do regular skin cancer self-checks to look for new or unusual growths, bleeding or discolored moles, or a sore that won’t heal. Finally, get regular skin cancer screenings with your dermatologist and seek medical treatment immediately if you see anything suspicious on your skin.

As we age, our bodies and skin require different self-care than when we were younger. Make these tips part of your daily routine, and your skin will thank you.

Active Aging is presented by Koelsch Communities.

With 60 years of signature service to families, Koelsch Communities has been family owned and operated for three generations. Our continued success is compelled by our founding principles as we strive to serve our residents with respect, dignity and compassion.