Essential Skin Care for Aging Adults: Tips for Hydrated, Healthy Skin in Austin, TX
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Essential Skin Care for Aging Adults: Tips for Hydrated, Healthy Skin in Austin, TX

Our skin is the first thing other people see, and most people are concerned about it displaying signs of aging. As we age, our skin undergoes various changes that require different care routines to maintain its health and beauty.

a woman observes her age spotsCommon Skin Changes with Age

As we age, here are a few things we might notice about our skin. Most are normal and not usually cause for alarm:

  • Drier
  • Thinner and paper-like
  • Itchy
  • More age spots, wrinkles, and creases
  • Blotchier
  • More easily irritated
  • More susceptible to skin infections
  • Bruises more easily
  • Sweats less
  • Heals more slowly

(Source: American Academy of Dermatology)

Understanding these common changes is the first step in adapting our skincare routines to better suit aging skin.

Factors Contributing to Aging Skin

Several factors contribute to these changes. Our skin becomes thinner, contributing to the appearance of wrinkles. We also lose fat, elasticity, and moisture, and scratches and bumps take longer to heal and are more visible. Depending on sun exposure throughout our lives, we may see more ragged dryness, age spots, and even cancer.

Recognizing these contributing factors allows us to better address the specific needs of our skin as we age.


Daily Skin Care Routine for Aging Skin

By making the following changes, we can protect our skin from the signs of aging and maintain its health and beauty for years to come:

  • Switch from bar soap to a creamy, fragrance-free cleanser or emollient.
  • Use warm, not hot, water.
  • Change to a soft cloth rather than a brush or buff puff to clean the skin.
  • Shorten bath or shower time to 10 minutes.
  • Pat rather than rub when toweling off – even leave a bit of water on the skin.
  • Apply a creamy, fragrance-free, hydrolyzing moisturizer for dry to moist skin immediately after bathing (then reapply as needed throughout the day).

Incorporating these daily habits can make a significant difference in maintaining skin health. Additionally, using a humidifier when the air feels dry can help maintain skin moisture, especially during Austin’s dry seasons.


Additional Skin-Health Choices

  • To further care for aging skin, consider the following:
  • Protect skin from the sun with a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
  • Choose fragrance-free skin care and laundry products.
  • Drink more water to stay hydrated.
  • Consider purchasing a humidifier to keep indoor humidity between 45% and 60%. Measure indoor humidity with a hydrometer that you can easily find at a local hardware or home improvement store.
  • Wear gloves while doing housework and gardening to protect your skin from harsh chemicals and sunlight.
  • See a dermatologist for skin cancer exams. The risk of developing skin cancer and pre-cancerous growths increases after age 50.

(Source: American Academy of Dermatology and National Institute on Aging)

Adding these additional measures to your routine can enhance skin protection and overall health.


Skin Cancer Information for Older Adults Living in Austin, Texas

In Austin, Texas, skin cancer is a significant health concern. In 2023, it is estimated that there will be 5,530 new cases of melanoma diagnosed in Texas, reflecting a rising trend in skin cancer incidence over the past decades. Melanoma cases in Texas have nearly doubled from 2,022 in 1999 to 3,754 in 2017, showing an 86% increase AIM at Melanoma Foundation and UT Health Austin. This highlights the importance of regular skin checks and preventive measures for residents of Austin.

Given the high incidence of skin cancer, especially in sunny places like Austin, taking preventive measures becomes even more crucial.


Foods for Your Skina lay flat photo of foods that are good for aging skin

Another way to support your skin health is through your diet. Here are some skin-healthy foods and how they can help:

Guacamole (Avocados): Rich in healthy fats, vitamins K, C, E, and A, and B vitamins. It promotes skin elasticity and hydration and provides anti-inflammatory benefits. Widely available in Mexican dishes and a staple in many Austin restaurants.

Red Bell Peppers: High in vitamins A and C, which support collagen production and protect against sun damage.

Spinach: Spinach is super hydrating, packed with antioxidants, and rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K. It helps keep skin firm and smooth.

Berries (Blueberries, Strawberries): Giving you great reasons to say yes to cobbler, berries are high in antioxidants and vitamins A and C, which help protect skin from sun damage and reduce inflammation. Pick some up at local farmers’ markets and grocery stores.

Sweet Potato Tacos: Rich in beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, which restore skin elasticity and protect against UV damage.

Salmon and Mackerel: High in omega-3 fatty acids, which maintain skin moisture and reduce inflammation.

Pecan Pies (Pecans): Who knew pies were the answer to good skin? Rich in vitamins E and A, which help maintain skin moisture and repair skin damage.

Incorporating these foods into your diet can provide essential nutrients that support healthy skin from the inside out.


Skin Cancer Awareness

Unfortunately, skin cancer is all too common in the United States. The leading cause of skin cancer is unprotected exposure to sun, sunlamps, and tanning booths. Even unprotected time in the sun many years prior can show up as cancer later in life. Anyone of any skin color can get skin cancer, but those with fair skin and freckles are at the most significant risk.

There are three primary types of skin cancer:

Basal Cell CarcinomaBasal Cell Carcinoma

  • Accounts for more than 90% of skin cancer in the United States.
  • Slow-growing and rarely spreads to other parts of the body.
  • Usually found on the parts of the skin most exposed to the sun (head, face, neck, hands, arms).


  • Pearly or waxy appearance
  • Sunken center
  • Irregular blood vessels on the surface
  • Tendency to bleed easily after injury


Squamous Cell CarcinomaSquamous Cell Carcinoma

  • Grows slowly and occasionally spreads elsewhere in the body.
  • Usually found on the skin most exposed to the sun but can also be seen in other parts of the body.


  • Raised, dull-red skin lesion
  • Thick-crusted scale
  • May have an ulcerated appearance




  • The most dangerous type of skin cancer.
  • Can grow quickly and spread to other organs.
  • Can be deadly if not caught quickly.


  • Asymmetric, where one half looks different than the other
  • Often has irregular borders
  • Color changes or more than one color
  • Diameter is greater than the size of a pencil eraser
  • Changes in size, shape, tenderness, bleeding, or shade may evolve

See your doctor as soon as possible if you have concerns about any skin imperfections.

(Source: National Institute on Aging)

Understanding these signs and regularly checking your skin can help in early detection and treatment.

Maintaining healthy skin as we age requires adjusting our skincare routines and making informed lifestyle choices. By understanding common changes, using proper skincare products, and eating skin-healthy foods, we can keep our skin looking its best. Additionally, regular check-ups with a dermatologist are crucial for early detection and prevention of skin cancer.


Town Square LogoCaregiver Tip: Skip the Bath Oil –  Using bath oil to moisturize the skin can increase the risk of slips and falls, a common cause of injury in the bathroom for seniors. It’s best to avoid bath oil and opt for safer alternatives like a creamy, fragrance-free moisturizer applied after bathing. This simple change can help keep your loved one safe while maintaining their skin health. (Source: CDC Falls Prevention)

Ensuring bathroom safety is just one of the many ways caregivers can support their loved ones. At Town Square NW Austin, we are dedicated to providing a safe, engaging environment for seniors. To see how we can help your family, we invite you to set up a tour and experience the magic of Town Square. Contact us today to schedule your visit and learn more about our programs and services.