In this post, you will learn what is the best moisturizer for seniors suffering from dry skin and how moisturizers affect your skin.
Dry skin can range from a minor annoyance to a debilitating condition. Skincare is not a typical topic for ElderStrength, but the fact is that the skin is your largest organ and responsible for many important functions in your body.
If you are in a hurry and don’t want to read through the whole article, my recommendation for the best moisturizers are (affiliate links):
Cracked skin is always a risk of infection as well, so it’s important to take care of its health, especially if you suffer from any form of diabetes.
So in this post, we will look at what you can do to keep your skin healthy and elastic so it doesn’t crack and affect your active lifestyle.
Naturally many people want to use moisturizers to reduce the wrinkles on their faces and hands which are showing the effects of aging. We will talk about how effective moisturizers are for that as well.
Let’s start by talking a little bit about the skin, it’s functions, and how aging affects it on a cellular level so we have a better understanding of what moisturizers can do.
About The Skin
Your skin is something you might not often think about unless you are into beauty products for example or have some condition that affects the skin.
Even when people think about their skin it’s usually a small part of it: The pimples or wrinkles on your face, your dry knuckles, the sagging skin of your upper arm, etc.
As you get older you tend to accept that aging changes the appearance of your skin but you might still secretly wish you could stop the wrinkles from forming on your face.
In essence, our skin is our appearance. The paint job of the body if you will. While your bones, muscles, fat tissue, and hair affect how you appear, the skin is what makes you appear yourself. So it’s a huge part of our identity.
But beyond this superficial function, the skins has very important biological functions. You might not have realized it but the skin is a single seamless organ, the largest of the human body in fact.
Your skin is a wonder of nature that is responsible for the following functions:
- A protective barrier against physical objects, heat, ultraviolet radiation, chemicals, and microbes.
- Regulating body temperature through sweating and blood circulation.
- Secretion and excretion of body fluids.
- Absorption of moisture and chemicals.
- Sensation and pain signaling.
Your skin is also home to billions of beneficial microbes that keep your body healthy and help your body fight against harmful pathogens.
The skin consists of three different layers, the superficial epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis.
The very surface of the epidermis, the skin you see, consists actually mainly of dead skin cells that form a protective barrier to the more sensitive tissues beneath.
Sometimes this barrier becomes thick and dry, especially in places of great stress and movements like the heels of your feet, the elbows, and your hands.
It can cause painful cracking that prevents the full use of the joint and increase the risk of infection since the protective barrier is broken.
How Aging Affects The Skin
Because the skin has to allow the free movement of your very mobile joints and great variations in body weight, it’s remarkably elastic. Meaning that it can stretch and reduce in size.
This elasticity is mainly because of the proteins collagen and elastin. Aging reduces these compounds, reducing the elasticity of the skin.
This video from YouTube by What’s Up Dude explains the aging process of the skin perfectly:
Aging can also cause the skin to become more transparent and frail because of the thinning of the protective epidermis.
This means that your skin will stretch less and it will also start to sag. While loose skin can be a major esthetic nuisance, it’s rarely a health concern.
Cracking and dry skin on the other hand can be very painful and prevent you from using your joints in their full range of motion for example.
Aging also reduces the blood circulation of the skin as capillaries become less elastic. This can lead to reduced wound healing and will reduce the regeneration rate of your skin.
This is especially true if you suffer from diabetes because high blood sugar levels damage the small capillaries of the skin. This will reduce wound healing, regeneration, and immunity against pathogens.
If you have diabetes I’m sure you have been told how important it is to keep your skin healthy, especially in your extremities, and to get any infections treated immediately.
The reduced elasticity, circulation, and regeneration rate will lead to drying of the skin because it receives fewer nutrients. This is where moisturizers can work their magic.
Do Moisturizers Reduce Wrinkles?
Especially if you are a lady, I’m sure you’ve seen the commercial that promises to remove wrinkles in a few days with their new patented secret compound that changes every year.
But can moisturizers actually affect the aging process of the skin? First of all, we need to talk about the types of skin aging.
There is natural, intrinsic aging that’s caused simply by the aging of your skin cells. Then there is photoaging or extrinsic aging that is caused mainly by ultraviolet exposure from the sun.
The ultraviolet rays of the sun damage the DNA of your skin cells, causing premature aging and degradation in collagen formation.
Your lifestyle habits will also affect the aging of your skin. Especially smoking is detrimental to your skin health as is consuming high amounts of alcohol.
Your diet naturally plays a part since it provides all the nutrients for your skin to regenerate. A healthy and balanced diet ensures you are not causing damage to your skin.
So in a way, at least some moisturizers can remove some of the signs of aging to an extent.
But you have to keep in mind that a moisturizer can’t turn back the time or fight against the natural aging process endlessly. So don’t expect miracles.
The best thing you can do to your skin is to have a healthy lifestyle and avoid excessive sun exposure.
Best Skin Moisturizers For Seniors
I’m actually going to recommend two different moisturizers because a single product will not likely fit all needs.
You will need a moisturizer that actually increases the moisture of the cracked skin and another one to form a moisture barrier that keeps the skin from drying up.
I’ve included affiliate ads to the best deals on Amazon to these moisturizers, so feel free to use them if you want to support the website. It will cost you no extra.
My first recommendation is Aloe Vera. Aloe Vera moisturizer is a gel-like extract from the spiky Aloe Vera plant. The great thing about Aloe Vera is that it’s completely natural and full of vitamins and minerals they help to heal your cracked skin.
Aloe Vera is great for moisturizing cracked heels, elbows, and knees. Remember that if you have significant or infected lacerations, you always need to talk to a doctor before using any moisturizers because of the infection risk.
That’s why Aloe Vera is also the perfect moisturizer for anti-aging properties on the skin, so you can use it to rejuvenize your face as well.
Aloe Vera isn’t greasy, so it doesn’t leave stains once it’s been applied. It does leave a slight film when it dries up that helps to preserve the moisture a bit but for that purpose some form of an oil-based emulsion is superior.
Aloe Vera can be slightly irritating to some people, so always do a small test application before applying the gel more abundantly for the first time.
O’Keeffe’s Working Hands
This is a legendary hand cream that’s been designed for working hands that crack up from being exposed to abrasion, dust, chemicals, cold and constant washing.
This stuff works so well for making your skin soft and elastic again in your hands, that it’s actually perfect for dry and cracked heels, elbows, and knees as well in my experience.
The secret is in the ingredients that help both moisturize the dry skin and prevent moisture from evaporating by forming a water sealing waxy layer on the skin.
The cream is odorless and it makes your skin feel a bit waxy after applying it. You can also get a slight burning sensation, especially if your skin is cracked so if you are sensitive, the soothing Aloe Vera will probably be a better choice.
O’Keeffe’s Working Hands is very effective in softening up hard and cracked skin and it has rave reviews everywhere.
That said, it’s important to realize that since it contains oil-based substances, it can grease stain your clothes and furniture.
I hope you found my recommendation for the best moisturizer for seniors useful. If you have any questions, you can leave them in the comments section below and I’ll get back to you.
As a recap, your skin is a miracle of nature that protects you from everything in the environment and allows the free movement of your limbs.
Unfortunately, aging does reduce elasticity and makes your skin more prone to dry and become thicker. It’s important to keep your skin healthy and elastic to prevent pain, infections and to allow free movement of your joints.
The good news is that with the proper moisturizers you can easily soften and heal dry cracked skin and improve its elasticity.
This way you can feel and look younger and can prevent painful dry skin that can prevent you from exercising for example.
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Thanks for reading and see you next time.