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What are some good lotions for senior citizens?

This depends on a few criteria: not least, what age is considered a ‘senior citizen’! In the US and UK it is often taken to be around retirement age - so 65-68ish. But lots of 65 year olds may disagree and there can be a considerable difference between well-maintained 65 year old skin and neglected 65 year old skin. Daniel Day-Lewis has reasonably firm and hardly lined skin; Halle Berry and Jenifer Lopez still have a decade to go, but both still have beautiful skin - and Maya Angelou had enviably plumped, healthy-looking, youthful skin well into her 80s. So needs will vary and what will make a big difference for one ‘senior skin’ may not by another. Other considerations such as skin type, colour or shade, fluctuating weight, overall health, stress and fitness, decades outside v decades in the shade and healthy v unhealthy eating. All these considerations can make a difference in how old your older skin will appear. I will assume you accept this or agree to some extent and just want to be pointed in the direction of some products that tend to work on thinner, somewhat damaged and depleted skin.

You say lotion, and I don’t know if that means you specifically want a lotion, or you are happy to choose a heavier moisturiser too.

It is what’s in the lotion or moisturiser that will make it ‘good’ for senior skin or not, rather than the percentage of water or lipids.

Recommending a particular brand is not going to help you, unless I know exactly what you need and exactly who is putting what into their formulations and this isn’t always as easy as it ought to be to establish.

So rather than just choosing a brand that has been well marketed or publicised, it would be better, if you have the time, to decide how you want to improve your skin and how that is best achieved. It is worth knowing which skin concerns are commonly encountered by people over 65.

1. Most people will need a lotion or moisturiser to provide moisture, and that means water and lipids too.

So, look for: hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, aloe vera and a fruit oil with a good fatty acid balance and a reasonable amount of vitamins and minerals. The following should help: argan, almond, apricot kernel, avocado, borage, calendula (oil or extract), chia seed, hemp seed, pomegranate, marula, olive squalane, rice bran, raspberry, strawberry seed, tocopherol (vitamin E) and wheatgerm. These vary widely in price, often due to fashion rather than intrinsic value, so it’s worth reading up on a few and deciding which to search for (I have a list of 50 on our site, with their properties listed, but you should find them quite easily on-line).

2. Mature skin is also often lacking firmness as elastin and collagen have started to noticeably deplete. So, again, look for a lotion or moisturiser with vitamin A, allantoin, peptides and ceramides. If you can also find niacinamide and l-glutamine, even better. These are not all expensive ingredients, but can be - so search ingredients’ lists and don’t take too much notice of the the marketing blurb for a product.

3. The third area of concern tends to be the skin surface. This often appears thinner (the superficial skin cells are flatter, and regenerate more slowly), they also tend to build up in clumps, making the surface texture uneven and unable to reflect light well. As we age, we are more susceptible to skin rashes, dry areas, discolouration and melasma, even allergies - generally more sensitive skin. So look for allantoin, vitamin A and C, AHAs, BHAs and salicylic acid - if your skin can take it - these can all be irritating. Urea and zinc can do similar work and zinc will also give you some UV protection - it’s never too late and skin is probably more susceptible to damage at this ‘senior’ stage. Peptides and ceramides will also help strengthen the skin barrier and so generally improve the surface condition.

I have ten ingredients (that I put in our Rose Absolute moisturiser), this isn’t just for older skin, but most of these are lacking in mature skin or at least should help it.

They are: Allantoin, Vitamin A, Coenzyme CoQ-10, Hyaluronic acid, Niacinamide, L-Glutamine, Syn-Coll Peptides, Sodium hyaluronate, Urea and Zinc. There are a few others I reach for, but these all do basic, slightly different work in there and I would miss any if I had to formulate without them. So I would suggest looking for these on an ingredients list. Test the lotion, make sure you like how your skin feels and apply it at least twice a day. When you have a good base, less prone to irritation and inflammation, with stronger skin to work with, you can address any more specific concerns, like hyper-pigmentation, deep lines and sagging areas.

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