Every day people put their skin through a tough routine of washing, drying and, in some cases, makeup application. These seemingly harmless activities can quickly dry out the skin. Dry skin is more susceptible not only to cracking, peeling and developing infections, but also to thinning. Applying a daily moisturizer will help keep moisture locked in your skin and reduce the loss of your skin's natural oils.
Overexposure to harmful rays from the sun can cause the most damage to sensitive skin tissues. UV rays can speed the loss of collagen and elastin fibers as well as encourage the growth of age spots and other skin conditions. To slow down skin damage that can lead to skin thinning, you should limit your exposure to UV radiation. When spending time outdoors, especially during the afternoon hours when the sun's rays are most direct and intense, you should apply a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher [source: American Academy of Dermatology]. You should reapply sunscreen every two hours or right after getting out of the water or drying off with a towel to ensure continued protection. If you wear makeup, you may also want to look into purchasing cosmetics that contain sunscreen; however, keep in mind that such cosmetics do not provide adequate sun protection when used alone.
You've learned that thin skin bruises more easily, but it also tears easily and is more susceptible to other injuries and infections. If you have thin skin, in addition to moisturizers and sunscreen, you may want to protect your skin in other ways. For example, if you are pruning your rose bushes outside, consider wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants when possible to reduce the likelihood of sunburn, scrapes from thorns, or other skin injuries.
Above all, the greatest prevention against premature thinning of the skin is to keep your skin healthy. A diet rich in nutrients along with sufficient fluid intake will do more to maintain your skin than any amount of moisturizer. Dehydration, or an insufficient supply of body fluids, can lead to many types of skin damage [source: Medline Plus].
You have learned about the causes of thin skin as well as about treatments and protective measures. Now learn more about the ways in which thinning will affect your skin as you get older.