Older skin is different from younger skin. It is thinner and tends to dry out more easily, which can lead to what are known as “skin tears.” Far from common in the elderly, skin tears are caused by bumps against objects, sharp or not, that tear the skin like paper. A jagged edge is left where the tear has occurred.
To protect older skin, use an oil-based moisturizer or a cream that contains a humectant, a substance that actually attracts water to the skin. Humectants to look for are glycerin, ammonium lactate, sodium PCA and urea.
Source: Canadian Skin magazine