As you age, so does your skin. Things like a loss of collagen, hormonal changes, and free radicals on your skin all leave their marks on your complexion. These skin-aggressors all contribute to the appearance of your skin as it matures. At around age 50, collagen levels drop significantly and your skin starts to show signs of laxity. Your skin barrier becomes weaker and can't repair as easily. This leads to things like deep wrinkles, fine lines, dry skin, and loss of volume. Your skincare routine over 50 should address two main concerns- collagen loss and sagging skin. If you’re still using the same products you did in your 20s or 30s, it’s time for a skincare routine overhaul. Read ahead for all the details on taking care of your skin over 50.
How Your Skin Changes in Your 50s
Menopause affects nearly every woman in her 50s, and its onset coincides with a steady decline in estrogen and fatty tissue, which causes collagen production to drop off sharply and skin to become significantly drier. Other factors that contribute to skin aging include stress, gravity, daily facial movement, obesity, and even sleep position.
Common Skincare Concerns over 50
- Skin becomes rougher and dryer
- Skin loses elastin and collagen resulting in sagging skin
- Skin becomes more transparent because of a thinning epidermis
- Skin can develops lesions such as benign tumors
Your Guide to Skincare Over 50
1. Cleanse and Tone
Mature skin should be treated with a mild cleanser for daily face-washing. Use a cream cleanser that won’t strip the skin of its natural oils or irritate dry skin. Use lukewarm water to rinse, and pat your skin dry with a soft cloth. To help maintain the pH balance of your skin in your 50s, use a toner to supply an extra layer of moisture and act as a carrier for the steps that come next.
2. Exfoliate Strategically
When it comes to exfoliation in skincare over 50, both manual and chemical exfoliants can be used- but with caution. The outer layer of skin becomes thinner and more delicate as you age so try to take a minimal approach with either option. To gently buff away dead skin cells use a gentle scrub, or a cotton pad soaked in glycolic and salicylic acids. Both are gentle enough for daily use.
3. Restore Volume Loss With Extra Hydration
Starting in your 30s and 40s, hyaluronic levels begin to decrease. Hyaluronic acid holds 1,000 times its weight in water and helps replenish and retain your skin cell moisture. This decrease is what makes those fine lines and wrinkles more noticeable. Your 50s are the time to load up on skincare products that hydrate and boost collagen. If you’re not already using a hydrating serum with hyaluronic acid, add one into your daily regimen now. Serums contain higher concentrations of ingredients than creams or lotions. Using a serum delivers the hyaluronic acid to your skin, while simultaneously stimulating the production of your own hyaluronic acid, increasing the resilience of your aging skin.
4. Treat Wrinkles and Hyperpigmentation
To treat wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and invisible free radical skin damage, the following three skin care products are a must in your skincare routine over 50:
Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A that promotes skin renewal, brightens hyperpigmentation, and aids in the production of collagen. Add a natural retinol serum into your daily routine to help diminish fine lines and wrinkles.
- Vitamin C
Another key ingredient for brightening up a dull complexion and erasing sunspots is vitamin C. This powerhouse antioxidant helps treat and fight against free radical damage that causes oxidative stress and skin aging. A vitamin C booster works to fade hyperpigmentation. But it’s important to note that vitamin C is vulnerable to light exposure, so it’s best to use in your nighttime skincare routine.
- Eye Lift Cream
The first signs of aging are usually around the eyes. The skin around your eyes is very thin and only gets thinner as you age. To address puffiness, crows feet, and dark circles under your eyes look for an eye lift cream, formulated with caffeine.
5. Face Mask to Maximize Results
Face masks are a great way to deliver high powered skin-loving ingredients and an added hit of hydration to your skin over 50. If your skin is dry, or you’re looking for a temporarily smoother, tighter complexion, look for a mask loaded with hyaluronic acid and peptides. To depuff, look for something packed with plumping peptides to smooth your forehead and smile lines.
6. Give Yourself a Facial Massage
A daily facial massage is a great addition to a skincare routine at any age, but it’s especially powerful after 50. A daily facial massage works to
- Sculpt the facial muscles (think sculpted cheekbones)
- Reduce fluid buildup
- Improve blood flow, cell turnover, and tissue toning
- Boost collagen production
Morning Facial Massage
This massage is for tightening and waking up your skin.
- Chill your palms with cold water.
- Apply a facial moisturizer (or incorporate your hyaluronic serum here) onto your hands.
- Gently massage with your hands, starting at your neck and working your way up.
- Move upward from the center of your chin along the jawbone.
- Lay your fingers against your nose and move outward along your orbital bone.
- Place your fingers above your eyebrows and move up toward your hairline.
Nighttime Facial Massage
This massage releases tension and detoxifies by encouraging lymphatic drainage.
- Rub your hands together to warm them.
- Begin just above your hairline and move your fingers away from your forehead in a back-and-forth motion on your scalp.
- Apply moisturizer on your hands (or incorporate your vitamin C booster here)
- Press your fingers above the inner corner of your eyebrows and slide them out along your brow, stopping in front of your ears.
- Press your forefingers and middle fingers at the base of your nose and move outward along your cheekbones.
- Place your fingers behind your ears and move down along your jaw and neck to your collarbone.
Skincare tips if you’re over 50
Wearing a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays every day is important regardless of your age, but once you hit 50, it’s a must. Nothing damages your skin more than exposure to the sun. It's the number one cause of brown spots, wrinkles, and skin cancer. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 25 or higher.
We’ve said it before in our post about the best foods for skin, but you are what you eat. Literally. These anti-aging foods will boost your skin health (and immunity!) from the inside out.
The juice in pomegranate seeds contains ellagic acid and punicalagin. The first is a polyphenol compound that fights damage from free radicals. The second is a supernutrient that increases your body's capacity to preserve collagen, the subdermal connective tissue that makes skin look smooth and plump.
Blueberries contain more antioxidants than almost any other food. This means they give your skin extra protection against the skin-damaging free radicals that result from sun exposure, emotional stress, and even over-exercising.
- Leafy greens
These vital veggies contain special phytonutrients, or antioxidant compounds, that help guard against damage caused by the sun. Spinach is loaded with beta-carotene and lutein, two nutrients that have been shown to improve skin elasticity. Swiss chard leaves—and their leafy green cousins, kale are also packed with chlorophyll, a nutrient that can block the effects of cancer-causing chemicals.
Sardines, salmon, and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids, which strengthen skin-cell membranes, helping to keep moisture in. Consuming just two servings of fish a week can reduce chronic skin issues like eczema and psoriasis.
- Olive oil
The good fat in olive oil is highly beneficial. It also contains omega-3s, which improve circulation, leaving skin rosy, and supple. The polyphenols provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power that can help prevent diseases linked to aging, such as Alzheimer's disease. Putting extra-virgin olive oil on your skin as a natural moisturizer can even help prevent future wrinkles thanks to its antioxidant content
If you haven’t had to address any facial hairs until now, congratulations. By the time most women reach the age of 50, facial hairs begin to grow thicker and heavier. The only way to keep chin hairs at bay permanently is electrolysis. You only have 3 options for upper lip hair. Buy a home waxing kit, have a professional wax it for you, or shave it yourself.
If you want to reduce the signs of wrinkles and the loss of fatty tissue in your cheeks that happen after 50, botox and fillers may be for you. Botox lifts the eyes to make you appear more awake, while freezing smile lines. Fillers will plump up your cheeks and lips.
A chemical peel can improve your skin tone and texture and soften the appearance of lines and wrinkles. For optimal results, get a series of six or more that get stronger as your skin adapts. Lasers are also an option for getting rid of age spots, sun spots, scars, and uneven texture.
When it comes to your skincare routine over 50 your concerns are not the same as they were in your 20s, 30s, or even your 40s. Your two biggest issues once you reach 50 are collagen loss and saggy skin. We’ve compiled this guide of the best strategies and skincare products to help you maintain your gorgeous glow, no matter what age.