Sometimes it can be disheartening looking in the mirror when you're greeted with a new wrinkle or dark spot, but part of aging is embracing the process and seeing all the positives that come with getting older, too. (Those laugh lines show just how much fun you've been having, right?) But that is not say it doesn't take a little work—especially when it comes to your skin. We still want to look our best, so it's important to find a routine that takes into consideration what our skin needs as we reach 50 and beyond.
You may have a beauty routine that you've sworn by for years, but our skin is constantly changing and we need to adapt as the years go by. Whether that means swapping out products that aren't doing us any favors or adding in some much needed beauty TLC, we've consulted with dermatologists and plastic surgeons to find out the number one thing your skincare regimen should be focusing on after 50.
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After 50, this is what your skincare regimen should focus on.
After 50, admittedly, our skin loses a little bit of its luster. The main culprit? Lack of moisture. So, instead of the constant search for a single miracle product, it's best to focus on hydrating your skin from all angles.
As we age, our skin gradually loses its ability to hold onto moisture. This ultimately cause dryness that is not only uncomfortable, but can cause skin to looked cracked and brittle, and even exacerbate and highlight the fine lines and wrinkles that may be aging you.
Luckily, there are many ways to keep your skin hydrated. Of course, drinking water is a must, but it might not always be enough. Dendy Engelman, MD, FACMS, FAAD, board-certified cosmetic dermatologist and Mohs surgeon tells Best Life that "implementing hydrating ingredients in order to offset the natural loss of moisture will help keep hydration locked in the skin."
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Use products that won't further dry out your skin.
When you think about the products that will hydrate, your moisturizer most likely comes to mind. Yes, it is important to have an ultra-hydrating cream, but you need to think about everything you are using in your skincare routine, even your face wash and makeup remover.
Getting rid of all the dirt and build up on our skin is necessary at any age, but when you're older it's even more crucial to pick products with ingredients that won't strip away any moisture when helping you take off all that gunk.
"I love Humphreys Witch Hazel Toner; this brand is gentle on all skin types, plus its toners contain added ingredients like aloe, lavender, and rose to nourish while cleansing and balancing the skin," says Engelman.
If you haven't already, it's also time to add a hydrating serum into your routine to apply after cleansing and toning and before moisturizing. She recommends the Elizabeth Arden Hyaluronic Acid Ceramide Capsules Hydra-Plumping Serum which "strengthens the skin barrier and locks in moisture while visibly reducing the appearance of dryness and minor aging signs." The serum is full of hyaluronic acid, an ingredient naturally found in skin, and ceramides, so it will moisturize without causing irritation.
Try adding in a supplement, too.
Beyond the amount of water we drink, we all know that what we put in our bodies can have great affect on our skin—especially after 50. The production of collagen, the protein that keeps skin looking supple, decreases as you age, so it's key to incorporate foods into your diet that can help build it back up. Mark Tager, MD, CEO of ChangeWell Inc. says that the vitamin C, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines can do just that.
"These EFAs (essential fatty acids) help protect the skin barrier and allow the body to retain more moisture," he says. It's also important to minimize simple refined sugars because they can cause the collagen you do produce to become brittle.
If you're not getting enough of these vitamins through your diet, Tager advises including a special skin-formulated supplement in your regimen. You may already be taking vitamins, but it's important to use one that is going to help lock moisture into your skin. He recommends Qualia Skin, Aethern, and Nutrafol because "the ingredients are great for the overall look of the skin."
If you decide to take something to give your skin that extra wow factor, look for ingredients like collagen or hyaluronic acid to get the maximum hydration. Other nutrients like magnesium or vitamin E can also help to enhance the skin's overall appearance.
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Invest in a humidifier.
In addition to what you put on your skin and in your body, there is something you can add to your home to make sure your skin stays hydrated. A humidifier will release water vapor or steam into the air to keep moisture levels at an all time high.
"When our environment is at a healthy humidity level of 40-60 percent, we don't lose moisture through the skin via transepidermal water loss," says Engelman. She suggests running a humidifier year round because it will keep your home at an optimal level of humidity and leave your skin radiant and hydrated.