In my office, this is the decade when my patients start to do a very particular move at our appointments: they lift and tighten their jawline and jowls by giving their skin a gentle tug in front of their ears. Even if each patient can’t exactly articulate what’s bothering her when I walk into the exam room, 9 out of 10 times, she will hold up a mirror and make the classic “50’s” move. Here’s why:
As cell renewal continues to slow, the skin’s outermost stratum corneum thickens, and elastin fibers in the dermis fall into disarray. In fact, when we biopsy mature skin, these fibers look clumpy and disorganized. This combo of piled-up dead cells on top and unhealthy elastin clumping down under can stop anti-aging ingredients from reaching their intended targets in the skin’s deeper layers. Menopause also ushers in a more pronounced skin dryness, and a further drop-off in collagen production, which leads to crepiness and some sagging. But do not fret: keeping your skin in its healthiest state is just a matter of knowing what steps to take next — which is why you are here!
- Look for Multi-Tasking Products. I love to recommend products that work on both your face and neck, so that you smooth and firm your face and neck as a unit and maintain consistency in the health of your skin in these key areas. One of my favorite multi-tasking products is No7’s Restore & Renew Face & Neck Multi Action Serum. As I describe on my Dr. Whitney’s Picks page, this serum delivers results AND is budget friendly. Made with a skin strengthening complex of calcium amino acids and ceramides, I find that this serum is lightweight and highly effective in evening skin tone, smoothing lines and tightening skin on both the face and neck.
- Stock Up on Sheet Masks. In your 50s, the biggest barrier to seeing results from anti-agers is your skin barrier itself. A serum is very different than a moisturizer and is meant to be applied underneath a moisturizer for maximum product benefits. Applied over the top, saturated sheet masks can help push in actives by occluding them-that is, trapping them and preventing evaporation. I always look to Korea and Japan for the most advanced versions. One ingredient that I am seeing more and more in these masks: biocellulose. I typically recommend using a sheet mask one or two times per week.
- Switch to Hyper-hydration Mode. Dry skin results in more pronounced fine lines whereas hydrated skin appears plump and healthy. Therefore, as skin loses its ability to trap moisture, you’ll want to consider adding a few drops of a nourishing face oil to your night cream to help seal in moisture, or simply look for ingredients like omegas, coconut oil, ceramides, and dimethicone.