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As we get older, our priorities change – but some stay the same. If you’re like us, having glowing, healthy-looking skin will always be paramount. While some celebrities tout the benefits of cosmetic surgery (Kelly Ripa says Botox is “like magic”), there are many who oppose it. Regardless of which side of the fence you’re on, there are ways to make skin over 50 glow naturally without going under the knife.
For the uninitiated, adding a few simple additions to your skincare routine can actually make a big difference. To learn how to achieve the best mature complexion, we consulted several experts, including dermatologists Janiene Luke, M.D. and Marisa Garshick, M.D., F.A.A.D., and Lady Gaga Global Artistic Director Sarah Tanno’s Haus Labs, for insider tips.
From preventative measures to the best serums to try, our expert recommendations will leave you looking radiant.
Wear sunscreen every day—not just at the beach.
You may have heard this wise advice before, but we cannot stress enough how much consistent use of sunscreen can change your skin. Sun exposure is one of the leading causes of skin dullness, and sunscreen is one of the best tools we can use to help prevent dullness. “Sunscreen is important to help prevent dullness because it prevents the signs of aging, including dullness and discoloration, that occur with the accumulation of sun exposure,” says Dr. Garshick.
In addition to applying sunscreen daily, try to stay indoors during peak sunlight hours (between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.) and minimize time spent outdoors in the sun.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
Regardless of your age, dry, flaky skin can make your complexion look dull and lifeless. But as you age, your skin produces less sebum (oil), so it’s absolutely essential to use a good quality moisturizer in your skin care routine. If your old moisturizer is no longer working, switch it out for a thicker formula.
The right moisturizer will not only make your skin look and feel great, but it will also get your face ready for the perfect makeup – because the only thing worse than dull skin is dull skin covered in cakey makeup.
“I prefer to prep my skin with a heavy cream like Augustinus Bader or the classic Crème De La Mer, both of which are very rich and moisturizing to perfectly prep my skin for makeup. If you’re looking for something more affordable, I also like Weleda Skin Food,” Tanno says.
Retinol is the holy grail ingredient for all skin types and ages, but it is especially amazing for those over 50. The potent agent can be found in over-the-counter and prescription medications and helps improve the overall appearance of aging skin.
“Retinol is an ingredient that promotes collagen production and enhances cell renewal. Retinol (more specifically retinoic acid, a prescription version that has been extensively studied and proven to have anti-aging benefits) is effective in improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, increasing collagen production, and improving skin texture for a more radiant complexion ,” explains Dr. Luke.
Brighten with vitamin C.
If you want to brighten your complexion, you need to add vitamin C products to your daily routine. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that protects the skin by neutralizing the free radicals it encounters every day. “Free radicals cause changes in our DNA and activate certain enzymes that are responsible for breaking down the collagen in our skin,” explains Dr. Luke. “Applying vitamin C to the skin can improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, help increase collagen and have some brightening properties because it reduces and prevents the production of abnormal pigmentation.”
Schedule a professional treatment.
You may not want to go under the knife, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rely on professional treatments to help you get glowing skin. You can get several in-office treatments at your dermatologist’s office that can help your skin look and feel better than ever. Both doctors agree that chemical peels and lasers are the best options for glowing skin.
“Chemical peels are a great way to get glowing skin because they can help accelerate the renewal of skin cells,” explains Dr. Luke. “Laser surface resurfacing and microneedling (devices) are additional treatments that can help regain glowing skin by stimulating collagen production and removing the epidermis or top layer of skin, resulting in refreshed, more radiant skin.”
Take care of your body.
Your skin is the largest organ in your body, which means that if you want your skin to look and feel its best, you need your body to look and feel its best. Fortunately, the keys to having a happy and healthy body are almost always universal, no matter what your age. Make sure you drink plenty of water, kick the habit if you smoke, eat plenty of natural foods, and get plenty of rest.
Prevention is really the name of the game when it comes to looking young in the skin. “It’s important to start early rather than waiting for your skin to change,” says Dr. Garshik. Whether you’ve celebrated your 50th birthday or are approaching a milestone, it’s never too early to adopt healthy skin care habits.
In 2022, we’re rethinking how we think about midlife. Now at 40 to 50, midlife is (theoretically) older than ever – and as we live longer, each of us is choosing our own path. Gone are the days of hiding the gray, being cautious about how you feel about Botox (one way or another), or thinking that bikinis are only for the 20-something crowd (just ask Elizabeth Hurley). In 2022, people are entering middle age and proud of it. It’s not a one-size-fits-all experience, either. We asked psychologists, dermatologists, makeup artists and others to help us portray middle age (in all its glory) – including how we see it, what aspects of it we still want to understand and how to take care of it as we reach it ourselves.
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