Aging is a privilege, but the visible skin changes that come with it—wrinkles, fine lines, dullness—aren't always met with a warm welcome. If this sounds like you, know you're not alone. You may need to alter your skin care routine to account for your new concerns, but with a few easy steps, your aging skin will go from lusterless to luminous in no time.

Concerns for Mature Skin

Your body goes through physiological changes as you age, and those changes—and some lifestyle factors—eventually reflect on your face. So, what once worked for your skin in your 20s and 30s may not be suitable for your aging skin. In order to properly combat these changes, it's important to understand what signs to look out for and why they happen:

  • Fine lines, wrinkles, sagging, and dullness can be explained by your body's decrease in collagen and elastin production. These proteins make your skin appear plump, firm, and full—think of a baby's skin that bounces back with every touch—but unfortunately, these proteins decline rapidly over time.
  • Dryness is common in mature skin. The body produces less oils, including sweat, so this lack of moisture can make your fine lines appear more prominent. Without this moisture, your texture can feel rough and look dull.
  • Too much sun exposure can exacerbate some of these issues, especially fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation. The sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays cause free radicals, which create oxidative stress and damage your skin barrier.
  • The Cleveland Clinic notes that bone, cartilage, and fat loss can contribute to visible changes in your face. This can cause your skin to become more transparent, fragile, easily bruised, and prone to lesions.

The Ultimate Anti-Aging Skin Care Routine

Your skin is beautiful through all stages of life; it just needs a little extra attention as you age to get that gorgeous glow. Find a skin care routine that's gentle, moisturizing, and above all, makes you feel good.

1. Cleanse as Needed

Step one of any good skin care routine is cleansing your face, regardless of your age. However, how often you wash your face is up to you and your individual needs. Generally, you should wash your face twice per day with a gentle cleanser. That said, you don't want to exacerbate your dryness, so be careful to not overdo it.

2. Use a Gentle Chemical Exfoliant

Mature skin may benefit from gentle exfoliation one to two times per week to get rid of layers of dry skin, revealing a radiant and youthful look. While a physical scrub may be too harsh on fragile skin, a low concentration of glycolic or lactic acid will do the trick to increase cellular turnover, brighten dullness, soften wrinkles, and reduce the appearance of dark spots.

As with cleansing, avoid irritation by making sure you don't over-exfoliate.

3. Tackle Dryness

Your skin care routine should focus on hydrating and moisturizing products. Hydration refers to the water content in the skin, and moisture refers to the oils; your skin may see a decline in both over time, so it's important to incorporate a source of hydration and seal it in with a moisturizer or facial oil.

Hyaluronic acid is an effective hydrator for aging skin. It's a humectant that attracts and binds water. The EltaMD Skin Recovery Serum contains sodium hyaluronate, a more easily absorbed derivative of hyaluronic acid. Apply this before your moisturizer for a hit of hydration to tackle dryness from within.

4. Prevent Aging with Sun Safety

The National Library of Medicine notes that sun exposure is the single greatest factor in skin changes. You can't hide from the sun forever, but you can protect your skin with the help of a broad-spectrum sunscreen.

Although most cases of skin cancer are found in older adults, less than half of older adults use sunscreen, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sunscreen use not only reduces the risk of skin cancer but also prevents the visible signs of aging.

If you haven't been committed to a sun care ritual, don't fret. It's never too late to start using sunscreen. The key to consistency is finding the right formula for you. Try the EltaMD UV Restore Broad-Spectrum SPF 40, which uses ginger root extract and saccharide isomerate to revitalize sun-damaged skin. Or, consider the EltaMD UV Facial Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+, made with mature skin in mind.

To complement your skin care routine, be sure to eat well, get enough sleep and exercise, and love your precious skin. You deserve to enjoy every aspect of aging. After all, aging is a beautiful and natural part of life and should be celebrated as such.

Author

  • Lacey is a Southern California-based freelance writer who combines her passions—fitness, health, and a vegan lifestyle—with her work to help readers feel and be their best. Her work has been featured in Healthline, Livestrong, Verywell Fit, Eat This Not That, KinderBeauty, and more.