Over the course of your life, your body goes through various physiological changes and your cells begin to break down. Naturally, as you age, your skin does, too. When this happens, you may feel pressure to chase after a young, flawless look. While your skin may not be as smooth and supple as it used to be, glowing skin over 50 is totally achievable. The way you cared for your skin in your 20s may be different than how you prioritize skin care over 50—but that's not a bad thing.
Getting older doesn't mean you get less beautiful; in fact, it's quite the opposite. Board-certified Dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology Marisa Garshick, MD, explains how to care for aging skin. Read on to find her tips.
1. Always Wear Sunscreen
Regardless of age, sunscreen should be a part of your daily skin care regimen. "I always share with my patients, it is never too late to start wearing sunscreen," says Dr. Garshick.
The benefits of sunscreen are many, including preventing breakouts and premature fine lines. But the biggest benefit to wearing sunscreen is that it protects you from skin cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, sunscreen is known to decrease your risk of getting squamous cell carcinoma—the second most common form of skin cancer—by about 40 percent and lower your risk of getting melanoma by 50 percent. So, be sure to include a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30, like EltaMD's UV Restore Broad-Spectrum SPF 40, into your everyday routine.
2. Look for Tightening and Firming Products
Dr. Garshick explains that people naturally lose collagen and moisture with age, leading to a loss of elasticity and a weakening of the skin barrier. This presents as sagging skin, fine lines, and wrinkles.
To smooth out those lines and get a more even texture, look for products that tighten and firm the skin. A number of studies have shown that retinol can treat several common skin concerns, like acne, age spots, and fine lines. Incorporating retinol into your routine will stimulate blood vessels and help you produce more collagen, leading to firmer skin and fewer wrinkles.
3. Remember to Hydrate and Exfoliate the Skin
Losing collagen and moisture can also result in dullness in your skin. Dr. Garshick says that the levels of hyaluronic acid and ceramides decrease as you get older and make your skin drier and more sensitive.
Her first recommendation to combat dry skin is to moisturize. Looking for products with hyaluronic acid and ceramides, like EltaMD's Barrier Renewal Complex, will help replenish what you end up losing with age.
Second, you'll want to exfoliate. You can do this once or twice a week with a chemical exfoliant, like a glycolic acid that will get rid of dead skin cells to make way for glowing skin. Exfoliating also helps improve discoloration and reduce the appearance of dark spots while also minimizing wrinkles. If you happen to already have super sensitive skin, she advises chemical exfoliants like lactic and mandelic acid, which are gentle but still exfoliating.
4. Enjoy Aging
Dr. Garshick lays out the foundation of a good skin care routine: a gentle cleanser, an antioxidant such as vitamin C during the day, retinol at night, moisturizer, and sunscreen.
Aging is inevitable—embrace it! Your skin goes through natural changes and deserves to be celebrated. Glowing skin over 50 starts with how you feel on the inside, so if you feel great, that will shine through. And remember that the goal is to keep skin healthy, not younger-looking, so do what's best for you and your needs.
There's nothing more beautiful than owning the skin you're in, no matter how old you are.