As our skin ages we begin to notice subtle changes in skintone, moisture content, and definition. Every decade brings new challenges that require changes in the formulations you apply to your skin. In your 20's you avoided oil-based products that clogged pores and brought blemishes. Your 30's brought worry lines and under-eye bags from career and family responsibilities. The 40's brought hyperpigmentation from all that family vacation sun damage. Your 50's and beyond bring the most noticeable changes to your skin, with all the fluctuations and drops in hormone levels resulting in lost collagen and elastin.
After 50 your skin requires the replenishment of many nutrients. Hyaluronic acid, collagen, retinol (Vitamin A), and Vitamin C. Replenishing these nutrients in the form of supplements and lotions is imperative to maintaining youthful skin at this stage. You can find them in local health stores, natural spas, and online.
In addition to replenishing your skin, there are some simple changes you can make in your makeup choices and techniques to offset the effects of aging and keep you looking young and fresh.
Cleansing Oil. Switch your current facial cleanser to oil. Anything that contains alcohol is drying whereas oil locks in moisture. Try Origins Clean Energy Gentle Cleansing Oil or Juice Beauty STEM CELLULAR Cleansing Oil and notice the difference in your skin's plumpness.
Sun Protection. Your daytime moisturizer should contain SPF protection, no question. It should provide both UVA and UVB protection. Unfortunately, the sun is not your skin's friend apres 50. Although you need Vitamin D, more than 15 minutes of direct sun exposure becomes harmful to thinning skin.
Toner. Some estheticians say it's unnecessary after 50, however I disagree. A good hydrating toner adds a little extra moisture and pore refinement to dry, flaky skin. Avoid anything with alcohol and seek hydrating and firming formulations instead. Eminence Organics have a great line of anti-aging toners to choose from so check your local spas or online.
Day Moisturizer. You must keep your facial skin hydrated throughout the day, particularly in harsh climates. Sun, wind and extreme temperatures strip your skin's moisture content so a good daily moisturizer under makeup is essential. Look for moisturizers that contain key words such as anti-aging, antioxidants, youth-enhancing, and brightening. Brightening formulations contain extra protection for hyperpigmentation caused by sun damage both above and below the dermis. Age spots can be significantly reduced by these formulations. Try Eminence Bright Skin Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 and Dr. Brandt XYY Extend Your Youth Face Cream.
Night Moisturizer. Your nightime moisturizer is more important now, when skin cells are renewed and repaired. Your best defence for offsetting lines and wrinkles and increasing collagen production is retinol, or Vitamin A. Combined with hyaluronic acid, these two become dynamos so ensure your night moisturizer contains both.
Serums. Estheticians love to use serums to give skin a boost of vitamins. There are many serums available for every skin type and condition. They give your skin added protection against external aggressors like pollution and free radicals that damage skin cells. Serums can be applied before or after your moisturizer. Eminence Organics have several great ones to choose from, or you can try Ole Henriksen pure truth youth activating oil with active vitamins C & A and omega 3-6-9 from Sephora. Some good ones to apply at night before bed are 40 Carrots Retinol-rich skin care Vitamin Serum and John Masters Organics pomegranate facial nourishing oil. Retinol (Vitamin A) is very effective in promoting collagen production in skin, and pomegranate is loaded with antioxidants that fight free radicals.
Primer. A good primer on top of your moisturizer helps to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles prior to applying foundation. It also helps to eliminate that cakey appearance prevalent with foundation. Look for moisturizing formulations such as Too Faced Hangover Primer (infused with coconut water to promote elasticity and hydration) at Sephora, or Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer and Brightener at natural spas or online. Another trick is to mix a primer serum with your foundation before applying to your face. Together they glide smoothly across your face and give a dewy appearance to the complexion. Hourglass Primer Serum No. 28 is ideal for this (Sephora).
Concealer. This product is your best friend after 40 when dark under eye circles appear and worsen over time. The two I have found most effective are made by Hourglass (at Sephora) and Jane Iredale Circle Delete (at natural salons and spas). I'm told Kiehl's has a good one as well; Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Circle Perfector with SPF 30. Another trick with concealer, particularly after menopause, is to apply it on "sunken" cheeks directly below the cheekbones. This area appears darker after cheeks lose elasticity so lightening it up with concealer makes it less noticeable.
Couperose Coverage. Couperose skin is quite prevalent after 50, especially around the nose. Couperose skin is red and flaky, often caused by rosacea, and can be difficult to disguise. It is often accompanied by spider veins, making it doubly difficult to cover. Your dermatologist can subscribe a lotion to control it, or if it isn't too problematic apply Eminence Couperose-C Serum sparingly to the affected areas a few minutes prior to using your concealer. Find it at natural spas or online.
Tinted Moisturizer. Many die-hard foundation fans have difficulty giving up their heavy foundation but it is not doing you any justice after 50. Foundation is thicker than the new tinted moisurizers, BB, CC and DD creams and is not suited for aging, thinning skin. Delicate skin requires a lighter formulation that doesn't accentuate deep lines and wrinkles. Once you do make the switch you'll be happy you did, as your skin will look and feel lighter, smoother and dewier. Tinted moisturizer is simply what it says, moisturizer containing tints similiar to foundation colours. "BB" means beauty balm and is similar to tinted moisturizer with added SPF protection. "CC" is a colour corrector and provides more coverage to combat hyperpigmentation. "DD" stands for daily defence and is the ultimate in providing all of the above. CC and DD creams are the best choice for post-menopausal skin as many provide additional antioxidants such as Vitamin C and E. Try Jane Iredale Dream Tint CC Cream Broad Spectrum available at natural spas or Marcelle DD Cream Daily Defence at better drugstores.
The Makeup Sponge. Another trick for combatting the cakey appearance of foundation is to use a makeup sponge. Just dampen the sponge with water, dip it in your foundation and lightly dab it all over your face. Use the tips of your fingers to blend any excess. Professional makeup artists love the "Beauty Blender" found at Sephora, but you can use any drugstore brand and get the same effect.
Gels. Gel formulations are your best friends now. They lock moisture in your skin and give you a dewy, youthful glow. Replace all your powdered eye shadows and blush with creams and gels. You will love the way they look and feel and you'll wonder why you haven't tried them before!
Soften Your Appearance. Now that your skin has paled you must avoid darker makeup shades. Have you noticed your black eyeliner makes you look hardened? It is too harsh for you now but you don't have to stop applying it. Just choose a softer shade like chocolate or brown/black. This goes for mascara as well. If your eyes are looking yellowish, try using a navy shade. Navy mascara makes eyes appear whiter. Your formulation should change too as volumizers cause lash breakage and they will not grow back anytime soon. Switch to a lengthening mascara from a natural makeup brand like bareMinerals, Jane Iredale, or Too Faced.
If you still wear eye shadow, stay away from anything too pigmented. Try softer shades like taupe, soft golds and pale rose.
Lip shades should flatter your skintone. Peach skin looks best in warm shades of coral, whereas pale skin suits cool shades of pink. Nude shades are regarded as "youth-enhancing" by professionals (think Jennifer Lopez) and really work well on tanned skin.
Highlighters. Highlighting is the latest makeup trend, along with contouring and strobing, and is especially flattering on skin that is maturing. Highlighting products add light where it's needed most, on the tops of cheekbones, the forehead, and down the nose. Some good ones to try are Sun Beam by Benefit Cosmetics and Pure Radiance by bareMinerals.
Aging is drying, there's just no denying it, so anything that contains and retains moisture is king. Drink a lot more water now. Your skin will reward you for it and you will be complimented for having skin everyone's dying to be in!