What You Should Know About Skin in Your 50s

Now more than ever, your skin-care routine needs to be thrown into high gear to minimize the changes that come along at this point of life, particularly extremely dry skin. If you didn’t take care of your skin when you were younger, the dryness factor will not work in your favor and may actually make your skin look older than it really is. “This is when the maintenance done at a younger age goes a long way, keeping your skin looking young as you approach your 50s and 60s,” says Seattle dermatologist Jennifer Reichel, MD.

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Thin, Crepey Skin

Why It’s Happening
As collagen and elastin levels decline, moisture levels drop and the underlying structure becomes less supported, skin becomes thinner  and more fragile (the under-eye area is particularly affected due to a loss of fat under skin), giving way to a dehydrated, crepey and baggy look.

Fix It With
Apply heavier moisturizers with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which binds to water for an instant plumping effect, or natural oils.

Peptides are another skin-care ingredient that should be added to your anti-aging arsenal as they work to prompt the body to create new collagen.

“Lasers, like the nonablative fractional treatments, are really effective because they help to build up collagen in the skin, improving texture, tone and discoloration,” says New York dermatologist Julie K. Karen, MD.

Skin-tightening and radio-frequency treatments can also help rejuvenate.

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Strengthen The Skin

We all want strong skin that boasts a healthy glow, but getting it can be hard. Enter Olay Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream, a cream that brightens, hydrates and even encourages collagen production for smoother skin and fewer dark spots. $25, olay.com
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Dehydrated, Thirsty Skin

Why It’s Happening
Partly due to genetics, partially related to the aging process itself as well as perimenopause and menopause, a dramatic decrease in estrogen will dry your skin out like you never expected. “One change that women don’t foresee at this age is how their skin can get incredibly dry and, in some cases, intolerable. Some hormones that level off during menopause are directly related to oil production. The less oil made by the skin, the drier it becomes,” explains Boston dermatologist Ranella Hirsch, MD. 

Fix It With
Topical moisturizers are a must since they will help keep the superficial layers 
of skin moist. “You want to use anything that’s a humectant or has hyaluronic acid in it so that it pulls moisture into the top layers of skin,” says Sacramento, CA, dermatologist Suzanne Kilmer, MD.

Opt for a serum and make sure to always follow with thicker, cream-based formulas, which will help boost the levels of hydration in skin.

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Moisture for Hours on End

Perfect for skin that’s dehydrated, Colleen Rothschild Extreme Recovery Cream moisturizes by strengthening the skin’s lipid barrier so that it can protect itself to the best of its abilities. $75, colleenrothschild.com
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Deep Lines And Wrinkles

Why They’re Happening
Years of damaging sun exposure, which breaks down collages and elasin and dries out skin , and repeat facial expressions eventually result in deep, had-to-erase lines and winkles that become difficult—but not impossible—to correct. Dry skin can make lines and wrinkles even more pronounced than they are on their own.

Fix It With Them
According to Dr. Karen, at this point, you want to take more of a global approach to skin and treat it with fillers and injectables that will help stimulate collagen and repair those etched-in lines and wrinkles.

Neurotoxins like Botox, Dyport and Xeomin work wonders on wrinkles-especially those deep one that form between the brows, on the forehead and at outer corners of the eyes.
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Wrinkle Reducer

A pump of the peptide-, stem cell- and niacin-packed HydroPeptide HydroStem+6 Stem Cell Antioxidant Serum is the first step toward younger-looking skin. $160, hydropeptide.com
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Don’t Neglect Your Neck

Changes to skin aren’t limited to just the face. In fact, the neck—an often forgotten about part of the body—is just as susceptible to serious aging that progresses with time. The issue with the neck is that it’s the least forgiving area and you can’t treat it the same as you do the face because the skin is so much thinner there. Unbeknownst to many, the effects of yo-yo dieting are particularly hard on the neck. Paying attention to any changes that you see—and addressing them early on—can make a world of difference. Wear sunscreen every day to prevent damage that comes from the sun and apply a product designed especially for the area at night. When deep-set bands become a problem, neurotoxins are a great solution for erasing these lines. For erasing brown spots, Fraxel and other lasers are the way to go.