When you hit the big 5-0, it’s certainly cause to celebrate. With age comes a deeper confidence, along with wisdom and insights one could only wish for in our youth. While we only get better with age, this is also when our skin begins to accelerate the aging process. “The collagen in our skin starts breaking down in our 20s, so a patient who is 50 or older has been experiencing that breakdown for decades,” explains Rochester, NY dermatologist Lesley Loss, MD. “In order to reverse the signs of aging in skin, it takes a dedicated effort and consistent commitment to treatment by the patient.”
When we reach this milestone, we also experience fat loss and the elasticity drops. Hormonal changes, like a decline in estrogen, also contributes to skin looking and feeling drier which can cause wrinkles to appear more prominent and sagging around the neck, jawline and cheeks.
To help turn back the clock, these facial experts rely on a variety of treatments that firm and enhance aging skin—sometimes from the inside out. These six trending treatments are doing the most for skin over 50.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Southlake, TX and Monroe, LA dermatologist Janine Hopkins, MD notes the first thing we need to talk about when we talk about women in this age group is hormones. “Because estrogen deficiency occurs with menopause, it’s going to accelerate collagen loss and loss of elasticity and hydration. We can do all the fillers and neuromodulators we want, and we can throw in some lasers and facials, but if you’re not addressing that estrogen deficiency, then statistics show you’ll lose an additional 30 percent of your collagen, elasticity and hydration in the first five years of hormone deficiency.” Dr. Hopkins will often start her patients on a systemic routine of safe, bioidentical hormones. “We do not want synthetic hormones in our body, so I recommend the bioidentical ones like estradiol.”
Dr. Loss says for skin over 50, the most effective noninvasive treatments are those that build collagen and smooths wrinkles: “The best results will be achieved from consistent treatment with a combination of botulinum toxin to smooth wrinkles, a collagen-building filler such as Sculptra or Radiesse, or hyaluronic acid filler such as Juvéderm or Restylane, to give the face a more youthful look. We are also seeing an increase in patients wanting to restore lost volume using a technique commonly known as the ‘liquid facelift.’ With this technique, we strategically inject several syringes of filler throughout the face, over the course of multiple office visits, to gradually and naturally plump areas of lost volume.”
Microneedling with Radio Frequency
According to Baton Rouge, LA dermatologist Ann C. Zedlitz, MD, microneedling with radio frequency is a must for aging skin. “Sublative RF is a great treatment for older skin to help make it thicker, stronger and firmer,” she says. “I also like Morpheus8 and Profound RF which is a bit more of an aggressive treatment. The results you can expect to have are smaller pores, less fine lines and wrinkles and a lot of the deeper treatments will also tighten and reduce fat reduction under the chin area, which is great for those patients who are over 50 who have a little more fullness there.”
Laser Skin Resurfacing
“If patients have good skin, we just remind them to avoid sun and use sun block,” says New York plastic surgeon Mokhtar Asaadi, MD. “Skin care that contains growth factors is very effective to keep the skin in excellent shape by stimulating collagen of the skin. However, if you have a significant amount of skin damage, a laser treatment like Pixel laser resurfacing combined with platelet-rich plasma therapy [is a good option]. The laser creates microscopic wounds in the skin which caused the body to heal and stimulate new collagen. This tightens and smooths the skin’s surface.”
“These treatments in combination reduce the appearance of brown spots, red spots and fine lines and wrinkles,” adds Dr. Loss. “The face is the most common area we treat, but we are seeing more interest in the neck, chest and hands.”
Small Surgical Refinements
“We have definitely seen an uptick in women over 50 requesting facial rejuvenation procedures,” notes Newport Beach, CA plastic surgeon Sanjay Grover, MD. “This would include not only facelifts, but eyelid procedures and upper lip lifts.”
Some Type of Lift
When nonsurgical means are no longer giving the type of result that makes an impact, surgeons say it may be time for some type of surgical facelift. “Patients entering their 50s are best served by developing a long-range game plan for facial rejuvenation,” says Pittsburgh plastic surgeon Leo R. McCafferty, MD. “Some patients in their 50s would benefit most from a facelift along with enhancing noninvasive treatments, while for others, surgery would be premature. Start with an evaluation by a board-certified plastic surgeon and certified aesthetician. This will allow for a coordinated effort assuring that the patient’s time and money will be wisely spent.”
Why Start Now?
“All of these can be full face treatments and deliver excellent results,” says Newton Centre, MA plastic surgeon Joseph Russo, MD. “The best results are obtained when patient starts the treatment before they really need it. Once the skin becomes too thin and loses elasticity it is more difficult to correct. Starting early is more about prevention, which is much easier than repair.”