You’ve been taking good care of your skin since you were in your mid-20s, making sure to use sunscreen daily and using moisturizer day and night. Changes that occur in your body around the age of 50 (or older) mean that you want to step things up a bit when it comes to the signs of aging. While a few years ago all you needed was a bit of lotion to maintain a youthful look, as you get older, you might want to consider more in-depth treatments, such as injectables or laser skin resurfacing.
What Happens to Your Skin
What’s going on with your skin when you’re in or near your fifties that wasn’t happening before? One word: menopause. The big change isn’t just responsible for hot flashes and mood swings. It can also affect your skin. When you’re going through or nearly going through menopause, your estrogen levels begin to dip. As a result, your body’s production of collagen, the protein that gives skin its firmness and structure, also dips, and your skin begins to feel less firm and begins to look more saggy. Along with a loss of collagen, a loss of natural moisturizers makes your skin drier, which makes lines and wrinkles more visible.
It can be easy to want to throw in the towel at this point. Time is working against you, after all, so what’s the use in trying? Although you can’t stop time, you can take a number of steps to reduce its effects on your skin and face. One of those steps is to continue to protect and care for your skin. That means continuing to use a sunscreen on a daily basis and to cover up as much as possible, to minimize your skin’s exposure to the sun’s aging ultraviolet rays.
You might want to adjust your skin care routine slightly in your fifties to account for the changes taking place in your body. If you haven’t yet started using a product that contains retinol or retinoids yet, it’s not too late to start. Retinoids are derived from vitamin A and can minimize or reduce wrinkles, by encouraging cell turnover and by increasing collagen production. You can talk to your facial plastic surgeon about using a prescription strength product or find a product that contains retinol over the counter. Keep in mind that over-the-counter productions will usually be considerably weaker than anything your surgeon prescribes.
Keep washing your face on a regular basis in your 50s, but you might want to reconsider the cleanser you use. Look for a gentle one that won’t cause excess dryness or that doesn’t contain ingredients that are potentially irritating.
Injectables to Minimize Lines and Wrinkles
Some people start receiving injectables to smooth lines and wrinkles as early as their 30s. But, you might have been blessed with good genes or avoided factors that make signs of aging worse, such as smoking and the sun, and might have managed to get all the way to your 50s without feeling that you needed to fill in a line here or there.
If you do find that lines and wrinkles are bothering you in your 50s or older, it’s not too late to give injectables a try. Fillers such as Juvederm can help reduce the look of lines by the nose or cheeks while injectables such as Botox or Dypsort are intended to treat wrinkles and lines created by repeated muscle movements over time.
It’s not just lines and wrinkles that make you look older though. As you enter your 50s, you might notice that the shape of your face has changed. While it used to look rounder and more youthful, it now looks thinner and older. Volumizing injectables, such as Juvederm Voluma, can be an appropriate treatment option if you’re more concerned with volume loss than with lines and wrinkles.
Exfoliate to Refresh Skin
Cell turnover decreases as you get older, leaving you with a top layer of dull, dry, and dead skin. While using an at-home exfoliant can help, for more dramatic results, you’re going to want to turn to an aging face specialist, who can perform a treatment ranging from microdermabrasion, the least invasive option, to dermabrasion or laser skin resurfacing, which are more invasive. The treatment that you choose will depend on the degree of aging you have and how long your can set aside for recovery. Minimally invasive options require just a few days of recovery while options such as dermabrasion require at least two weeks.
You might not look the same as you did in your 20s or 30s when you reach your 50s, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look as good or as youthful as possible. If you’re interested in learning more about the best ways to care for your skin as you enter a new decade of life, aging face specialist Dr. Jessica Kulak, a board certified facial plastic surgeon practicing at the Naderi Center near Washington, DC, is happy to help. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kulak at her office in Virginia, call (703) 481-0002. For an appointment in Maryland, call (301) 222-2020 today.