Loss of elasticity. The 11 between your eyebrows. Brown stains. That frizzy look that our grandmother’s skin had.
Women in their 50s and 60s inevitably begin to see noticeable changes in their skin, both due to years on this earth and hormonal changes during menopause. And dermatologists and estheticians have noticed an increase in skincare questions over the past two years, as women spend more time looking at their faces via Zoom than before the pandemic.
While we all want to age gracefully and beautifully, taking care of your skin and being pampered can actually be therapeutic. Aside from surgery, there are a variety of low-key products and procedures to slow down time a bit.
“I always start with foundation: what do you use on your skin? says Dr. Dornechia George Carter of Affinity Dermatology in Frisco. “Sunscreen, moisturizer, and retinol are your staples. As we get years under our belt, we may need more sophisticated products like antioxidants, vitamin C [and] bakuchiol – a natural alternative to retinol.
A few of her favorite products are Revision DEJ Face Cream, which she uses twice a day, and Revision Brightening Face Wash. Her favorite sunscreen is EltaMD Sheer SPF50, which is suitable for all skin tones and types (even sensitive).
Jennifer Howard, Beautician and Account Manager for the Southwest Region of McKinney-based FarmHouse Fresh, recommends an ABC diet:
- Vitamin A: Retinoid/retinol products that smooth fine lines and wrinkles and exfoliate skin cells.
- Vitamin B: An antioxidant in the form of niacin, panthenol, or biotin that prevents and treats damage like age spots and skin discoloration.
- Vitamin C: An antioxidant that brightens and repairs skin, boosts collagen production and helps fight sun damage.
“[People] can have different kinds of issues, but ultimately pushing moisture back into the skin gives it its youthful appearance,” says Howard. “Your skin has a seven-year cycle of changes and hormonal shifts – whether you live in Seattle or Dallas.”
Some of her favorite products include rose, which brightens and reduces redness in the skin, and licorice root, which repairs blue light damage to the skin. Her go-to products for aging skin at FarmHouse Fresh — which supports rescued animals as a bonus — are Luster Rose and Evening Rose Moon Dip.
“It’s not your grandmother’s rose scent,” she says.
Dr. Lori Stetler of the Dallas Center for Dermatology and Aesthetics categorizes skincare recommendations for women 50-60 into four categories:
- Solar cream. Still. Although large hats protect the skin from the sun’s UV rays, blue lights from electronic devices do their own damage.
- Retinoidslike retinols.
- Antioxidants, like vitamin C.
- Growth factors. These proteins – for example, epidermal growth factor or EGF – are naturally present in the body and their proxy of human, animal or vegetable origin reactivates the cells which promote the formation of collagen.
Two products recommended by Stetler are SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic, which is a topical antioxidant vitamin C serum, and SkinMedica TNS Advanced+ Serum, a growth factor product.
Beyond a mix of the above routines – and every mix should include sunscreen – Botox is still the most popular procedure on the market and is often used in combination with fillers.
“If you take a piece of paper and fold it back and forth, eventually it will crease,” says Carter. “That’s what happens with our skin. Microneedling and lasers will help remove the crease as the crease is permanent. Botox… keeps you from folding.
“As you lose pads of fat on your face [with age], the face becomes smaller and we have a loss of bone structure. The cheekbones are not as prominent. Fillers are like squirting jelly into a donut – it fills the empty space previously filled with fat.
If injections aren’t your cup of tea, there are a variety of non-surgical treatments that also work, some of which can be used beyond the face as well:
- IPL or photofacial treatmentswhich help fight sun damage, dark spots, poor texture and redness, generally unifying the skin.
- Thermage or Ultherapywhich use (respectively) radiofrequency or ultrasound to restore collagen production.
- Microneedling Scarlet RF (Radio Frequency)which rebuilds collagen with a few treatments to help crepey skin on the neck, back of hands, upper arms, etc.
- Laserwhich vary in intensity/downtime and have replaced the scary peels of the past.
Of course, gray hair and authenticity have found their way into our culture as easily as Zoom and filters during the pandemic. But, for those who want to sweeten the years a bit, let the battle begin.