When I think back to my earliest beauty memory, I was seven years old. I distinctly recall sneaking into my mother’s vanity to steal one of her creams during her nightly skincare routine. Witnessing her ritual of applying lotions and potions was mesmerizing, I loved it, but it also left an indelible impression on me: I thought I’d get wrinkles if I didn’t use night creams before bed, too! Thankfully, beauty standards are shifting (albeit slowly) and our approach to beauty today is becoming less about anti-aging and more about skin health. Of course, I laugh at that memory now but I am grateful too that my mom influenced me to start taking care of my skin from a young age. Because we all know that the best anti-aging creams for your 50’s aren’t J-Lo’s olive oil routine.
After all, who doesn’t want to look good and feel good as we age? Every stage in life requires different approaches to skin health, so it’s important to adjust the way we take care of our skin as enter a new decade. To find out the best anti-aging creams for your 50’s, we tapped Liz Kennedy, esthetician and founder of Beauty Magnet; and Dr. Kian Karimi, MD, FACS. Read on to learn why our skin ages, how you should transition your skincare routine after 50, and the best products to take care of it.
Why Does Our Skin Age?
We don’t often think about hormone changes affecting our skin, but news flash, they do! So, we asked Dr. Karimi to further explain the correlation between aging skin and menopause. “During menopause, the ovaries stop producing estrogen, a hormone shown to improve skin elasticity, hydration, and thickness,” he reveals. “This estrogen deficiency is responsible for an accelerated decrease in collagen—approximately 2.1% per year after menopause—which means the skin loses its volume, and wrinkles may become more noticeable. In addition, fractured collagen and damaged elastin, created by aging and external factors like sun exposure, pollution, etc., increasing the look of dryness, uneven tone, and fine lines.”
We all know the impact of UV damage from the sun so it’s not surprising that this is also a dominant factor in the aging process. He emphasized looking for a broad spectrum mineral-based sunscreen with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Peptides are another excellent ingredient like Alastin Skincare’s TriHex Technology® which he says is clinically proven to help remove old, damaged elastin and collagen while also helping to stimulate new, healthy elastin and collagen. Antioxidants are another great ingredient to look for in skincare to help fight off free radicals from the sun, pollution, etc. These include niacinamide (vitamin B3), vitamin C, phytoene, phytofluene, and more.
Lastly, he urges not to forget about retinoid (prescription Tretinoin or retinol) to help increase cellular turnover, brighten and smooth dull skin, and help with pigmentary skin concerns. Kennedy also highly recommends retinol used alongside microcurrent. He explains, “Microcurrent should be used daily alongside retinol and, of course, SPF. Microcurrents work to stimulate the muscles under the skin while retinol helps with cell turnover. The skin turns over every 30 days cell wise so this essentially speeds up the cell turnover rate.”
Both Kennedy and Karimi suggested avoiding anti-aging creams containing alcohols and fragrances along with harsh cleansers that can strip the skin. “Since our skin produces less sebum as we age, it’s good to avoid astringent and drying ingredients like witch hazel, high amounts of simple alcohols, or any ingredient that can cause inflammation in the skin,” Dr. Karimi notes. “Those ingredients would be synthetic fragrance, menthol, or harsh facial scrubs that contain ground fruit pits or walnut shells.”
Our Experts’ Top Skin Tips for Your 50s:
1. Prioritize skin hydration: It’s important to keep your skin hydrated to help plump and improve overall skin elasticity. Well-hydrated skin will reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve the strength of your skin barrier.
2. Don’t neglect your neck: The skin on your neck receives as much sun exposure as your face does. The dermis of the neck is also thinner and requires more hydration to compensate for having fewer oil-producing pores that protect the skin from drying out and appearing dull.
3. Always wear and reapply sunscreen throughout the day (a hat isn’t a bad idea either): It is always important to follow the instructions on your sunscreen label and essential to keep your skin protected. This step in your skincare regimen is extremely important to preserve and maintain healthy, youthful-looking skin.
4. Be consistent with your skincare routine: A comprehensive skincare routine is very important for people in their 50’s. The combination of chronic exposure to the sun, various environmental factors, and consistent depletion of collagen and elastin are all reasons women over 50 need a consistent regimen to help fight the signs of aging. I would also prioritize SPF as #1 on the list below. You may also include sunscreen for the neck and hands as those are very clear ways of telling someone’s age.
5. Seek out cosmetic treatments that make you happy: There is an ever-growing number of treatments that can be performed to enhance your appearance. Find a trustworthy and knowledgeable aesthetic provider that can guide you and make customized recommendations based on your concerns.
Ahead, Kennedy and Dr. Karimi share the 20 best anti-aging creams for your 50’s:
For All Skin Types
For Dry Skin
For Combination Skin
For Acne-Prone Skin
Drug Store Brand
Retinol Night Cream
Clean Night Cream