The Skin You're In

By Kristen Castillo

December 27, 2016 4 min read

For most men and women, looking and feeling great is a priority at every age. Still, after age 50, many notice their skin is aging.

"If you start caring for your skin at a young age, however, you can delay the aging process by many years," says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Alan J. Parks, founder of DermWarehouse, who suggests older clients use eye cream, smoothing serum with retinols and a neck firming cream, as well as a vitamin C brightening serum.

"These products will help diminish fine lines and wrinkles and slow the process for further ones to develop," says Dr. Parks, noting adults over 50 may consider using injectables, such as Botox for lines in the forehead and Juvederm for smile lines.

Dr. Julius Few, a plastic surgeon and founder of The Few Institute, says for patients in their 50s, "this decade is all about prevention and correction."

He says it's not too late to start a Retinol regimen, which can be applied nightly on the full face and neck each night "to speed cellular turnover that gets sluggish with age."

*Healthy Skin

As you get older, your skin's needs may change, which just means you need to adapt new skin care regimens and routines.

"Aging is inevitable," says board certified dermatologist, Dr. Fayne L. Frey. "It occurs gradually, in every member of a species. It is irreversible. To date, science has yet to find a single ingredient that reverses or slows the aging process."

*Protect

Check your skin regularly for changes, including bleeding moles, sores that don't heal and new growths.

The National Institute on Aging urges everyone, including seniors, to use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and to stay out of the summer sun during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They warn that skin damage is possible in cloudy weather and when you're in the water.

Avoid tanning beds, sunbathing and other exposure to harsh rays. The American Academy of Dermatology, says harmful UV rays "can accelerate aging, causing wrinkles, age spots, a blotchy complexion and even skin cancer."

*Cleanse

"Using a mild soap-free cleanser is preferred over a harsh soap to minimize drying out the skin," says Dr. Frey.

The National Institute on Aging suggests bathing in warm water, instead of hot water, which can dry out your skin. They caution to not use bath oil when bathing since it can make the tub slippery and could be a potential fall hazard.

Use cleansers and other skin products as directed. According to AAD, overusing products can be damaging to skin, resulting in clogged pores, blotchy skin and irritation. They suggest limiting the number of products used, too, especially anti-aging items, which can be irritating.

AAD also warns against using products that burn or sting. The only exception? Products prescribed by your dermatologist.

Be patient, too, because many skin creams and treatments can take six weeks or even three months to work.

*Moisturize

Dry and often itchy skin is a common concern as you age. During aging, the top layer of skin, which maintains water content, thins.

"The need to moisturize increases as we age to avoid flaky dry skin," says Dr. Frey.

Stick to a consistent daily routine of using creams or lotions to minimize dryness.

Use a humidifier at home to keep moisture in the air.

Don't be fooled by over-the-counter skin care moisturizers that claim they're made for aging skin.

"Just like 'night' creams, that don't know the time of day, skin care products marketed for 'mature' skin or 'elderly' skin is nothing more than a marketing tool," says Dr. Frey. "A quality therapeutic moisturizer is beneficial and preferred on skin of any age."

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