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Everything You Need To Know About Skincare In Your 50s
October 23rd 2014
In her penultimate instalment, Nausheen Qureshi uses her unparalleled scientific knowledge of how ingredients work to advise you on achieving radiant skin in your 50s...
As you enter your 50s, you might begin to experience more problems than usual with your skin. But thanks to advances in science, we’re now able to determine how to combat these issues. Nausheen Qureshi, founder of Elethea Luxury Beauty, says, “Huge hormonal changes take place in the body and we now know how these affect the skin cell structure, so we can figure out what products to use to achieve radiant skin in this decade.”
And there’s one step of your skincare routine that becomes absolutely essential. “Although lines are deeper, and skin may seem to be losing its smoothness and elasticity, keeping the skin well moisturised is absolutely vital to minimising these effects,” Nausheen reveals.
Rich And Extreme Moisturisation
After menopause, we have very low levels of oestrogen and this causes havoc at a skin cell level. The reason is because oestrogen plays a very important part in the skin cell matrix. Usually, oestrogen attaches to cell receptors in the skin and promotes the production of glycosaminoglycans like hyaluronic acid in the skin, which allows the skin to keep hydrated by attracting water molecules, thereby upholding the skin structure.
Oestrogen also ensures the sebum produced by the skin remains thin, lightly lubricating your skin. In addition, the hormone has also scientifically been linked to help fibroblasts, melanocytes and keratinocytes functionality, which all work to support the skin cell structure both in texture and tone. Oestrogen has also been linked to higher Vitamin A concentrations in the bloodstream, but lower than usual vitamins B6, B12 and C, although more scientific research needs to be completed in this area. Skin usually looks its best when we have higher levels of oestrogen.
Therefore, low levels of oestrogen post-menopause means less glycosaminoglycans are produced and skin is usually very dry during this time. Even oilier skins can turn into dry, flaky skin after menopause. You can combat dry skin by using facial oils and moisturisers with a high percentage of oils, antioxidants and humectants, like my personal favourite tamarind seed extract. Skincare with tamarind seed extract attracts water molecules to itself, which helps the skin keep hydrated and plump, helping to keep the skin smooth and more elastic. I recommend Elethea Intense Hydrating Cream, £150, which is full of rich oils, antioxidants, niacinamide (great for promoting smoothness and helping to reduce the depth of lines) and a high concentration of these water-attracting humectants that keeps the skin totally moisturised all day long.
If your skin is still dry even with these treatments, try adding an emollient on top of your moisturiser to lock in the oils. I recommend Oilatum Cream, £5.99, or Cetaphil, £8.99, for the body too. Do not use these products on their own, as they do not contain other vital cell-signaling skincare ingredients, including antioxidants that your skin needs so dearly right now. Pay attention to your neck, chest and hands too, as these are regularly exposed to the elements. And suffice to say, you still require an excellent SPF on top of all these moisturisers, and keep at it with layering your serums and retinoids underneath all of the moisturisers from your 40s.
No More Powder Make-Up
On the same theme of moisturisation, it is important not to throw away all your good skincare work by using make-up in the form of powders. Powders absorb the oils on your skin, making it even drier. The key here is to wait a few minutes after applying your moisturisers before using fluid or cream based make-up.
Even better would be the use of a silicone-based creamy make-up, as this will help protect and enclose the moisture on your skin. I recommend LaMer The Treatment Fluid Foundation, £68.87, which has perfect coverage whilst providing the moisture your skin needs to help attain a glowing finish to the skin. Follow with a cream blush: I recommend Nars Cream Blush, £21.50.
Go High-Tech On Regular Resurfacing Treatments
Puffy eyes, drooping eyelids, broken capillaries and varicose veins, dark spots or dark circles, and deep and inelastic wrinkles are some of the many skincare concerns in this decade.
For smoother skin, a visible reduction in wrinkle-depth, and to improve the appearance of hyper pigmentation on the skin, regular resurfacing peels or other professional dermatology laser treatments about once a month can help. I recommend Dr Rabia Malik (£POA), who practises at Grace Belgravia. She is a resurfacing specialist in London and, after a skin consultation to ensure personalisation of your bespoke treatment, has the best grade alpha and beta hydroxy acid peels or combination peels to get results in both tone and texture. She also performs other revolutionary and modern high-tech treatments with an emphasis on quality - her focus is on the absolute best results for her patients.
More Sensitivities And Redness
It is natural for products that once suited you in earlier years of life to now pose sensitivity and redness issues to your skin. It is thought oestrogen helps to suppress inflammation and now that levels are lower, the skin is more susceptible to reaction.
If this is you, stay away from any skincare products with perfume, fragrance or essential oils and use a product that will help treat the inflammation and redness. I recommend Dermaquest Post Skin Resurfacing Balm, £20, but try to use this with caution only when you have redness and not everyday, as it contains hydrocortisone which can thin the skin if used daily over extended periods of time, particularly on the face.