A topic I talk a lot about in my practice is caring for skin over 50. How do we adjust our routine to our changing and aging skin? Let’s talk a little bit about the changes your skin goes through as it ages, and then we’ll discuss how to properly care for it.
As we age our skin renewal process, which is the rate at which our skin sheds old skin cells and creates fresh new ones, rapidly decreases. Once we hit the age of 28, the process begins to slow down. As a general rule you can expect your skin to renew in conjunction with your age - for example, at 28 years old it takes about 28 days for your skin to fully renew. As we age, that process gets slower, and for example, will take about 50 days to renew when you’re 50 years old.
This is why when you look at skin on kids it looks so youthful, bouncy, and plump, whereas skin as it ages starts to look less plump and youthful and a little more dull and lackluster.
But don’t despair! There’s a lot you can do to give your skin the TLC it needs to look youthful and ageless forever!
Here are my top active ingredients that you need to keep your skin looking its best:
• Peptides and growth factors
○ Peptides and growth factors do the same thing within the skin, but I prefer peptides as I think they are a little more elegantly engineered and carry a reduced risk for irritation or side effects such as tumorigenesis. I personally used growth factors for decades and think they are a very efficacious option as well. But given the choice I do choose peptides over growth factors. So how do these work? They effectively stimulate the cells to create more collagen and elastin, speed up cell turnover, and give us a plumper and smoother appearance to the skin. Gives you that ‘bouncy’ look to the skin.
• Antioxidants & Vitamin C
○ There are a lot of different kinds of vitamin C, but L-ascorbic acid has the most science behind it demonstrating its efficacy on the skin. Vitamin C helps to reduce pigment issues and protect the skin from photo aging and free radical damage. It also helps to reduce the damage that was done from years prior. It stimulates the cells to act and behave younger - who wouldn’t want that! Other antioxidants that I love are COQ10 and astaxanthin!
• Vitamin A & Retinoids
○ These are super important - these can come in a lot of different forms, but whatever form you use is great! Don’t get hung up on trying to use the strongest or heaviest vitamin A derivative, just find the one that works for your skin. You want it to enhance and improve your skin, not break it down. Vitamin A helps to stimulate your cell turnover and decrease the time it takes for your skin to renew itself, which as we talked about earlier is what creates a youthful look to the skin.
○ These help reinforce the barrier, reduce transepidermal water loss, and hydrate the keratinocytes from within. Your skin’s ability to naturally hydrate itself does reduce after the age of 50, so it’s important to give your skin the extra boost that it needs. You want to maintain a healthy barrier and hydration levels as you age. Examples of these are hyaluronic acid and water binding ingredients.
• SPF & Iron Oxides
○ Protect all of your hard work with the above products by using an SPF with iron oxides every single day! Iron oxides protect you from all types of photo damage from UVA/UVB, blue/HEV lights, infrared, and environmental pollutants.
Including these active ingredients in your routine will help renew your skin and keep it looking and feeling young and healthy for years to come.
Check out my YouTube video on this topic to get a little more about the science of aging skin!