How To Build An Anti-Aging Skincare Routine for Your 50s

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Once you hit your 50s, the telltale signs of skin aging — wrinkles, dark spots, loss of firmness, and dullness — go on fast and forward and the routine you’ve been faithful to for decades is no longer working. Indeed, it means your skincare regimen needs an overhaul, and in this post, we reveal the best skincare for 50s to address those aging marks asap. Ultimately, the secret to great outcomes from your skincare routine is consistency and sticking to some lifestyle habits — it’s all here, so hopefully, with these little tweaks, you’ll reap the results you deserve.

How the skin changes in your 50s

At 50, the activity of protein-producing fibroblasts decreases at an accelerated rate, leading to wrinkles, saggy skin, and compromising the moisture barrier. What’s more, pores tend to enlarge, dark spots are more noticeable, and coupled with hormonal changes that occur at menopause, it fastly — and devastatingly — puts paid to any trace of luminous glow.

The skin aging process is influenced by two major factors: intrinsic (aka genetics) and exogenous factors, such as sun exposure and smoking.[1] While you can’t change the former, you can definitely make some adjustments in your routine and lifestyle to control the latter. On we go.

Morning skincare routine for 50s

You need to give your skin what aging has stolen. Ideally, stick to a balanced regimen that includes antioxidants, hydrators, collagen boosters, and repairing ingredients. Consider these practices and steps for a morning anti-aging skincare routine.

Wash with a gentle and hydrating cleanser

In your 50s, you need a gentle cleanser that, while it effectively dissolves dust and pollution, doesn’t strip the skin of essential moisture. As such, you need a product that won’t disrupt your protective barrier but will cleanse while moisturizing and nourishing. Ideally, choose an oil-based cleanser or a creamy formula and stay away from cleansers that contain sulfates, as they’re more likely to strip the skin. We suggest First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser because it has a pampering creamy formula and is spiked with gentle ingredients to not disturb the skin while washing away makeup and impurities. Obviously, it’s free from fragrance, drying alcohol, and sulfates.

Use a toner to balance the skin’s pH

A toner not only infuses skin with plenty of benefits, but it also allows it to drink in even more moisture when applied before your serum — this is because damp skin is more permeable than dry skin.

Post-cleanse, look for a toner that aims to balance pH and soothe with compounds like green tea, allantoin, panthenol, Centella asiatica, and colloidal oatmeal. And try to avoid at all costs astringents (like alcohol and witch hazel) because they can dry out the skin. Cosrx Centella Water Alcohol-Free Toner packs 10% Centella leaf extract, a slew of humectants, and allantoin to hydrate, balance, and nourish in one fast step so we consider it a solid option for an anti-aging routine.

Layer serum to protect and hike up hydration

Here comes the artillery. I bet you keep hearing free radicals are the skin’s first enemy and that’s entirely true. Free radicals are unstable molecules that try to bond to healthy molecules in the skin in order to stabilize themselves. When free radicals outweigh the available antioxidants, you experience what is known as oxidative stress, causing DNA and cell damage, a process that speeds up skin aging. Antioxidants help by binding to free radicals, which prevents them from attaching to your healthy cells.

What’s more, in your 50s, the skin is more fragile, which is more likely to lead to transepidermal water loss (TEWL) due to the decreased production of hyaluronic acid in the skin — no wonder fine lines and wrinkles are more noticeable. For this reason, you need to replenish hydration and a hyaluronic acid serum is the MVP to do that.

Allies of Skin Multi Hyaluronic Antioxidant Hydration Serum is loaded with an impressive amount of antioxidants, including 5% resveratrol, 2% superoxide dismutase, and niacinamide, while it packs low and high molecular weight hyaluronic acid for instant and long-term hydration.

Slather moisturizer

The moisturizer has a key role in locking the benefits of the previously applied treatment and also prevents water loss while moisturizing and softening the skin. During the day, you want a product that further protects against free radical damage, calms, and keeps skin moist and smooth such as Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Bright & Plump Moisturizer, which uses 10% stable vitamin C, vitamin E, and ferulic acid, the trifecta of antioxidants. Plus, it boasts sodium hyaluronate to increase hydration, while hydrolyzed collagen and elastin help skin hold onto water.

Use a targeted eye cream

To have a chance at keeping your eye area plump and bright, you need an eye cream made with vitamin C, retinol, and peptides to stimulate collagen and if you want to address dark circles, look out for caffeine, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, squalane, niacinamide, and peptides.

Apply sunscreen daily

Applying sunscreen daily helps prevent photoaging caused by the sun — which is responsible for about 80% of facial wrinkles — and hyperpigmentation, plus it lowers the risk of skin cancer. So, wearing sunscreen every day with at least 30 SPF, like La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen Milk SPF 60 is critical.

Night skincare routine for 50s

Since while sleeping the skin is in a repairing state, is at night when you need to infuse it with regenerating actives to work in synergy with the skin’s renewal process. For this reason, the products you use in your PM skincare regimen are usually more potent and heavier.

Cleansing and toning your face goes without saying. Once you’ve got the perfect canvas, layer the serum.

Night serum to target repair

While you Zzz, the skin is working to recoup its resilience, so you need to give it a helping hand with retinol, which works by encouraging cell turnover, making room for new healthy cells to replace them. Plus, retinol is a great collagen booster, hence it can thicken the skin and make your fine lines and wrinkles less noticeable.[2] Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum is made with a fast-acting retinoid, slow-release retinol, and retinol booster for fast-acting benefits.

Once every two nights, you can swap your retinol serum for one that’s loaded with peptides — these chains of amino acids have the goal of spurring collagen growth, which gives skin plumpness and bounciness. Clinical Skin PolyPeptide Firming Serum is one of the most recommended products and it’s chocked full of peptides, including Matrixyl — the most researched and effective anti-aging peptide out there.

Slather a replenishing moisturizer

In your nighttime routine, use a heavier reparative moisturizer that does the job of reinforcing the skin barrier. Look out for formulas filled with ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids, which are all lipids that make up the skin’s protective barrier. We’re a fan of the SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 as it’s spiked with all these barrier-reinforcing lipids.

Weekly skincare regimen

For a weekly routine, stick with the basics. That would be an exfoliator for mature skin and an anti-aging mask. 

Exfoliate to slough off dead cells

Without regular exfoliation, the dead cells build up on the skin’s surface, making the complexion appear dull, lackluster, and dark spots and wrinkles more visible. And since at maturity the skin is a bit sensitive, you don’t want to disturb it with a formula that’s too strong, so you need to find a product that strikes the perfect balance between effectiveness and gentleness. An awesome pick in your 50s is Lancer Skincare Caviar Lime Acid Peel which blends 10% glycolic acid with 10% phytic acid to resurface and brighten, plus fruit enzymes to even tone, and retinol to soften fine lines.

Nourish your skin with a face mask

You should also use a face mask that aids in calming, refreshing, and revitalizing the skin. For a quick pick-me-up and instant nourishment and moisture, Farmacy Honey Potion Plus Ceramide Hydration Mask stands out because it’s made with soothing honey, propolis, and royal jelly, strengthening ceramides and hydrating panthenol in a delicate formula that skips harsh compounds and gentle enough even for sensitive complexions.

What else

I’ve got more good news for you: anti-aging devices. You can add them to your skincare routine to make it all a bit easier. LED masks, for instance, use red light to trigger fibroblasts to produce collagen and elastin and, over time, it minimizes wrinkles look. CurrentBody Skin LED Light Therapy Mask can be used to smooth fine lines and wrinkles safely and pain-free at home.

Supplements

This is the best time to reap all the benefits of anti-aging supplements. In your 50s, your body needs more collagen and hyaluronic acid to maintain the skin tight. You can make up for the loss by intaking supplements, but you should always consult a doctor to make a plan tailored to your needs. As a matter of fact, it has been found that the intake of 10g of collagen over at least 56 days improves skin elasticity, hydration, and roughness.[3] Similarly, supplements with hyaluronic acid were found to decrease wrinkles and improve skin appearance.[4]

Diet

As clicheic as it may sound, we are what we eat and the diet has a huge impact on how your skin ages. To help your skin stay youthful you need to eat vitamin C-enriched foods (like citrus fruit, tomatoes, and broccoli), omega-3 fatty acids (from salmon, walnuts, and mackerel), and healthy fats (from avocados, eggs, and beans).

Hydration

When you drink water, you improve blood flow, which allows nutrients to rich the skin, plus people who drink sufficient water daily (about 6-8 glasses) are more likely to have elastic, firm skin, according to research.[5]


Sources

Women’s Concepts uses reliable sources, including dermatologists’ insights, clinical trials, and scientific journals, to find accurate information and support all the facts shared in our articles. All statements and claims have clear and legit references. Read our editorial policy to learn more about our sources of information, our process of researching and fact-checking the content, and how our team strives to keep all articles updated, completed, and trustworthy.

References
  1. Landau M. Exogenous factors in skin aging. Curr Probl Dermatol. 2007;35:1-13. doi: 10.1159/000106405.
  2. Varani J, Warner RL, Gharaee-Kermani M, Phan SH, Kang S, Chung JH, Wang ZQ, Datta SC, Fisher GJ, Voorhees JJ. Vitamin A antagonizes decreased cell growth and elevated collagen-degrading matrix metalloproteinases and stimulates collagen accumulation in naturally aged human skin. J Invest Dermatol. 2000 Mar;114(3):480-6. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1747.2000.00902.x. PMID: 10692106.
  3. Bolke L, Schlippe G, Gerß J, Voss W. A Collagen Supplement Improves Skin Hydration, Elasticity, Roughness, and Density: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blind Study. Nutrients. 2019 Oct 17;11(10):2494. doi: 10.3390/nu11102494. PMID: 31627309; PMCID: PMC6835901.
  4. Oe M, Sakai S, Yoshida H, Okado N, Kaneda H, Masuda Y, Urushibata O. Oral hyaluronan relieves wrinkles: a double-blinded, placebo-controlled study over a 12-week period. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2017 Jul 18;10:267-273. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S141845. PMID: 28761365; PMCID: PMC5522662.
  5. Palma L, Marques LT, Bujan J, Rodrigues LM. Dietary water affects human skin hydration and biomechanics. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2015 Aug 3;8:413-21. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S86822. PMID: 26345226.
Who wrote this?
Ana Vasilescu
Ana Vasilescu
Ana is a sociologist and feminist with a shared passion for literature, psychology, and skincare, the combo that made her determined to start Women's Concepts. With over five years of experience in dermatological research, she has now become a certified skincare consultant keen to convince others of the importance of a diligent routine. Her close relationships with dermatologists around the globe, along with years of researching, analyzing studies, and hand-testing products on a daily basis, made Ana one of the best persons you can get advice from.
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