Over-50 Skincare Routine: A Comprehensive Guide ----- Back

Over-50 Skincare Routine: A Comprehensive Guide

----- Back
Words by Antoinette Barnardo

Many of you in your 50s will be experiencing menopause. This phase of your life will see your body go through numerous changes as you transition out of your childbearing years.

What does that mean for your skin? The sharp decline of estrogen will make your skin more prone to dryness, facial hair, age spots, wrinkles, and even bruising.

Whether you've already been following a dedicated skincare routine for years or are just beginning to manage your skin better, it's important to understand the effects menopause can have on your skin.

Here, we've put together an over-50 skincare routine that emphasizes how to best care for your complexion amidst a series of profound changes in your body.

What Is Menopause?

Menopause refers to the time when you can no longer menstruate and bear children. At this point, your body will have stopped producing eggs, and your endometrial lining will change less frequently.

You'll officially enter menopause 12 months after your last period. On average, menopause takes place between the ages of 45 and 55, and it lasts over a period of 5 years.

The phase leading up to menopause is called perimenopause, which occurs after premenopause (otherwise known as your childbearing years). Perimenopause usually takes place in your 40s, although it can also happen as early as your 30s.

Early onset menopause can happen if you’ve had a hysterectomy, experienced extreme levels of stress, or smoke regularly. Family history can also serve as an indicator of when you’ll enter menopause.

Perimenopause generally lasts about four years, but can continue for as long as a decade. Symptoms of perimenopause include, but are not limited to:

  • Irregular periods as your body prepares to cease menstruation
  • Hot flashes
  • Mood swings
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Insomnia
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Loss of bone mass (osteoporosis)
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Hair loss
  • Increase in facial hair growth

Once you officially enter the menopause phase, and eventually hit postmenopause, you may continue to experience some of the above symptoms.

How Menopause Affects Your Skin

Your hormones fluctuate as you transition from perimenopause to menopause. This can have an adverse effect on your maturing skin. Below are some of the most common symptoms of menopausal skin:

1. Thinning and Sagging

Estrogen, the primary female reproductive hormone, plays a major role in the vitality of your skin by stimulating collagen production. When estrogen levels start to drop, it can have a significant impact on your skin's pliability. Symptoms of an estrogen deficiency, per a 2013 article in Dermato-Endocrinology, include thinning of the skin and a loss of elasticity, leading to wrinkles and loose skin. This decline in skin thickness can also make you more prone to bruising.

2. Extreme Dryness and Itchiness

Perimenopause and menopause come with very dry skin. Once again, estrogen — or the lack thereof — is the reason behind this. In addition to keeping your skin taut, estrogen is also responsible for producing hydrating glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), including hyaluronic acid. As estrogen levels drop so do the GAGs, resulting in water loss and dryness.

Itchy skin, also known as pruritus, is another common skin condition that's associated with menopause. Pruritus may appear as dry patches, red bumps, or a red rash. It can develop on your face (namely the T-zone), elbows, back, or chest.

3. Hyperpigmentation

Estrogen and progesterone (the hormone that helps facilitate pregnancy) help regulate melanin synthesis. When both of these hormones decline during menopause, it can yield hyperpigmentation, or "age spots." Years of sun exposure will ultimately come to the surface without melanocytes producing a sufficient amount of melanin to protect your skin.

4. Acne

Acne is often associated with puberty, but the commonality that puberty and menopause share is a fluctuation of hormone levels. During menopause, estrogen levels fall while androgen hormones (like testosterone) increase. This imbalance can lead to the development of acne, especially on the chin and around the jawline. Stress and sleep deprivation can also trigger acne flareups during menopause, according to a 2019 study from the International Journal of Women's Health.

5. Facial Hair Growth

The drop in estrogen combined with the increase in androgens can also lead to the growth of coarse hairs on your face (hirsutism). You'll typically find these hairs on your chin, jaw, cheeks, or forehead. This increase in facial hair typically coincides with hair loss from your scalp.

6. Flushed Skin

Hot flashes and night sweats can lead to flushed skin. The sudden rise in body temperature, combined with the increase in blood flow, will produce redness. You may experience flushed skin on your chest and arms, too. Fluctuation in hormones, as well as spicy foods, can also trigger this reaction.

The Best Skincare Routine for Your 50s

Cultivating a skincare routine for your 50s means treating a number of menopause-related skin concerns. The following routine focuses on moisturizing, brightening, firming, and protecting your aging skin.

1. Gentle Cleanser

As your skin becomes more delicate, you'll want to seek ingredients that will nourish rather than strip too much away. Find a cleanser that washes off what it should (such as makeup, sunscreen, and impurities) while also providing your skin with beneficial nutrients.

You'll find such a product in the YORA Rebalance Face Cleanser. This is a gentle cream cleanser that includes soothing, moisturizing chamomile. It's also fortified with avocado oil, which can improve your skin's elasticity.

2. Exfoliant

By the time you reach your 50s, your cells turn over every two to three months. Compare that to your 20s, when your dead skin cells would shed about every three weeks. Exfoliating at least once a week will rejuvenate your complexion ahead of your body's natural schedule.

You can either use a chemical exfoliant, such as an AHA/BHA/PHA, or a physical exfoliant, like a grainy scrub. Chemical exfoliation is ideal for all skin types, while physical exfoliation may be too abrasive for sensitive skin.

For a hybrid exfoliant, there's YORA's Revitalise Face Polish. It combines a chemical exfoliant (glycolic acid, an AHA) with a physical exfoliant (bamboo powder) and will leave your skin smoother and brighter without depleting it of moisture.

3. Serums

Serums are formulas that contain a high concentration of actives. They're ideal for targeting either one concern or several at once. You may have reached for serums in your 30s once you detected subtle signs of aging, dark spots, or patches of dry skin.

Your 50s will be marred by an increase in dryness. Keep your skin plump and hydrated with YORA's Dynamic Face Serum. It's made with mineral-rich Swiss glacial water, brown algae extract, and YORA's own hyaluronic acid blend of PRIMALHYAL 50 and PrimalHyal™ 300. This multifaceted serum will moisturize, revitalize, and even diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Protect your increasingly delicate skin from external factors with the YORA's Defence Face Concentrate. This serum contains lipochroman®, which will shield your skin from free radicals (unstable atoms that can damage skin cells) and other pollutants. It also includes retinol, which is a star anti-aging ingredient that promotes cell turnover and collagen synthesis for a smoother complexion.

4. Eye and Lip Care

You'll want to pay extra care to the areas of your face that may have been neglected in your former skincare routines: your eyes and your lips.

The skin around your eyes has always been thin and delicate, and this becomes more pronounced during menopause when insomnia-induced fatigue comes into play. Seek an eye cream that promotes a younger-looking eye contour through eliminating crow's feet, dark circles, and sunken skin. YORA's Dynamic Eye Concentrate features EYESERYL®, which is known for its moisturizing properties, and ARGIRELINE®, which smooths fine lines and wrinkles.

Meanwhile, if you notice your mouth appearing thinner with age, look for lip products that plump and hydrate. The YORA Lip Plump has myriad actives, such as CoQ10, LPD Lip Plumper, and Hyaluronic Filling Spheres™ to leave lips looking fuller and more voluminous.

5. Moisturizer

To combat the dryness that comes with menopausal skin, it's essential to find a well-formulated moisturizer to sufficiently replenish your skin's lipid barrier. In addition to the decline of hydrating GAGs, mature skin also lacks natural ceramides, which are your skin's natural moisture-retaining lipids. (You'll have lost 60% of your natural ceramides by your 40s.) Thus, you should look for moisturizers that contain ceramides paired with hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid.

The YORA Rebalance Night Face Moisturiser is a rich night cream that has Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6 II, and Ceramide 1 to provide deep hydration while restoring your skin's moisture barrier. It also includes CoQ10, HYDRACTIN®, and shea and karite butter for additional nourishment for extremely dry skin.

During the day, go with the lighter YORA Revitalise Face Moisturiser. This gel combines mineral-rich Swiss glacial water, plant sugar-derived squalene, and YORA's own hyaluronic acid blend of PRIMALHYAL 50 and PrimalHyal™ 300 to provide a plumper, smoother complexion.

6. Overnight Face Mask

Face masks are an easy and often relaxing way to integrate more active ingredients into your skincare routine. For those of you who can't seem to find the time to properly mask, an overnight face mask will allow you to reap the benefits of a glowing complexion while you sleep. Apply it as the final step of your nighttime skincare regimen and wash it off in the morning before your daytime routine.

The overnight YORA Revitalise Face Mask targets blemishes, hyperpigmentation, dryness, and fine lines. This gel mask is made with Axolight® and a T.R.U.E. Active Complex of traditional Chinese herbs.

7. Sunscreen

Sunscreen is arguably the best anti-aging product you can use every day. Wearing sunscreen daily protects your skin from wrinkle-causing UVA rays and burn-causing UVB rays. Also, given that menopause depletes melanin production, a well-formulated broad-spectrum sunscreen is key to preventing the development of more hyperpigmentation. Most importantly, sunscreen reduces your risk of developing skin cancer.

It's imperative you don't skip this step in your daytime routine if you use retinol or vitamin C, as these products can increase your skin's photosensitivity, making it more prone to sun damage.

Other Ways to Care for Menopausal Skin

A well-curated skincare routine that targets your most pressing concerns will help you maintain a healthy complexion during your menopausal transition. But it will only take you so far if you don't practice mindful habits. Here are a few ways you can wholistically care for yourself before, during, and after menopause:

1. Massage Your Face and Neck

For sagging skin on your face and neck, help increase the blood flow in those areas with regular massages. Using a massage device combined with a firming cream, such as the YORA Conditioning Face Balm with Suberlift™, will gradually lift loose skin and minimize wrinkling.

2. Quit Smoking

Smoking can be responsible for early-onset menopause. Aside from that, tobacco smoke is linked to the degradation of collagen production, per a 2007 study published in the Journal of Dermatological Science. With the help of your family, friends, and healthcare professional, work on leaving the cigarettes or vape pen behind for good.

3. Practice Self Care

Stress can lead to an increase in breakouts in menopausal skin. Eating more refined sugars can exacerbate common symptoms of menopause while contributing to sagging skin. Your body will be going through some tumultuous changes, which makes self-care all the more essential. Make sure to get plenty of exercise, eat a balanced diet, and do your best to remain calm under pressure. (Meditation or yoga are two activities that could help with stress.)

4. Visit Your Medical Professionals

Maintain your skin health — and overall health — by paying a visit to your gynecologist, dermatologist, and other specialists you may see on a regular basis. Navigating the phases of menopause can be overwhelming, especially if you're not sure of what is normal. Gain peace of mind by obtaining a diagnosis of your menopausal symptoms plus a proper treatment plan from a medical professional.

Adopting the Best Skincare Routine for Your 50s

You may think that skin aging is the top (and possibly only) concern that you'll have to deal with once you reach your 50s. The phases of menopause, however, mean that you'll have to help your skin compensate for severe hormonal changes.

Whether you're already in your 50s or several years away from them, it's a good idea to prepare yourself for the phases of menopause. Consult with medical professionals who can give you the support and information you need to navigate the physiological and psychological changes you’ll be experiencing. The sooner you educate yourself on the best ways to manage your complexion (and your whole self) during perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause, the better off you will be.

Words by Antoinette Barnardo