Skincare over 50

Skincare over 50

Skin changes with the passing years so what’s the secret to keep it looking good and healthy? Patsy Westcott brings you the skinny on our body’s largest organ

Skin changes with the passing years – so what’s the secret to keep it looking good and healthy? Patsy Westcott finds out

Summer’s here and, after months of covering up, it’s time to peel off the layers and flash a bit of flesh.

There’s no doubt skin changes as we reach a certain age and, while some of this is down to our genes (thanks, Mum and Dad), dwindling levels of oestrogen at menopause also depletes collagen (the protein that gives skin its resilience and ‘spring’), which leads to thinning, wrinkling and sagging... bye bye firm jawline!

And then there are the effects of bad habits such as smoking and a poor diet, not to mention air pollution. But the biggest enemy of firm, smooth skin is the sun.

Being sun smart

Over 80% of facial skin aging is a result of damage from the sun’s UV rays, according to experts.

Sun spots, rough areas, blotches, spider or thread veins, skin tags and a host of lumps, bumps and warty growths can all be put down to too much sun as well. And all of these become more common at 50+.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to keep skin at its peachy best:

Stay hydrated I can always tell when I’ve not drunk enough water because it shows in my skin. Keep a bottle nearby and set an alarm on your phone or watch to remind you to drink (aim for approximately two litres per day, more if it’s hot).

Up the SPF Post-menopause, our skin has less natural protection against those damaging UV rays. When choosing a sunscreen opt for a higher SPF – 30 or more – and reapply regularly.

Eat a rainbow Oxidative damage – caused by chemicals called reactive oxygen species – is a result of exposure to sunlight, smoking, pollution and even mental and emotional stress, and is a key reason for ageing skin. Pile your plate high with antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruit of every hue in retaliation.

Move it  A Canadian study showed that endurance (aka aerobic exercise) could reduce some signs of skin ageing in a group of volunteers aged 65+. Try walking, jogging, running, Zumba, dancing, swimming, tennis or whatever rocks your boat.

Keep it clean Careful cleansing helps keep skin bright. You may need to use a richer cleanser as your skin gets drier. If you don’t already, start using a night cream too. I love Olay Regenerist 3 Point Age-Defying Night Cream

Signs to watch out for

Most skin blemishes are more unsightly than serious, but skin cancer also becomes more common when you’re 50+.

We should get into the habit of examining our skin regularly – when we apply moisturiser is a good time. Report anything unusual to the doctor.

Non-melanoma skin cancer symptoms

  • A spot or sore that doesn't heal within four weeks.
  • A spot or sore that hurts, is itchy, crusty, scabs over, or bleeds for more than four weeks.
  • Areas where the skin has broken down (an ulcer) and doesn't heal within four weeks, and you can't think of a reason for this change.

Melanoma skin cancer symptoms

A mole that is…

  • Getting bigger.
  • Changing shape, particularly getting an irregular edge.
  • Changing colour (getting darker, becoming patchy or multi-shaded, losing symmetry so the two halves don’t look the same).
  • Itchy or painful.
  • Bleeding or becoming crusty.
  • Looking inflamed.

Also…

  • Moles with three or more different shades of brown or black.
  • A dark area under a nail that is getting bigger and is not due to an injury.

The wonder of skin

Your skin really deserves to be looked after. It’s the body’s largest and most extensive organ – all 1.5 to 2 square metres of it – woven through with blood, nerves and muscles.

It helps buffer us against the elements, acts as a barrier to harmful chemicals and contains natural antimicrobials to help ward off infection.

It’s the main way we get vitamin D, manufactured from the action of sunlight on our skin, which is vital along with calcium for healthy teeth, bones, muscles and more.

It’s also the main point of contact between the outside world and our brains – our fingertips alone have more than 2,500 nerve receptors per square centimetre – making it what one expert on skin calls ‘a veritable brain on the outside’.

It’s a remarkable material – let’s look after it.

How do you look after your skin now you’re 50+? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Good skin can last and last

Janet 09/07/2017

Good care it can last a lifetime everyone sees our face we can't escape How we look after it is up to us but it can go on and on

most important

bani 04/07/2017

Skin can get damaged so easily and more than often its irreversible. I feel one's skin is the most important part to look after and if skin looks healthy it makes you look so much younger too. Surprisingly its not difficult to care for and does not need expensive products. some strong sunscreen in summer and a good moisturiser is all you need,

Skin care

annetty 30/06/2017

Unfortunately I grew up during a time when tanning in the sun was so fashionable, and the results are there for all to see. I use the best olay products to try to keep the aging at bay.

Looking after my skin

Anne 30/06/2017

I absolutely love oil of olay I use the one for sensitive skin ,I put the beauty fluid on my skin night and morning. I ve used it for 30 yrs and if I run out ,I really miss it no other substitute will do ,even use it on my hands ,I'm told I look younger than my age lol

Take care in the sun

shan18 22/06/2017

I always use Olay with spf30 now and a hat to prevent skin damage.

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