There are lots of changes occurring in life and your skin during your 50s, most notably perimenopause and menopause. The hormonal changes can mean you need a total skincare overhaul because skin is drier than ever before. And you might be considering amping up treatments thanks to those pesky fine lines and wrinkles.
We called in the help of two Etre Vous experts to explain everything you need to know about the changes that happen during this period, what skincare swaps to make, and which treatments are worth your time and money.
What’s happening to our skin during our 50s?In short: a lot. For most women in Western society, perimenopause and menopause take place between 45 and 55 with the average age being 51. During this time, our body goes through a lot and our skin is no exception. There are four main changes that usually take place: dryness, fine lines, pigmentation and even acne — you might experience one or a few of them.
The first, and perhaps most common, is dryness. “A decrease in oestrogen leads to dryness, making the skin more susceptible to irritation and feeling rough or tight,” explains EV expert and Ashley Aesthetics Founder Dr Emmaline Ashley. In addition to dryness, skin can also feel itchy, which is a common complaint. This drop in hormones is responsible for thinner, less elastic skin, which leads to “the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging,” she adds.
Oestrogen is also to blame for pigmentation issues. “Changes in pigmentation regulation can occur as oestrogen helps regulate melanin production,” Dr Ashley adds. So you may see an increase in hyperpigmentation.
Confusingly, you might actually experience acne and breakouts due to hormonal shifts, which “cause an increase in sebum production resulting in acne formation, particularly for those prone to it,” she adds. This is why carefully considered skincare and treatments are key.
Skincare changes to make during your 50s
A lot can be achieved with skincare at home, especially when tackling dryness, acne and pigmentation. There are a few rules to stick to for maximum results.
First up is considered cleansing. “Because dehydration and over-production of sebum are both concerns, you need to have a careful balance in your cleansing routine,” says Ridah Syed, Senior Medical Aesthetician at Skinfluencer London. “I recommend avoiding harsh exfoliants that strip the skin of moisture and the oils and instead switch to a mild cleanser that is effective at removing dirt while retaining important moisture and the oils that the skin needs,” she adds.
Next up is a hyaluronic acid serum, which is a super easy way to add moisture back into the skin. Apply on damp skin in the morning before applying moisturiser and SPF.
As for PM treatments, a retinoid is the gold standard in slowing signs of ageing and addressing a variety of concerns. “A good quality retinoid will thicken your skin, help with collagen production, and decrease excess sebum production,” says Dr Ashley. You don’t want to overdo it, though. The world of retinoids can be confusing so professional help is always advised to avoid any mishaps.
Finally and perhaps most important is looking after that skin barrier. “Focus on skincare that nourishes your barrier and moisturises your skin. Use gentler ingredients like ceramides or glycerin for your skin barrier,” Dr Ashley explains. “Listen to your skin and don't be surprised if you find yourself stepping away from lots of actives and focusing on protection and nourishment,” she adds. Oh, and don’t forget the sunscreen to protect your skin from sun damage!
Treatments to consider during your 50s
ProfhiloTo instantly make your skin look refreshed (especially for big events), Profhilo is a great choice. “It’s a skin booster made from a purified form of hyaluronic acid, it’s deeply hydrating and acts as a cell signaller to stimulate your fibroblasts to create more collagen,” explains Dr Ashley. “This results in smoother, more elastic, and more hydrated skin which is the perfect antidote to many of the skin changes seen in this time period!”
This treatment has so many benefits, from kick-starting collagen production to addressing pore size and acne scarring. It works by “stimulating collagen production and rejuvenating the skin to improve overall tone and texture, refine its pores, and reduce fine lines,” explains Ridah. Radio frequency microneedling takes this up a notch with LED lights that emit radio frequency to stimulate a repair response.
Ultrasound is a great option if you’re looking to address skin laxity. It works by using a heat-based energy source to carefully create thermal injury under the skin and stimulate your body’s collagen production. Lots of clinics, including Skinfluencer will combine a few of these treatments to get maximum results.
Emmaline Ashley, Aesthetic Doctor
I'm Dr Emmaline Ashley, the founder of Ashley Aesthetics. I'm passionate about beauty, wellness and science. I wanted...Book with Emmaline Ashley