Your kids are grown, you’re working less or not at all, and you finally have more time for yourself (good for you!). While you’re winding down, past sins like too much fun in the sun and smoking have caught up with you. Add to that menopause, which can cause problems from dry skin to acne to hyperpigmentation. Here’s how to get your glow back.
SUN EXPOSURE Whether you’re traveling more or have moved to a warmer climate, your skin is more sensitive to the sun than in your 20s, 30s and 40s, according to Joel Schlessinger, M.D., an Omaha dermatologist and founder of Lovelyskin.com. Avoid the sun during peak hours and be religious about applying broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, nearly half of Americans who live to the age of 65 will develop melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer—so have your skin checked annually by a dermatologist.
DRY SKIN Your sebaceous glands produce less oil as you age, so it’s important to lock in as much moisture as possible. Drink plenty of water, eat water-rich fruits and vegetables, and avoid harsh soaps or cleansers that can strip your skin. Use warm (not hot) water when you wash your face or bathe, and then apply a rich, emollient cream that also exfoliates on your face (try Obagi Nu-Derm Forte #4) and body (try AmLactin 12% cream) while your skin is still damp. Eating plenty of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, helps your skin function at its best.
LOSS OF ELASTICITY & WRINKLES It’s not just gravity. “As you age, you lose fat below the skin and produce less collagen, which is why skin begins to sag,” explains Dr. Schlessinger. While retinoids like Retin-A and Renova can significantly improve the look of fine lines and uneven skin tone, they’re no match for deep wrinkles. Botox is still the best treatment for deep lines along the forehead, according to Dr. Schlessinger. Injectables like Juvederm, which fill out wrinkles, help firm the skin around your mouth and jaw.
MENOPAUSE From hyperpigmentation to parched, itchy skin to adult acne, your late 40s and early 50s are marked by sudden changes in your complexion. This is mostly thanks to the sudden drop in hormone levels, which can wreak havoc on your skin.
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