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How your skin changes from the age of 50

Following on from last weeks blog and the changes your skin goes through in your 30s and 40s, this is how your skin changes in your 50s and 60s.

In your 50s you may notice your skin is even drier, has a coarse texture and those lines and wrinkles have deepened. This is all because the production of collagen has been in decline for the last 20 years. Ceramide levels and hyaluronic acid is also in decline. Ceramides are lipids or fats and make up over 50% of your skins composition, and hyaluronic acid is a molecule that holds on to water. A decline in these mean skin loses its suppleness and elasticity, and the drier your skin the more prominent it can make lines and wrinkles. Sun damage will now be showing even if that damage occurred decades ago. 80% of all ageing is caused by sun exposure. The skin is also getting thinner, so less protective against environmental influences.

Menopause has to be considered, because it throws an extra spanner in the works around this age bracket by accelerating signs of ageing. Your collagen which has already been in decline from the age of 30, now drops even quicker because oestrogen is also now in decline, and you need oestrogen to produce collagen. Sebaceous glands also decrease resulting in less oil secretion, again leading to a drier and thinner skin. A process called glycation also begins to happen, which is when sugar attacks healthy collagen and elastin. These combined all lead to ageing and wrinkles

Cellular regeneration continues to slow down in our 50s and 60s. The cells are moving much slower, the renewal cycle is now around 90 days! (Remember this used to be 28 days in our 20s, and 40 days in our 40s) so the moisture in the cells is drying out before it reaches the surface of the skin, so this results in dry, dull skin with a rough texture. This is why a facial every 4 weeks is no longer sufficient, but now you should be having them every 3 weeks. The skin is losing fat, therefore losing volume and becoming thinner, so blood vessels can be more visible and you may notice you bruise a lot easier because of this. Melanocyte cells also are in decline which means our skin can't produce as much melanin. Melanin is what gives skin its colour and has an important role in protecting against sun damage. This means your skin is more likely to burn in the sun, increasing your risk of skin cancer.

Maturing skin is less elastic too, this allows pores to enlarge, making them prone to blockages and less able to protect against environmental factors. Skin that is becoming drier and thinner, is at a higher risk of becoming sensitive and even developing conditions such as eczema.

What you have been doing and exposed to in the years leading to your 50s and beyond, will determine if you are ageing well, or perhaps looking a little older than you naturally would at this stage. Decades of sun exposure, pollution, high stress levels, illness, poor diet, lack of sleep, and bad skin care habits, will add on the years i'm afraid.

So what does this mean for your skincare, another change? Oh yes. Now our skin needs are even higher and if it important to you, then yes its time to up the ante once again. A more sophisticated skin care is a good idea, definitely looking for those specific products for different areas of the face, and using them daily such as eye make up remover, cleanser, toner, serum, eye cream, neck cream (yes your face and neck have different needs) moisturiser with an SPF and a night oil. Vitamin C is excellent for brightening which is desperately needed. Vitamin A is also fab for preventing ageing but you need to start earlier than later, its still good if you only start in your 50s but it can be more effective to use as a preventative skin care products. Also a extra tip, don't just slap your products on, but spend a little time massaging them into the skin, this will encourage circulation bringing fresh oxygen and nutrients to the skin, which will naturally brighten your skin.

If you are reading this in your 20s 30s or even 40s then the better you look after your skin now will determine how you look in your 50s, 60s and beyond. Like with most things prevention is better than cure. With the sun causing 80% of ageing If nothing else use a broad spectrum SPF30 every day even if it's cloudy.

Thanks for reading have a great week


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