I have spent countless dollars on skin care products for my aging skin over the past 30 years. I hate to think how much I’ve actually spent on professional facials and chemical peels. As we age our skin thins and dries out and of course none of us want that to happen – I don’t know about you but I’m certainly not going out without a fight! At the age of about 25 our skin is at its peak for producing collagen. Then, as part of what can only be some sort of cruel joke it decreases at about 1% per year after that. The bad news is that this is the best case scenario – without any external intervention. Skin care for older women is hard! There are a number of other factors that can and will make our skin appear to age more quickly. Poor diet, caffeine, alcohol, sun exposure, smoking and pollution are just a few of the things that should be avoided as part of a healthy routine of skin care for aging skin.
I think the only regret in life I have is not taking care of my skin the way I should have in my earlier days. I remember my girlfriends and I sun tanning on my mother’s roof with nothing but baby oil covering our poor skin. I look back now and wonder what we were thinking! The secret to good skin is prevention. It is a thousand times easier to prevent your skin from aging too quickly than to reverse the effects after the fact. To prevent your skin from aging too quickly you should use a good moisturizer, exfoliate, and get a good toner – it’s worth its weight in gold.
Even though prevention is key it’s never too late to start a skin care routine. Now this doesn’t mean you have to run out and buy 20 different products and have a university degree to use them; even if you just start simple you will see huge benefits. Some different product lines offer a kit which includes a full suite of products and usually you can save a few dollars by doing this. I recommend you just start with the basic essentials though. No matter what else you do, the 4 products below are an absolute must for any makeup bag.
This removes oil, make up, and anything else your face may be exposed to during the day. You should not use soap for this as it is too harsh. Using soap on your face is like using paint stripper to wash your hair – it is too strong and will blast away more than you want it to. The skin on our face is thinner and more delicate than anywhere else on our bodies and it is important not to strip the skin on our face of the natural oils it produces. I cleanse in the morning and before I go to bed. Cleansing daily with a good cleanser is a key part of any skin care routine, especially for older women.
I recommend these cleansers:
This removes dead skin cells thus making room for new cells. It replenishes and brightens skin by encouraging the new cells to come through which gives it a glow. As we age our natural exfoliation process slows and we end up with more dead cells on our face which equals drier skin. By exfoliating more often we can make our skin behave and look younger. You should not do this too often though, to start off with once or twice a week is good. You can use a glove or scrubber for this but for aging skin I think this is a bit harsh so it is better to use a cream and make sure not to be too rough!
Two of the best exfoliating products I’ve used are:
The main functions of skin toners are to provide additional cleansing, close or shrink your pores and help to balance your skin’s PH level. Toner is to your face as conditioner is to your hair. When we cleanse and exfoliate we open up the pores and clean the dirt and bacteria out of them. Then we apply the toner to close our pores and protect them from further dirt ingress. Due to the alkaline nature of cleansing products our skin’s PH is often elevated by the cleansing process. Our natural PH balance is slightly acidic so using a slightly acidic toner helps to quickly restore this natural PH balance. It is generally recommend to use a toner on your face every time you cleanse it.
I recommend these toners:
This is an essential part of a good skin care routine for any skin, particular for aging skin. Think of it as the icing on the skin care cake. (The best bit!) There are so many moisturizers available that choosing one can be daunting. Some can be thick and heavy, some light and thin, some oily, some dry and everything in between. The good news is that any moisturizer is better than no moisturizer so in that regard you can’t go too wrong. I use a day cream during the day and a night cream for the night. The day cream is lighter and more suitable for wearing under make up and the night cream is heavier. As we sleep our body repairs itself so a thicker cream is good for during the night to give us that extra bit of moisture and really sink in while we sleep. It is more than adequate to use a single cream though – like I said before any moisturizer is better than no moisturizer but two of my favorite all round products are:
So there you have it – a basic and easy skin care routine. There are so many more products you can use as part of a skin care routine for older women such as eye creams, lip serums and the like but the 4 steps outlined above form the basis and should be the starting block for any skin care routine, especially for aging skin. The skin on our face, especially around our eyes and lips is the finest and most precious on our whole bodies so it is important we take care of it so we can continue to look and feel great well into our golden years.