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Throughout your life, skin will have different needs at different stages. Embarking on the seventh decade can take a few rethinks, particularly in the beauty department. Rethink #1 is moisturizing — in a way that you might find surprising. Rethink #2 has to do with open and slackening pores. Rethink #3: sagging doesn't stop at the jawline. The following solutions really work to address your skin's changing needs as you enter your 60s, restoring hydration, reducing crepeyness and helping to keep wrinkles at bay.
Post-menopausal skin can become extremely dry and the temptation is to slather on gobs of cream or lotion — you can never have too much. Or can you? I was very intrigued by a recent comment by Dr. Obagi (of the ZO Skincare line) saying that it is possible to overdo the moisturizer with the result that the skin becomes weak and lazy, slack and clogged. I’ve been thinking a lot about this and intuitively, Dr. O seems right.
So what does that mean for a thirsty skinned 60-something? Well, everyone is a little different and some will feel that they need a rich cream. Others might want to experiment with a different approach and take a look at lighter, but still hydrating gels. Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Active Moisture Time Release Vitamin D Moisture Mist ($39 in the shop) — one of the few cosmetic products with vitamin D — is neither cream nor gel, but a serious moisturizer that you spray on. Its simple formula contains aloe and safflower to moisturize, plus alpine rose extract to brighten skin.
Following the same rationale, another approach would be a facial oil. The good thing is that oils don’t have all those heavy emollients that are found in creams. Back to Dr. O again — he says “creamy moisturizers usually contain more water than oil, but when the water evaporates, they may actually have a drying effect.” That made me think about the oil alternative. Facial oils absorb easily and deliver their actives more efficiently than a cream. Your Best Face Private Reserve ($75 in the shop) has potent free-radical scavengers, Sevani Serum Vitale Essential Nutrient Oil ($65 in the shop) has omega fatty acids, or there’s Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Active Moisture Vitamin C Serum ($68 in the shop), with a blend of antioxidants from organic green tea and sea buckthorn oil.
On the other hand, if you know that a rich cream is the best approach for your skin, then who am I to argue? Here are pampering creams that will make you feel good about aging and wake up looking refreshed: La Vie Celeste Extra Rich Face Cream ($75 in the shop), which has R-lipoic acid, apple stem cell and Chronoline; Benir Beauty BV Nine Platinum Anti-Aging Bee Venom Cream ($136 in the shop), which has copper peptides, coenzyme Q10 and argireline in addition to bee venom; or Eslor Active Night Cream ($95 in the shop) which has Matrixyl 3000, sea buckthorn oil and carrot oil.
This might be the time of your life to cut back on the heavy duty exfoliation. Again, it will depend on the individual, but if the skin is thinning and fragile then it might be time to wean yourself off AHAs (such as glycolic acid) and retinol. Daily and gentle sloughing of dead cells will be more effective, as well as kind. Try a gentle daily exfoliant such as Amarte Daily Exfolipowder($35), which a refined, plant seed-based exfoliant, or Stemulation Micro Derm Scrub ($34 in the shop), with soothing natural ingredients like aloe, green tea, bilberry and ginko biloba.
If you do decide to rethink your moisturizer, then it might be helpful to augment your non-creamy hydrator with a creamy cleanser that will not strip the skin of its oils. I’m thinking of Blissoma Fresh Mild Rice Facial Cleanser ($31.99) or Red Flower Lymphatic Phytopower Sea Cleanser and Masque ($42 in the shop).
While enlarged pores can be the result of trapped dirt and oil, they can also be the result of aging. The theory is that the pore walls are slackening due to decline of the matrix (elastin and collagen). Anti-aging serums can help, and I have particularly found that a few pesky open pores on my cheek that seemed to be due to the slackening theory are on the mend after several months of using E’shee KI Therapy ($189 in the shop) and our reviewer noted something similar with ReLuma Skin Illuminating Serum ($145/20mL).
I am wondering whether there isn’t too much layering going on with lotions over serums and that a simple 60-something regimen would be better served by a serum that also hydrates and may even obviate the need for the extra layer. In this category, I would place BRAD Essential Elixir Multi-peptide ($95 in the shop), Your Best Face Control ($160 in the shop), Skin Nutrition Cell CPR ($150). A budget-conscious option (although they will not bring all the powerful anti-agers of those just mentioned) would be serums that focus on hyaluronic acid, such as Hyalogic Episilk Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($59.95), Sciote Super Moist Hyaluronic Serum ($75 in the shop) and Your Best Face Hydrate B ($45 in the shop).
Taking care of the neck and décolleté is now critical (check out my full neck and décolleté regimen). Red and infra-red LED light can help with crepey skin, roughness and plumping, while ultrasonic will help firm and lift. Our Ultra Renew Sculpt ($129) with its larger head surface and 1Mhz ultrasonic efficiently works the body. A good neck cream to try is Osmotics Necollete ($63), which has Essenskin, a firming ingredient that was tested on the necks of 60-somethings.
Note: This article was last updated on October 7, 2014