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I'm 60-something, a cosmetic virgin and I don't know where to start

Is a Solution for:
Dull Skin, Oily Skin, Sagging Skin
September 6, 2011 Reviewed by Marta 5 Comments

"Where do I start?" This is a typical question in my email box. Like the 66 year old female who is getting more wrinkles around the jaw line. But, she wrote: “I've never used much in cosmetics and now I am confused as where to start. Do I start with a mask or exfoliate and then moisturizer. (What order and how often.)  Please help and thank you for getting me started on the right foot.”

There are plenty of beauty junkies in the Truth In Aging community who have been learning about cosmetics and experimenting creatively for years, but what about the rest who weren't applying eyeliner before they could crawl? Many of us only took a serious interest in skincare when we started to see signs of aging. Then the first impression is typically to feel overwhelmed by all the choice. So where do you get started?

If I was in my 60s and just starting out, I would keep it simple – it’s definitely better not to try out too many new things at once - and just go for a really good anti-wrinkle serum with actives that will stimulate collagen production.  For inspiration, check out the 2011 Five Best Anti-aging Serums and if you are on a budget, there’s the Five Best for Under $65.

The question of exfoliation is a good one and not that easy to answer. Exfoliation is important and my correspondent had been closer to 45 than 65, I'd say yes definitely. But exfoliation is somewhat harsh even in its gentler forms (see my post on exfoliation 101 for more on the various methods. Sixty-something skin may be little thin or fragile and too much exfoliation could do more harm than good. So it depends on your skin and, in most cases, a once a week glycolic mask would suffice.

Finally, if you are experiencing sagging around the jaw as well as wrinkles, I would strongly recommend LED light therapy. We sell an at home device, the Sirius Aurora and it really helps plump out the skin and is one of the few things that improves the appearance around the jaw and labia nasal lines.

Obviously, there’s plenty more things to consider (eye creams, moisturizers, sunscreen etc) and they will depend very much on skin type and condition. But to get off on the right foot, keep it simple to start with.

  • September 21, 2011

    by irene harvey

    THANK YOU! just received the newsletter where you follow through on this. can't wait to read & learn.

    again, marta, you rock.

  • September 17, 2011

    by Marta

    Hi Irene, what a great comment. Very, very soon we'll be unveiling our new redesign where you will be able to search by age group. So hopefully that will help. I do think your protocol by age is is a great idea and I will start with 60-somethings! My main contribution to the elasticity issue is that one of the best things for firming and preventing sagging is microcurrent (at a salon) and LED light, which you can do at home. But do keep your suggestions coming and I hope other members of the community give me their article wishlist too.

  • September 17, 2011

    by irene harvey

    glad you are finally addressing the over-60 crowd. i'm not a skin care virgin--i've slapped all kinds of gunk on my face over the years, everything from cheap drugstore stuff to snazzy spa french creams. it kept my very dry skin moisturized & as a result, at the age of 64, i don't really have wrinkles. a few lines on the forehead now & some feathering over the lips. but not even crows feet or those naso-labial lines.
    HOWEVER, the big challenge at this age is elasticity. many moisturizers promise some kind of lift. are there any that actually deliver on this?
    your site has lots of wonderful info but there is so much of it & after a while i'm just plain confused. also trying this & that gets seriously expensive.
    i like the serum recommendations & what i'd love to see is some kind of suggested protocol. as in: do this in the a.m. & do this in the p.m., all according to skin type & age. would that be possible?

  • September 10, 2011

    by pat S

    I will NEVER be without my Retin A and a good HA moisturizer!

  • September 7, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    Taking care of our bodies and/or taking care of our hair is like second nature for most of us... but I find meeting women, in all walks and adventures, they're clueless about skincare (beyond Olay, Garnier i.e. drugstore). If the topic arises, which it's wont to do with me anywhere near- I crush the notion of drugstore (and department store) brands doing much but harm. Urge education! I'm left with exactly the topic of your article: Where do I start? In a couple cases, I have given women (detailed) lists w' schedules and brands I think would suit them specifically- but haven't heard that was a mixed result. One took it to heart and six months later looked amazingly refreshed; the other I honestly don't think took action beyond reading my list. It can be overwhelming, I agree.

    As to exfoliation, Marta- I just don't do this much, and to reiterate, I'm 60+. When I do I use YBF Prep. It is the only one I feel isn't tearing my tender skin to pieces. ~jk

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