'I asked a dermatologist 7 things every woman in her 50s should be doing for her skin.'

In your 50s and feel like you have no idea what you should be doing to your skin? Please take a seat. Because the truth us, it can all seem pretty overwhelming and complex. 

But it really doesn't have to be.

While it's worth understanding how your skin changes through this decade and what it needs, it doesn't mean you need to completely overhaul your routine with fancy new products that'll annihilate your bank account. 

Watch: Here are seven ways to improve your skin while sleeping. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

So what should you be doing for your skin in your 50s?

We hit up dermatologist Dr Shammi Theesan (who goes by Dr Shammi) from ODE Dermatology in Melbourne and asked her exactly that. Here's what she suggested.

1. Incorporate exfoliating actives into your night routine.

"When it comes to skincare in our fifties, we really want to be targeting our skin renewal because those skin renewal enzymes become less efficient at giving us that glow," explains Dr Shammi.

Lazy buggers.

"What would normally take 28 days to go from the top layer of the epidermis to the bottom layer of the epidermis now might take 50 days."

The result? You're often dealing with a duller, more lacklustre appearance.

Listen: All the stuff your skin needs over 40. Post continues below.


To give those cells a bit of a nudge and kick-start the renewal process, Dr Shammi said it's a good idea to incorporate a lactic acid or malic acid active ingredient in your skincare routine at night. 

These specific actives are among the most gentle forms of alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and are perfect for all skin types.

If you're looking for some good options that are really gentle, Sunday Riley Good Genes, $184, or The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%, $13.10, are both great exfoliating serums.

2. Up the retinol application.

If you're not already using retinol, you're doing your skin a serious disfavour. Really! It's one of the most powerful active ingredients to introduce into your routine.

Dr Shammi said, "We want to up our retinol application because that is truly anti-ageing. Retinol is going to stimulate the fibroblast to improve our collagen production."

If you haven't used retinol before and have no idea where to start, go for something with a low concentration and slowly work your way up. 

We said S-L-O-W-L-Y, you guys!

Something like La Roche-Posay Retinol B3 Anti-Ageing Serum, $71.95 or Cerave Skin Renewing Retinol Serum, $41.99, are good options for beginners.

3. Use antioxidants in your skincare routine.

If you suffer from skin concerns like pigmentation, Dr Shammi said you're going to want to hop on the antioxidant train ASAP.

Dr Shammi said to reach for an antioxidant-rich vitamin B3 serum or moisturiser in the daytime to help with skin concerns such as pigmentation. She said the powerhouse ingredient is "a good multitasker" that will help tackle a range of different age-related skin issues, including inflammation.


(Psst... vitamin B3 is also known as niacinamide - in case you didn't know!)

Other than vitamin B3/niacinamide, ingredients such as vitamins C and E are great, hardworking ingredients that help increase antioxidant protection.

"Our natural antioxidant pathways are not as efficient in our older age, so having vitamin C and vitamin E will then help with our overall antioxidant levels in our skin. "

4. Sunscreen. Obviously.

Practising daily sun protection is a MUST if you don't want sun-damaged skin and, you know, cancer. It's never a bad time to get into the habit.

"Sunscreen is non-negotiable [and] you should be wearing it," said Dr Shammi. "Firstly, to prevent further damage but also to reduce the inflammation."

If there's only one thing you're going to do from this entire list - make sure it's this.

5. Cleanse only once a day.

Your cleansing routine. What does it look like? Because you could be doing... too much. 

According to Dr Shammi, cleansing at night, instead of every morning and night, is the sweet spot. 

"Make sure you're only cleansing once a day at night-time with a double cleansing method," she said. 

"If possible, use a creamy cleanser or micellar water that's gently going to remove any makeup and debris beforehand. Cleanse with a tepid water technique and pat dry."

If you're looking for options, try Avène Gentle Milk Cleanser, $35.99 and Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution, $29.99.

6. Tackle sun damage with laser and light treatments.

Sun damage and inflammation are hands-down the biggest skin concerns you can face in your 50s, and they can dramatically age the appearance of your skin (part of why we're always nagging on about sunscreen). 


"You gradually accumulate these little micro changes over time," explains Dr Shammi.

When it comes to what you can do, Dr Shammi said incorporating certain in-clinic treatments into your routine is the best way to tackle these concerns. While investing in treatments can often be pricey, the results are guaranteed.

"I love the combination of various wavelengths of BBL treatment - that's broad-based light energy treatments, based on the level of damage to your skin type. It's been shown [in studies] to actually anti-age skin cells."

Dr Shammi said she also loves laser treatments for addressing rosacea, adding that they're "really good with etched lines and deeper sun damage." 

7. Opt for in-clinic treatments for skin tightening.

While it isn't something you need to 'fix', if sagging skin is something that's bothering you, it's worth knowing an expert's opinion on the best options out there.

With that in mind, Dr Shammi recommends in-clinic treatments like Ultraformer, to "tighten the skin, lift the facial muscles, and remove unwanted fat pockets [for] a very natural lifting and tightening effect."

@drshammitheesan #ultraforma can change your life. It’s the modern approach to a #facelift minus the invasive surgery, downtime and costs. #melbourne #cosmeticmedicine #odedermatology #sydneydermatology #melbournedermatology #drshammitheesan ♬ Still Don't Know My Name - Labrinth

She's also a fan of another non-surgical device, Emface, which uses radiofrequency to stimulate collagen and elastin, "all in a very natural way."

So, there you have it! Seven things you can do for your skin in your 50s, according to an expert. 

Did you check off any of the above? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Instagram/@drshammi; Mamamia.