6 skincare routine changes everyone in their 50s should make.

Hold up. Before we get into this, we just want to make it clear that spending money on a new skincare routine every time you have a birthday isn't a thing you have to do. Like, at all.

While the marketing wizards might want to make you believe you need a whole slew of new products every time you hit a milestone (so sneaky), the fact is that our little ol' skin's wants and needs remain pretty consistent as we age.

However! The issue is that most of us have done some pretty s**tty things to our skin in the past (oh hey tanning oil, we didn't see you walk in), which means there are some things will almost *definitely* come back and haunt us as our skin ages.

How fun!

Watch: Here's the best part of being in your 40s and beyond. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia. 

What's more, menopause (which usually occurs between 49 and 52 years of age) can also wreak some serious havoc on your skin. 

Y'see, your oestrogen levels - which do everything from stimulating new skin cells to increasing hyaluronic acid and collagen production - take a big ol' nose dive during this time. Like, they decline to 50 per cent by age 50, then pretty much bottom out post-menopause. 

And while we all know that changes in your skin is just a normal part of the ageing process, that's not to say a few small tweaks can't help minimise the severity of these changes.

Listen: What do anti-ageing products really mean? Good question, friend. In this episode of You Beauty, we look beyond the marketing labels on our products and look at what's really in them. Post continues below.

"I love working with skin of all ages and ethnicities, so I’m mindful that as women begin their 40s and go into their 50s, there are some things I begin to stress more to them if they wish to age gracefully well into their 60s and beyond," said Dr Imaan Joshi from Skin Essentials.

Want to find out what these *things* are? Course you do! We all do.

So, here are a few things Dr Joshi recommends doing to keep your complexion in good shape.


1. Step up the hydration game.

As we age, the loss of hormones during menopause (oestrogen) can result in fewer natural oils, an increase in sun damage and decreased cell renewal - all leading to dry, rougher skin.

"One of the main issues I focus on a lot with patients in their 50s is the importance of hydration," said Dr Joshi.

Along with basic things like making sure you drink enough water, she suggests "adding hyaluronic acid serums into your skincare routine and sealing moisture in with moisturisers". 

If you're really struggling with dryness, Dr Joshi said you could even considering in-clinic treatments that will help boost hydration, such as SkinBooster - an injectable hyaluronic acid treatment.

There are also medical options (like hormone replacement therapy) that can be used to treat oestrogen deficient skin and other menopause symptoms. However, you'll need to chat to your doctor first and find out if it's right for you.

"Once all the basics are in place and if there are no contraindications, I would suggest hormone replacement therapy if a patient is suited to it and it’s safe for her to have it (it’s safe for most women) to help with skin dryness, thinning and bruising," said Dr Joshi.

2. Active ingredients can make a difference.

"While I like to stress the importance of basic skin principles at every age, from baby to child to teen to adult and elderly, the fact remains that until we hit our 40s, skincare can and should be very simple - cleanser and SPF in the morning; cleanser and moisturiser in the evening," said Dr Joshi.

"However, as skin begins to lose collagen and moisture as early as our 30s and beyond, we may need to seek personalised skincare with judicious introduction of actives under the guidance of a trusted clinician."

One of the most powerful active ingredients to introduce into your routine? Retinol

In case you didn't know (where have you been?) retinol is one of the only proven ingredients that can help minimise the visible signs of ageing, and can also help increase collagen production and speed up your skin's cell turnover. 

Pretty neat.

If you haven't used it before, just remember to start slow, yeah? As Dr Joshi said, you can also hit up a dermatologist or skin specialist to find out the best way to work active ingredients like retinol into your routine (cause it can be super freakin' confusing).

...But if you're keen to jump on the retinol bandwagon right now, these are three we love to recommend:

La Roche Posay Retinol B3 Anti-Ageing Serum, $52.39 from Chemist Warehouse.

Medik8 Retinol 3TR, $75 from Adore Beauty

...because both of these are really nice and mild - perfect for starting out on your retinol journey. And if you're looking for something with a bit more punch then look no further than: SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0, $127 from Adore Beauty


Image: La Roche Posay, Skinceuticals & Medik8.

3. Don't go crazy on the exfoliation front.

Woah, woah, woah! Is that a granular face scrub in your hand? You MONSTER.

While it's been drilled into us that we should exfoliate our skin on the reg for a youthful and glowing complexion, as we enter our fifties things start to get ~delicate~, and certain things can end up doing more harm than good.

When you exfoliate your skin, you create little micro-tears, which jump starts your skin's wound healing process. But remember how we were talking about your oestrogen levels dropping? Well, oestrogen is super important for wound healing and injury... so exfoliating kinda becomes less effective.

Our advice? Pull back on the exfoliation. This also includes ingredients like salicylic acid (an exfoliant) - because chances are your skin will just end up feeling super irritated and dry.

4. Slather on SPF.

If you're not already wearing SPF 50+ on the daily, you're doing it wrong, friend. This is a MUST if you don't want sun damaged skin and, you know, cancer. 

"I work in a skin cancer clinic two days a week and regularly hear Aussies say about sun protection 'I don’t go out' - by which they mean 'I don’t sunbathe', 'I don’t go to the beach' or 'I don’t go on holidays and get tanned'." 

This is... silly. Cause we all know how this whole thing works.

Even if all you're doing is driving ten minutes to and from work, waiting at the bus stop or picking up the kids from school, Dr Joshi said to keep in mind that as little as 20 mins of unintended sun exposure daily all adds up. Like, literally.


"20 x 365 = five entire days of sun exposure per year. All that unintended UV damages your skin, damages the collagen and accelerates its loss and ageing," said Dr Joshi.

So, if there's anything you're going to do - practicing daily sun protection is the most important.

"It is NEVER too late to start - even if you grew up working on a farm, burning every weekend slathering yourself in coconut oil. It is absolutely possible to minimise further damage and even reverse some of it."

5. Consider in-clinic treatments.

While things like fine lines and wrinkles are a very natural part of ageing that absolutely *everyone* will experience at one point or another, if these things are really bothering you (just for the record, we think you look pretty damn amazing as you are), Dr Joshi said in-clinic treatments could be an option.

If you're looking for where to start, Dr Joshi said things like "laser toning, medical grade skin needling, RF micro-needling and judicious use of anti-wrinkle injections," are all examples of treatments that can help smooth fine lines and wrinkles. 

Our advice? You're best checking in with a skin specialist to see which treatment is right for you - because everyone's skin is different.

It's also pretty important to keep in mind that you'll often need to undergo a series of treatments for best results - so keep your expectations realistic. 

"In medicine, it is well known that to maintain health and vitality into our 50s and beyond, bone and muscle health is maintained by regular exercise," said Dr Joshi. 

"The same goes for skin health - regular treatments that are planned and budgeted for will continue to have cumulative benefits for many years to come."

6. Make sure you're getting enough sleep.

According to Dr Joshi, other factors that can make skin look, feel and act worse (apart from lack of hydration and SPF) include "smoking, poor diet and lack of sleep." 

Implementing some simple lifestyle changes can therefore help with how your skin ages. So, make sure you're eating a diet rich in nutrients and that you're clocking in enough sleep every night. And you better not be smoking, or we'll be SO mad.

Above all, you don't need to over-complicate things. Cause as long as you've got the basics down pat, you're doing something right.

"There is no secret ingredient or magic formula and the same tried-and-true staples remain - religious sun protection, quit smoking, exercise regularly, eat well most of the time and get enough sleep!"

Do you have any skin tips you'd like to add to the list? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Getty