When I think back to my earliest beauty memory, I was seven years old. I distinctly recall sneaking into my mother’s vanity to steal one of her creams during her nightly skincare routine. Witnessing her ritual of applying lotions and potions was mesmerizing, I loved it, but it also left an indelible impression on me: I thought I’d get wrinkles if I didn’t use night creams before bed, too! Thankfully, beauty standards are shifting (albeit slowly) and our approach to beauty today is becoming less about anti-aging and more about skin health. Of course, I laugh at that memory now but I am grateful too that my mom influenced me to start taking care of my skin from a young age. Because we all know that the best anti-aging creams for your 50’s aren’t J-Lo’s olive oil routine.

After all, who doesn’t want to look good and feel good as we age? Every stage in life requires different approaches to skin health, so it’s important to adjust the way we take care of our skin as enter a new decade. To find out the best anti-aging creams for your 50’s, we tapped Liz Kennedy, esthetician and founder of Beauty Magnet; and Dr. Kian Karimi, MD, FACS. Read on to learn why our skin ages, how you should transition your skincare routine after 50, and the best products to take care of it.

Why Does Our Skin Age?

We don’t often think about hormone changes affecting our skin, but news flash, they do! So, we asked Dr. Karimi to further explain the correlation between aging skin and menopause. “During menopause, the ovaries stop producing estrogen, a hormone shown to improve skin elasticity, hydration, and thickness,” he reveals. “This estrogen deficiency is responsible for an accelerated decrease in collagen—approximately 2.1% per year after menopause—which means the skin loses its volume, and wrinkles may become more noticeable. In addition, fractured collagen and damaged elastin, created by aging and external factors like sun exposure, pollution, etc., increasing the look of dryness, uneven tone, and fine lines.” 

We all know the impact of UV damage from the sun so it’s not surprising that this is also a dominant factor in the aging process. He emphasized looking for a broad spectrum mineral-based sunscreen with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Peptides are another excellent ingredient like Alastin Skincare’s TriHex Technology® which he says is clinically proven to help remove old, damaged elastin and collagen while also helping to stimulate new, healthy elastin and collagen. Antioxidants are another great ingredient to look for in skincare to help fight off free radicals from the sun, pollution, etc. These include niacinamide (vitamin B3), vitamin C, phytoene, phytofluene, and more.

Lastly, he urges not to forget about retinoid (prescription Tretinoin or retinol) to help increase cellular turnover, brighten and smooth dull skin, and help with pigmentary skin concerns. Kennedy also highly recommends retinol used alongside microcurrent. He explains, “Microcurrent should be used daily alongside retinol and, of course, SPF. Microcurrents work to stimulate the muscles under the skin while retinol helps with cell turnover. The skin turns over every 30 days cell wise so this essentially speeds up the cell turnover rate.” 

Both Kennedy and Karimi suggested avoiding anti-aging creams containing alcohols and fragrances along with harsh cleansers that can strip the skin. “Since our skin produces less sebum as we age, it’s good to avoid astringent and drying ingredients like witch hazel, high amounts of simple alcohols, or any ingredient that can cause inflammation in the skin,” Dr. Karimi notes. “Those ingredients would be synthetic fragrance, menthol, or harsh facial scrubs that contain ground fruit pits or walnut shells.”

Our Experts’ Top Skin Tips for Your 50s: 

1. Prioritize skin hydration: It’s important to keep your skin hydrated to help plump and improve overall skin elasticity. Well-hydrated skin will reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve the strength of your skin barrier. 

2. Don’t neglect your neck: The skin on your neck receives as much sun exposure as your face does. The dermis of the neck is also thinner and requires more hydration to compensate for having fewer oil-producing pores that protect the skin from drying out and appearing dull.

3. Always wear and reapply sunscreen throughout the day (a hat isn’t a bad idea either): It is always important to follow the instructions on your sunscreen label and essential to keep your skin protected. This step in your skincare regimen is extremely important to preserve and maintain healthy, youthful-looking skin. 

4. Be consistent with your skincare routine: A comprehensive skincare routine is very important for people in their 50’s. The combination of chronic exposure to the sun, various environmental factors, and consistent depletion of collagen and elastin are all reasons women over 50 need a consistent regimen to help fight the signs of aging.  I would also prioritize SPF as #1 on the list below. You may also include sunscreen for the neck and hands as those are very clear ways of telling someone’s age. 

5. Seek out cosmetic treatments that make you happy: There is an ever-growing number of treatments that can be performed to enhance your appearance. Find a trustworthy and knowledgeable aesthetic provider that can guide you and make customized recommendations based on your concerns.

Ahead, Kennedy and Dr. Karimi share the 20 best anti-aging creams for your 50’s:

For All Skin Types

Skin Ceuticals Triple Lipod Restore 2:4:2

“This cream stands the test of time with its ability to restore hydration without being greasy. The unique lipid correction cream contains the first 2:4:2 cholesterol-dominant ratio to help restore skin’s external barrier and support natural self-repair, while potently nourishing aging skin for improvement in the visible appearance of skin smoothness, laxity, pores, and overall radiance.” — Kennedy


Skin Ceuticals Triple Lipod Restore 2:4:2, $130

ZO Growth Factor Serum

“This product was formulated with plant and enzymatically derived growth factors to help the overall appearance of skin. This helps to restore hydration and reinforce the skin’s protective barrier.” — Dr. Karimi.


ZO Growth Factor Serum, $148

For Dry Skin

Naturopathica Holy Basil & Retinol Ageless Night Oil

“For dry skin, it’s important to always keep a hydrating factor alongside an exfoliant. This product not only has retinol but basil as well to help reduce inflammation which can lead to dry/ tight skin.” — Kennedy


Naturopathica Holy Basil & Retinol Ageless Night Oil, $124

Skin Ceuticals Triple Lipod Restore 2:4:2

“The Triple Lipod Restore provides extreme hydration and restores essential skin lipids improving the skin’s fullness, texture, and pore appearance. This product pairs very well with retinoids shortening the adjustment period by one week reducing dryness.” — Dr. Karimi.

 


Skin Ceuticals Triple Lipod Restore 2:4:2, $130

Firming

StriVectin Tightening & Sculpting Face Cream

“This tightening cream has Gravifill-CS Shaping Complex that targets loss of volume, visibly sculpts, contours, deeply hydrates, nourishes and replenishes skin.” — Kennedy


StriVectin Tightening & Sculpting Face Cream, $95

ZO Firming Serum

“This mild and lightweight formulation reinforces your skin’s health and hydrates to support the visible improvement in skin elasticity and firmness. It pairs well with your aesthetic treatments assisting with facial contouring and providing your skin with a natural healthy appearance.” — Dr. Karimi.


ZO Firming Serum, $235

For Combination Skin

Aloisia Beauty Collagen Gel

“When dealing with combination skin you need to look for a product that isn’t too heavy or too light. This product delivers incredible hydration and benefits while maintaining an overall pH balance on the skin.” — Kennedy.


Aloisia Beauty Collagen Gel, $72

Skin Ceuticals A.G.E Interrupter

“The A.G.E Interrupter combats advanced wrinkles and visible signs of aging. The formulation of this product helps restore water and nutrients to improve creepie and thinning skin by improving overall firmness.” — Dr. Karimi.


Skin Ceuticals A.G.E Interrupter, $162

Sensitive Skin 

Caudalie Vinoperfect Glycolic Night Cream

“This is retinols’ younger sister. Glycolic acid is perfect for anyone with sensitive skin because it’s like the younger sister to retinol. Caudalie does a beautiful job of creating an exfoliating night cream while being gentle enough for those with the most sensitive skin.” — Kennedy.


Caudalie Vinoperfect Glycolic Night Cream, $65

Ultra Light Moisturizer With TriHex Technology

“Alastin’s new Gentle Moisturizer provides gentle hydration necessary for sensitive and compromised skin. Its lightweight formula supports the skin’s natural ability to produce new elastin and collagen.” — Dr. Karimi.


Ultra Light Moisturizer With TriHex Technology, $72

For Acne-Prone Skin

Skin Ceuticals Blemish + Age Defense

“This acid blend combines 2% dioic acid with an optimal alpha- and beta-hydroxy acid formulation to reduce the formation of acne and clogged pores while improving the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone.” — Kennedy.


Skin Ceuticals Blemish + Age Defense, $92

Ultra Light Moisturizer with TriHex Technology

“This lightweight moisturizer from Alastin is great for acne-prone skin because it soothes and calms irritated skin. Its non-comedogenic and fragrance-free formula which he says is great for acne-prone and sensitive skin types.” Dr. Karimi.


Ultra Light Moisturizer with TriHex Technology, $72

Drug Store Brand 

RoC RETINOL CORREXION® Deep Wrinkle Night Cream

“I can’t think of another brand that delivers quality retinol without any irritation. At a price point of $24.99, it’s a must-have.” — Kennedy.


RoC RETINOL CORREXION® Deep Wrinkle Night Cream, $24.99

Cerave Skin Renewing Night Cream

“This extremely affordable night cream by Cerave is specifically designed with hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and ceramides to assist with hydration and restore the skin barrier. This night creams peptide base helps improve the appearance of fatigued skin.” — Dr. Karimi.


Cerave Skin Renewing Night Cream, $20.49

Retinol Night Cream

Ole Henrikson Dewtopia 20% Acid Night Treatment

“Although a strength of 20% acid can typically be irritating, this gel/cream combo goes on like a dream.” — Kennedy.


Ole Henrikson Dewtopia 20% Acid Night Treatment, $55

ZO Wrinkle and Texture Repair

“This high potency retinol-based night cream restores the skin’s natural hydration and combats fine lines and wrinkles refining the skin’s overall appearance. This product features a microemulsion delivery system for a smoother more youthful-looking appearance.” — Dr. Karimi.


ZO Wrinkle and Texture Repair, $145

Clean Night Cream 

Ren Overnight Recovery Balm

“This balm is formulated with lipids from olive, almond borage, and linseed oils that easily absorb into the skin to intensely nourish and moisturize while you sleep when the skin’s own regenerative process takes place.” — Kennedy.


Ren Overnight Recovery Balm, $49

Alpyn Beauty Plant Genius Melt Moisturizer

“This all-natural Hyluaronic based product is formulated with squalane, ceramides, and bakuchiol to improve aging and tired-looking skin. Providing your skin with a deeply hydrated and matte finish.” — Dr. Karimi.


Alpyn Beauty Plant Genius Melt Moisturizer, $60

Exfoliating 

Mint Buffing Beads by Renée Rouleau

“This face exfoliating formula uses perfectly round particles (a natural jojoba bead that is better both for your skin and the environment) to gently roll across the skin, unlike harsh natural grain scrubs which can unnecessarily scratch and irritate the skin.” — Kennedy.


Mint Buffing Beads by Renée Rouleau, $35.50

Defenage Clinical Power Trio

“Defenage Clinical Power Trio Defensin loaded formula is great to exfoliate and renew the skin’s overall appearance. This product is great for damaged and tired-looking skin providing initial results within the first week of use!” — Dr. Karimi.


Defenage Clinical Power Trio, $380

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