How to keep your skin looking (and feeling) happy and healthy as you get older

Have you noticed that your skin has changed as you’ve got older? Find out how you can keep it looking (and feeling) happy and healthy.

When you look in the mirror at your face what would you like to see? A cynical response would probably be ‘the same face I saw 20 or thirty 30 ago!’ But given that I do not have a magic wand and nor does anyone else, whatever they might claim, I’d settle for ‘skin that looks smooth, healthy, hydrated and happy’.

It can be a real problem in post-menopausal life, and very much unspoken about, to have very unhappy skin. The mature face can be prone to outbreaks of acne, painful lumps on T zones and rosacea or red patches on cheeks and chin – what you would indeed associate with teenage skin.

Three questions you need to answer about your skin

We decided to launch our three skincare products on Look Fabulous Forever in October 2018, which is specially formulated for older skin, and since then I have learnt so much about all the various challenges which are associated with it.

Here are three questions you need to answer about your skin to asses how healthy it is, and what care it may need.

1) How does your skin feel?

The first is how it feels to the touch. If you run your fingers over facial skin it should feel like satin. The visible outer layer needs to be free of dead skin cells and feel smooth rather than scaly and dry. I can usually tell immediately if the skin is dehydrated and parched.

2) How does your skin look?

The second is how it looks. I’d expect to see some unevenness in skin tone, some age spots and some wrinkling, all of which are part and parcel of the ageing process. However, in deeply hydrated and nourished skin these signs of age will be much less pronounced and may hardly be noticeable at all. 

3) How does your makeup perform?

The third is how your makeup performs. Skin is the canvas onto which you apply the paint of makeup. So if your makeup looks patchy and dry in places or ‘grabs’ the colour in some places but not others, then it’s the condition of the skin which is the problem, not the makeup.

The key ingredients for healthy looking skin

There’s a great deal of literature out there about ‘turning back the clock’ and ‘reversing the visible signs of ageing’. You will know as well as I do that lifestyle factors like diet, exercise, alcohol, smoking, historic sun exposure and sleep will all affect the look and feel of our skin.

But it’s never too late to make changes which will reap benefits when it comes to the appearance of your skin. I have completely overhauled my diet in the past couple of years by cutting down on sugar, carbonated diet drinks, bread and chocolate. I have also upped my consumption of water, all of which has really helped me to look and feel better. 

The other vital factor is how well you care for your skin and the way that your skincare performs to protect and nourish the visible outer layer of the skin, the epidermis. As you can imagine a lot of research has gone into the very best ‘miracle’ ingredients which actually deliver benefits. What research has found though, is that there are ways to improve skin elasticity, it’s just about using the right products.

Products which are rich in certain recognised ingredients can make a significant difference to the feel and appearance of the skin. They may not ‘reverse’ the signs of ageing, but they can ‘slow’ the signs of ageing. 

What to look out for in your skincare products

By far the most important ingredient is hyaluronic acid. This occurs naturally in skin and connective tissue where it acts a bit like a super absorbent sponge to draw and hold moisture.

As we age, that naturally occurring hyaluronic acid declines so we packed it into our Hydration Hold Serum to boost the supply to your skin. The consistency is super light and a little goes a long way, but it forms the perfect base for either the day or night cream in order to greatly increase their hydrating power.

Hyaluronic acid is also an important ingredient in our Deeply Dreamy Night Cream so that it can ‘plump’ and hold moisture while you are asleep.

Both our day and night moisturisers are also rich in those vitamins proven to repair and protect the skin. Vitamins B5, C, E, F and K offer known benefits including a reduction in redness, age spots and the dryness and scaliness that I mentioned above.

We have also been able to incorporate Vitamin A or retinol in a form which helps the skin without making it more vulnerable to sun damage. All three skincare products are light, unfragranced and non-greasy and absorb quickly and easily which means that they are a pleasure to apply.

Tricia Cusden is the founder of Look Fabulous Forever.