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Love Your Skin in Your 50s, 60s, 70s and Beyond

Use this simple 3-step regimen to minimize wrinkles and promote younger-looking skin

Health in your 50s Health in your 60s sun tan sun block skin health

If you were wise in your youth, you slathered on sunscreen. Don’t stop now. Daily use can halt skin aging by 24 percent. — Dennis Hallinan/Getty Images

En español l No matter your age, the inevitable changes to your skin with each passing decade can take you by surprise. In your 50s, you may notice more fine lines and wrinkles; in your 60s, you may experience sagging skin and more rough patches; and after 70, you may be facing more age spots. The good news? With proper care, you can keep your skin healthy and looking decades younger than your years. Here's how.

In Your 50s

Step 1. Cleanse

Choose cleansers that remove the dirt without stripping your skin of moisture. Products containing natural exfoliators, such as alpha hydroxy acids, help slough away dead skin, clear up menopausal acne and stimulate collagen production. Your skin cells are constantly regenerating, even in your 50s, and exfoliating encourages the process, notes New York dermatologist Francesca Fusco.

Step 2. Protect

Daily sunscreen use can halt skin aging by 24 percent, an Australian study finds, so slather up. And monitor pimples that don't heal, bumps that bleed easily and rough patches — they could be precancerous. A dermatologist can freeze the area with liquid nitrogen or prescribe topical creams, including 5-fluorouracil and tretinoin, which can wipe out precancers in eight to 12 weeks.

Step 3. Smooth

Retinoids increase collagen production, which promotes younger-looking skin and minimizes skin imperfections, including wrinkles, fine lines and age spots. "The most effective formulations require a prescription, so speak with your dermatologist," says Fusco. "Antioxidant creams, lotions and serums containing vitamins C and E also help soften and smooth the skin."

Products for Your 50s

Cleansers remove dirt and dead cells, but choose ones that won't dry out your skin.

  • Dove (bar or liquid cleanser)
  • Pond's Wet Cleansing Towelettes or Cold Cream Cleanser
  • La Roche-Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel
  • M.D. Forté
  • Aqua Glycolic

Sunscreens should block a full range of UV light and have an SPF of 30 or higher.

  • TiZO (tinted)
  • Neutrogena Healthy Defense
  • CeraVe
  • Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 50+
  • EltaMD

Retinoids are available in prescription and nonprescription strengths. Try these over-the-counter formulations.

  • Philosophy Help Me
  • Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair

Antioxidant serums are designed to hydrate the skin and even out skin tones.

  • Vichy LiftActiv Night
  • Ahava Dead Sea Osmoter Concentrate
  • SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
  • Topix Replenix
  • Prevage
  • Patricia Wexler M.D. Skin Regenerating Serum

Next page: In your 60s. »

In Your 60s

Step 1. Cleanse

Choose a cleanser that removes the dirt without stripping your skin of moisture. Products containing natural exfoliators, such as alpha hydroxy acids, help slough away dead skin, clear up menopausal acne and stimulate collagen production, says Melissa Piliang, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Just be sure to choose a mild formulation.

Step 2. Protect

It's important to continue using a product with broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) daily, but you may need to change to a heavy cream to help retain moisture, says Piliang. Pimples that don't heal and bumps that bleed easily are signs you should see your dermatologist, who can freeze the area with liquid nitrogen or prescribe creams to wipe out precancerous spots.

Step 3. Smooth

"Look for a barrier cream to help prevent moisture loss," says Fusco. "Continue using antioxidant products, including retinoids, but mix them with moisturizer to make them less irritating." Facing dark spots? Consider hydroquinone. Daily spot treatment with this high-powered cream can help diminish dark patches in six to eight weeks.

Products for Your 60s

Cleansers remove dirt and dead cells, but choose ones that won't dry out your skin.

  • Dove (bar or liquid cleanser)
  • Pond's Wet Cleansing Towelettes or Cold Cream Cleanser
  • La Roche-Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel
  • Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

Sunscreens should block a full range of UV light and have an SPF of 30 or higher.

  • Anthelios 60
  • Neutrogena Healthy Defense
  • CeraVe
  • Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 50+
  • EltaMD

Barrier creams and serums are designed to hydrate the skin and even out skin tones.

  • First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Serum
  • Caudalie Vinexpert Eye & Lip Serum (with resveratrol)
  • Olay ProX
  • No. 7 Protect & Perfect Serum

Hydroquinone products help eliminate dark spots on the face and hands.

  • Obagi Nu-Derm Clear #3
  • Ambi Fade Cream
  • Prescription hydroquinone

Next page: In your 70s and beyond. »

In Your 70s and Beyond

Step 1. Cleanse

Washing your face twice daily is just as critical in your 70s as it was in your 40s. Instead of using harsh exfoliating cleansers, which can irritate sensitive skin, choose moisture-rich, creamy ones, says Piliang. Glycolic-based cleansers are still OK, but steer clear of physical exfoliators. (Granular substances can irritate sensitive skin.)

Step 2. Protect

It's important to continue using a product with broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) daily, but you may need to change to a heavy cream to help retain moisture, says Piliang. Pimples that don't heal and bumps that bleed easily are signs you should see your dermatologist, who can freeze the area with liquid nitrogen or prescribe creams to wipe out precancerous spots.

Step 3. Smooth

The key to creating a smoother, younger-looking complexion in your 70s: moisturizer. Consider double-duty formulations that contain a humectant (to draw in water) and a sealer (to prevent it from evaporating). "Some people prefer antioxidant serums, which are more like an oily liquid," says Piliang. "Look for ingredients such as vitamins C and E, and coenzyme Q10."

Products for Your 70s and Beyond

Cleansers remove dirt and dead cells, but choose ones that won't dry out your skin.

  • Dove (bar or liquid cleanser)
  • Pond's Wet Cleansing Towelettes or Cold Cream Cleanser
  • La Roche-Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel
  • Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

Sunscreens should block a full range of UV light and have an SPF of 30 or higher.

  • Neutrogena Healthy Defense
  • CeraVe
  • Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 50+
  • EltaMD

Barrier creams and serums are designed to hydrate the skin and even out skin tones.

  • First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Serum
  • Caudalie Vinexpert Eye & Lip Serum (with resveratrol)
  • CeraVe PM
  • Olay ProX
  • Vichy LiftActiv Serum 10

Moisturizers and antioxidant creams offer even more hydration for aging skin.

  • Vichy LiftActiv Nuit
  • Vichy LiftActiv Yeux/Eyes
  • Caudalie Vinosource Crème Sorbet Hydratante

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