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Beautiful, glowing skin starts with a good skin care routine. The better your skin, the less makeup you need to look bright and healthy. As we age, definition in our face tends to fade a little, but skin care products and subtle makeup can help to restore contrast as well as cover age spots and discolourations. So, we've collated a handful of simple, but effective, tips to help you achieve glowing skin over 50.
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As we get older, hormonal changes, primarily caused by menopause, can have a huge impact on our skin. It often becomes dry and dull, which is why a good skin care routine is important for older women.
With this in mind, it's vital that we only choose products that are specifically formulated for our skin type, whether we have dry skin, oily skin or sensitive skin. Beauty consultants will usually be able to tell you your skin type and recommend products to suit, but, overall, it's a good idea to update your skin care range regularly so that you always have the right products for your skin.
While we may be encouraged to use serums and oils and lotions (oh my!), the trick is to know the order in which to apply them. A rule of thumb when it comes to skin care is to always apply moisturising products from thinnest to thickest, but it also depends on the product itself, e.g. you wouldn't usually apply a facial oil before a water-based moisturiser as the oil would prevent the moisturiser from penetrating the skin.
Cleansing your skin every morning and every night will not only remove makeup, but also get rid of impurities, excess oil and any dead skin cells. It's the first step towards glowing skin and one that shouldn't be skipped.
While you might think of cleansing as a single process, it actually should be split into two steps: the first is to remove your makeup with wipes or a cleansing oil and the second is to wash your face with lukewarm water before applying a cleanser that contains cocamidopropyl betaine or caprylic triglyceride (they both come from coconut oil).
"The Body Shop's camomile oil cleanser is brilliant! It gets every scrap of makeup off, isn't at all greasy and is very economical."
Left: Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, £15, Liz Earle.
Middle: Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil, £12, The Body Shop.
Right: Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Shea Butter, £28.80, Clarins.
What is toner? Well, it's a product that completes the cleansing of your skin to remove any impurities that might still be lingering after the first step of your skin care routine (see above). Toners tend to be water-based and contain ingredients such as essential oils and plant extracts. They also come in all shapes and sizes to suit your skin type - you might be after a soothing toner, a hydrating toner or even a detoxifying toner.
The main point of a toner is to revitalise the skin and prepare your face before you apply a moisturiser or makeup.
Left: Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Purifying Toner, £25, Boots.
Middle: Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner, £18.50 Kiehl's.
Right: Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution, £6.80, The Ordinary.
Moisturising should be an important part of your skin care routine and, luckily, when it comes to over 50s beauty, there are now a wealth of options to choose from. The right moisturiser will depend on your skin type, so it's worth consulting a specialist before you buy. Apply a moisturiser after you cleanse your skin, both in the morning and at night - this can also include eye cream.
Facial serums are light-weight and restore moisture to the skin through hyaluronic acid. They are commonly used before moisturiser, and the good news is that you only need to apply a little to add a bit of brightness to your skin - the hyaluronic acid can hold up to a thousand times its own weight in water!
While you may not see an immediate effect, adding this step into your skin care routine will make a huge difference over time, particularly when it comes to blemishes or wrinkles.
Facial oils are best used at night when the skin is least oily, but, if you have dry skin, it is worth applying a few drops to your skin as part of your morning makeup regime. Quick-absorbing facial oils that are rich in nutrients will help to soothe and moisturise your skin.
"I'm a big fan of Nivea Q10."
Left: Nivea Q10 Plus Anti-Wrinkle Day Cream, £4.89, Superdrug.
Middle: L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Day Cream, £6.35, Superdrug.
Right: Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser, £21, John Lewis.
Primers are essential as you age and really are a miracle product according to older women - they keep your makeup in place, which means you'll look fresh for hours on end (yes, we're serious).
Face primers will smooth the skin to make way for any base makeup, so they should always be applied before foundation. Eye primers stop foundation from seeping into the lines around your eyes and also cover any discolouration. Lip primers prevent lipstick feathering into the lines round your mouth and would usually only be used when wearing lipstick.
"Clarins' Instant Smooth primer works a treat! It smoothes out wrinkles and fine lines, and makes a good base for the foundation."
Left: Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch, £26.50 Boots.
Middle: Benefit Porefessional Face Primer, £23.40 Fabled.
Right: Smashbox Photo Finish Radiance Primer, £30, Boots.
Uneven skin tone is more ageing than a few wrinkles, so the next task is to cover and conceal. Foundation should be applied as a light coverage, but it should still make your skin look glowing. A foundation with SPF will ensure that your skin is protected as well as healthy-looking.
Concealer needs to be creamy and match your foundation, which is why it's usually applied afterwards. It's not only essential for the inner corners of the eyes where blue areas can create a hollow-eyed look, but concealer also camouflages age spots, eye bags and blemishes. Use a special concealer brush to stipple the concealer exactly where you need it.
"I’ve just converted to Charlotte Tilbury's foundation! It spreads very thinly and feels very light, but it still seems to cover blemishes well - it makes my skin feel very smooth."
Left: Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation, £32, John Lewis.
Middle: Clarins 'True Radiance' Perfect Skin Liquid Foundation, £29, Debenhams.
Right: True Colour Flawless Liquid Foundation, £12, Avon.
Use a highlighter pen on the brow bone and top of the cheeks to make your eyes 'pop', then use a creamy blusher on your cheekbones, directly underneath the highlighter to make your skin really glow. Depending on your skin colour, opt for pink, peach or bronze tones.
Left: Stila Heaven's Hue Highlighter, £28, Selfridges.
Middle: Crystalline Glow Highlighter Stick, £20, bareMinerals.
Right: No7 Instant Radiance Highlighter, £10, Boots.
Lift dull, dead skin cells and improve circulation by exfoliating twice a week with a facial scrub or an exfoliating mask. Exfoliating your skin is the key to a brighter-looking complexion as it'll ensure dead skin cells don't build up. Dead skin cells can result in clogged pores, dark spots, blackheads, rough skin texture and pronounced wrinkles.
While this process might sound like a hassle, it's only part of your weekly, not daily, skin care routine, which means there's really no excuse <wink>.
Left: The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, £6.30, lookfantastic.com
Middle: Gentle Rose Exfoliator, £31, Elemis.
Right: Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream with Natural Microbeads, £26, Clarins.
Prices correct as of 18/05/18