Introduction to mature skin
Time takes its toll on our skin. As we get older, skin’s consistency decreases, and it becomes thinner, more fragile and uneven. Fine lines and wrinkles that may have first appeared in your 30s can appear more prominent, and your favourite moisturiser from your 20s may not be meeting your skincare needs when you’re in your 40s or 50s. It is all because our body produces less collagen as we get older, elastin loses its functionality and our skin can also become drier. As flexibility and elasticity disappear, fine lines and wrinkles are usually the first signs of ageing to appear, followed by sagging skin and a loss of volume. As UV exposure is responsible for as much as 80 per cent of skin ageing, continued exposure as you age, alongside other environmental factors such as pollution and stress, can also make mature skin more prone to wrinkles and fine lines.
Looking after your skin to protect it from the sun and external stressors, and replenishing essential nutrients and moisture is important at every stage of your life, but can really make a difference for mature skin.
What to look for in choosing the best moisturiser for mature skin
Every skin type should use a moisturiser daily to keep your skin hydrated and healthy, and also to replenish and strengthen your skin barrier function – your first line of defence against sun damage, pollution and other external threats. Like your cleansers, toners and even chosen sunscreen, the moisturiser you use should work for your specific skin type though. If you’ve got oily skin, lightweight, non-comedogenic formulas are your best friends, whereas dry skin loves rich, nourishing creams that trap in moisture.
Fatty acids help support the structure and function of the outermost layer of our skin. Those with a fatty acid deficiency can experience trans-epidermal water loss and other issues related to a compromised skin barrier such as inflammation and breakouts. Topping up on omega fatty acids, which can be found in fish, nuts, and topical creams, can also help with skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
Produced naturally by our bodies, hyaluronic acid is part of your skin’s framework and helps it to hold onto water to give it its plump and hydrated appearance. It’s a powerhouse humectant that can bind to up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Like our collagen levels, our hyaluronic acid levels deplete as we get older. UV radiation from the sun and pollution can all play a part in its decline, too. Topping up your supplies with topical serums and creams can help to keep your skin hydrated, looking more radiant, and fine lines and wrinkles can appear softened.
Amino acids perform essential functions and roles in your body, including at a skin level. In addition to building muscle and preventing illness, they also help to stimulate collagen production, strengthen the skin’s surface, reduce visible signs of skin damage and protect your skin from harmful substances.
Thanks to its pore-clearing abilities, the beta-hydroxy acid (or BHA) salicylic acid is a popular ingredient in skincare for acne-prone and younger skin. Gently removing dead skin cell build-up in older skin can also help your skincare products and their active ingredients to penetrate deeper. Salicylic acid can stimulate cell turnover, which naturally slows with age, to encourage a brighter, smoother complexion. Overuse can dry out skin though, so be careful how often you use it on naturally drier mature skin.