How Do Hormones Affect the Skin in Your 50s?


Updated July 6, 2014. Intrinsic aging is determined by heredity, your genetic programming that controls the hormones responsible for aging. The skin will certainly behave differently under the influences of these hormones, but how do they affect it from ages 50-60? Usually occurring sometime after the age of 50, hormone changes cause the cessation of monthly periods which results in menopause. Estrogen, which drops rapidly, can create hot flashes, or rapidly worsen rosacea and the propensity for skin reactions. This is because of the anti-inflammatory nature of estrogen. When the estrogen is no longer there, the skin becomes more reactive. Over active mast cells perceive non-threatening stimuli as dangerous and cause sensitivity and allergic reactions. Besides the discomfort of skin irritations, it is now believed that inflammation is the major cause of aging. The inflammation cascade of chemical changes that occurs in the skin can cause irreparable damage to skin cells.

Estrogen is very involved in the normal function of the skin. It directly affects the function of key cells in the skin, like the fibroblasts (produces collagen and elastin), keratinocytes (closely involved in skin protection) and melanocytes (involved in evenness of skin color). It also helps regulate hair follicle function (hair production) as well as sebaceous gland activity (producing skin oils). Estrogen also grabs onto water and holds it in the dermis, keeping the skin plump. With the extreme decrease in estrogen that occurs in the 50s, the skin deflates and wrinkles become more pronounced. Microcirculation may be less efficient and the skin thins from lack of nutrients and oxygen…

Hormonal swings tied to aging also account for an increase in facial hair (peach fuzz), particularly on the cheeks, chin and upper lip. The menopausal years also trigger skin growths on the face and body. They begin as small, rough bumps and over time, they thicken and get larger. There are many names for these: seborrheic keratoses, actinic keratoses, skin tags, sebaceous hyperplasia, and they all can appear a bit different (some brown, some flesh color) but generally speaking, they are bumps, excess skin, enlarged oil glands and growths that protrude from the skin and become impossible to hide with makeup. Read: What Are These Bumps on My Skin?

Simply put, the 50s are the decade when the most visible changes related to aging occur in the skin. (No fun!)

Here are my tips for beautiful and glowing skin in your 50s.

Reduce inflammation wherever you can. Regardless of any visible redness/rosacea and sensitivity, inflammation is occurring within the skin and the solution is to reduce it. Avoid irritating chemicals in products, overexposure to the sun, and limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol. It’s time to treat your skin and body with tender loving care. See our sensitive skin types.

Use soothing ingredients in your skin care products. Choose soothing serums containing anti-inflammatory properties like sea whip extracts, white tea, licorice, meadowsweet, chamomile and azulene. While beneficial for all types of aging skins, these ingredients will also be beneficial for calming redness in overactive skin types. Use our Soothing Relief Serum which contains powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients.

Increase blood flow and circulation within the skin. For skins that are not experiencing redness or rosacea but are looking tired, dull and sluggish, it’s important to address circulation. Skin cells, like all cells that make up the tissues and organs of the body, depend on good circulation to get the required oxygen, water, hormones, nutrients, minerals and other trace elements that are vital for the life of the cells. The tissues rely on the circulatory system to remove wastes and toxins. Tired, sluggish skin occurs when the microcapillaries are not providing enough nutrition to the skin. The treatment for under-circulated skin is to try to gently stimulate circulation through gentle massage (manual exfoliants/facial scrubs like Mint Buffing Beads), using stimulating ingredients such as ginsengpeppermint and rosemary, and to encourage the mitochondria of the cell to harness its energy with ingredients like CoQ10. You will find CoQ-10 in our best-selling Hawaiian Nourishing Cream.

Wear sunscreen every day, rain or shine. Research indicates that 78% of all sun damage incurred in lifetime is from incidental exposure. It’s all those times when you don’t think you’re getting sun because you aren’t out there long enough to actually get a tan! (The drive in the car, walking down the street…) Just because you don’t sunbathe doesn’t mean you’re not getting the UV damage. Wear a sunscreen built into your moisturizer, applied to both your face and neck, every day, 365 days a year, rain or shine, inside or out—and your skin will thank you for years to come! I also highly suggest to my clients to wear an SPF-infused mineral powder such as ColoreScience SPF 50 Mineral Powder to ensure the skin is properly protected from daylight.

Look for ways to manage facial hair and peach fuzz. Waxing, dermaplaning or threading are all options to consider to keep visible hair less noticeable. These are all considered safe methods of hair removal and will not encourage increased hair growth.

Schedule professional skin care treatments. Putting your skin in the hands of a professional is so important to the overall health of your skin. Skin care products at home can only do so much, and professional treatments like facials, chemical peels, Bio Visage and Bio Brasion work to give your skin a boost of anti-aging results. All of these skin treatments are available at Renée Rouleau Skin Care Spas in Dallas and Plano, Texas. But, don’t overdo it with too many laser treatments and chemical peels. Read why chemical peels may be damaging your skin.

Eat almonds, salmon, avocados and olive oil. These all contain healthy fats that keep your skin moist, supple and glowing from inside out. They are much needed in your 50s, since moisture levels will drop significantly within the skin.

Eat a diet rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. A diet rich in vitamin C is also essential in converting these amino acids into a usable form of protein to make new collagen and elastin fibers. Also, fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants are important to protect your cells from free radical damage that leads to aging as well as providing anti-inflammatory benefits.

Use firming ingredients in your skin care products. An effective way to encourage the stimulation of collagen and elastin is by using products containing peptides. Peptides are protein fragments that can stimulate the production of dermal proteins (collagen and elastin), and can thicken the dermis (the mattress under the skin that keeps the skin plump) without any harsh side effects. Renée Rouleau Bio Radiance Night Serum contains Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, one of the best peptides for firming the skin. In addition to using on the face, this also offers tremendous benefit when used on the neck and chest area.

Instead of over-moisturizing, increase your exfoliation. By removing surface, dry skin cells, you reveal healthy and vibrant skin. When caring for your skin, the phrase “out with the old, in with the new” really holds true. Exfoliation removes expired, dry skin cells making way for new, healthy, plump skin cells. It also helps to reduce blemishes and breakouts, lessen clogged pores, rid the skin of dryness and lighten brown spots and hyperpigmentation – all while smoothing the skin. Triple Berry Smoothing Peel is excellent when used in the 50s to exfoliate, encourage cell turnover and promote a smoother, more even toned complexion.

Read how hormones affect the skin in your teens, 20s, 30s, 40s and 60s.

Which skin care products are best for you? See our nine skin types or take our Skin Type Quiz and get products recommended.

Need expert advice from a licensed esthetician? Schedule a virtual consultation to get customized advice in person, over the phone or online via Skype or Facetime.

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