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Best Skin Care Products for Women Over 60

Don’t have another birthday without them.

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Skin care products
Jenna Gang/Gallery Stock
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The year I turned 26 I made an appointment at the Georgette Klinger skin salon. The aesthetician who was treating me carefully turned my face from side to side. “It’s very late to be starting,” she said, ominously. “But I think we can still help.”

She then proceeded to suggest some 30 must-have products that I should buy “right away.” I’m pleased to say that I was smart enough to hightail it out of there and for the rest of my 20s and well into my 30s, my skin care routine consisted of cold water and a cleanser, a swipe of undereye cream and a light moisturizer. And then I turned 40. And 50. And then 60. Each decade meant adding and/or refining my choices.  

Because I cover the beauty beat, I’m always trying out new products. Along with some duds, I’ve found some real standouts. Most recently I’m liking Osea Undaria Algae Body Oil to soothe and smooth my crepey skin. Here’s more about that oil, along with product picks, from Mary Lupo, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and clinical professor of dermatology at Tulane University School of Medicine, and the beauty expert known by her first name to millions of What Not To Wear viewers as Carmindy, the founder  of Carmindy Beauty Cosmetics.

Cleansers

Among the number of things we need to relearn in our 60s — such as the ever-changing meaning of acronyms that pop up in our emails and texts — is how to wash our faces properly. “As we get older, we have to be careful to use a cleanser that doesn’t strip the epidermis of lipids,” Lupo says. “We need fats in our skin to hold in water. “So, you want to use gentler cleansers that are creamy — no scrubs, no highly foaming products that can disrupt the skin barrier. By the way, do you take statins? They may be making your skin drier: It turns out that while cholesterol is bad for your heart health, it’s good for your skin.  

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser, Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser and La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser are all effective and relatively inexpensive choices.

Hydrating serum

Using a serum with hyaluronic acid or retinol will “light a fire under collagen production,” Carmindy says. Academy Award-nominated actress Naomi Watts told CNN ­­Underscored last fall that menopause turned her skin care regimen upside down. “My skin was drier and more sensitive,” she said. “I needed to eliminate certain routines, like over-exfoliating and strong doses of vitamin C.”  The experience led the 54-year-old Watts to create Stripes, a beauty line aimed at postmenopausal women.

Stripes The Power Move contains five different kinds of hyaluronic acid to give skin a nice plumping effect. Carmindy says her favorite serum is Rose MD Retexturizing Retinol Booster, a nonirritating product that helps with uneven texture, dullness, fine lines and wrinkles. Use a few drops of serum in the morning and at night, after washing your face, and before applying moisturizer. For a nighttime boost, RoC Retinol Anti-Aging Retinol Face Serum helps diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while you sleep.

Moisturizer

Carmindy’s trick to combat the extreme dryness that comes with seasoned skin (a trick she learned from her mom), involves an inexpensive favorite, Nivea Creme, first made over a century ago. “The kids call it ‘slugging,’ ” Carmindy says, about the TikTok trend to slather your face with petroleum jelly before going to sleep. “This is the grownup version.”

After cleansing your face before you go to bed, put on your regular moisturizer and seal it with a layer of Nivea. Devoted Nivea fans find the very affordable product helps to retain hydration and they wake up to skin that is silky smooth. At the other end of the price spectrum is Augustinus Bader’s The Rich Cream. This nighttime moisturizer, which was created by a pioneer in stem cell research has been called “The Birkin bag of skincare,” alluding to the brand’s cost and endorsements by celebs like Jennifer Anniston and Victoria Beckham.

For daytime, I’m a fan of the lightweight Dr. Brandt Do Not Age Time Defying Cream and at night, I slather on RéVive’s Moisturizing Renewal Cream, which gently exfoliates and hydrates overnight.  Whichever product you use, in addition to applying to your face in sweeping, upward motions, don’t forget to use the cream from the base of your neck to the tip of your chin. And, if there’s any leftover, massage excess cream over your décolleté.        

Crepey skin        

One of the biggest complains I hear from women is about crepey skin — the thinning and shriveled appearance of our once-supple arms, necks, and generally, whole body, due to the loss of collagen. So, when Carmindy recommends applying Osea Undaria Algae Body Oil from head to toe, I listen. Made from Undaria seaweed to improve skin elasticity and deliver deep moisturization, this body oil helps with a more toned and sculpted look. The dryness on our arms and legs can be particularly difficult to control, which is why an occlusive moisturizer like the inexpensive Aquaphor — too greasy to use on your face because it may cause breakout — will help boost hydration in these less-sensitive areas.

Lupo recommends using an over-the-counter body lotion that contains retinols, which over time, she says, “will reduce crepiness and improve luminosity.”  

Paula’s Choice Retinol Skin-Smoothing Body Treatment has antioxidants, natural butters, plant oils and a high concentration of pure retinol. Don’t expect miracles, but you could see some improvement.          

Sunscreen

The last thing to go on after moisturizer and before foundation or concealer is sunscreen — no matter what the weather looks like outside. “This is a product I’d splurge a little more on,” Lupo says. “Brands with DNA-repair ingredients will decrease your risk of skin cancer.” She recommends Neova sunscreens, which come in different formulas for outdoor enthusiasts and regular daily wear. And she’s also a fan of the lightweight, mineral-based Isdin Eryfotona Actinica. I have sensitive skin and swear by EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46.                

Concealer

If there’s one makeup product you need over 60 it’s a concealer. Whether you’re using it for under eyes or atop discoloration — mature skin, which tends to be drier, is crying out for a formula that’s hydrating, glides on (yet is not too thin), and provides medium to full coverage. Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Stretchable Full Coverage Concealer is a makeup artist fave that provides durable coverage. My go-to is Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Stay-In-Place Flawless Wear Concealer which doesn’t cake or settle into creases. A little goes a long way with both of these.

Pick a color that’s one shade lighter than your skin. I like to swipe on a light layer of undereye cream before applying. Wait a minute or two, then place three dots of concealer under your eye. Gently massage the dots together to cover dark circles. If you feel you need more product, wait a minute or two and lightly feather on another coat. Carmindy’s Lit From Within Daily Skin Prep is a primer and concealer all in one — put it on after your moisturizer and sunscreen to create an evened-out, glass-like finish on your skin.

A very affordable way to go is Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind Multi-Use Dark Circles Concealer, which comes in various shades and is long-lasting.

And one final tip — not a product but a practice — is to smile. Not only does smiling make you look more attractive, the muscles we use to smile also lift the face.

What skin care product do you swear by? Let us know in the comments below.

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