Maturing skin shows three biological changes that can be effectively slowed and even reversed by using a moisturiser with the right active ingredients. A rich texture isn't necessary unless you like the feel of it.
Skin goes through three key changes as you age:
- Skin's natural rate of exfoliation, or cell turnover, slows.
- Skin's natural oil, or sebum, is made more slowly.
- Your skin's structural proteins can harden and are also made more slowly.
For all these reasons, a well-chosen moisturiser benefits mature skin. Choose a product with anti-ageing actives, and your complexion may even take a turn in the opposite direction!
So which moisturisers might help your skin travel back in time? We'll tell you the best ingredients for counteracting each age-related change.
1. Skin's natural exfoliation rate slows as you age.
You're most likely familiar with the concept of exfoliation in a skincare routine. It may not have crossed your mind that your skin does this naturally every day. When skin is young, all of your skin cells are renewed every 30 days.
When skin matures, this process slows by up to 33%, which means skin cells remain in place for longer. A build-up of dead skin is often the cause of a dull, uneven, and tired-looking complexion.
You can boost your skin cell turnover rate by using exfoliating skincare products. The best exfoliant for mature skin is glycolic acid. This chemical exfoliant gently sloughs away dead cells whilst softening the top layers of skin. Glycolic acid also helps boost collagen production—a win-win for a mature complexion.
Some of our most esteemed glycolic acid moisturisers include:
These products should be used during your night-time routine, because exfoliation can increase skin's sensitivity to sunlight.
2. Skin's natural oil production slows as you age.
Your skin keeps itself hydrated through the simplest of scientific principles: oil and water don't mix. The top layers of skin are oil-based and consistently replenished by sebum. Young, healthy skin builds its own almost-impenetrable barrier to defend against germs whilst preventing the evaporation of moisture.
As skin matures, your rate of sebum production slows, often leading to dryness. Choosing a moisturiser with nourishing oils helps compensate for this tendency. We've shared a few of our favourite replenishing face creams and lotions below:
- L'Occitane Shea Butter Ultra Rich Face Cream, containing 25% shea butter
- Trilogy Ultra Hydrating Face Cream, high in natural, nourishing oils such as avocado and coconut
- Ella Baché Crème Jojoba, with a trio of jojoba, coconut, and lanolin for intensive conditioning
These moisturisers can be used day or night and should be applied after all other skincare products except facial oils.
3. Skin's structural proteins harden and renew more slowly as you age.
The two best-known structural proteins in the skin are collagen and elastin. While collagen acts as a type of scaffolding, elastin cushions the spaces in between to create plump, resilient skin.
Through UV exposure, excess sugar consumption, and age, these structural proteins become hardened. Fine lines and wrinkles form when skin's collagen and elastin are no longer able to plump from within.
Luckily, several active ingredients are proven to help stimulate the production of fresh and healthy structural proteins. Two antioxidant vitamins, A and C, are perfect for this job. In fact, vitamin A, also known as retinol, is the gold standard when it comes to dermatological-grade anti-ageing ingredients.
Three of our favourite retinol creams are:
- SkinCeuticals Pure Retinol 0.5
- Medik8 Retinol 10 TR Advanced Night Balm
- mesoestetic collagen 360 intensive cream
Retinol should be used during your night-time routine. Concentrated vitamin A degrades in light and causes sun-sensitivity.
So choose a moisturiser that targets your biggest ageing concerns with active ingredients. Go with a texture that suits your skin type and personal preference, whether it's rich or lightweight.