Our natural sebum levels diminish as we age leading to dry, dull and tired skin. Skin cells preserve water content through fats and fatty acids to prevent trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). Mature, drier skin types experience greater TEWL, but environmental factors, such as humidity levels, can diminish our natural moisture levels too. Fortunately, we can restore our natural moisture levels with the help of Mother Nature, who has many beauty secrets to plump, firm and care for mature skin.
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are a sure-fired way to boost skin’s moisture levels by increasing its lipid content and repairing its barrier function. Improving and retaining skin’s moisture levels leads to improved softness and elasticity. Ingredients containing EFAs include Shea butter, jojoba, rosehip, hempseed, tamanu and almond oil.
Squalene derived from olive oil is a fantastic moisturiser as squalene is a natural lipid produced by skin cells that diminishes as we age; as is hylauronic acid, known as nature's moisture magnet. Look out for skin care containing glucosamine, a component of hylauronic acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties and triggers skin to produce its own hylauronic acid. Vitamin B5 (niacinamide) is also a great anti-inflammatory hydrator.
Antioxidants such as vitamin C, alpha-lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10, echinacea extract, lypocene from tomatoes and polyphenols from grapes can slow down and improve environmental ageing and free radical damage. They are good protective ingredients for day time skincare.
To smooth out and improve the appearance of existing wrinkles, potent vitamin A is an ideal night-time super ingredient. It is best used at night since it can cause photosensitivity when used in the day. If you haven’t used it before gradually build-up use starting with a couple of times a week.
Hibiscus extract, is known to be nature's answer to Botox since the extracts contain a high concentration of biomimetic natural oligopeptides which have been scientifically proven to show they inhibit muscle contraction, smoothing expression lines. Also high in antioxidant activity, hibiscus extracts help prevent free radical damage to the skin from environmental aggressors.
Always wear a natural sunscreen when out and about to prevent premature cell damage.
Drier, mature skins should go for a gentle milk or creamy cleanser (honey, chamomile, aloe vera), an oil-based balm (avocado, olive oil, grape seed) or one specifically made with mature skin in mind. Gentle hydrating ingredients include rose water, cucumber, green tea, calendula, echinacea, elder flower and lavender.
Mild abrasives such as jojoba bead, seaweed and oatmeal are good for dry skins. Non-abrasive exfoliators such as alpha and beta hydroxy acids, which work by dissolving the top layer of dead skin cells, are great for renewing the skin for a more radiant, youthful appearance.
The makeup you choose will depend on your personality, skin type and tone, hair and eye colour. Some great products for mature skin include cream or liquid based foundations, matt – non-shimmer eye shadows, cream blushers and soft shades of lipstick. See our article Makeup for Mature Skin.
By Nina Weston