plump your complexion
Skin gets drier as we age—especially around menopause, when estrogen levels drop. “Plus, when we age our oil glands—which naturally lubricate and soften skin—slow down production,” says Neal B. Schultz, M.D., a Manhattan-based dermatologist and author of It’s Not Just About Wrinkles (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2006). It’s worse in winter due to cold weather, dry air, and indoor heating.
WHAT TO DO
• Wash your face with a gentle, soap-free cleanser (soap, which strips oils from skin, can be drying).
• Gently exfoliate skin to help speed the rate at which dry cells slough off skin (something that slows as you age). Use either a granular scrub or a chemical one that contains alpha hydroxy acids.
• After washing, blot your face dry so it’s damp when you apply moisturizer. “The skin’s topmost layer can absorb large amounts of moisture when exposed to water, so immediately applying cream seals in moisture,” says Francesca Fusco, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
• Look for super-hydrating ingredients like glycerin and hyaluronic acid, which, Fusco says, holds moisture not only in the top layer of the skin but a little bit deeper. Other great hydrators include shea butter, oils like jojoba or wheat germ, vitamin E, and lipids.
• In winter months, use a humidifier to add moisture to your environment, especially while you sleep. “This helps reduce the amount of moisture lost from the skin through evaporation,” says Schultz.