20 Beauty Essentials for Women Over 50

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If you're a woman over (or approaching) 50, you're likely noticing that the changes that have been happening to your skin, hair and body since you were 30-35 have suddenly become more insidious.

As we age, our skin loses its elasticity, causing it to droop (other things droop too — and I'll get to that!). We have less overall moisture in our bodies, so even those of us who had oily skin when we were younger have much dryer skin now. Our eyes can get puffy or dark, making us look tired even when we are not, our laugh lines no longer go away when we are not smiling, spider veins start to creep around our legs, age spots appear on our faces and hands and our hair, which was once shiny and healthy-looking, looks lifeless and thin.

We all know that these changes are part of the natural course of our lives. But that doesn't mean we have to roll over and play dead. We can fight aging every step of the way, and a big part of that battle is to take care of our skin and hair. Keep reading to for my list of 20+ beauty essentials for women over 50.

Cleanser

It's very important to cleanse our faces daily to remove makeup and daily residue from our skin. Without it, your skin's surface can accumulate debris, excess oil and bacteria, which can lead to clogged pores and lifeless-looking skin. As we age, however, we must make sure that we also cleanse our faces gently. I like Boots No 7 Age Defence Cleansing Balm. The Cleansing Balm is enriched with fruit acids to purify, revive, exfoliate and brighten skin. It also contains an antioxidant complex to support your anti-aging skin care regimen. Regular use should improve skin texture and reveal radiant, healthy-looking skin.

If you are not yet familiar with the Boots brand, be sure to check it out. It's a British beauty brand now available in the U.S.!

$8.99 at Target.com

Day Creme with SPF

Prolonged sun exposure is the primary cause of premature aging, therefore, it's very important to protect our skin from the sun if we want to keep it looking young. There are many face creams out there that contain SPFs but many of them also feel thick and sticky under makeup. I'll recommend two here, because I really like them both.

Neutrogena Tone Correcting Daily Moisturizer (SPF 30) contains stabilized vitamin C and Retinol SA, which work to continuously renew the look of skin, helping smooth wrinkles and diminish the look of age spots. The Helioplex stabilized broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF technology provides superior protection against skin-aging UVA rays and helps prevent future discoloration. The product is rich, but absorbs fast for use with other makeup.

$19.99 at Ulta.com

Olay has done a fantastic job in creating a daily face cream that not only contains a high SPF of 50 but also contains their exclusive Amino-Peptide +B3 Complex (Vitamin B3, Pro-Vitamin B5, Vitamin E and Green Tea Extract, along with Amino-Peptides), which claims to replenish skin's moisture barrier and regenerate skin's appearance. This product also feels very comfortable on the skin and absorbs quickly for use under makeup.

On sale now at Drugstore.com for $23.99

Intensive Night Cream

Because our skin tends to dry out as we age, it's very important to address that dryness with serious ammunition. Because we don't wear makeup for sleep (if you do, you shouldn't, because it's important to give your skin time to breathe), nighttime is the perfect time to use an emollient cream packed with vitamin oils and other nutrients to treat and nourish the skin. I've never had trouble with a rich night cream soiling my pillow, but if you have, try a satin pillowcase — satin apparently does not absorb the oils from your face so no staining!

I have two favorites in this category. The Vichy NEOVADIOL Gf Densifying Re-Sculpting Care cream is designed specifically for menopausal skin. This cream contains ProXylane and Proteic Gf, which have been shown to reconstruct skin tissues to a denser quality in only one month, by supporting its lipo-structure and stimulating the synthesis at the dermis and epidermis levels (in layman's terms, this means the product goes deep into the skin). The manufacturer claims that continued use will reveal a redefined jaw line, firmer neck and smoother lines on the face.

$48 at VichyUSA.com

The Celazome Restorative Treatment Cream for Night is ideal for dry, delicate or mature skin.  It is an intensive antioxidant treatment that protects and hydrates to restore clarity, softness, vibrancy and vitality to the skin. With continued use, the manufacturer claims that the appearance of fine lines will be reduced, and that the damage caused by free radicals will be counteracted. Hydrating Lyphazome and nanospheres repair the dermis, stimulate cellular regeneration and increase capillary blood flow.

$58 at CelazomeSkin.com

Serum

I've always found serums to be somewhat mysterious. I'm a suspicious serum user because I have tried several serums that seem to do nothing. A good serum should be active, with high levels of vitamins and nutrients. It should make your moisturizer more effective and your skin should look more refreshed with continued use.

As far as serums go, the cult favorite John Master's Vitamin C Anti-Aging Face Serum seems to have it all. It contains extracts of sea algae and rosebud, which help pro-collagen production. Research has shown that free radicals (from pollution and other environmental sources) are one of the primary causes of premature aging. The high level of vitamin C — which is in its natural amino-acid, polypeptide form, so it can better penetrate into the skin — addresses free radicals head on. This serum also contains superoxide dismutase and Acerola help fight the aging effects caused by UV rays. Regular use promises to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, age spots and freckles.  At $30 and just a few drops a day, it's certainly worth a shot!

$30 at Nubonau.com

Eye Cream

I recently tried the Annemarie Borlind LL Regeneration Eye Wrinkle Cream and it's lovely. It's rich and decadent feeling, but it absorbs quickly enough to be used under makeup. The Borlind proprietary LL Bio-Complex helps stimulate cell regeneration, herbal extracts tone, calm and soothe the skin and coneflower extract, rose and echinacea strengthen the skin and provide antioxidant protection.

$49.99 (never fear, a little bit goes a VERY long way!) at Borlind.com.

Quick Fixes for Puffiness

Puffiness is hereditary, and is exacerbated by stress and lack of sleep. As we get older, under-eye bags can become more pronounced so it's important to have a remedy on-hand, should you wake up with puffy eyes and eye bags.

I really like the Kiehl's Facial Fuel Eye De-Puffer. Their Facial Fuel line is geared toward men, but I use this every day and find that it's lightweight enough to be great under makeup. I look forward to using it in the morning because it feels very cooling and refreshing, due to the arctic root in the product. This balmy stick contains caffeine (it's odorless), which in skincare products has been shown to help reduce the appearance of puffiness.

$18.50 at Kiehls.com

You will also find caffeine extract in the Sally Hansen Just Feet Instant Relief Foot & Leg Gel. This revitalizing gel instantly cools and relieves tired, swollen, puffy legs, feet and ankles. Excellent for summer swelling from the heat!

$6.25 at Sears.com

Hydrating Mask

Skin can look much older if it's dehydrated. We should, as a rule, drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, which is a great preventative measure against dehydration. But, other factors can cause skin dehydration like sun exposure, drinking alcohol, air travel and harsh cleansing products. I flew recently and I was so glad to have my Juara Skincare Avocado Banana Moisture Mask with me (the travel size is perfect for airplanes!). I slathered my face with it at takeoff, and tissued it off before we landed (and don't worry I didn't look greasy during the flight!) I also treated my hands and cuticles with it, and even after a long, dry flight, they looked beautiful.

This ultra rich, creamy leave-on mask provides skin with an intense dose of moisture for a softer, healthier complexion. Nourishing avocado, used for centuries in Indonesia to treat dry skin, hydrates and revitalizes, while mineral-rich banana helps soften skin and maintain moisture. After each use, skin will feel smoother and more supple.

$37 at JuaraSkinCare.com

At-Home Facial

Nothing makes you look older than dull, lifeless skin. I would recommend using Clinique Turnaround Instant Facial 2-3 times a week to keep the skin looking refreshed and vibrant. In just five minutes, this high-performance facial delivers all the radiance and smoothness of microdermabrasion with significantly less irritation and stress to skin. Promotes surface cell turnover on multiple levels to instantly unveil skin that's fresher, more vibrant and even-toned. Oil-free and so easy to use just smooth it on clean skin, leave for five minutes and rinse.

$36.50 at Clinique.com

If you prefer a gentler approach, try a mask with natural fruit enzymes, like the Kohana Papaya Pineapple Enzyme Masque. The very simple formula in an Aloe Juice base will slough off dead surface cells while it lays on the skin. The product is 96% organic and vegan-certified too.

$16 at KohanaSkin.com

Body Cleanser & Scrub

While it's important to cleanse and exfoliate our bodies regularly to keep skin looking lively, it's equally important as we age to use products that are gentle as well as nourishing. I am a huge fan of the Tree Hut line of products. They are economically-priced, yet of incredible high-quality.

My favorites are the Hawaiian Kukui Nut Body Wash and Hawaiian Kukui Nut Body Scrub. The body wash, enriched with kukui nut, safflower seed, evening primrose and avocado oils, creates a moisturizing, creamy lather that will leave your skin smooth, soft and delicately scented. The body scrub is like a spa experience at home. Enriched with the same ingredients as the wash but with exfoliating sugar granules, shea nut oil and vitamin C, this luxurious scrub will slough off any dead surface cells, leaving you with silky, touchable skin.

Also try the Brazil Nut version. YUM!

Body Wash $6.59, Body Scrub $17.57 at Amazon.com

Take Care of That Body Firming Body Creme

Firming is good. Aveeno Positively Ageless Firming Body Lotion is a fantastic long-lasting body moisturizer that really does make the skin feel a bit firmer. I have terribly dry skin and struggle to find moisturizers that really do the trick. Not only is this lotion really moisturizing and fast absorbing, the shiitake mushroom complex and wheat protein provide firmer looking, resilient skin in just two weeks (clinically shown).

Note: It states that it's lightly fragranced, but the fragrance is so light that it definitely won't conflict with your perfume.

$7.19 at CVS.com

Take Care of That Body Age Spots and Spider Veins

Vita-K has two clinically tested products worth checking out. Their Age Spot treatment and Spider Vein treatment combine the proven benefits of vitamin K with an amino acid/polypeptide complex that targets age spots and can improve elasticity and tone. You will need to use twice daily for four to six weeks to really see results.

$15 at FreemanBeauty.com

Take Care of That Body Hands

Our hands, because of their constant use and frequent exposure to the sun, can really show our age. Cuticle are also an issue. Cuticles, if not cared for, can become ragged-looking, especially with age.

My dry hands and cuticles are eternally grateful for having had the opportunity to try the Hand Perfection line of products by Ellen Sirot, who is the world's most successful hand model. She would know about hand care right?

Her Complete Day Cream is enriched with Hyaluronic Acid, Evening Primrose and Linseed Oils and even light-reflecting ingredients to make the hands appear younger. It's very emollient, but absorbs quickly so no greasy hands.

Her Nail & Cuticle Treatment contains Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidant vitamins A & E to nourish dry cuticles. It comes in a handy pen applicator, so it's great to take with you. It absorbs immediately, so it's perfect on the go.

These two items can be purchased together as a great value for $59 (value $72) at HandPerfection.com

Take Care of That Body Feet

Our feet can really take a beating, but we don't want them to look like it. I recommend a good exfoliating and moisturizing regimen for the feet to keep them refreshed, soft and free of dry skin. The Plantogen Sole Scrub and Sole Repair Creme are a great team. The Sole Scrub exfoliates with apricot seeds and moisturizes and refreshes with peppermint and tea tree oils and menthol and chamomile. The Sold Repair Cream is a minty rich foot cream with sheer butter, avocado, extra virgin olive oil, menthol and peppermint.

$15.05 at BrightonBeautySupply.com

Quick Fixes A firm bustline and arms

My friend (a beauty industry veteran who has tried it all) swears by the Alchimie Forever Alexandrite Gel for Neck and Decollete, and now that I've had a chance to try it, so do I. After applying it, you instantly feel like you've had a little workout. You notice the tightness right away, and it's downright invigorating. This is a perfect product to use every day, or for those occasions when you'll be wearing something that bares some cleavage or upper arms.

This brightening oil-free gel tones and firms the skin of the neck and arms, helping to impart a more toned and youthful appearance to this often-forgotten part of the body. Antioxidants derived from green tea and rosemary help prevent sun damage and lighten uneven pigmentation, particularly when applied under sunscreen.

$55 at Alchimie-forever.com

Take Care of That Hair Shampoo & Conditioner

Noah's Naturals Natural Age Repair Rejuvenating Shampoo and Conditioner are all-natural products made with wheat proteins and other extracts. They are formulated to nourish your scalp and strengthen hair. Perfect for women over 50, and also safe for color-treated hair.

The shampoo clarifies and revitalizes with pure and gentle ingredients. It protects hair color and is enriched with Panthenol and wheat proteins to help strengthen and provide nutrition. The conditioner is a light formula that helps add body and shine to hair without weighing it down. Specially formulated with jojoba seed oil and wheat proteins, this conditioner helps deliver gloss and vibrancy to otherwise dull hair.

Available at Walgreens, Ulta and Wal-Mart stores nationwide.

On the Go A good rain hat

This may seem random but trust me, there's nothing worse than getting caught in a rain shower unprepared. Keep a stylish, yet waterproof rain hat like the Micro Fiber Rain Hat from Land's End tucked away in your purse for those unexpected rainy days, and you'll arrive at your destination looking flawless. You'll want one that is snug enough to stay on if it's a windy day, yet just loose enough that it doesn't flatten your hair.

This cute hat rolls up with a snap closure and is only $24.50 at Land's End. They also offer a wider brim option called the Whirlwind, which I love as well.

On the Go — An "Everything" Stick

How many times have you been on your way somewhere and you realize that your heels are looking less-than-fabulous in your slingbacks? Peeling cuticles? Flaky lips? Ashy elbows? A great solution to all these issues is what I call an "everything" stick. I take the McBride Beauty Multi-Purpose Repair Stick with me everywhere. It's a wide stick packed with shea butter and neem, rosehip, meadowfoam and rosemary oils to heal, moisturize and eliminate bacteria. One swipe will fix all those dry spots in a jiffy.

$15 on McBrideBeauty.com

Another really nice stick product is the Thermaskin Skin Repair Stick, which is great for healing chapped hands and lips and can be used directly around the eyes to combat crow's feet and bags. This proprietary formulation incorporates arnica, kola nut, goldenseal, spearmint, olive oil and grapeseed oil to soften and heal skin. It uses the power of capsicium (cayenne) and stem cells from the rare Swiss Apple (PhytoCellTec®) in a beeswax base to condition skin and reduce wrinkles.

$19.95 at Greensations.com

For Bright Eyes

Red, glassy eyes can really age us. If you had a tendency to have red eyes, make a habit of giving them a little love with a redness-reducing eye treatment. Use each morning when you wake up, or after a long day at the computer. You'll look instantly revitalized and well-rested! I use the Visine Advance Relief Redness Reliever Eye Drops.

$6.99 on Walgreens.com

A good makeup artist trick to combat redness is to swipe a flesh-colored (not white, it's too hard to manage for the non-makeup artist) pencil on the inner rims of the eyes. What this does is that it conceals the pink — a big part of the problem when your eyes look bloodshot — which makes the eyes look brighter and more awake. Laura Geller makes a nice one that is also waterproof — the I Care Pencil in Bone.

$22.72 (for 2) on QVC.com

For A Bright Smile

We'd all like a sparkling smile and as we go through life, it becomes harder to keep our teeth white, simply because of what we drink and eat — wine and coffee being the major offenders. Thankfully, in recent years a number of home-use products addressing teeth whitening have become available in the marketplace. Rembrandt is one of the leaders of the pack in the advanced technology of at-home whitening.

Rembrandt has a whole system that if you follow it, should give solid results. Start with the 2-Hour Whitening Kit for an intensive treatment, then do daily maintenance with the Whitening Strips, Whitening Mint Toothpaste and Whitening Mouthwash.

About $7 on Drugstore.com

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