Get the glow: how to make skin look radiant when you’re over-50

— by Alyson Walsh


Radiance is the holy grail of beauty, at any age, but never more so when you’re over-50, says writer, author and journalist Jo GB. ‘My skin changed in my mid-40s and became more dull and dreary. I now need a seriously hefty dose of ‘skin glow’ essentials to keep things softer, more supple and that bit more luminous. I swear, the following helps my skin transform within about five minutes to a brighter, fresher, bouncier version than the one I woke up with.’

Here are Jo’s five ways to avoid a dull day:


Five-minute routine Fact is, past the ripe old age of about 18, our skin cell turnover slows down significantly until it’s taking over twice as long to naturally rejuvenate and repair itself by the time we get to 50. So we need to help it out by exfoliating at least once a week. Bumpier, dull skin loves nothing more than a good old buff; not only regularly, but gently. I never use nutty, grainy scrubs (ground down walnut or apricot kernels) because they have sharp micro edges that will make tiny tears in your skin. Some might say this is stimulating – personally I prefer a gentler but effective acid exfoliator using natural AHAs such as glycolic (sugar cane) or malic acid (found in papaya), that are naturally abrasive and work deep down, so you can use them regularly. I’m a big fan of the classic Alpha-H Liquid Gold Resurfacing Glycolic Cleansing Cream, that you massage into damp skin then rinse off or use a face cloth (double the exfoliation I like to think!); Kiehl’s Pineapple Papaya Facial Scrub with its super fresh aroma, and Kiko Pure Clean Powder little exfoliating grains that transform into a creamy powder on the skin and transform the surface; or try rice powder found in the award-winning Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant and the brilliant (but expensive) Shiseido Bio-Exfoliating Discs, soft buffing pads that truly transform skin after one use; both slightly abrasive but leave skin incredibly smooth.

Regular acid exfoliation can also help to lighten and even prevent pigmentation marks, so do make sure you always protect your skin with a daily SPF (I always have a portable bottle of La Roche Posay Anthelios XL SPF50 in my bag) if you step up your buffing regime. ‘Pigmentation is ‘the new wrinkle’,’ says Michelle Doherty of Alpha-H; these skin brightening cleansing boosters really can transform the surface of your skin.


Take time to massage Rituals are as important as what you are putting on your skin,’ says facialist Annee de Mamiel, whose in-depth facials involve acupuncture along with deep facial massage. After any in-depth facial, just speedily applying a product once you’re home seems such a waste. Take your time! Take a few drops of  a balmy cleanser or a serum or skin balm (I love REN’s Keep Young & Beautiful Instant Firming Beauty Shot for an extra glowy boost) and then massage into your skin. Never underestimate the power of your fingertips at boosting the skin’s microcirculation that also help stimulate your facial muscles. Many dismiss the power of massage, but a visit to a handful of facial massage experts (such as Nichola Joss) or try The Gankin Massage – there’s a YouTube video HERE or experts at the Suqqu counter will show you how – you can visibly see a lift to your jawline and cheekbones. ‘While good ingredients are essential, so is how you apply them,’ says Annee de Mamiel, whose super fresh Seasonal Facial Oils are great, ‘I would always recommend giving yourself a short facial massage each evening, it really gives skin a radiant glow, helps reduce fine lines and by stimulating the lymph, puffiness is decreased too.’

Five-minute glow OK, so I’m probably the only beauty editor who is not into sheet masks (the J-beauty trend that has swept the nation); next to most face wipes, it’s one of the most un-recyclable beauty inventions of late. Plus, personally they never fit my face, often irritate my eyes, some drip too much, so just not really all that relaxing – I usually can’t wait to remove them. Let’s revert back to a classic mask, shall we? Applying as little or as much as you need is way more cost effective as a result. I’m loving Elemis Superfood Vital Veggie Mask, not just because it sounds like my favourite salad of broccoli, kale and avocado (personally I do think skin benefits more when you have all that nutrition coming from within, but there we go), but it also contains skin brightening passion fruit and vitamin C.

Try Skin Fasting My insider beauty tip for better skin is called ‘Skin Fasting’. Whenever you’re at home for any long period of time, wear absolutely no make-up, to help promote the renewal of your skin’s natural moisturising factor and the protective barrier of your skin. Such a good discipline and something I have adhered to all my life. Choose pure plant oil blends (not mineral oil which blocks pores) and wear alone on clean skin focusing on your cheekbones, forehead and neck – areas that look especially youthful with a healthy sheen. I adore Jane Scrivener Affirmative Firming Toning Facial Oil with a beautiful blend of jojoba, moringa, red raspberry and pomegranate oils, or try The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Argan Oil.


Want an Instaglow? Dust a little highlighter onto the tops of your cheekbones to give a glimmering contour effect, playing with light not dark shading. My favourites include Illamasqua Beyond Powder  in OMG that is super-fine and the tiniest bit dabbed on tops of cheekbones, upper lip and bridge of the nose, makes your skin SO beautiful. Equally a little hint of self-tan, used to contour along the cheekbones, around the temple, nose and collarbone looks like a real sun-kiss, as if you popped off for the weekend. I love the ease of Balance Me Gradual Tanning Drops for Face & Body, just add to your moisturiser, leave alone and you’ll have a golden radiance after a few hours.


JoGB is an expert on the wellness of beauty, read more beauty brilliance on her website HERE.


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