The ultimate DIY facial for glowing skin over-50

— by Jo Glanville Blackburn

Image: Anna Shvets at Pexels


Dull, tired, worn-out? And that’s just your skin. Fact is, the desire for good-looking skin isn’t about fewer wrinkles: we want to glow. We want energetic, vibrant, luminous skin, at every age. Here’s a mini super brightening facial you can try for yourself; the trick is  to be consistent. Night-time is the best time to indulge in a deep clean routine, as skin repairs itself when you’re most relaxed. With the right products used in the right order, you can give yourself a luxurious spa-quality facial at home, tonight.


Wash the day off

Start with a deeper, double cleanse to help clear away surface dead skin cells and reveal fresher, brighter, polished-looking skin. Take make-up off first with a designated cleansing lotion or oil, such as Pai Skincare Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil: frankly, anything with rosehip oil is a must for ageing skin. Next, cleanse all over with a gentle soothing balm or wash, to remove any residue. One of my all-time favourites is Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm with algae, starflower, and elderberry oils, that literally melts dirt away leaving skin incredibly soft and nourished. Take time to massage it well into dry skin, then add a little water to massage further. Rinse your face gently but thoroughly, using a washcloth, such as Templespa Take It Off Soft Muslin Cleansing Cloth – this aids exfoliation and gets right into any tiny crevices around the nose and hairline.


Buff your way

Next, cleanse again, but this time with an exfoliator for a power-packed brightening session. Thorough exfoliation helps freshen the surface of your skin, boost micro-circulation, and ensure the rest of your skincare is absorbed to the max. Just don’t overdo it. When you’re over-50 the skin becomes drier so once a week is better. If you regularly wash with a muslin cloth, your skin is already tolerant. However, if you find yourself prone to outbreaks or redness and rosacea: take it easy.

Hormones can govern the way our skin responds. Peri, mid, or post-menopause, you may find skin is generally becoming drier and duller. So have a play with exfoliants as they can quickly transform the look and feel of your skin. Choose between physical exfoliators such as face scrubs and at-home microdermabrasion; or chemical exfoliators, topical acids (such as salicylic, malic, lactic, or glycolic), which tingle slightly as they gently dissolve any remaining dead skin cells.

For the ideal ‘wakeup’ facial, once a week, use one of each: chemical followed by physical. Try the classic, much-loved Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant or the handy little Colbert MD Intensify Facial Discs which are loaded with just enough lactic acid and papaya enzyme to give a wash-off mini peel session at home (I love these and have sensitive skin). Leave on for a few minutes, then follow up with a physical scrub to help wash away any remaining dead skin cells. I’m a big fan of Dermalogica Daily Microexfoliant rice bran powder granules mixed with salicylic acid, for a final buff. Go gently, it’s deceptively effective.


Masks On

Your skin should now be perfectly clean, warm, and above all moist: ideal for applying a mask. The 5-minute face mask really can transform the freshness of your skin. Choose one of these to suit your skin’s needs:

clay mask, like Esse Clay Mask with kaolin and bentonite clay helps brighten all skins, especially oily, blemished skin and clogged pores, as the clay helps draw out impurities from the skin. If your skin is dry or more mature, follow swiftly with a hydrating serum or cream.

An exfoliating mask, such as the ‘leave on in the shower’ The Body Shop Pumpkin Instant Radiance Mask, with fruit enzymes for a double-duty manual and chemical scrub effect. Ideal for days when you haven’t done a major cleanse.

A sheet mask, such as 111Skin Rose Gold Brightening Treatment Mask is typically a gel-cream, making it ideal for most skins. This one is super anti-ageing: rich in antioxidants, a peptide complex to tighten and tone, and rose oil to calm and soothe.

A cream mask, such as the pricey but cult favourite Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask, tends to be rich in texture and better-suited to dry skin that benefits from a nourishing texture. This one never disappoints.


Glow Girl

Serum and oils are a great way to add in a topical, targeted, brightening treatment to your facial regime and work on dark spots, lines or blemishes. My favourites include: Dr Barbara Sturm Glow Drops with Omega 3 and wild rose serum, the vitamin C best-seller Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Serum; the pricey but divine Votary Super Seed Serum with niacinamide (for dark spots), containing peptides, broccoli, and good old rosehip oil; and if you’re considering retinol, Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum with added botanicals and skin-smoothing hyaluronic acid is a great introduction.

Make the most of Moisturising

As I’m not into the heaviness of a cream on my skin, I prefer freshly blending a serum/oil with a face cream. Lighter and better absorbed, the texture feels easier to massage in, and goes further. If you’ve never tried it before, pop a pump of serum followed by half the amount of face cream into the palm of your hands. Blend together then press flat palms against your cheeks, temples, forehead, then swap hands to massage down the opposite sides of the neck and across the chest. Repeat, if you need more. Try the lovely-but-pricey Romilly Wilde Advanced Super Cell Serum with Night Duty Face Cream – or Balance Me’s Vitamin C Repair Serum  – and finish off with a cool stroke of lightweight Eye Believe Serum. Your skin will be glowing.


JO GB is an author and beauty & wellbeing writer and founder of Jo GB Living

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