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How to Get Rid of Textured Skin: What Women Over 50 Need to Know for Smoother, Youthful Skin

Plus, the OTC products that can help!

Whether it’s the result of your battle with acne in your teenage years (or hormonal breakouts now), aging or just the luck of your genetics, textured skin can feel daunting to navigate. The good news is, you’re not alone in this. Almost everyone at some point finds themselves scrutinizing their skin, wishing for the flawless complexions we see on social media and in magazines thanks to Photoshop. And even when we turn to makeup to cover up flaws, it can end up backfiring, making bumps, lines and pores stand out even more. Thankfully, there’s a wide range of strategies, products and treatments that can help. Read on to learn how to get rid of textured skin according to dermatologists and skin experts so you’re left with smooth, glowing glass-like skin in a flash.

What causes textured skin?

The first thing to do when figuring out how to treat textured skin, is to know why it’s happening. There are both intrinsic and extrinsic factors that influence your skin texture, says Maiysha Jones, PhD, skin expert and principal scientist for Olay. “Intrinsic factors include things like genetics, hormones, inadequate hydration, age, and stress,” she says. “Extrinsic factors include things like climate, sun exposure, allergens, food and beverage choices, hygiene routine and personal care product choices.” 

Textured skin, which can be treated after learning how to get rid of textured skin
Alona Siniehina/Getty

Teresa Song, MD, board-certified dermatologist at Marmur Medical in New York City says, “textured skin can be caused by clogged or enlarged pores in acne prone skin, acne scarring, dryness and flaking in eczema or psoriasis, irritation bumps in sensitive skin, as well as just dead skin cell accumulation from unexfoliated skin.”

As you age, you may also see a change in your skin texture. That’s because as you age, your skin barrier becomes more compromised resulting in drier skin (aka xerosis). Dr. Song notes, “age related changes with loss of volume and moisture leads to wrinkles and can also contribute to textured skin.” And Heidi Prather, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Westlake Dermatology in Austin, Texas, also mentions that seborrheic keratosis can play a role. This is a “thick pigmented ‘age’ spots that feels like discrete, rough bumps or patches,” says Dr. Prather.

There are also other medical causes of changes in skin’s texture that are best to get checked by a dermatologist. This way a doctor is able to see what is going on with your skin. And it can lead to an early diagnosis and management of skin cancer and/or other treatable skin conditions.

For more on the causes of textured skin, watch the below video from the Doctorly YouTube channel.

How to get rid of textured skin at home

Tackling textured skin isn’t a one-size-fits-all scenario. Aya Ahram, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Hudson Dermatology and Laser Surgery in New York City, shares that once you determine the cause of your textured skin, whether it’s acne, scarring or something like rosacea, your game plan will change. You can treat your skin with over-the-counter products (more on this below!) and some DIY remedies.

For textured skin caused by dry skin

Sometimes, skin has an uneven texture simply due to dehydration and inadequate use of sunscreen, says Dr. Jones. Wearing SPF everyday and moisturizing the skin is a good first step toward a smooth and even skin barrier if the skin is simply dehydrated,” she says. Easy things that can help according to Dr. Jones are increasing water intake and using a moisturizing face or body wash. 

A great easy at-home solution for how to get rid to textured skin is olive oil, recommended by Dr. Prather. “Staring with over the counter olive oil can be an easy at home solution to adding hydration to baths or topically to your skin,” she says. “It is best to apply after showering or bathing when your skin is slightly damp for best absorption.”

Related: Skin Flooding: The Viral Trend Dermatologists Swear By + How to Get the Best Results

For textured skin caused by acne or acne scarring

Woman smiling and touching her face

If you’re dealing with acne, blackheads, whiteheads or acne scarring, treatment is a bit more complex. Jones recommends using “low pH ingredients like salicylic acid or glycolic acid can help encourage desquamation, the shedding of the skin’s outer layers, to reveal smooth and even skin beneath.” Dr. Ahram also suggests reaching for lactic acid because it will also help exfoliate skin and smooth out texture. 

For textured skin caused by rosacea

And for textured skin due to rosacea, Dr. Ahram recommends over the counter products with sulfur. Why? She says it “has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. You can also try products that have azelaic acid in it.” This “helps decrease inflammation in the skin and works as a very gentle exfoliant to smooth the skin.”

Related: Say Goodbye to Redness, Bumps & Irritation — Dermatologists Reveal How to Get Rid of Rosacea

For textured skin caused by fine lines or wrinkles

Retinols help increase skin cell turnover, which can smooth the texture of skin if you’re bothered by wrinkles (it can also help with acne too!). Nava Greenfield, MD, board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City, recommends using a prescription strength retinoid nightly which can also control enlarged pores and decrease sweat production. If you have sensitive skin, click through this story to learn how to use retinol for sensitive skin.

How to get rid of textured skin in office

In office procedures are another option for how to get rid of textured skin. Dr. Ahram suggests meeting with a board-certified dermatologist to discuss different treatment options such as microneedling, chemical peels and resurfacing lasers depending on your skin type. 

Laser treatments

Two of the most common laser treatments are Clear and Brilliant and Fraxel. They both “can improve roughness and texture of skin,” says Dr. Song. Clear and Brilliant can be done as needed and is around $500-$750 per session. Dr. Greenfield explains that Fraxel technology “improves skin texture with laser resurfacing and can smooth scars, uneven skin, wrinkles, lines, and irregularities.” Fraxel required 2-3 sessions that are one month apart and the price is approximately $1500 per treatment. 

Woman getting a laser treatment, which is one way for how to get rid of textured skin

Georgina Ferzli, MD, MS, FAAD is a board-certified dermatologist in New York City says that for acne scars, “energy in the form of light [lasers] or heat [radiofrequency] is needed to break down scar tissue and to promote new collagen renewal in a healthy pattern.” Which is why she recommends Morpheus8. “This radiofrequency-based treatment leads to more significant tightening/resurfacing because it targets collagen to a greater capacity.” These treatments usually require 4-6 sessions to achieve about 80-90% scar reduction. And the price per session ranges from $300-$1500.

Lastly, there are some no-downtime lasers that help tremendously to minimize pores like Laser Genesis, says Dr. Ferzli. These are done usually every other month throughout the year to continue minimizing pores, renewing collagen and promoting an even skin tone. The treatment takes about 15 minutes (with no downtime at all) and leaves you with a nice glow. And a treatment costs on average is $200-$500 per session. “Almost all of my patients are treated with Laser Genesis regularly to boost their skincare routines, maintain results from more aggressive treatments or simply maintain beautiful skin all year every year!”


For acne scarring and to fade wrinkles, microneedling can be very beneficial. “It creates micro zones of injury that your skin repairs by restructuring collagen and results in smoother skin,” says Dr. Greenfield. This treatment typically requires 2-3 sessions and the price is approximately $500-$750 per session.

Check out the below video from YouTuber and dermatologist Andrea Suarez, MD to learn more about microneedling as a way for how to get rid of textured skin.

Chemical peels

Woman getting a chemical peel
Aja Koska/Getty

A chemical peel uses a chemical solution (such as alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids, trichloroacetic acid or phenol) to remove the top layers of the skin. This reveals the smoother, younger-looking skin underneath. Peels also strengthen and tighten the skin by stimulating collagen production, says Dendy Engelman MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. “To maintain results, light peels can be done every one to four weeks and medium-depth peels every six to 12 months,” says Dr. Engleman. “After a peel, the skin is often sensitive, red, and irritated and can be flakey for two to three days after.” On average, chemical peels range from $200 (for a light peel) to $6,000 (for a deep peel).

In essence, getting to that smooth, glowy skin goal is all about mixing and matching strategies based on what your skin is up against. It’s a bit like being a skin detective, with a dash of patience and a lot of listening to what your skin is telling you. Whether it’s diving into the deep end with treatments or just tweaking your daily routine, there’s something for everyone.

The best products to use for how to get rid of skin texture

Keep scrolling to see the products that can also help remove unwanted texture on the face and body.

Best facial cleansers for textured skin

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Facial Wash
La Roche-Posay

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Facial Wash

A simple daily face wash for normal to oily or sensitive skin can make a difference in skin texture. Dr. Ahram loves this face wash because it gently cleanses skin of dirt, makeup, and impurities while maintaining skin’s natural moisture barrier and pH.

SkinFix 2% BHA Cleanser, which can be used for how to get rid of textured skin

SkinFix 2% BHA Cleanser

Another cleanser that Dr. Ahram loves is this one from SkinFix. The reason why? Its beta-hydroxy acids help remove dead surface skin cells and excess sebum for clear and smoother skin, stat.

Kate Somerville EradiKate Daily Cleanser
Kate Sommerville/Sephora

Kate Somerville EradiKate Daily Cleanser

Dr. Ahram suggests using this product if you have textured skin from rosacea. Antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties in this cleanser soothe skin while also making it smoother.

PRIMERA Organience BR Soft Peeling To Foam Cleanser, which can be used for how to get rid of textured skin

PRIMERA Organience BR Soft Peeling To Foam Cleanser

Mandy Epley, esthetician and owner of Mandy Epley Skin Studio, recommends using this cleanser in the morning as a fast way to slough off dead skin cells before applying other skin care or makeup. Its blend of active ingredients won’t irritate skin — plus, its phytobiotics actually ease any inflammation.

Best treatments for textured skin

innisfree Green Tea Enzyme 7% PHA Gentle Exfoliating Toner

innisfree Green Tea Enzyme 7% PHA Gentle Exfoliating Toner

After cleansing skin, Epley suggests swiping on this daily toner/exfoliant. Its enzymes from green tea visibly smooth and even out rough texture while hydrating skin at the same time.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads, which can be used for how to get rid of textured skin
First Aid Beauty/Ulta

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads  

For an easy way to exfoliate, Dr. Ahram recommends these pads. They contain both glycolic and lactic acids that gently slough off a build up of dead, dry skin cells on the surface of the face.

Best cleanser for textured body skin

Olay Skin Solutions Hydrating Body Wash with Salicylic Acid

Olay Skin Solutions Hydrating Body Wash with Salicylic Acid

Dermatologist-tested and made with a low pH, potent salicylic acid and a vitamin B3 complex, this multi-tasking body cleanser is one of Dr. Jones’ favorites. It exfoliates, cleanses and penetrates skin’s surface with moisture to reveal visibly smooth and even out body skin within 14 days.

Best lotion for textured body skin

Eucerin Roughness Relief Cream, which can be used for how to get rid of textured skin

Eucerin Roughness Relief Cream

Dr. Prather recommends adding in this urea-rich lotion to your skin care routine if you have textured skin on your body. The hydrating and skin-softening ingredient works especially well for rough skin on elbows or feet.

To see more products that can help with textured skin, check out the video video from YouTuber and medical esthetician Cassandra Bankson.

For more anti-aging skin care advice, click through these stories:

The Best Eye Creams That Fight Puffiness, Dark Circles, Wrinkles and More to Help You Look Younger

“I Tried Skin Cycling and Was Amazed at How Smooth and Glowing My Skin Looks Now”

Best Toners for Mature Skin That Make Your Complexion Look Younger + Smoother

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