Skin Care Tips for the Ages: Your Guide to Healthy Skin at Any Age
We all know we can look back 5 years and consider how much we’ve changed, so then why hasn’t our skincare routine changed since then too?
Often times we can get stuck in a “tried and true” method that worked so well we can’t bear to part with it, but as your skin changes, you need to give that routine an update. Changing skincare routines with age ensures that you’re maximizing products you pay for, addressing common problems, and (hopefully) preventing further issues down the line.
In your 20’s
You’re invincible, or so you think. In your early twenties maybe you can go a few nights without sleep, or skip the face washing before bed and still wake up looking fresh, but there’s a price to pay down the road. In your mid-20’s you already are beginning to lose collagen. And while your skin still probably looks great, now is the time to start a skincare routine that is simple and preventative.
-Use a gentle acne wash if you’re still combating acne (because adult acne is very common and very annoying). Over-drying is common and in your 20s many people tend to be too rough with their skin in the quest to eradicate those zits. Products and patience will be the best bet against zits. And no picking. Scarring and further irritation are the prices you pay for picking at your face, and they are much harder to resolve down the road.
-Start using SPF as soon as you can. Sun is your skin’s biggest enemy. And that’s not to say that you need to spend your days locked indoors, but being diligent now about sunscreen will make your 40 and 50-year-old self oh-so-very happy. Slathering on a moisturizer with an SPF of at least 30 every day will block skin-damaging rays and protect your collagen stores.
– Exfoliate, but gently. Try not to go overboard with the products. Your skin at this point has a natural moisture barrier to want to protect and maintain, and over-exfoliation or over-cleansing can leave your skin tight and dry, and even prone to more breakouts!
-In your late 20s, you can start adding in retinol to get a leg up on the aging process. Starting off with an over the counter option is a great option for your pocketbook, and for your skin if you’ve never used it. Since this ingredient can cause sensitivity and drying at first, start off with a night cream with retinol 2-3 times a week and build up until your skin tolerance has increased.
In your 30s
You might be starting to see fine expression lines (here’s to smiling and squinting!) and a change in texture. Your hormones are slowly decreasing so adding new products for cell rejuvenation and anti-aging benefits is a must.
-Don’t neglect your neck and chest. You can apply anti-aging products to the area as well to help prevent damage. Your chest protrudes slightly and is vulnerable to more sun exposure, and often left without SPF. Making sure to use sunscreen and extend some anti-aging moisturizer will help smooth the area and prevent more seamless aging between your face and neck/chest area in the upcoming years.
-Use eye cream. The eyes begin to show signs of aging because the skin in this region is so thin that it creases much easier than other parts of your face. Try using an eye cream with hyaluronic acid and vitamin infused to hydrate and nourish the undereye area. Eye products with caffeine are especially powerful at lightening and depuffing dark, tired eyes.
-Start having a day and night routine (if you don’t already have one). Make sure that your routine is tailored to your needs. Adding in specific ingredients for day and night will help target and prevent troublesome issues. Adding in higher strength retinol into your routine will aid in the cellular rejuvenation that will be key to aging gracefully.
-Start getting head to toe skin checks. A regular check-in with the dermatologist can help detect any early-onset skin issues or help resolve pesky skin issues that you haven’t been able to Google away. Once a year is ideal if you have no other skin concerns.
-Step up your exfoliation game by moving to more potent solutions or exfoliants. Options like chemical peels or microdermabrasion provide deeper exfoliation to promote collagen and elastin stimulation.
In your 40s and 50s
Hormonal changes are in full swing for most women at this time, either beginning the perimenopausal stage or menopause. You may be noticing gradual changes in your skin in your early to late forties. Dry skin may become oilier leading to breakouts or redness.
As estrogen falls in both stages collagen begins to deteriorate and fine lines and wrinkles usually become more prominent as the lipid layers below begin to decrease. During this time you should be continuing your anti-aging routine (which hopefully included SPF and all the other aforementioned habits!) and adding in moisture-boosting products.
-Opt for creamy moisturizers to hydrate and revive dull skin. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid to retain moisture and full of antioxidants for their nourishing properties. A night cream with a high concentration of retinol will help boost collagen and soften wrinkles and reduce sagging.
-Adding a peptide-rich serum or moisturizer can drastically improve the appearance of skin as it helps restore collagen loss. Peptides act as the building blocks to your skin’s collagen store and elastin fibers. All of this contributes to skin firmness and texture as it is an essential ingredient for skin health and function.
-At this time in your life, you can also try some more intense exfoliation measures to give your skin a boost. A few treatments of more intense chemical peels or a few microdermabrasion sessions can do wonders to help remove some of your more set-in wrinkles and fine lines. Just note that these should be done sparingly as they are not suitable for everyday maintenance.
For all ages
Lifestyle is vitally important to skin! All the cream, lotions, and potions won’t save tired, undernourished skin. Sleeping, healthy eating, and laying off excessive drinking can all help promote that outer glow. Smoking is just a big no-no, for so many obvious reasons.
Have we mentioned the use of sunscreen? Even if you spent years soaking up the sun with no protection, it’s never too late to start protecting your skin now. Not just for beauty, but for health too. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US, and prevention is key.
Managing stress can greatly improve your skin as well. Stress not only affects your behaviors, like how well you’re eating or sleeping, but it also releases cortisol which can throw off your hormones and cause your skin to react.
It’s important to update your skin routine and monitor what products are working and which need to go. Your skin will change based on the environment you’re in, your hormones and lifestyle, and it will adjust to the active ingredients you use. Keep an eye on how your skin reacts to products. Every 6 months to a year, review what you’re using and how effective it is to get the best results you can.