Fabulous 20s, 30s, 40s… Finding the right skin care for every age
When it comes to skin care, most of us fall into one of two camps. There are those of us who never change our routine, using the same ill-suited face wash and moisturiser from our high school days. Then there’s the other group, who embrace treatments like Botox and acid peels before there’s a wrinkle in sight.
As we age, our skin changes. What worked in our 20s won’t do us any favour in our 30s or 40s. If the goal is to maintain a youthful, dewy glow well into our golden years, and look just as radiant every decade in between, we need to tailor our skin care regimen to the number of candles on our birthday cake. Here, how to put your best face forward at every age.
If you’re in your 20s
At this age, your goal is to preserve and protect. In your 20s, many of the skin issues you see come from carefree living (and neglect): partying on weekends, drinking too much, pulling all-nighters and basking in the sun without sunscreen. There might be lingering acne from the teen years as well. Hard living comes at a cost, though: fine lines can start to creep up in the second half of your 20s. To stave them off and counteract your skin sins, it’s important to start a consistent skin care routine that involves SPF.
First and foremost, keep skin looking young with judicious use of sunscreen ‘UV protection of at least 30’ year-round. Skin type matters, too, whether sensitive, dry, combination, normal or oily. Oily skin may not need a moisturiser on top of sunscreen in warmer months. Drier skin will benefit from a layer of rich, creamy moisturiser no matter what the weather.
If you’re in your 30s
Discolouration caused by sun damage or melasma (aka the mask of pregnancy that can also be caused by birth control), and fine lines are likely two of your biggest skin challenges. At this point, you need to start exfoliating regularly because skin only exfoliates naturally every 35 days as opposed to every 14 in your 20s.
Cell renewal and oil (sebum) production begin to slow. Expect to see the first signs of ageing, such as expression lines around eyes, on the forehead and between the nose and mouth, and freckles, the result of oxidative damage if you’ve had too much sun in your younger years. If you’ve taken care, however, you might not see these changes until your late 30s, so don’t panic and change everything on your 30th birthday.
If you’re in your 40s
In your 40s, expression lines between your brows and around your eyes and mouth don’t disappear like they did in your 30s. Your estrogen level is tapering so your skin will become dryer. The neck and décolleté area might start to look crepey as well. Overall you’ll need to add moisture and collagen-building ingredients like peptides. Now you definitely need to add active ingredients. It’s also a good time for eye cream.
SPF and antioxidants are still important to prevent further damage, and you may want to exfoliate a little more often, to prevent skin from looking dull. Tweak your existing regimen to target particular issues.
If you’re in your 50s
Moisture, moisture, moisture. This should be your main concern in your 50s. Loss of tone, hollow eyes and sagging are your biggest issues, and creams and serums can only do so much. If you’re looking for more dramatic results, in addition to using powerful products that contain peptides, retinoids, or alpha hydroxy or amino acids, consider talking to your dermalogist about laser treatments and other non-invasive or invasive skin rejuvenation options.
You definitely need retinoids if you want to hang on to collagen. It becomes a more important ingredient as you age. Collagen-building peptides are also key to help with sagging, as well as topical vitamin C. Moisture-boosting ingredients including hyaluronic acid and ceramides help skin retain the extra hydration it needs. And keep using that SPF regularly.