No matter your age, there are common skincare habits for achieving and maintaining healthy, radiant skin.
All of us should be avoiding the sun, smoking, and a poor diet. Staying hydrated, active, and well rested are just a handful of smart habits. If you are twenty, your skincare product needs will look different than your mothers, and vice versa.
The following is my esthetic opinion of suggested skin care tips and not meant to be a blanket one size fits all consultation. Everyone has unique skin with individual needs.
In your Twenties:
A time when cell turnover is high, hormones usually work in your favor and your skin is more oily than dry. Now is not the time to invest in expensive anti-aging products and exfoliation is not as necessary. I didn’t say unnecessary, but no need to overdo it.
Enjoy this time when your skin cells are operating at maximum turnover and you are wrinkle free. Take pictures often, most likely you’ll hit 50 and wonder why you were so self critical.
If you are dealing with acne and excessive oiliness, you will have different needs and working with an esthetician will greatly benefit you.
Your mantra should be Prevention, Prevention, and Prevention!
This is the time to get in a routine and develop lifelong habits, unless you are the rare breed that already started in your teens. Do a quick Google search of sun damage and ask yourself if you can live with what you see.
If you do not want to look like beef jerky when you’re older, start preventing it now! The sun and its UV rays have the biggest impact on how your skin looks in later years. Be diligent with applying and reapplying sunscreen. This is not a once a day deal, it’s every couple hours. Spray on sunscreen has made this much easier to achieve. Do not take up smoking, unless you want your lips to look like prunes later in life.
I’m not a fan of Botox and fillers in your 20s. You’re still figuring out who you want to be, don’t let society tell you to look a certain way. And don’t feel pressured that if you don’t do it now you’ll have deep wrinkles later. You still have plenty of time, especially if you are taking good care of your skin. Besides, that stuff is expensive!
Your money would be better spent on travel, investing in your future, or saving for retirement.
In a nutshell, your skincare routine in your 20s should look something like:
Cleansing, toning, occasional gentle exfoliation, antioxidants (think Vitamin C) and a light moisturizer, and plenty of sun protection. Include your neck and chest in everything you do, you’ll thank me later. If you can afford it, monthly or seasonal facials is wise especially if you are prone to breakouts.
In Your Thirties:
This is a time that premature aging can start to show up, especially if you weren’t kind to your skin while living it up in your 20s. Genetics can also play a huge role in premature aging. It’s most likely a busy time so making sure you are doing the minimum (cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer) nightly is wise. No matter how busy or tired you are please do not go to bed without properly cleansing your face.
You are still doing all the things recommended in your 20s, but now it’s time to step up your game! While everyone’s skin is different and serums and exfoliation will vary by your particular skin needs, everyone should be paying attention to the eye area and decollete. “Prevention is better than the cure” is painfully true.
Speaking of prevention, this would be the time to consider Botox to prevent crows feet and “11” between the brows, but only if you think deep lines will bother you! I’m not saying you need to do this, only if these things will bother you later. Now is the time to be proactive, although I waited until my forties.
You want to start investing in high quality serums that target your specific concerns. Serums are where you get the most bang for your buck. You’ll want to use antioxidants such as Vitamins A, C, and E, alpha lipoic acid, punicic acid, or grapeseed, to name a few. You may also want to start using a gentle retinol product. Again it depends on your skin.
To protect your investment, you need to be diligent with sun protection, all day every day.
If you are showing signs of premature aging professional treatments along with diligent home care will help greatly. If you can’t afford monthly treatments, at least have a skin analysis to see which products are recommended for your skin needs and try to have a facial seasonally.
In Your Forties, Fifties and Beyond:
Like everything else, slow is the word. Cell turnover is not as fast, and skin can look dull and sluggish. Now is the time that exfoliation is your friend, but don’t overdo it. Here in America especially, there is quite an epidemic of over exfoliated skin.
Collagen and elastin production has slowed down and the skin may not feel as firm. And if you are still in your 20s and reading the whole post, this is why you stay your butt out of the sun!
The sun is the biggest culprit in breaking down your collagen which is why we develop jowls.
It’s a time where we discover the cruel irony of experiencing hormonal breakouts and wrinkles at the same time. Something just seems unfair about that!
We live in an exciting time for skincare products to do more than just lay on the skin. There are some amazing high performance serums out there. Look for serums with one or more of the following: niacinamide, antioxidants, retinol, peptides and beta glucans. If you are unsure what your skin needs treat yourself to a skin analysis.
If you are a pale girl, you may notice your skin appearing more thin and fragile. The thickness of your skin can decrease about 6% every 10 years. If your heritage is anywhere from Mediterranean to African, pale people are just a little envious at your ability to hold the line! For all of us, hormonal pigmentation usually starts rearing its ugly head.
We are the generation that grew up on baby oil and Coppertone SPF 4. This is the time that those previous days in the sun begin to show up. If pigmentation is an issue, lightening serums and laser treatment are your best bets. While hydroquinone is the gold standard for lightening I find it to be very harsh. First, start with a gentler lightener.
The older we get the more we deal with dryness. Adding a facial oil or a hydrating essence can help as well as finding the right moisturizer.
Don’t be shy to ask for a sample. I’m a big believer in “try before you buy.” If you live where the weather is brutal a moisturizing balm can help seal everything in but make sure to double cleanse at night. You want cleansers that leave the skin feeling clean and soft not tight or squeaky clean. Avoid foaming, gritty cleansers that can strip your skin’s moisture.
Some hydrating ingredients in a moisturizer to look for are: Ceramides, Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Sphingolipids, and Shea Butter. This is not an all inclusive list and there are many others, these are just more common and easily found.
When dealing with the effects of aging skin the sky’s the limit in terms of professional treatments. From microcurrent to microneedling with PRP there are some effective non invasive procedures and they just keep getting better.
This is a time when some women make the decision to start more invasive treatments. If you are thinking of going that route, please seek out a Board Certified facial plastic surgeon and read this first The Dos and Don’ts of Talking About Botox, this is not the time for Groupon. As hormones change facial hair becomes a whole new ballgame.