I’m known among friends and family as being skin care obsessed and it’s something that I embrace proudly. As far as I’m concerned my skin and I are going to be here together for the long haul, so why not take care of it to my best possible ability? Often we fail to fully appreciate the value of a proper skincare routine when we’re young because at this age our skin is still arguably perfect. But as we age and by the time we start to see the damage creeping up on our face, it may be too late to do anything to completely revert them.
It also goes without saying that like clothes, we need to make sure that our skin care routine is suitable for our age. What worked for us in our 20s won’t do us any favours in our 30s and beyond. In today’s post I’m going to give you the lowdown on the skin care routine you should be adopting in your 20s through to your 50s and further, to make sure you maintain a youthful, healthy radiant skin into your golden years.
In your 20s, your skin care goal should be to protect and preserve your youthful complexion. At this age most skin issues are a result of carefree living and neglecting to take care of your skin properly; too much drinking, staying up late at night, sun-bathing without applying adequate sun protection etc. Some people may still have breakouts in their 20s, while some may start to see fine lines creeping up during the second half of their 20s.
Ideal skin care routine:
- Double cleanse with a foaming cleanser or gentle cleansing gel, which will remove makeup and excess oil but won’t dry out the skin.
- For daytime, use light moisturiser that contains SPF with UVA and UVB protection. Alternatively you can also use a broad spectrum SPF on top of your lightweight moisturiser. Using adequate sun protection is something you should NEVER skip, regardless of the weather.
- If you live in a busy city with high level of pollustion, or like to stay up late at night partying and drinking, make sure to use an Antioxidant serum to counteract the damage. Apply serum at night, which contains antioxidant ingredients such as Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid), Grape Seed extract, Pomegranate extract (Ellagic acid).
- If you still get the occasional breakouts, use a spot treatment containing Salicylic Acid, which also help exfoliate the skin to prevent future clogged pores.
- If you have dry skin, add hyaluronic acid (which helps retain significant level of moisture to your skin) to your moisturiser or use moisturiser that contains hyaluronic acid.
Expect to see the first signs of ageing; fine lines, expression lines around your eyes, on the forehead and between the nose and mouth. Discolouration may also start to appear if you’ve had too much sun in your younger years. In your 30s, cell renewal and oil (sebum) production begin to slow down, and you may notice your skin becomes drier. At this point you should also start to exfoliate more regularly because your skin will only exfoliate naturally every 35 days as opposed to every 14 days when you were in your 20s.
Ideal skin care routine:
- Use a cleanser that offers more than the ones you use in your 20s. A cleansing balm is recommended at this point to maintain your skin’s hydration. You should also look at a formula that removes makeups and slightly exfoliates at the same time.
- Start using an eye cream (if you haven’t already) both day and night to hydrate the skin around the eyes, keeping it supple and less prone to fine lines.
- For daytime, use an anti-oxidant rich serum or moisturiser follow by a broad spectrum sunscreen. According to research, antioxidants act synergistically with sunscreen to help guard against photo damage. In proper concentrations and when mixed with the right ingredients, antioxidants protect skin from free radicals (which attack collagen production) and can even undo some of the damage that’s already been done.
- At night add Retinoid (which include retinol and alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), such as glycolic acid) to your skin care routine to help increase cell turnover and improve the overall texture and tone of your skin. Retinoids and AHAs can make your skin extra sensitive to sunlight so make sure you are diligence with sunscreen.
The 40s can bring a big change. Cells turnover and collagen production slow down even further and skin starts to thin as elastin and moisture level drops. This results in drier skin with reduced firmness and bounce. Express lines between your brows, around your eyes and mouth may also seem more pronounced. Overall it is important for you to add moisture and incorporate collagen-building ingredients like peptides into your skincare routine.
Ideal skin care routine
- Cleanse using a non-foaming, non-drying cleanser. A cleansing balm or a cleansing oil is highly recommended at this stage, and can be used with a gentle face cleansing brush or cleansing cloth to help exfoliate and remove dead skin cells.
- Use broadspectrum SPF daily without fail to avoid further damage to the skin.
- At this point you need to add active antioxidant ingredients to your skin care routine to fight free radicals and help reverse some of the damage you already have. To counteract dull skin, use a quality vitamin C serum if you aren’t already. Salicylic and glycolic acids are also great at boosting radiance.
- Retinoid and peptides should be added to your routine at this point, if haven’t already. Peptides help rebuild collagen especially when used in conjuction with skin texture-improving retinoids.
- Use a richer moisturiser with high level of hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides (contains fatty acids) to help skin retains moisture and improve firmness and radiance by slightly plumping up the skin. Hyaluronic acid and ceramides can offset the slowdown of sebum production and temper any dryness that might result from increased exfoliation.
50 something and beyond
Hormonal changes and a drop in estrogen levels will significantly reduce hydration and collagen production in your 50s+. The main concerns are loss of moisture, elasticity, bounce and radiance, as well as deeper wrinkles. As creams and serums can only do so much, in addition to using products with powerful ingredients (retinoids, peptides, alpha hydroxy, amino acids), consider speaking to your dermatologise about laser treatments and other non-invasive or invasive skin rejuvenation options.
Ideal skin care routine
- Use a cream, balm or oil cleanser that will hydrate skin while cleanses.
- Use a moisturiser that contains broad spectrum SPF or use SPF over a moisturiser. Because ingredients like retinoids can make skin more sensitive to the sun, daily use of sunscreen is a must.
- For daytime, use a peptide-rich serum under your moisturiser to help build collagen. Use a moisturiser that contains antioxidants to combat free radicals and/or hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture.
- At night, apply retinoid before your moisturiser. At this point retinoid is a ‘must’ if you want to hang on to collagen. You may want to use a moisturiser that contains phytoestrogens to help with hormonal aging, or skin care products that contains epidermal growth factor (EGFs), which can help regenerate collagen and elastin (e.g. Stacked Skincare EGF Activating Serum, and Rodial Bee Venom moisturiser).
- Finally this may seem too simple to be true but using Vaseline (petroleum jelly) is a great way to lock in moisture from your skin care products and moisturiser. At this point it is more important than ever to try and retain as much skin moisture level as possible. Petroleum jelly prevents water loss but doesnt attract moisture so you still need to use moisturiser underneath.