By Emily Smith
Your skin goes through a lot in a day, so think about how much your skin goes through in a lifetime! With that in mind, knowing that your body will go through changes as you age, it’s inevitable that your skin will too.
As I mentioned in my previous your article, How To Make Your Own Skincare Routine, I outlined the different skin types that exist and the importance of knowing your skin type to be able to create your own, personalised regime. But I did mention that skin types change – especially as you age and that to accommodate this, changes in your routine must be made.
There are different types of aging – “Intrinsic” and “Extrinsic” aging. Intrinsic aging is the maturing of your skin that is determined by genetics, some people continue to produce collagen for a lot longer than others and this will impact upon the elasticity and the plumpness of your skin. Extrinsic aging then are signs of the aging process that are caused by external, environmental and lifestyle factors. This type of aging is what can be prevented and reduced by that wonderful skincare routine.
Here I talk about the changes you will want to make, products you will want to add/switch to as your skin matures through the decades. This is not a one-size-fits-all list, just a helpful guide of what products you could use when you begin noticing those changes to your skin.
When you’re in your 20s –
Not a lot needs to be done to your skin when you’re just emerging from your pubescent stage. If you had acne or oily skin as a teen, keeping up with a facial wash day and night to keep your skin clean and fresh will be important – a weekly exfoliation session will also be useful! If you have acne scars, maybe an acne scar treatment will alleviate the appearance of those blemishes now that your skin type is settling.
But we all still get spots, so treat those with Tea Tree oil or Witch Hazel or use a toner or serum with salicylic acid which prevents breakouts.
I am an advocate for preventative aging, so if you can, establishing a routine in your 20s will help. Start with a routine for the day and night. It doesn’t need to be extensive, for the morning: a facial wash, cleanser, toner, moisturiser, and sunscreen, for the night: a facial wash, a double cleanse (of a balm followed by a cream), a toner and a night cream will suffice. It’s always important to take off the day so remove any makeup!
If you’re like me, you may be thinking of adding a serum to help lock-in your youth already in yours 20s.
Vitamin C is something that young skin needs to retain that youthful glow, so enhancing your skin’s exposure to a Vitamin C source is important. Try a Vitamin C toner and/or a Vitamin C serum to help with this.
Hyaluronic acid and a Niacinamide serum too are a great addition to your routine too.
My advice when you’re young though is not to overcomplicate your routine with expensive products that you’re skin simply does not need (or that you can afford). Don’t get swept up in the fads around the skincare regime, but please, please don’t forget to wear your sunscreen or apply a moisturiser with SPF in it – the sun is the biggest contributor to the ageing process so protect that skin now!
When you’re in your 30s –
Keep that routine you’ve already established from your 20s – it’s your foundation. Keep Hyaluronic acid and Niacinamide serums in your routine, but when you reach your 30s, it’s time to add to those preventative methods. Now, anti-ageing products will need to be mixed in with your regime.
The best product to mix into your routine now are retinol and pro-collagen products.
Retinol is quite a pesky little product and needs to be used with care. Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A, it is a powerful solution designed to refine the pores, reduce dark spots and prominent wrinkles, balance out the skin’s texture and protect the skin from external aggressors.
But retinoids can make the skin more sensitive to UV radiation, so make sure you use that sunscreen!
One last tip, allow your skin to adjust to retinol – don’t use it every day straightaway as it can be harsh, especially to sensitive skin.
When you’re in your 40s –
Antioxidants are the things you need to introduce to your skin regime now. Antioxidants help prevent external damages from pollutions and UV that causes inflammation, uneven skin tone and of course, ageing.
Vitamin C (or ascorbic acid) is something you should introduce if you hadn’t already done so as it boosts collagen production and fades dark spots. Squalane too will help to reduce UV damage and stop the formation of age spots whilst counteracting harmful bacteria.
Camellia Sinensis, a White Tea Leaf Extract is a little secret miracle when it comes to protecting and rejuvenating the skin. It is enriched with polyphenols, a derivative of Vitamin A that will counteract the breakdown of collagen, elastin, and Hyaluronic Acid in the skin.
It will leave you with a beautifully plump complexion.
When you’re in your 50s and beyond -
In your 50s you’ll really want to focus on hydrating the skin. All that inevitable sun damage over the years will dry out your skin, leaving it looking dull and lack-lustre. Give up products that are adding to drying your skin, e.g. salicylic acid that is used to fight spots.
Look for products with peptides in them. Peptides make up proteins, and there are proteins in the basic makeup of our skin thus peptides can reinforce protein content in the body, build up skin elasticity and resist the signs of ageing.
Finally, keep up with that retinol – it will help!