Are you so loyal to your skincare products that you’re using the same cleanser and moisturizer as you were ten years ago? Or maybe you’re so confused by the hundreds of new anti-aging products launched each year that it’s easier to stick to what you know?
As the body’s largest organ, skin changes over the years and certain changes are specific to each decade. With this in mind, it’s time to hear how the experts recommend tweaking our skincare and anti-aging regimes so we look—and feel—our best through every decade.
In Your 20s
What’s happening? Skin is settling down from its troubled years, and apart from the odd breakout or specific concerns, it will be firm with good elasticity thanks to an abundance of collagen and elastin. Skin also is more susceptible to external factors so now is the best time to minimize sun exposure and quit smoking.
Our Expert Says: “Sun damage plays a major role in adding years to the complexion and can cause anything from pigmentation to thinning of the skin, leading to premature fine lines and wrinkles so a daily SPF is a must. It’s also advisable to stay away from the ultimate age-inducing habit, which is smoking. The earlier you give it up, the better your skin will look in the future,” says Dr. Rita Rakus, a London aesthetic physician.
To Prevent: Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 40 ($32), a protective day cream infused with skin-nourishing argan oil to repair and protect skin; Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector SPF 42 ($30) for a shine-free finish that’s super-smooth to apply without any white-lightening streaks.
To Treat: For a deep clean, Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub ($6.39) is suitable for sensitive skins and La Roche Posay Physiological Micellar Solution ($20.99) removes make-up and impurities without dragging or irritating skin.
In Your 30s
Lifestyle habits from years ago will have caught up with your complexion so you might be noticing the first signs of fine lines around the mouth and eye area. Skin will be drier, too, due to lower levels of hyaluronic acid in the skin (the compound that keeps skin moisturized and plump). You may also experience pigmentation problems as a result of sun damage, pregnancy, lifestyle stress, or hormonal fluctuations.
To Prevent: Kate Somerville Quench Hydrating Face Serum ($65) is an intense moisture treatment for dry skins in need of an all-day glow. Sue Devitt Microquatic Lactic Renewal Facial Peel ($62) beautifully exfoliates and smoothes skin in just three minutes with marine extracts, not scratchy scrub particles. Use as a once-a-week treatment.
To Treat: “For new patients, Pellevé is a radio frequency treatment that differs from others because it can be used to treat lines on very delicate areas of skin such as around the eyes and neck line. It’s very effective and there is no downtime,” says Dr. Rakus.
In Your 40s
What’s happening? Skin is starting to lose its youthful bounce as collagen fibers (the proteins that act as the skin’s scaffolding) start depleting. About one percent of your collagen fibers disappear every year after the age of 25, which is why 40-something skin starts to look visibly less taut. As the dermis gets weaker, it’s also less able to fight off wrinkle formation.
Our Expert Says: “As well as a drop in collagen production, we also lose a lot of volume in our face due to fat loss under the skin, which means the fine lines and wrinkles we had in our 30s may deepen. You may also see a general loss of vibrancy,” says Dr.Rakus.
To Prevent: In vitro testing shows that the stem cell extract in Dr. Levy Intense Stem Cell Booster Serum (430 CHF) stimulated dermal stem cells, and works for all skin types. UK-based beauty acupuncturist Maggie Brown offers clients freshly-blended oils for deep skin nourishment through high-grade, organic oils (from £33).
To Treat: “Hyaluronic acid fillers are the cosmetic doctor’s choice for correcting the signs of aging from the loss of volume and collagen breakdown,” says Dr. Robin O’Reilly, an American practicing aesthetic medicine in the UK. She also recommends Intense Pulse Light (IPL) facials to counteract pigmentation problems and changes in skin texture by stimulating cell renewal and the deeper rejuvenation of collagen.
Top Tip: To ensure a safe and reputable treatment, IPL and laser treatments (including hair removal) should be done or supervised by a dermatologist, GP or plastic surgeon who has undertaken additional training in the procedure.
In your 50s
What’s happening? With falling levels of estrogen and progesterone during menopause, skin’s physiology changes dramatically: sebaceous glands start producing less and less oil so skin becomes much drier and more delicate. A reduction in muscle mass means cheeks lose their pillowy fullness and skin starts to slacken.
Our Expert Says: “Estrogen is integral to normal re-generating functions of the skin as it directly affects the production of collagen and elastin; it’s important for skin protection as it controls melanocytes, which are involved in skin color. It also helps to regulate hair production and the oil producing sebaceous glands and attracts and stores water in the dermis,” explains Debbie Thomas, Advanced Skin Treatment Specialist at Hari’s, London.
To Prevent: IOMA Youth Booster (£149) is an intense moisture treatment with a built-in LED device that indicates how much product skin needs each time you apply. SkinCeuticals Redness Neutralizer ($66) interrupts the inflammation process to combat redness from rosacea as well as protecting skin’s barrier from environmental damage.
To Treat: “Professional treatments including controlled peeling and laser rejuvenation will boost skin’s general health, radiance and appearance, and can target very specific concerns like rosacea, broken veins, and pigmentation. However, treatments are dependent on the equipment and skills and experience of the practitioner; nothing is a miracle or overnight wonder cure,” explains Thomas.