SKINCARE AT EVERY AGE
You don't need us to tell you that your skin is changing as you get older.
A quick look in the mirror will do that! Every decade, a slew of new sags and wrinkles make their mark. We're here to put anti-aging skin care in perspective and help you beat brown spots, combat crow's feet, tackle "turkey neck," and more.
Sun exposure is the single greatest influence on skin's condition. The more your skin is exposed to sun, the earlier it ages — and the more vulnerable you are to skin cancer. Wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or higher is a must — every day, all year long.
Smoking and drinking also sabotage your skin — not to mention your overall health. Smoking guarantees premature aging: crow's feet, sagging, uneven tone, and those telltale vertical lines above the upper lip. It also increases the effects of UV sunlight, so smokers also have higher rates of skin cancer. (Luckily, when you quit smoking, your skin begins to repair itself immediately). Alcohol dehydrates and leaves skin dry, dull, wrinkled, and can also cause redness, puffiness, and breakouts.
Skin usually looks best in your 20s, with a smooth, "plumped up" texture, even tone, and youthful radiance — although fine lines, dark circles, bags, and uneven pigmentation can appear. If your 20s are a blur of beach vacations, late nights, and smoke-filled rooms, don't worry — we'll explain how to treat your complexion decade by decade so you can have beautiful skin for life.
In Your 30s
A fine line appears near your upper lip. Your eyes are puffy, and you swear you never noticed that brown spot before. Your skin is drier, and you look like you could use a good night's sleep.
It's because collagen and elastin, skin's building blocks, are weakening, leading to loss of volume. Oil production is decreasing, and that brown spot is the result of all those beach vacations. Your lips are losing collagen and showing wrinkles.
What To Do
Apply hydrating serums and creams while skin is still damp from cleansing to boost moisture. Use an anti-aging retinol serum daily to stimulate new-cell production and help fade dark spots. Switch to a richer moisturizer with hyaluronic acid to help prevent wrinkles and give skin a smoother look.
Smooth on a firming eye cream containing peptides. Buff away dulling dead cells with a scrub containing soothing sweet almond oil, and use a product with powerhouse Vitamin C to brighten and boost collagen.
In Your 40s
Someone calls you ma'am for the first time. Spots, blotches, and a rougher texture from past sun damage are really visible now. Cell turnover and oil production continue to decrease.
Remember when your dryness, dark spots, and puffy eyes first appeared? Well, don't look now, but they're worse! Skin is less elastic, so your eyes look a little sunken, and there's sagging around the jawline. You can see wrinkles on your chest and neck— the dreaded turkey neck! And these days, there's jowly "tech neck" from looking down at your handheld device.
What To Do
Use a mild, creamy cleanser, plus serums and moisturizers rich in antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, peptides, and coconut fruit extract. Too sensitive for a retinoid every night? Apply one every other night. Choose moisturizing masks containing ice plant stem cells. Exfoliate regularly, and use brightening products containing ginseng root and purslane extracts to give skin a tighter, more even-toned appearance.
Your neck and décolletage need extra TLC. Extend facial skincare products down to these sensitive areas, and twice a day use a neck and chest cream containing jojoba esters to hydrate and boost elasticity, plus hyaluronic acid to combat lines, dullness, and discoloration.
In Your 50s and Beyond
Skin-cell turnover has decreased by 50 percent. Skin is becoming thinner and holds less water, which, combined with decreasing oil production, can result in excessively dry skin, increased sensitivity, and greater susceptibility to environmental damage.
Lines and wrinkles are becoming more visible, wrinkles are becoming folds, and skin may be turning crepe-y. Brown spots on the face, arms, and hands are more prominent. Skin is loosening, and eyes may look more hooded.
What To Do
Moisturizing, firming, and maintaining an even tone are still your main skincare goals, but if your skin is becoming more sensitive, you may have to cut down on exfoliating and retinoid use. Look for a milder moisturizing retinoid with an emollient base or one containing hyaluronic acid.
Choose a mild, creamy cleanser that won't strip skin. If you're extra dry and cleansed before bed, just rinse your face with cool water the next morning.
Use thick, ultra-rich hydrators containing hyaluronic acid, masks with moisturizing orchid stem cells and CoQ10, and antioxidant serums. Drink plenty of water. Switch to a heavier sun protection cream (with an SPF of 50 or higher). Try a product that reflects light and blurs the look of imperfections.
Even though there's no such thing as a fountain of youth, there really is hope in a jar. Thanks to continuing advances in skincare, it's easier than ever to achieve and maintain a more youthful look no matter what your age.