This Is What Your Skincare Regime Should Look Like At Every Age |
We all understand the importance of skincare, but a scrupulous routine is only half the battle. As we age, both the selection of products and how we use them should change according to our needs. To find out the best ways to switch it up, we asked two experts exactly what your regime should look like at every age.
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What You Should Be Doing In Your…20s

“In your 20s, you can get away with a simple, but non-clogging skincare routine,” explains cosmetic dermatologist, Dr Sam Bunting. “It’s not uncommon for people to still suffer with acne in their 20s, so keep routines as pared back as possible. This should start with a single, but effective cleanse, a hydrating moisturiser and at the end, a good SPF protection – really that’s all you need. Look for formulas including niacinamide, not only will this help to calm and support blemish-prone skin, it will recharge cells and boost ceramide production.” Elizabeth Barbalich, skincare expert and founder of Antipodes agrees: “Avoid harsh exfoliating scrubs too, as at this age, your skin doesn’t need it. If you want to get rid of dirt and dead cells, use polishes with gentler ingredients like jojoba beads and avocado oil. It’s also worth ensuring your moisturiser or serum has anti-pollution benefits – at this time of your life, protecting your skin from harmful, urban pollution and free radicals is key to prevent premature ageing.” 

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What You Should Be Doing In Your…30s

“This is the decade where early signs of ageing may start to appear due to collagen breakdown, so it’s time to take corrective as well as preventative steps,” adds Sam. “Early lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores are the most common concerns for this age-group. The best tweak you can make to your regime is a good-quality antioxidant serum. Try one like SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic layered underneath your SPF – it has the benefits of vitamin C which will protect skin daily, reverse early signs of sun damage and brighten, too. It’s also a good time to start using a retinoid to deal with early fine lines – this can either be in a serum or in your moisturiser, just make sure it’s a low percentage so you can ease yourself in gently.” Aside from actual products, celebrity facialist, Shani Darden recommends a round of LED, too. “It’s one of the best treatments you can try for anti-ageing. Boosting collagen and minimising fine lines, it also increases circulation for a healthy glow. If you’re acne-prone, seek out blue LED light – this kills acne causing bacteria, preventing both existing breakouts and future ones.”  

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What You Should Be Doing In Your…40s

“In your 40s, the skin becomes thinner with less elasticity, as collagen production starts to slow right down,” advises co-founder of Codage Paris, Julien Azencott. “Common signs of ageing include dryness, fine lines and dark spots. To combat this, restock your regime with products that include key ingredients like vitamin C, E, green tea and grape seed – all of which are powerful antioxidants that can help stimulate and increase elastin production. It’s important to find a gentle cleanser that contains niacinamide too, as you’ll still get a deep cleanse, without irritating or stripping the skin. As for moisturiser, make sure you’re using one with peptides, as these help to prevent and reduce the appearance of fine lines. At this stage, you should also be using a heavy-duty night cream. Night-time is when our skin switches to repair mode, and at this time of your life, it’s the easiest way to combat common signs of ageing fast.” 

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What You Should Be Doing In You…50s

“This is the decade when the menopause becomes a big factor,” says Sam. “As much as 30% of our collagen is lost in just five years. Add that to significant sun exposure, and it will be magnified even further. With this in mind, there are a few essential steps I recommend, but first and foremost, go gentle. Skin will become drier, so it’s more prone to sensitivity – if you’ve been using scrubs, brushes and foaming cleansers without consequence in your 30s and 40s, it’s time to rethink. It’ll also be that much harder to get meaningful levels of actives going if you’re already using up your skin’s ‘irritation reserve’ in these non-impactful steps. So, strip things back to a basics to support your skin’s delicate barrier with a gentle cleanse, moisturise and serum. Secondly, protect your elastin with daily SPF use, seeking shade and covering up whenever possible. Finally, amp up your antioxidants in your regime. These are the skin’s ultimate back-up team – when UV and pollution sneak past your best efforts to prevent them affecting your skin, your antioxidants are the final frontier of defence. Again, I like vitamin C, as it’s well-tolerated and can be used on the neck and chest as well, but look out for ceramides too as these will keep skin plump and hydrated.”

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What You Should Be Doing In Your…60s+

“In your 60s, lack of elasticity is often visible both in the face and the neck, due to thinner skin and weaker muscles,” says skincare expert and Clinical Director at iS Clinical, Dr. Charlene Dehaven. “Now is the time to up your hydration. Look for products containing high levels of hyaluronic acid and natural oils to soften fine lines and erase any dry patches. Moisturisers should ideally contain collagen-boosting peptides and/or a vitamin C to boost the skin’s overall radiance. Try and include a strong active at this time of your life, too, such as a retinol in serum-form to penetrate deeply into the skin, supporting collagen production and improving plumpness.” It’s not just your face that needs focusing on either: “Hands and the neck are also important in this decade,” advises Sam. “Get into the habit of wearing sunscreen as hand cream every day – this will prevent brown spots and skin thinning. Make sure you’re also running your products right down to your décolleté to prevent any signs of prolonged UV exposure from appearing.” 

Products Needed For Your Routine:

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