By Laura Casewell
As experts tell us all too often, looking after your skin is unfortunately not a one-size-fits-all process. We start to see the early signs of ageing in our late twenties, but as each decade passes the skin changes, and so too must your skincare routine. Of course, we’re all different, and some of us age faster than others thanks to genetics and lifestyle, but there are some basic skin principles that can help you look as young as you feel.. Whatever your age.
The lowdown: For most of us, the very early signs of ageing begin to show from 25 onwards. Your late twenties are a transitional phase when it comes to skin care. While the days of relying on face wipes as a ‘regime’ are likely behind you, you’re too young for the rich moisturisers that address more advanced ageing issues.
The plan: Now is the time to embark on a skincare regime that includes cleansing and moisturising with creams rich with retinol and vitamin E. Coming home late from a night out and going to bed with your makeup on is the sure fire way to wake up with spots and dehydrated skin. It’s important to make sure that you care for your skin in your late twenties with the right products to help keep it looking smooth and youthful as you enter your thirties. Sunscreen is vital in reducing the chances of sun damage which can lead to premature ageing later in life.
The lowdown: In your early-mid thirties you enter a phase dermatologists call pre-ageing. At this stage, you may begin to notice lines around your eyes and mouth, or dark spots from sun damage. Your skin may find it harder to recover and rehydrate, and the natural ‘glow’ you had during your twenties has dulled.
The plan: While the term “pre-ageing” may fill you with dread, it isn’t all bad news as long as you’re using the right products. Investing in a suitable nightly over-the-counter retinol cream means you can save prescription retinoids like Retin-A for later in life. Retinol increases cell cycle turnover, helping to promote collagen and decreasing the size of your pores. And, because retinol helps shed pore-clogging dead skin, it can help clear up the adult acne that you may be facing at this stage in life.
The lowdown: During your forties the skin starts to ‘thin out’ and lose its elasticity, which is why you may notice some sagging of the skin around the neck and décolletage. Over time your skin tends to retain less moisture, and as a result it can look dull and uneven in tone comparatively to your thirties.
The plan: Anti-ageing skin care in your forties is especially important because these are the years of perimenopause – the period leading up to menopause – when the levels of oestrogen in your body begin to decline. A proactive approach to anti-ageing skin care in your forties can help to remedy some of the damage that’s already been done, and protect against any more occurring. A good way to hydrate your skin at this stage is to use a collagen-boosting moisturiser that contains hyaluronic acid; an ingredient that attracts water.
The lowdown: As you enter your fifties it’s important to re-evaluate your skin care routine. If you’ve been diligent about your skin care routine up until this point, you may find yourself with well hydrated skin and only be worried about age spots or fine lines. If you’ve not treated your skin well you may be in the middle of a wrinkle crisis.
The plan: At this age, your cell turnover is much slower so you may have dryness in your skin, and your pores may be more visible on your nose and cheeks. To keep dry skin in the best condition possible, it’s important to use cleansers that won’t zap your skin of moisture, and to exfoliate on a weekly basis. Most importantly, you’ll need to keep skin hydrated throughout the day. Invest in skincare that can help to rebuild your collagen and elastin levels, which can improve the visible appearance of your skin. Remember, it’s never too late to protect against sun-damaged skin. Sunscreen should still be a part of any skin care regime.
The lowdown: In our sixties our skin is loose and sagging thanks to skin cells having 30 per cent less natural moisture compared to thirty years ago. The skin’s noticeably drier, thinner, tighter and flakier, plus age spots are now showing up. Wrinkles are found around the eyes and lips, and maintenance rather than prevention is the generally the priority.
The plan: Women in their sixties are now spending an average of £235 every year on skincare alone, which is higher than any other age group. Sagging skin is the main problem after you leave your fifties but a combination of good skincare can help. Start by using a gentle non-drying cleanser on your face and neck, followed by a daily moisturiser and an anti-ageing night cream. And of course, exfoliate!
Remember, no lotion or potion replaces looking after yourself from the inside. Whatever your age, ensure you drink at least 2 litres of water a day. This not only hydrates your skin but also helps to flush toxins from the body, leading to less blemishes and a brighter, clearer skin tone. Don’t forget that your diet affects your overall skin health too, so try to curb your sugar and alcohol intake which can cause dehydrated, dull-looking skin.