Still using that oil-free cleanser your mom gave you when you were 15? Then it’s time to re-think how you treat your skin!
When it comes to skin care, most of us fall into one of two categories. There are those of us who never change our routine, using the same harsh face wash and lightweight moisturizer from our high school days. (eeks) Then… there’s those who embrace treatments like Botox and acid peels before there’s even a wrinkle in sight.
Neither situation is ideal. But with a few simple updates, it’s easy to find the happy medium. To help, according to New York dermatologist Heidi Waldorf, MD, and Olga Lorencin, esthetician and co-owner of Kinara Spa in Los Angeles. Here is the scoop on what products are ideal for you in your 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s. Follow their advice for your best possible complexion at any age!
If you’re in your 20s …The issues you’re most likely facing are acne and possibly some discoloration from sun damage. The most important thing to do is to keep your skin protected with sunscreen — everyday. And “start protecting your neck, chest, and hands along with your face,” says Waldorf.
Your ideal regimen:
Step 1: Use a gentle foaming cleanser that will remove makeup and excess oil, but won’t dry out your skin.
Step 2: For day, use a light moisturizer that contains sunscreen, and provides UVA and UVB protection. Look for a product that contains either zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, avobenzone, or Mexoryl.
Step 3: If you get mild breakouts (not serious acne — your dermatologist should recommend the ideal treatment for that) use a spot treatment containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. And whatever you do, don’t pick — it can lead to long-lasting scars.
Step 4: If you are one to stay up all hours drinking, smoking, etc. you might want to kick start your anti-aging program now by applying a serum at night that contains Vitamin C. It’ll help fight the free radical damage your lifestyle is causing.
Step 5: At night, choose a basic light moisturizer if you need it. “You don’t want to play too much or you’ll over do it and your skin will get out of wack,” says Lorencin.
If you’re in your 30s …Discoloration caused by sun damage or melasma (aka the mask of pregnancy that can also be caused by birth control) are likely two of your biggest skin challenges. “At this point, you need to start exfoliating regularly because skin only exfoliates naturally every 35 days as opposed to every 14 in your 20s,” says Lorencin.
Your ideal regimen:
Step 1: If you used a foaming cleanser in your 20s, it’s time to switch to a non-foaming, non-drying cleanser.
Step 2: For day, before applying sunscreen use an antioxidant-rich moisturizer. “There is some evidence that antioxidants act synergistically with sunblock to help guard against photodamage,” says Waldorf. “They can also help reduce old damage,” she says.
Step 3: Add a retinoid to your regimen to help improve the overall texture and tone of your skin. The highest strengths of retinoids are prescription only, but over-the-counter retinol is a close second. Apply retinoids at night, and avoid putting them on your upper eyelids — they’ll be too irritating on your delicate eye area.
Step 4: If your skin feels like it needs additional moisture after applying a retinoid, use a basic hydrating cream that doesn’t contain additional Retinol. “You want to avoid over treating your skin,” says Waldorf.
If you’re in your 40s …In your 40s, the lines of movement between your brows and around your eyes and mouth don’t disappear like they did in your 30s. “Your estrogen level is tapering so your skin will become dryer,” says Lorencin. Overall you’ll need to add moisture and collagen-building ingredients like peptides.
Your ideal regimen:
Step 1: Cleanse using a basic non-foaming, non-drying cleanser in combination with a gentle face cleansing brush to help remove dead skin cells. Because you’ll use retinol regularly, you’ll need to get rid of any flaking skin.
Step 2: Use SPF daily to prevent further damage and choose a product that contains antioxidants to fight free radicals and help reverse some of the damage you already have.
Step 3: Retinoids and peptides are two ingredient groups that you should add into your routine if you haven’t already. Peptides can help rebuild collagen, especially when used in combination with skin texture-improving retinoids like retinol. To get both ingredients in one dose (and at one price), opt for a serum.
Step 4: Use a moisturizer that has a high level of glycerin or hyaluronic acid to help skin retain the moisture it needs.
If you’re in your 50s ...“Moisture, moisture, moisture,” says Waldorf, should be your main concern in your 50s. Loss of tone and sagging are your biggest issues and creams and serums can only do so much. If you’re looking for more dramatic results, in addition to using powerful products that contain peptides, retinoids, or alpha hydroxy or amino acids, consider talking to your derm about laser treatments and other non-evasive or evasive skin rejuvenation options if you haven’t already.
Your ideal regimen:
Step 1: Use a cream cleanser that will hydrate skin while it cleanses.
Step 2: Choose a moisturizing cream that contains SPF to keep skin hydrated and protected. Because ingredients like retinoids can make skin more sensitive to the sun, daily use of sunscreen is a must.
Step 3: For day, apply a peptide rich serum under your SPF daily to help build collagen. Look for one that also contains antioxidants to fight free radicals or hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture.
Step 4: For night, apply a retinoid like retinol before your moisturizer “Generally retinoids are applied at night because most lose potency with exposure to ultraviolet light,” says Waldorf.
Step 5: Though it sounds too simple (and inexpensive) to be true, a simple petroleum jelly is tops at sealing in moisture, which is more important now than ever. Apply it following any treatment serums.
DON’T BE AFRAID of change~ Because after all change is the only for-sure thing in life!
Live more~Age later!