There’s a moment when you stand in front of the mirror and notice a change in your skin. It might be the first time you start to see a shift but it definitely won’t be the last. Just like the transitions in our lives, our skin also evolves right along with us. Here is an easy guide to skin care at any age and things to consider in an effort to maintain optimal skin health.
In our twenties, one may start to see changes. Small bumps may appear and one may notice that their skin is becoming oilier and acne-prone. This is often the time when people begin an actual skin care routine, perhaps for the first time. Starting with the basics, be sure to cleanse your skin twice-a-day. I recommend a double cleanse in the evenings. The first cleanse doesn’t necessarily clean deep enough. It may remove the road dirt and some make up and sunscreen but to get your skin really clean, consider a second cleanse. Try a gel or foaming cleanser and if you have acne, I recommend a cleanser with salicylic acid. This will help decrease excess oil and minimize bacteria. Consider beginning a regimen of retinoids to keep the pores clear and sebum production minimal. Exfoliating is important but don’t overdo it. Limit the intake of sugars, salt and dairy as they may contribute to systemic inflammation that in turn makes acne more inflamed. Be sure to look for non-comedogenic products, oil-free moisturizers and sunscreens and don’t forget that ice can help tremendously in reducing acne inflammation. Lastly, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure“, so wear that sunscreen rain or shine.
Our skin starts to make another shift in our thirties. Age is one factor but our hormones are starting to change and with that you may notice the onset of adult acne, changes in pigment, fine lines and perhaps uneven skin tone. Now is the time to consider, if you haven’t already, including a retinoid in your routine. Retinoids help with desquamation, which is the skin’s natural ability to shed. We need to continue to shed our dead skin, which will keep it less congested and more vibrant. This is a great time to add an eye cream to your routine as well. The skin under the eye area is thinner and has different needs thus I recommend a product developed specifically for that area. I would also advise using a cleanser that contains glycolic acid, which is known to help refine texture and skin tone. It is important to start an anti-aging strategy.
It’s not uncommon to notice that in our forties, our fine lines are becoming a little deeper and we may have developed age spots. This discoloration may be brown, white and even red. One may experience the onset of rosesea, and while it can be hereditary, in many cases it is due to sensitized skin affected by our life style. Stress, hormones, spicy food, heat, sun and even products can all contribute to this condition. This is the ideal time to be using an over the counter retinol or a Retin A cream, like tretinoin, which can be procured at a medical spa or a dermatologist’s office. I also recommend using a cleanser with alpha and or beta hydroxy acids, which will help with tone and texture. Start looking for skincare lines that use buzzwords like “anti-aging”. Look for ingredients like ceramides and peptides. The first ones are long-chain lipids that help the outer skin membrane retain water, thus providing restoring and replenishing skin benefits. Peptides are biomolecules that help minimize wrinkles by inducing collagen production, which deteriorates with age. I also recommend topical vitamin C, a powerful anti-oxidant that plays a major role in skin health: it increases collagen production and has shown to help prevent and treat ultraviolet (UV)-induced photodamage.
FIFTIES AND BEYOND
As we age our skin gets thinner, produces less oil and is more dehydrated. Not to mention the age spots seem to be more noticeable, if we haven’t been diligent over the years. Due to the loss of estrogen production, signs of laxity and volume loss become obvious, as a consequence of the loss of elastin and collagen. In order to increase both elastin and collagen production, I advise a regimen that includes a retinoid, such as tretinoin or retinol. This will in fact, increase cell turn over by alerting our cells to develop new skin in which case we produce more collagen and elastin. They rejuvenate the look of dull and lackluster skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and deep wrinkles. I would continue to use cleansers and products with glycolic, alpha and hydroxy acids, for tone, texture and exfoliation.
Dehydrated skin means lack of water and dry skin means lack of oil so keep that in mind when picking out products like hydrators and moisturizers. Now is the time to use “anti-aging”-related skin care.
If I were to impart words of wisdom, I would say that our lifestyle choices ultimately appear on our faces, so eat a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet, drink plenty of water, minimize smoking and the consumption of alcohol. And don’t forget to wear your sunscreen each and every day.