8 Musts for Taking Care of Your Skin As You Age
Any dermatologist or aesthetician will tell you it’s never too late to start caring for your skin—yet the earlier you develop a regimen, the better. Generally, prevention is more effective than correction. That means incorporating certain habits and ingredients into your morning and nighttime routines in your 20s and 30s so that by the time you reach your 40s, you’re more likely to have tighter, brighter, healthier skin.
It’s important to use brightening and anti-wrinkle products even before any deep-set lines or sunspots show up. Why? Because microscopic changes like excess pigment and loss of collagen start in our 20s and progress so slowly that you don’t usually see them until your 30s and 40s. By then, they’re much harder to treat.
At the same time, there is so much skin care advice in the world that distilling the most important habits to take on before 40 can be tricky. Not to mention the hard-core anti-aging services you might find at a health spa can be time-consuming, pricey, and (unless you’re majorly skin care-obsessed) not that fun. When developing a skin care routine in your 20s and 30s, us professionals will agree that you have to adjust to what feels doable and fun to you personally—otherwise, you won’t stick with it, and it won’t work.
Adopt skin care habits that are enjoyable to you. If your skin care routine is not enjoyable, continuity is difficult. Choose products of high quality. And select your active ingredients carefully.
What are the most important skin care products, ingredients, and habits to adopt before 40? Let’s find out:
1. Get Acquainted with Vitamin C
The antioxidant vitamin C is one of the most important ingredients to start using in your 20s and 30s, as it helps prevent dark spots before they happen and support collagen before you lose it. Vitamin C is a terrific skin brightener with firming benefits since it boosts collagen and has antioxidant and UV protection benefits as well.
Try looking for a high-potency vitamin C serum with antioxidant boosters ferulic acid vitamin E. Apply your vitamin C in the morning before moisturizer and sunscreen for extra protection.
2. Exfoliate Two or Three Times a Week
As if the existential stress of getting older weren’t enough: maturing skin thickens, becomes dull, drab, and lifeless, and pores become accentuated. Why does this happen? Our dead skin cells don’t shed as fast the older we are. That makes the skin start to look dull and the texture rough. Plus, excess pigment is stored in dead cells, so your skin tone can look discolored or uneven.
Fortunately, exfoliating two to three times a week can help solve or at least stave off some of these concerns. Incorporating exfoliation, both chemical and physical, can help shut down the problem before it begins and help maintain your youthful glow. Bonus: Regular exfoliation also helps your other skin care products (like your vitamin C serum!) penetrate way better.
3. Make Sunscreen the Centerpiece of Your Routine
I’ve said it before, and I’ll never stop saying it: If you incorporate one anti-aging skin care product into your everyday routine, let it be sunscreen. It’s never too late to begin wearing daily SPF. Even if you have been a lifelong sun seeker, it is never too late to prevent further sun damage.
Consistency is the key with sunscreen—you really do have to apply at least SPF 30 every day (and ideally throughout the day, too) to keep your skin glowy, youthful, and, most importantly, safe. Apply on all exposed skin surfaces every day with commitment to consistency, including your hands, exposed forearms, neck (front, sides, back) and décolleté – in addition to the face.
4. Embrace Moisturizing Emollients
Skin gets drier, flakier, and duller as we age, meaning you should get in the habit of protecting its moisture barrier early on. There are a few truly effective moisturizing ingredients the pros always recommend, including moisture-trapping lipids, which mimic the natural lipids in the skin that make babies’ skin so soft and silky but that deteriorate over time.
Sodium hyaluronate, a derivative of hyaluronic acid, is the other moisturizing ingredient, as it re-creates the lubrication of the hyaluronic acid that our skin produces naturally. It’s great for hydrating dry, aging skin and reducing wrinkles, and it especially does wonders for the aging eye area.
5. Start Getting Head-To-Toe Skin Checks
Looking younger is cool and all, but making sure your skin is protected against skin cancer is way, way cooler. That’s why it’s smart to make an early habit out of getting full-body exams by a dermatologist once a year, or more if melanoma runs in your family. Now is the time to get a baseline skin evaluation from your dermatologist to make sure there are no early signs of precancerous skin changes. It’s always much easier to catch something in its early stages than suffer the consequences later on.
6. Incorporate Retinol into Your Routine
Just as vitamin C should have a place in your morning routine, retinol should have a place at night. Your 20s are the perfect time to start using a high-quality retinol at night, as the vitamin A derivative works preventatively to fight wrinkles and boost collagen production.
Retinol is a bit of a finicky ingredient, so make sure to choose a product that comes in an opaque, well-sealed container and don’t expose it to sunlight, as it’s not photo- or sunlight-stable. Also, because retinol can be irritating on the skin, use it one or two nights a week to start, and then work your way up to nightly use.
7. Care for Your Skin Morning and Night—and Remember, If Nothing Else, Wash Your Damn Face
Just like brushing your teeth, it’s not enough to care for your skin only once a day. Because skin care during the daytime is all about protecting your face, and skin care at night is all about repairing it, establishing a routine before you go to bed and when you wake up (incorporating the ingredients and the advice above, of course) is key.
And whatever you do, be sure to cleanse your skin, morning and night. If you only have the energy to do one thing before bed, let it be to remove the excess dirt and makeup from the day. Unwashed skin means clogged pores, a dull uneven complexion, and overall faster aging. So start here, and work your way backward.
I hope all these tips help you to take care of your skin, no matter where you are in the age bracket, or the level of continuity you’re at with your skin care routine! As always, refreshing your skin with a monthly facial is the perfect place to start. Our expert and passionate estheticians will gladly consult your skin and offer all the advice you would like on how to transform your skin troubles into your dream skin!
Call Botanica Day Spa today to book your facial at 727-441-1711!