These days everyone pretty much knows they should be using sunscreen and a vitamin C serum. However, knowing what skincare product to use in each decade can be challenging.
A 20-year-old shouldn’t be spending loads of cash antiaging products targeted to 40 years old. Especially when their skin has very different needs and will benefit more from preventative rather than a treatment option.
Let’s take the guesswork out skincare and go through the key skin care tips for each decade of your life. That way you spend the big bucks and your time on the right products.
Your 20’s when you should form and maintain great skincare habits which will last you a lifetime. Because your skin in your 20’s is at its peak this is the time to prevention so you can maintain your youthful appearance. In that vein, the most important aspects of your routine are hydration and sun protection.
For your skin to be properly hydrated it needs to be clean and ready to absorb the product you put on it so cleansing is important. Make sure to understand your skin type and pick a cleanser that gets you clean, but not squeaky clean so learn to double cleanse!
Using an inexpensive hyaluronic acid will take care of hydration and it works for all skin types. For prevention using a broad-spectrum sunscreen is non-negotiable and is the cheapest and most effective means of preventing the signs of premature ageing. So use a sunscreen every day without fail. Use of retinoid should start in your 20’s (dermatologist recommend by 25) because they help to build collagen and reverse signs of photoaging. You don’t have to use a heavy-duty product just yet, pick mild, over-the-counter retinol and use it on alternate days. That way you can build up to prescription-strength retinol by your late 30s or 40s.
As we age our skin renews itself less regularly and exfoliation takes care of removing the dead skin cells. Exfoliation combined with proper hydration is a killer combination for preventative skincare. Using an eye cream is also a good idea in your 20’s because the skin around the eyes is the thinnest skin on our body and show age easily so use an eye cream
Key skincare tip
- Build good habits i.e. double cleansing
- Exfoliate and hydrate
- Use an eye cream
- Start with an OTC retinol
- Wear Sunscreen everyday
Your 30’s are the time your skincare crimes start to come home to roost. Didn’t wear sunscreen, exfoliate or hydrate properly? This is when the effects start to become noticeable so you need to take not only preventive steps but corrective steps as well.
In your 20’s any damage to your skin is caused primarily by external factors but in your 30’s the internal causes of ageing take effect. This means that the connective tissues in your skin(collagen and elastin) which keep it plump start to deteriorate. Fine lines become visible and skin starts sagging. To combat this you need the big guns, which means more actives i.e. antioxidants and retinol.
Vitamin C and E are the antioxidants of choice due to their synergistic effect and ability to protect the skin from free radical damage. Using higher-strength retinol is recommended to treat and reverse the signs of ageing with regular exfoliation to increase cell turn over which will improve the texture and skin tone
The constants for your skincare routine are hydration and sun protection. In your 30’s you need much more hydration so using a toner in addition to your regular moisturizer is key. Your eyes will also start to show more definite signs of ageing so double up on using your eye cream. If you want to incorporate more moisture in your routine then check out the 10 step Korean skincare routine which is all about moisture. Sunscreen, of course, remains absolutely essential as the bedrock of your regimen.
Key skincare tip
- Exfoliate more regularly
- Hydrate more (see the 10 steps Korean routine
- Use an antioxidant – Vitamin C and E
- Increase your retinol strength
- Sunscreen as always
Here the signs of ageing are more visible, skin becomes thinner and less elastic with less volume. Thre is also less production of oil with increased dryness, dark circles, crow’s feet and uneven skin texture. In your 40’s the needs are even more moisture, antioxidants and actives like peptides to stimulate cell renewal.
Basically in your 40’s you need to continue with everything you have done in your 30’s but supercharge it. That means more moisture by including a toner, hyaluronic acid toner, eye cream and perhaps a sleep mask. Exfoliation using either a BHA or AHA toner, I would ease up on physical scrubs because the skin is much thinner. Using Retinol, Vitamin C and including other additives is essential at this point to maintain the integrity of your skin.
Because the 40’s is all about hydration including face oil is non-negotiable because it helps lock in moisture. Since oils are lipophilic, they penetrate into your dermis, allowing your skin to retain moisture at a deeper level. Oils also protect the skin’s barrier and rebalance your moisture levels which are affected by anti-ageing ingredients like retinol and AHAs.
You can also include a hydrating sleeping mask once or twice a week, having a regular chemical peel also helps brighten and fade hyperpigmentation. Because this is a judgement-free zone will suggest Botox if you have deep lines that you are unhappy with. However, make sure you go to the qualified professional to get the best results
Key skincare tips
- Hydration is even more important
- Include antioxidants like peptides
- Use a face oil
- Regular chemical peels are worthwhile
- Botox is an option
The 50‘s and beyond
This is typically when menopause happens with the changes in hormone levels which can cause noticeable changes to your skin and any lapses in your earlier years are here to stay. There is usually a significant loss of volume which is visible on the face and neck and if you have been inconsistent with using sunscreen it is visible on your skin.
To combat this loss of volume you need to use heavier moisturizers which will plump up your skin especially the under the eye. Continued use of your actives and antioxidants like retinol and vitamin C are helpful in maintaining your skins integrity and hydrating serum are of extra importance here.
Botox or fillers can be helpful in maintaining the youthful look, but please don’t go overboard because we have all seen women that look like a giant bee-stung their faces. Less is more when it comes to fillers and chooses a qualified provider to get the best results.
Key skincare tip
- Heavy use of hydrating agents for moisture
- Botox and fillers can help with loss of volume
- Actives like Retinol and Vitamin C are still useful
Which of these skincare tips for each decade do you use? let me know in the comments below and share if this was helpful to you.
PS: Bought my book yet? if you haven’t then click the link and get the ebook that gets you started on the journey to great skin.