The best skincare steps to take at every age

Is your skincare routine up to date?  The products on the shelves can be overwhelming. According to Lauren Owens, healthy living esthetician, Parkview Center for Healthy Living, your skin’s needs change over time. Here she shares her recommendations for the best care in every decade.

In your 20s
The most common skin flaws you may be noticing in your 20s are acne and mild discoloration from sun damage. The most important product in your skincare routine throughout your 20s is sunscreen. Along with your face, you should also start protecting your neck, chest and hands with SPF.

An ideal skincare routine

  1. Cleanse twice a day with a facial wash best suited for your skin type (foaming for oily skin, creamy for dry skin).
  2. During the day, use a moisturizer that contains SPF and protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
  3. At night, introduce a night cream into your regimen that will hydrate and repair your tired skin.
  4. To treat mild breakouts, incorporate a spot treatment containing either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.

In your 30s
Skin shows signs of aging at 30-35. At this stage in your skin’s life, discoloration from previous sun damage will increase and cell renewal will slow down. It is crucial to include some sort of exfoliation in your regimen. In your 30s, skin exfoliates itself every 35 days, as opposed to every 14 days in your 20s.  

An ideal skincare routine

  1. Consistent with the routine you had in your 20s, cleanse twice a day with a facial wash best suited for your skin type and continue to use SPF.
  2. Exfoliate 2-3 times per week to reduce the appearance of surface damage and enlarged pores.
  3. Incorporate a serum into your regimen that contains antioxidants and anti-aging properties.
  4. Use a night cream that contains glycolic acid that will aid in resurfacing your skin overnight.
  5. Add in an eye cream to your morning and nighttime routine.
  6. This is an appropriate time to start seeing an esthetician regularly for facials or peels. Now that your cell turnover rate is slowing down, it is important to make time in your schedule for facials in order to improve and restore circulation to the layers of the skin, increasing the flow of oxygen-enriched blood to skin cells. This results in a healthy glow and reduced appearance of wrinkled, dull and dry skin.

In your 40s
During this decade, you will find that the lines of movement in between your brows and around your eyes and mouth are becoming more permanent. When your estrogen levels start to taper, your skin will become dryer and more prone to fine lines and wrinkles. More moisture and collagen-boosting ingredients will need to be added to your daily skincare regimen.

An ideal skincare routine

  1. Cleanse your face twice a day with a creamy cleanser to cater to drying skin.
  2. Continue to use SPF daily to prevent any further damage to your skin and choose a product that contains antioxidants to fight free radicals and aid in reversing some of the damage you may already have.
  3. Retinoids and peptides are two ingredients that you should add into your routine if you haven’t already. Peptides help rebuild collagen, especially when used in combination with texture-improving retinoids. Opt for a serum that offers both ingredients in one dose.
  4.  For day and night, find a moisturizer that contains a high level of glycerin or hyaluronic acid to help the skin preserve the moisture it needs.

In your 50s
Moisture is going to be your number one priority throughout your 50s. Loss of tone and sagging skin are your biggest issues during this decade.

  1. Use a creamy cleanser to help maintain moisture in your skin.
  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 overtime, daily use of sunscreen is more important than ever before.
  3. In your morning routine, apply a serum, rich in peptides, under your SPF daily to help build collagen. Try to find one that also contains antioxidants to fight free radicals or hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture.
  4. At night, apply a retinoid before your moisturizer.

Tips and tricks for any age

  • Use warm water when cleansing; it promotes the opening of pores to let the product better infiltrate the skin.
  • Always, always, always remove your makeup and cleanse before bed. This can’t be stressed enough! Not only does it clog and stretch your pores, sleeping in makeup causes inflammation, which can release free radicals and lead to collagen loss. This makes your skin age faster, so it’s best to break this habit as soon as possible.
  • When removing a mask at home, use cool water. It helps close the pores and maintain all the work your mask just put into your skin.
  • Moisturizers vs. night creams: The answer is both! Your morning skincare routine should include a moisturizer and SPF, while your nighttime regimen should contain a night cream with anti-aging properties. 
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