AGING SKIN: YOUR BEST SKIN AT 20, 30, 40, 50 AND BEYOND
Accepting aging skin isn’t always easy, especially with the growing use of social media and mobile devices, where visual beauty (which is often filtered to create an even more impossible standard but that’s a blog for another day…), makes it even more difficult to accept what we see in the mirror.
Luckily, with age comes greater beauty wisdom. We start to reevaluate our relationship with our appearance and have a greater acceptance of what we see in the mirror. One way to embrace how beautiful we are is having some basic skincare tips to help us, and our aging skin, look and feel its healthiest, regardless of age.
Intrinsic aging is inevitable so, apart from some preventative measures to reduce premature damage, skin will endure many physiological changes over a lifetime. It’s undeniable that the sooner we start taking care of our skin, the better. That being said, it is never too soon to start and anyone can feel and look their best at any stage of their life.
Adopting a consistent skincare routine using quality, antiaging products is an important place to start taking care of our skin.
Age is not a Skin Type
To be clear… age is not a skin type. Many skincare companies market their products this way, which makes it even more confusing. Teenagers aren’t going to buy a product that is marketed with “wrinkle reducing” just as someone who is in their 50s likely won’t purchase a product with funky, bright packaging.
Skin types are:
Maturing skin is a skin condition.
Someone in their 20s can have dry skin, as can someone in their 50s. So, both could potentially respond well from the same product for hydrating skin. However, generally, skin needs to be cared for differently at different life stages.
What Causes Skin to Age?
Through the many stages of life, skin is exposed to so many elements and life events. Diet, climate, sleep, hormonal changes and exposure to environmental pollutants and sun; all factors that affect how our skin ages.
With age, cell division and collagen levels slow down and skin becomes more slack and fragile. “Wrinkles are a natural part of the aging process. As people get older, their skin becomes thinner, drier, and less elastic, which means it is less able to protect itself from damage. This leads to wrinkles, creases, and lines on the skin.” (1)
The top layer of our skin, the epidermis, acts as a protective barrier by keeping harmful elements, such as chemicals, UV rays and other pathogens out. As skin ages, the epidermis thins and begins to look more pale and dull.
As described by Web MD, “the skin is the largest organ of the body, with a total area of about 20 square feet. The skin protects us from microbes and the elements, helps regulate body temperature, and permits the sensations of touch, heat, and cold.
The epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, provides a waterproof barrier and creates our skin tone.
The dermis, beneath the epidermis, contains tough connective tissue, hair follicles, and sweat glands.
The deeper subcutaneous tissue (hypodermis) is made of fat and connective tissue.”
Here are some basic tips – to be taken as mere suggestions – to help keeping skin looking fresh, supple and healthy at any age.
Skin in 20s: Nurture
Your skin is likely on point! Healthy and glowing, with lots of bounce! During this decade, our skin goes through big changes. Some might find skin becomes quite acne prone and/or dry. By the end of 20s, damage might start to be noticed depending on lifestyle choices. Smokers? Sun worshippers? Dark pigment, dullness or maybe a few fine lines.
Skin will benefit long term by developing a simple, regular skincare routine now. The 20s are busy: relationships, self discovery, career establishment and family. Busy times make it difficult to be diligent with skincare and missing days isn’t a make or break but keep in mind that, overall, how we treat our skin in our 20s can determine our skin condition later in life.
“Prevention is better than a cure,”- Dendy Engelman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist. (3)
It is important to keep skin hydrated and try to establish good skin habits, like wearing sun protection and washing your face twice a day.
Skincare in 20s:
- Cleanse, Moisturize, Sunscreen
- Consider adding Vitamin C serum
- Weekly exfoliation
- Healthy lifestyle
30s : Rejuvenation
Skin begins to lose elasticity and cell turnover starts to slow down by our 30s. This means that the skin’s surface might appear dull and dry because dead cells accumulate on top of skin for a longer period before shedding. Skin might also begin showing the effects of environmental damage and genetic aging. By late 30s, skin might experience a loss of skin tone and develop melasma, a skin condition of grey-brown patches.
“By age 30, ceramide production drops by 46 percent, and we are losing about 1 percent of our collagen every year.” (4)
Drink plenty of water and use a hydrating serum and moisturizer. Make sure exfoliation is part of the skincare routine to encourage cell turnover and help skin retain its moisture and radiance.
Skincare in 30s
- Cleanse, Serum, Moisturize, Sunscreen
- Incorporate hyaluronic acid
- Regular exfoliation
- Use warm water when face washing to not strip natural oils
- Treat neck, décolletage and under eyes
- Take vitamins
- AHAs/BHAs depending on skin
- Consider if using retinol is right for your skin
In your 40s, skin is showing the effects of lifestyle choices and skincare is of more importance! Less estrogen makes skin prone to poorer texture, less elasticity, accumulated damage and loss of skin firmness. Dark pigmentation, wrinkles and dry skin is common. As women start to approach menopause in their late 40s, many noticeable changes can be seen in skin, such as dryness, sagging and deeper wrinkles.
“The best topical ingredients for this age aim to repair DNA damage, increase collagen production, fade unwanted pigmentation, and thicken skin,” – Dr. Jennifer Hermann (5)
Skincare is serious business now. Using a quality, hydrating face cleanser will help draw moisture to skin and provide nutrients and nourishment. Antioxidants are an important ingredient for skin in 40s. Hydration is important so consider using a more occlusive moisturizer for night time.
“Many women will notice their skin will start to become drier from their mid-40 to late-40s as they start to approach the menopause.” (6) – Dr Anjali Mahto, dermatologist.
- Cleanse, Serum, Moisturizer, Sunscreen
- Growth Factors
- Vitamin C & Ferulic Acid combined serum
- Eye cream
- Regular exfoliation
- Regular hydration treatments
- Retinol, depending on skin
Years of sun exposure, environmental pollutants, hormonal changes and poor lifestyle choices are emerging and skin may be showing dark pigment, age spots, scars, inflammation, sensitivity, large pores, wrinkles and noticeable sagging. Outer layer of skin becomes thinner and more delicate.
It’s time to up the skincare game and make amends. A non-irritating, mild cleanser such a cream cleanser will help maintain a proper pH and provide skin with an extra layer of nourishment and moisture. It is important to maintain a consistent skincare routine and using products that work best for our skin.
Skincare at 50+
- Cleanse, Toner, Serum, Moisturizer, Sunscreen
- Facial treatments
- Mask treatments
- Gentle exfoliation
- Eye repair
- Regular spa treatments
- Stay hydrated and keep a healthy diet
- Night time treatments & care
- Avoid tugging skin with loofahs and scratchy washcloths
- Vitamin C
- Growth Factors
- Hyaluronic acid
- Retinol, if tolerated well
(1) What to Know about Wrinkles. Medical News Today.
(2) Why does Collagen Production Decrease after we Turn 20? Rejuvenation Clinics of Australia.
(3) Dendy Engelman, MD, FACMS, FAAD. Shafer Clinic. Fifth Avenue.
(4) Dendy Engelman, MD, FACMS, FAAD. Shafer Clinic. Fifth Avenue.
(5) Dr. Jennifer Herrmann. Moy Fincher Chipps
(6) Skincare in Your 40s: This Is the Routine You Need to Follow. Primed to pump up your elasticity. Women’s Health Magazine. L. House, C. Burcham.
(9) A Dermatologist Explains How to Prevent Aging and Wrinkles in Your 40s. K. Dawson. Byrdie.
(10) The Best Skin-Care Routine for Your 40s. C. Martin, J. Milliner-Waddell. The Strategist.
(11) The 25 Best Skin Care Tips for Your 50s. Trophy Skin.