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After I filmed the video on “How to build a basic skincare routine”, a common question I got was: When should I start using anti-aging products?
Can starting too soon be harmful?
Which age will be too late?
As always, there is no one size fits all answer. The skincare you need is much more determined by your concerns and your lifestyle than it is by the age in your passport!
Starting really early won´t damage your skin – but it will waste money you could spend on other things rather than skincare you don´t yet need.
Starting really late won´t damage your skin either – you just need to know that some things can´t be reversed with OTC skincare products, and that prevention is key.
So take the numbers below as orientation, being honest to yourself about your lifestyle and nutrition will help more than looking at your date of birth.
First things first: I don´t think that kids need a skincare routine. Wash their faces, use sunscreen, maybe an occlusive cream in winter and you are fine. I prefer unfragranced products on my kids, but now that my daughter is about to turn five, she tends to have other ideas.
Once your kids reach adolescence and the hormones kick in full force I am so NOT looking forward to that! start with a gentle face wash, maybe introduce salicylic acid twice a week and a clay mask if they get oily and congested and insist they use sunscreen. If they develop real acne, go see a professional!
Age 20 – 25
Once you reach your 20s, it is time to start thinking about basic prevention. Again, sunscreen should be a given at any age, but I feel like this is the age to make sure your skincare contains antioxidants.
Another important thing now is starting with a good moisturizer, as the skins ability to hold moisture starts to decrease.
Exfoliation gets more important too, so establishing a routine of exfoliating once a week is a great idea. I always recommend chemical over physical scrubs, but I admit that when you are still that young, it probably doesn´t make that much of a difference.
Age 25 – 30
In your late 20s, early 30s, collagen production starts to slow down. It is also the age when reckless sunbathing in your teens will start to show in terms of hyperpigmentation.
Vitamin C is what I´d recommend you add into your routine now, as well as switch to chemical instead of physical exfoliation if you haven´t already. AHAs seem to have benefits that go beyond just getting rid of the dead skin, so they should be included into your routine.
Remember though: Overexfoliation is damaging the skin, and a damaged skins barrier leads to trouble (read Geeky Poshs blog post on that topic here).
I think a hydrating serum, Vitamin C and, depending on your lifestyle, some barrier repairing ingredients like ceramides are a good thing to introduce at that age.
Age 30 – 35
At this age, everyone will start to see lines (fine or more pronounced) and probably notice a loss of firmness around the jawline and the eye area. Hyperpigmentation becomes a bigger concern, and retinol products are what I recommend you start using.
Again, go slowly, go gentle, and see how much works for you. More isn´t always more in terms of skincare!
The more actives you use, the more important it gets to focus on repairing your skins barrier – the afore mentioned ceramides, phospholipids, anti-inflammatory ingredients or fortifying products like the Zelens Power D Treatment Drops are crucial to keeping your skin happy.
Age 40 and above
Gradually introduce other antiaging ingredients like peptides into your routine (here is a video on them) – the science isn´t always convincing, which is why I think you need to have the other stuff first, but as they are available on a budget I don´t think it hurts.
Once you reach my age (I feel like my own grandma saying that) well, once you reach my age, there isn´t much more you can do if you want to stick to topical products only.
There are skin tightening devices like the NuFace, there are invasive options like fillers, laser, there is surgery. It is your call which part fits into your life.
But if you have everything I mentioned in your skincare routine, you are set for looking the best possible for your specific age. No one can look like they did in their 20s forever – and to be honest I wouldn´t want that anyway.