How to Tweak Your Skincare Routine as You Age
You change—and your skin care should too. That acne wash that was a dream when you were 18 is not going to cut it at 50. What to do always, and what to swap as you age.
Sure, you love your go-to products, but as you age, your skin changes too, and products that worked just how you wanted them to at 20 may be too harsh on your skin at 30. Getting healthy, glowing skin at every age is simple. Just follow these three steps, then add in a fourth customized for your current age. (And when in doubt? Consult your dermatologist.)
- Wear sunscreen. Every day. Nearly every dermatologist on the planet will tell you the best anti-aging product you can buy is sunblock. Why? Approximately 80 percent of extrinsic aging (as opposed to intrinsic aging, which is tied to your genes) is caused by UV exposure. That means dark spots, fine lines, even sagging skin are largely caused, and certainly exacerbated, by the sun. Most M.D.s recommend an SPF of at least 30 slathered on every day, even rainy ones, because some UV rays do penetrate clouds.
- Wash your face before bed. You wouldn’t go to bed without brushing your teeth and you also should never call it a night without first cleansing your skin. Even if you don’t wear much (or any) makeup, environmental grime, plus your daily sunscreen, must come off at day’s end to prevent pore clogging, irritation—and the inhibited absorption of treatment products like a retinoid.
- Pop a multivitamin. If you’re like the rest of us, you’re juggling multiple demands like family, career, friends—and planning for the future. You’re probably getting by on too little sleep and a so-so diet, neglect that can show up in the form of slack, dull and acne-prone skin. To help support your health (and look your best) even when your diet isn’t so great, consider popping a multivitamin daily. Centrum MultiGummies Multi+Beauty are easy to take and contain biotin to help maintain healthy hair, skin and nails.
In your 30s In our thirties, exfoliation is important because it removes dead skin cells, plus excess oil and grime, to help keep pores clear. How you exfoliate is up to you. There is chemical sloughing using topical retinoids or alpha and/or beta-hydroxy acids—or manual exfoliation involving a scrub, sonic cleansing brush, or a simple wash cloth. Just be sure not to overdo it. If your skin stings, burns or becomes chronically red, it’s probably time to scale back.
In your 40s At this stage, most women are experiencing noticeably dryer skin, thanks to menopause-related hormonal fluctuations. This means it’s time to up the emolliency of your nighttime moisturizer—or start using one if you aren’t currently. You’ll wake to smoother, plumper, softer skin. For maximum penetration, apply to damp skin after cleansing.
In your 50s+ If you have sun damage, it’s likely made itself apparent by now—and will continue to do so if left unchecked. Wearing sunscreen is still rule number one, but most will also benefit from using a topical product that helps to minimize excess production of melanin, thereby diminishing the appearance of dark spots and uneven tone. If you’re using a retinoid already, you’re ahead of the game. Other topical ingredients that may help: kojic acid, niacinamide, vitamin C, arbutin and, with a doctor’s oversight, hydroquinone.
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