When to Use What: Beautiful Skin at Any Age

Recently, I had the pleasure of doing desksides with beauty editors in New York City. These women are intelligent, motivated, interesting, and naturally beautiful. I was impressed with their eagerness to absorb new information and search for the truth in a competitive  landscape of brands marketing their products as “the best.” Most of them are in their late 20s and early 30s and, believe it or not, brands are already telling them to use anti-aging products. This is not what their gorgeous skin needs now!

While it’s true that cellular turnover slows down a bit and other aging process begin around this time, it’s important to focus on skin’s present needs. As a society, there’s such fear and stigma around aging, particularly for women. The price we’re pressured to pay to “avoid” or “slow” it down is astounding.

Think of it this way: if you were surrounded by people with the flu, your doctor wouldn’t prescribe medicine if you’re not sick. Medicine is only prescribed once the Illness is present. Instead, you might take precautionary measures, like getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of fluids, exercising, and eating well–all the things we know help us stay healthy. Additionally, if we were to be given medication without being sick, it may actually be less effective when the time comes we need it. Our skin follows the same guidelines. There is no need for skin care products that have action your skin is not ready for.

I truly believe that the conversation within the beauty industry needs to change, especially with companies that tout minimalist ideals of fewer products that are pure and natural. It’s also time we shift the conversation around aging, from one of fear and avoidance to one of embracing our skin and its needs throughout our lives.

What to do when

The teenage years are a time to establish healthy skincare habits. As your body’s largest organ, skin needs care and nurturing. Cleansing, toning, and moisturizing with simple, nourishing ingredients is all that’s needed for a healthy routine. I also suggest doing an occasional face mask, depending on skin’s needs. Hormones, diet, and stress can have an especially profound impact in teenage skin. Issues such as eczema, acne, or redness may call for additional products and/or actives to target them.

The 20s are full of changes, which can be stressful for skin. From shifts in career, relationships to children, travel, and moving, it’s a time to be especially mindful of self-care.  Skin reacts to everything in our lives: from diet and exercise to stress, medications, and even climate, which is why keeping it healthy goes beyond topical applications. A good skincare routine means maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This is a time in your life to embrace youth and support skin health. Support is the key word here. The most important thing for 20-somethings is avoid lifestyle choices that may be showing up on skin and feeding it wholesome ingredients. A simple routine of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing with an occasional mask is ideal. While full-on anti-aging products aren’t yet necessary, make sure to use ingredients that are rich in vitamins, nutrients, and minerals to replenish skin. An occasional detox is also key in maintaining clear pores.

Your 30s are similar to your 20s and skincare should continue as such. However, in your 30s, skin begins to change. This is a time to start adding antioxidants to help skin maintain its integrity and prevent early signs of aging. Cellular turnover also starts to decrease during this time, so be sure to exfoliate one to three times a week. That said, avoid exfoliating during a breakout. It can spread and exacerbate it. The same goes for men and shaving.

Women in their 40s noticed the most skin changes. Many describe waking up, looking in the mirror, and suddenly see signs of age. Nip it in the bud by adding some anti-aging actives to your skincare routine, such as seaweeds, mushrooms, green tea, peptides, and botanical stem cells . Many women begin to experience pre-menopausal symptoms in their late 40s. Skin manifestations can range from excessive dryness to breakouts. As cellular turnover declines, make sure to exfoliate one to four times per week. Maintain skin’s moisture level with enriching ingredients, such as essential fatty acids and hyaluronic acid.

With menopause in full swing, women’s skin can be a little fragile and temperamental, oscillating from dryness to breakouts within a week. Wrinkles due to lack of moisture can set in. Some women may experience issues they’ve never dealt with before, such as red, flaky, and/or itchy skin. Be mindful of this and recognize what your skin needs. You may have lived your entire life in one skin “category,” but it’s essential to switch up your routine as needed.

Although men don’t experience menopause, their skin has a naturally higher oil content than women. So the fluid and oil loss that comes with aging may leave their skin feeling dehydrated as well.

After menopause skin begins to settle, it’s crucial to feed skin the proper nutrients to maintain its luster and glow. Radiant skin in your 60s and beyond is doable! It’s imperative to use gentle exfoliants, deep-pore cleansers, oils, rich essential fatty acid to nourish, soothe, and maintain that glorious glow.

Any age
The most important things you can do for your skin to maintain a healthy youthful glow are:

  • Keep your pores clean.
  • Make sure you have proper hydration, which is a balance of both fluids and oils.
  • Keep your acid mantle pH properly balanced.
  • Feed skin healthy ingredients to thrive on.
  • Wash your face with warm water, not hot.
  • Protect your skin from the sun.
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