Do you ever wish that taking care of your skin was as simple as lather, rinse and repeat? Unfortunately, the needs of your skin change about as frequently as your favorite shade of lipstick — and, if you want to stay relevant, your beauty regimen has to keep up with the times.

Knowing what to expect as you age is the first step to staying beautiful. Here's a decade-by-decade beauty routine for luminous skin at every age.

Your 20s

In your 20s, prevention is key. If you’re staying up late partying or working, start on an anti-aging regimen that can fend off wrinkles and lines. Get enough sleep, wash your face regularly, and begin a skincare regimen. Also, try to prevent exposure to pollution, especially smog and particulates. Environmental damage can take a toll on your skin even if you’re young, causing redness and ruddiness from poor circulation and a network of broken capillaries. You should:

• Reach for retinoids

Choose a gentle retinoid formulation and use it two or three times a week to prevent breakouts, undo sun damage, and boost collagen production. Use it in the evening in conjunction with a daily moisturizer that has at least a SPF 15 in the morning. Your skin will continue to look young, healthy, and vibrant.

• Start the day with a gentle cleanser

Cleansers should remove dirt and oil on the skin, but they shouldn’t be abrasive. A fragrance-free, moisturizing facial wash is ideal.

• Invest in a potent eye cream

Eyes tend to show signs of aging first. You can head them off by using an eye cream with caffeine and antioxidants to reduce morning puffiness.

• Exfoliate a few times a week

Doing so will slough off any dead skin cells leaving you with healthy, dewy skin.

Your 30s

In your 30s, stress can manifest itself on skin in various ways. Lack of energy and pressure from daily activities can also cause skin issues. Imperfections may start cropping up, too. Choose products that address the effects of environmental damage and pollution; all are major contributors to skin's aging. To make your skin routine less stressful, consider high performance, all-in-one products with multiple benefits like hydration, sun protection and repair or protection from past damage. You should also:

• Exfoliate in the evenings rather than the daytime

Overnight skin is in renewal mode and removing dead skin prior to bedtime enhances this function. Exfoliation should be gentle, never harsh. The point of exfoliation is to remove dead skin which normally falls off by the action of enzymes within the skin. These enzymes require hydration in order to work, and dry skin doesn’t have enough moisture to begin the process.

• Keep your skin well moisturized

Showers should be less than five minutes and water temperature lukewarm. Using a moisturizing body wash is important as well to preserve the protective moisture barrier of skin. And don’t forget to slather on a rich body cream twice daily for healthy, hydrated skin.

• Drink plenty of water

Add lemon or lime juice for an extra boost. And eat well. A healthy, colorful high-fiber diet that increases internal alkalinity (think a Mediterranean-style diet) works wonders.

Your 40s

Once you’re in your 40s, you’re starting to deal with actual wrinkles: lines around your lips, nose, mouth, and lines between your eyebrows. A good diet, daily moisturizing and more advanced skincare products to repair environmental damage all can make a difference at this age. Consistency is key: If you take care of your skin, you skin will take care of you. You should:

clear + brilliant

 

• Use a lifter to improve skin’s elasticity

Over time, skin loses elasticity and can begin to sag. Anti-aging cosmetics that contain peptides help increase firmness and improve elasticity.

• Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize

As we age, skin tends to become drier because oil-producing glands become less active. You should choose an oil-based moisturizer that contains petrolatum as the base, along with antioxidants or alpha hydroxyl acids to combat wrinkles.

• Focus on the eyes

Making your eyes the focal point of your face will detract attention from any fine lines or wrinkles. Avoid shimmer and glitter shades, which can age you. Instead choose a matte eye shadow that complements your eye color.

• Continue to protect your skin from the sun

Sunscreen is still a very important part of your routine because continuous exposure to the sun over years can cause damage to your skin. You should use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a SPF of at least 15.

Your 50s

Moisture is your main concern once you reach your 50s. Sagging, jowling, and hollowing will likely have begun no matter how well you’ve taken care of your skin. Cell turnover is slow; the most significant change you’ll notice in your complexion is dryness and loss of elasticity, and pores are more visible, especially on the nose and cheeks. You’re likely to have developed spider veins and hyperpigmentation (age spots), and precancerous spots from sun damage. But don’t get discouraged. Remember the basics: cleanse and hydrate, and think about using a petroleum jelly to seal in that moisture after applying your creams or serums. You should:

• Wash your face twice daily

Use a non-soap cleanser or a creamy, foaming wash.

• Use a moisturizer that contains an antioxidant like vitamin C while your face is still damp

Serums in general are more easily absorbed than creams and lotions. Then apply a broad-spectrum moisturizer containing SPF 15 or 20 with UVA and UVB protection.

Your 60s

Sagging skin is the main problem in your 60s. But a combination of good skincare and intense beauty treatments, such as deep-laser surfacing for wrinkles or a face lift, can help. What’s more, you’ll tend to have loose, sagging skin somewhere – it comes with the territory. Skin cells have 30 percent less natural moisture now than when you were younger, so skin’s noticeably drier, thinner, tighter and flakier. Plus, inconsistent sun protection means age spots are showing up. You should:

• Use a gentle non-drying cleanser on your face and neck

Follow this with a daily moisturizer with SPF and an anti-aging night cream. Look for ingredients like soy isoflavones, which nourish and firm skin.

• Consider Botox and fillers

Both are helpful treatments for lines and wrinkles.

More intense treatments, such as deep-laser resurfacing, might also be needed. Skin-tightening treatments have a limited effect, so this may be the time to consider a facelift.

Your 70s ... and beyond

Once you pass age 70, you’ll notice the dryness and sensitivity you’ve been experiencing over the past few decades is now your predominant concern. Skin will look more translucent and feel crepey, scaly, and sometimes rough. There will also be more pronounced signs of photoaging in the form of sun spots and liver spots. Skin cancer lesions are still a concern, as is loose skin (especially around your neck and jowls), diminishing volume, and deep wrinkles. You should:

• Cleanse, moisturize, and hydrate

Use a gentle cleanser and follow it with a facial oil and a ultrahydrating moisturizer. And wear an SPF during the day.

• Look for skincare products that contain these ingredients:

  • Ceramides (moisturizes)
  • Low-dose alpha-hydroxy acids
  • Retin-A (promotes skin cell turnover)
  • Physical and chemical sunscreens to protect extra delicate skin

• Avoid harsh treatments

At this stage in life, your skin is beyond fragile, so all of those potent anti-aging treatments you used in the past are going to damage your complexion. This includes peels, scrubs, and high-dose retinols and fruit acids. Also, be gentle with how you touch your face and neck: Since your skin is more fragile, your epidermis is thinner. In other words, you have less strength and elasticity, which means your skin can be damaged much easier.

• Try some med spa treatments

Deep-surface fractional lasers can revive deeper wrinkles and pigmentation. Dermal fillers also help you get your cheekbones back and take care of prominent nasal labial folds. Ultrasound treatments can have an additional lifting and toning effect.

Beauty for life

As you age, your skin begins to lose its elasticity, wrinkles appear, and lines begin to form around the eyes and mouth. That’s not to say that these hallmarks of natural aging don’t contain their own beauty — a certain sexiness that only comes with maturity attends them — but older skin is different from younger skin and has its own needs.

References

  1. "3 Decades of Beautiful Skin," Prevention, November 3, 2011.
  2. "11 Tips for Beautiful Skin at Every Age," Spry Living, April 10, 2015.
  3. "Defy the Decades: Skin Care Tips for Every Age," Today, May 10, 2013.
  4. "Skincare by the Decade," Oprah.com, August 21, 2017.

Beauty | anti-aging | beauty regime | skin care