I see women all day, ranging in age from early teens to late seventies, who are struggling with their skin as they follow a stringent routine found on Instagram or holding onto one that worked for them from a decade earlier. Like our bodies, our skin changes over the years and it’s important to adapt to the changes.
Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for skin care so above all, listen to your skin and do what makes it happiest. But to help guide you along the way, I’ve put together the general advice I give my clients to keep healthy, radiant skin through every stage of life.
Late teens – early twenties
The big mistake women in their teens and early-twenties is, surprisingly, over treatment. The rise of social media has led to a huge increase in insecurities with the skin’s appearance thanks to those ubiquitous close-ups, selfies and digitally-altered images. At the same time, social media has made young women more aware of the range of products and treatments available and as a result, they are overusing them to treat any acne or blemishes that may appear. This can be damaging to the skin, even prematurely aging in extreme cases.
The most important advice for your young skin is to relax and take a step back!
Your skin is at its most healthy and youthful and requires only low-level attention at this stage. Stock up on micellar water to remove make-up (which you should do every single day!), sebum and impurities without causing dryness. Micellar waters are inexpensive, gentle and quick to use, perfect for your busy lifestyle.
If you suffer from breakouts or acne-prone oily skin, use an exfoliator made with beta hydroxy acid (a.k.a. BHA or salicylic acid). Avoid physical exfoliants, these can cause micro-tears on the skin. Aim for a BHA concentration of 2%, and use up to 4 times a week before bed. These oil-soluble products work deep within your pores to disinfect bacteria that causes acne, whilst working as an anti-inflammatory to reduce redness.
For skincare addicts who love a shelf-full of potions, consult an esthetician to chose the correct product for your skin type and skin condition.
Pro tip: Learn to sleep without resting your cheeks on the pillow. This can trigger acne and even cause wrinkles further down the line.
Late twenties – mid-thirties
This is when collagen production in the skin begins to slow down. The turnover cycle of skin cells lengthens from 28 days to around 35 – 40 days, meaning you need to actively clear off the dead skin cells accumulating on the surface of your face.
The new step to the routine? Routine exfoliation.
As acne often becomes less of a problem at this stage, consider switching to alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). There are several types but we suggest glycolic acid in general and lactic or malic acid for more sensitive skin types. These treatments gently dissolve accumulated dead skin cells and help stimulate collagen production. For the ultra-sensitive skin – stick with an enzyme-based exfoliant. Whichever you choose, use a maximum of four times a week, depending on how sensitive your skin is.
Now is a good time to start microcurrent therapy, so book a date with your esthetician for a monthly treatment. This will keep facial muscles toned, collagen production active and promote excellent blood circulation. This treatment will help you to prevent or delay the need for botox injections.
Pro tip: Notice your facial expressions and stress levels and where these create lines on your face. Train yourself to soften these particular facial movements to prevent further damage.
Mid-thirties – early forties
The hormonal rollercoaster that is taking birth control pills and having babies will wreak havoc on your skin. Finding out how to weather this storm is the challenge of this decade of your life.
Thinking about having babies? Know that any products you use on your skin while pregnant or nursing will end up in your bloodstream and may transfer to your baby. For this reason, take extra care with the products you use. Avoid retinol, beta hydroxy acids, chemical sunscreen entirely, focusing on minimal and natural skincare.
New moms are the most at risk of accelerated skin ageing at this stage, with so little sleep or time to stick to a good skincare regime. If you can only spare a few moments, book a microcurrent facial once a month. Not only will this be a welcome treat for exhausted mothers, our microcurrent will help tone your facial muscle, keep your skin buoyant and youthful and promote a radiant complexion.
All women of this age should be avoiding the sun, this is the age when you will be most vulnerable to hyperpigmentation and melasma. A high-quality sunscreen is a worthwhile investment. We highly recommend Mineral sunscreens over chemical sunscreens. They are better for your skin and for the environment.
Two key products that you should be using regularly are: Retinol and Vitamin C. Retinol works to reverse signs of ageing, promote cellular turnover, brighten skin tone and help fight acne. Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant that promotes the production of collagen and elastin, prevent dark spots and skin discolouration and delay the signs of ageing.
A combination of Vitamin C (L ascorbic), Vitamin E and ferulic acid will provide the best results. Take care when using, and throw away any formula which has gone brown – as this means it has gone bad.
Pro tip: Those suffering from adult acne should try cutting out milk from their diet.
Mid forties, fifties and beyond
As you enter the next period of your life, your skin will show the signs of hormonal changes that menopause brings, as well as more advanced indicators of aging. Age is proof of wisdom and a life well spent! But with natural, healthy alternatives, you’re able to manage the signs of aging to ensure you feel the most comfortable in your own, beautiful skin. Find an esthetician you trust to administer a bi-monthly microcurrent facials to keep skin tone and reeducate weakened facial muscles, increase skin hydration, reduce skin discolouration and much much more.
While you may feel like you need it, we highly advise against injectable anti-aging chemicals (i.e. Botox). By freezing various muscles in your face, the inactivity of certain facial muscles can cause overcompensation in others, which can lead to accelerated aging in untreated areas and droopy, uneven appearances. Studies are now showing that botox injections spread to other parts of the bodies causing unintended paralysis on sections of the face.
Pro tip: Love your skin, it’s been with you throughout your entire life!
Following expert advice as you move through life should leave you with skin to feel proud in, no matter what your age. Book a consultation with Peony today to talk about the skin you’d love to be in.