When it comes to skincare, the products you need in your teens and 20s are not the same ones you’ll need as you move through the rest of the decades in your life.
Your skin is constantly changing. Certain skincare ingredients are more important than others as your skin ages. If you haven’t updated your routine in some time, pay attention! We’ve created a step by step guide for every stage of your life. Read ahead for the best skincare routines in your teens, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond.
SKINCARE IN YOUR TEENS
Acne, blackheads, and oily skin top the list of teen skincare complaints. This is due to hormone fluctuations.
Step 1. Cleanse consciously. Cleanse once a day, twice if your skin gets overly oily throughout the day. For teens who have dry rather than oily skin, try a milky cleanser and moisturizer.
Step 2. Always wash your makeup off before bed. If you’re too tired to wash your face, at the very least use makeup remover pads to take off your makeup, and any dirt or oil.
Step 3. Control oil. Keep the shine to a minimum without being too harsh on your skin. Use an oil-free primer to control shine, and blot any oil during the day using tissues.
Step 4. Wear sunscreen. You want your skin to look as healthy as it is now for decades to come. Choose an oil-free formula, and choose cosmetics that contain sunscreen.
SKINCARE IN YOUR 20S
In your 20s, your skincare goal is to preserve and protect.
Step 1. Use a gentle foaming cleanser to remove makeup and excess oil, without drying out your skin.
Step 2. Use a light daily SPF moisturizer with UVA and UVB protection. Sunscreen is a step you can’t skip, regardless of your age. Not only does sunscreen reduce your chance of skin cancer, but one study found that it can even reverse the signs of aging.
Step 3. Mild breakouts and even adult acne are common in your 20s. Use a spot treatment containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide or a detoxifying clay mask as needed. And try not to pick at blemishes, as tempting as it may be. This can lead to hyperpigmentation and long-lasting scars.
Step 4. An antioxidant night cream helps you combat the signs of missing sleep and environmental exposure in your 20s. This will protect your skin from free radicals, which cause fine lines, pigment changes, and a dull complexion.
Step 5. You can and should add under eye cream and other anti-aging products into your routine in your 20s. Look for hydrating ingredients like ceramides, and essential fatty acids, and alpha and beta hydroxy acids. These ingredients protect against fine lines by replenishing naturally occurring skin lipids.
SKINCARE IN YOUR 30S
In your 30s, discoloration caused by sun damage and fine lines are most likely your two biggest skincare concerns to address.
Step 1. Once you hit your 30s exfoliating your skin is a must. When it comes to anti-aging skincare hacks, exfoliation is one of the most effective ways to promote a youthful, glowing complexion. Exfoliating helps to slough off dead skin cells and increase circulation. The result is brighter, firmer, more healthy-looking skin. Look for an AHA foaming cleanser to remove makeup and debris, and exfoliate your skin.
Step 2. If you weren’t using an eye cream in your 20s, this is the decade to start. Be sure to use an under eye cream both day and night to hydrate the delicate skin around your eyes. This will help diminish any lines that may be appearing.
Step 3. Before applying sunscreen in your morning skincare routine, use an antioxidant-rich moisturizer, serum or lotion. Antioxidants act synergistically with SPF to guard against free radical damage. It may even help to undo some of the damage that’s already been done.
Step 4. Now is the time to add a retinoid to your skincare routine. Retinoids improve the overall tone and texture of your skin. Apply retinoids at night. Sunlight deactivates retinol, rendering it useless. Be conscious of where you put these products though. Retinoids can be too irritating for the delicate eye area, and also should be avoided on irritated or broken skin.
Step 5. If your skin still feels tight after applying a retinoid, follow up with a hydrating hyaluronic acid serum. Make sure the serum is free of retinoids to avoid over-treating your skin.
SKINCARE IN YOUR 40S
In your 40s, your estrogen level starts to taper off, so your skin will become dryer. This is the time you need to add moisture and collagen-building ingredients like peptides.
Step 1. Cleanse using a non-drying cleanser in combination with a gentle face brush to help remove dead skin cells and speed up the skin cell turnover process.
Step 2. Continue to use sunscreen daily to prevent further damage. Look for a product that contains antioxidants to help fight off free radicals and help reverse some of the damage you may already have.
Step 3. Your collagen production is also tapering off in your 40s so now is the time to start using peptides in your skincare routine. Peptides promote collagen production, especially when used in combination with texture-improving retinoids.
Step 4. Your 40s is also the time to start focusing on the skin on your neck and decolletage. Look for anti-aging ingredients like phytoestrogens, retinol, and licorice root to help smooth, plump, and minimize discolorations.
Step 5. This is also the time to add a facial oil into your routine. Oils will help your skin retain its much-needed moisture during your 40s.
SKINCARE IN YOUR 50S
Your main skin concern once you reach your 50s is a loss of skin elasticity and collagen due to hormones. Around menopause, the skin gets drier and more easily irritated. It’s time to start using deeper hydrating ingredients.
Step 1. Look for barrier bolstering ingredients like ceramides. When estrogen levels drop during menopause, the skin can’t maintain hydration. In addition, older skin suffers from a loss of natural lipids and fatty acids. This contributes to inflammation, dehydration, and a compromised moisture barrier. To help repair a depleted barrier, look for a serum that’s rich in lipids and use it at least twice a day.
Step 2. Switch to oil-based everything. From cleansers to serums, oils are particularly powerful in your 50s. Beyond delivering a boost of hydration, oils don’t sting dry, delicate skin the way some serums and moisturizers can. And since you’re now more prone than ever to hyperpigmentation, be sure to use your oils morning and night.
Step 3. Boost your skin’s radiance with an enzyme exfoliant, to gently exfoliate your skin without stripping or scratching it. This will keep dead skin cells from building up and hiding your glow.
Step 4. Don’t forget your lips. As we age, our lips are especially affected by collagen degradation and wrinkles. Many women see their lips losing shape in their 50s. Help plump and smooth them with a lip mask.
SKINCARE IN YOUR 60S, 70S AND BEYOND
Skincare for mature skin is not vastly different than skincare for young skin. But there are specific concerns to address in your 60s, 70s, and beyond.
Step 1. The lower lip is one of the most common areas where skin cancer is found in this age group, so be sure to apply an SPF lip balm daily.
Step 2. Your neck and decolletage are other areas that require special attention as you age. Neglecting this area can lead to sunspots and wrinkles.
Step 3. Mature skin is in dire need of moisture, so be sure to load up on hydrating ingredients like squalane and argan oil.
Step 4. Just like in your 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s don’t forget the daily sunscreen.
Step 5. Use an antioxidant serum each morning, and a gentle retinoid in the evening.
ARE YOU LAYERING YOUR SKINCARE PRODUCTS CORRECTLY?
The order you apply your skincare products matters. Skin-loving ingredients are only as effective as the order in which you apply them. If you’re not layering them in the right order, you could be rendering them ineffective or even worse, irritating your face.
The general rule when it comes to layering skincare products is to apply them from thinnest to thickest. This ensures that the inner layers are sealed in by the outer. Products that have a low viscosity also tend to have a smaller particle size, meaning they can penetrate more deeply into your skin.
SUMMING IT ALL UP…
Your skin changes as you age, and so should your skincare routine. Over time, skin loses tone, tightness and elasticity. It becomes drier and thinner over time. These effects can make the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin more pronounced. While we can’t stop the aging process, we can take control by using the best products and routines for your age group.