You don’t know how it happened. One moment, your skin was all full of dewy health, glowing brightly no matter how many late night study sessions or parties you went to. Then one day you looked in the mirror and there it was – dull skin tone, uneven pigmentation, dark circles and the creep of fine lines…how did that happen?
Skin aging is a fact of life, and while you can’t change your genetics, you can do an awful lot by making some small but powerful changes to your lifestyle and skincare routine. After all, the goal isn’t to stop time completely – no one wants the wind tunnel effect or the pillow face of overdone fillers – there are so many examples of bad celebrity plastic surgery to warn us off that drastic route. But we do want to look like better, well-rested versions of ourselves, and a little knowledge can go a very long way with helping you to achieve that.
The trouble is we’re all on information overload. There is so much stuff out there, from crazy Korean ten step skincare regimes to macrobiotic diets – and a lot of products and people with a vested interest in selling you things that might not be right for your skin. How do you cut through all the noise and create a simple, effective routine? Any dermatologist will tell you that consistency is key if you want to see real results – so a routine that is manageable, affordable and that you’re likely to stick to is the most important point of all.
The Time Of Your Life
After the age of 25, life has a habit of speeding up – generally your career is growing, your social life is booming and you may even have caring responsibilities. Although life might be accelerating, your skin is going the opposite way – repair mechanisms are slowing down, and collagen stores are starting to deplete. So it’s definitely the right time to ramp up your skincare and introduce some new ingredients. It’s also important to look at your lifestyle factors- things like the amount of quality sleep you get, your exercise routine, your hydration levels and your diet. These things can make a fundamental difference to how your skin looks. A deep cleanse always starts with what you’re putting into your body, looking after your gut microbiome and making sure you have the right vitamins and nutrients going in and you could even look into parasite cleanse capsules to detoxify the human body to get things started.
Building A Skincare Regime
Start by making sure that you have the basics in place and you can go from there. It’s surprising how many of us misinterpret our skin’s basic needs or the causes of our problems and so are inadvertently doing completely the wrong thing. Take the initial step of cleansing – adult acne is a problem for more and more people, but the cause is usually hormonal and so going in with aggressive oil control washes which strip the skin will only make the problem worse. Anti-inflammatory ingredients like turmeric and rosewater can help to calm spotty, hormonal skin. Choose a soothing cleanser that will rehydrate skin and remove the day’s build up of dirt and grime. Try an oil cleanser for the night time as this breaks down makeup residue and won’t leave your skin stripped. Then opt for a moisturiser which contains two key ingredients – Hyaluronic Acid, a wonder molecule which acts as a humectant, pulling moisture into the dermis and locking it in there, and a broad spectrum sunscreen with a high factor. This will not only help to prevent burning from UVB rays which can lead to serious issues like skin cancer, but it also helps to screen out UVA rays which are the leading cause of skin ageing.
Layer In Some Extras
Once you have a cleanser and a moisturiser which work for your skin type then you can begin to think about building your routine to address specific concerns. Start by adding in an exfoliating treatment three times a week – you can either use a physical scrub or one of the new toners containing glycolic acid – although if you have sensitive skin or darker skin azelaic or lactic acid can be a better choice, as they are less likely to cause an adverse reaction. This process stimulates your skin into repairing itself, gets rid of the dead layer of cells on the surface, and allows other products to penetrate and work more effectively. It’s also time to start using an eye cream day and night – the skin in this area is much thinner than elsewhere on the face and will be the first to show signs of ageing. Make sure that you pick a hydrating eye cream and if you suffer from eye bags, one containing caffeine can be really useful. Pat it in gently with your fingertips to avoid tugging on the skin. It’s also time to start with the big guns – retinol. This wonder ingredient is a hugely effective anti-ager. You may need to start with a low dose formulation and work your way up as your skin needs to develop a tolerance for it. Retinol products should be used at night, and they can make skin more sensitive, so using that sunscreen becomes even more of a must. Another wonder ingredient to layer into the mix is Vitamin C. A potent antioxidant, this will help to brighten your skin, give you a glow and even out any pigmentation, and it’s also great for fighting environmental damage from polluting free radicals in the air – especially key if you live in an urban area. During your twenties the lifestyle you lead tends to expose you to a bit more environmental damage – you’re more likely to be living in a city while you try to build your career, eating a pre-packaged lunch in a hurry at your desk, going to parties and bars, drinking alcohol and being exposed to secondhand smoke – so a good antioxidant is key to great skin.
Building a strong skincare routine is as simple as that – nail the basics, layer in some secret weapon ingredients, get your lifestyle in balance, and be consistent! Your skin will thank you later