Maintaining the health and beauty of your skin is a process that should last your whole life. Here are some tips to keep your skin looking its best at any age.
In Your 20s
What you do for your skin at this age will affect it for the rest of your life. One key priority? Sunscreen. According to dermatologist Dr. Leslie Baumann, “Using SPF every day in your 20s will delay skin aging.”(1)
It's also important at this age to develop a good skin care plan and make it a habit. Be sure to include washing your face every night before bed, using a good moisturizer, and exfoliating if your skin needs it.
If fighting acne is your main concern in your twenties, you might benefit from using a water-based lotion without oils, or a gel with salicylic acid.(3)
This is also the time to develop a relationship with a good dermatologist. Having regular skin checks can help spot skin cancer or other concerns early, as well as helping you get a head start on other skin problems if they show up.
In Your 30s
This is the age when any lapses in sunscreen use during your earlier years may start to show up on your skin. Sun damage to your skin in the past may now start to appear as fine lines or brown spots.
At this age, your body also does not replace cells as fast as it used to, which can leave skin looking dull. One possible solution is to add peptides such as anti-aging serums to your nightly routine.(1)
According to Health.com, peptides can increase collagen for smoothness and help even out pigment in the skin.(3)
Hormone changes, stress or pregnancy can also lead to breakouts and adult-onset acne. If this happens, adjust your skin cleaning plan to include a cleanser with salicyclic acid and be sure to wash your skin every day.
Your dermatologist may also prescribe benzoyl peroxide and retinol to limit acne breakouts.(2) Retinol, which is a form of Vitamin A, can also help combat the start of fine lines in your skin at this age and restore a more youthful look.
Pregnancy in your thirties may actually help clear up your skin, thanks to the extra estrogen in your system. But it can also lead to melasma which are dark splotches on the face. The good news is that these pregnancy-related spots usually clear up after delivery.
In Your 40s
As estrogen levels start to drop, your skin may feel drier and less firm, and wrinkles may look deeper. This may be the time to move from over-the-counter treatments to stronger products such as prescription retinoids.
At prescription strength, this form of vitamin A can help brighten, soften and smooth your skin. But it can also irritate sensitive skin. So talk to your dermatologist to find the right strength that will do the most good for your skin.(1)
Years of time in the sun can come back to haunt you now in the form of skin cancer. According to Health.com, when skin cancer is caught early, it is 99 percent treatable. So get in front of the mirror and take a good look at your skin, from top to bottom. If you see anything suspicious, have your dermatologist take a look.(2)
Sun damage can also appear in the form of brown spots on your skin. Vitamin C can help — not as a drink at breakfast, but in a serum you apply to your skin.
Cleansers with low levels of alpha or beta hydroxy acids can provide good exfoliation to help improve the tone and texture of your skin.(3)
In Your 50s and Beyond
As you enter your fifties, you may notice that your skin seems thinner and starts to lose elasticity. You may also see brown spots and signs that your skin is too dry.
Try glycolic acid to ease symptoms of dehydration or dryness. Using this type of product can help speed up how fast skin cells are replaced, which can help restore a smooth, younger look.(3)
When your skin feels dry, you may be tempted to bathe more often. But bathing with hot water or too much soap can actually make your skin feel more dry rather than less.
Spider or varicose veins, which are enlarged blood vessels under the surface of the skin, may start to appear around this age. If you stand a lot, you may be more prone to these kinds of problems.
To help prevent leg issues, don’t cross your legs when sitting for a long time, be sure to get plenty of exercise, and keep your weight at a healthy level.(2)
Years of sun bathing may be catching up to you now and leaving you with brown spots. Talk to your dermatologist about the variety of laser treatments available and how they can improve the look of your skin.
Regardless of your age, regular skin checks are vitally important to look for discolored or strangely shaped moles or any other indication that you may be developing skin cancer.
If you have questions about your skin care, talk to your health care provider.
Reviewed October 3, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith
1) The Complete Guide to Having the Best Skin of Your Life at Any Age. Refinery 29. Web. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
2) Great Skin Year after Year. Health.com. Web. Retrieved sept. 29, 2016.
3) Better Skin at Every Age. Health.com. Web. Retrieved September 29, 2016.