It doesn’t matter whether you are in your early 20’s or late 50’s, the trick to ageing well is simple: you must get to grips with how your skin and body functions over time. As you get older, the structure of your skin alters and your hormone levels (particularly the hormone oestrogen) gradually decrease. These 2 key changes have huge impacts on your skin’s overall health. We’ve mapped both changes across important decades, so that you can truly look after your skin at any age.
In Your 20's
If you are looking to start a healthy skin routine in your 20’s, getting to know your skin’s structure will be high priority. The outer layer of your skin is known as the “epidermis” and its function is to renew itself completely. Once renewed, healthy cells are brought to the surface and skin looks dewy. Dermalogica Skin Therapist, Naomi, explains that in your early 20’s, it will take about 28 days for the skin’s cells to renew fully. But this process slows down as we age and can take up to 50 days by the time we reach 40.
To keep cell renewal at its prime, you must exfoliate on a regular basis, starting in your 20’s. Jersey Beauty’s Skin Therapist, Christine, comments on exfoliating:
“many people think ‘that’s so harsh for my skin,’ especially if you have areas of sensitivity. But, believe it or not, [exfoliation] is the basis to a lot of skincare.”
Christine comments: for a sensitive skin, it’s important to “keep moisture in.” So use an exfoliator such as Dermalogica’s Hydro Masque Exfoliant which is a super hydrating and exfoliating masque suitable for all skin types. It's customisable so you move the little exfoliating spheres to the areas of your face that need exfoliating.
Exfoliators are not restricted to a grainy texture, either. Christine tells us “there are so many ways to exfoliate your skin!” You can use chemical exfoliants as opposed to physical exfoliants, such as the Dermalogica's Clear Start Flashfoliant, a leave-on chemical exfoliation that provides a “flash glow.” It’s perfect for those who are always on the go.
Another less than-conventional way to exfoliate is to use a 2 in 1 cleanser that combines exfoliating ingredients with cleansing goodness! Dermalogica’s Special Cleansing Gel, for instance, contains salicylic acid to slough dead skin cells, speeding cell renewal as you cleanse.
For many people, exfoliating will be key in mastering the skin effects that high hormone levels bring in your 20’s. An increase in hormone levels can simulate sebaceous glands to produce excess oil, which leads to breakouts. Much like sensitive skin, acne and areas of congestion will require light exfoliation. Make sure you limit hormonal pimples by investing in a good cleanser, too. Dermalogica Therapist Jane says “make sure the products that you’re using are exactly appropriate for you at that time,” so check for a cleanser that would best suit you and your unique skin type.
Shop our favourite picks:
Hydro Masque Exfoliant
A hydrating and exfoliating five-minute masque that smoothes and renews for luminous, healthy-looking skin.
Dermalogica Skin Therapist, Jane, helps you understand the skin’s structure in your 30’s by comparing it to that of a trifle! A trifle is built up of layers, with cream on top and jelly underneath. Jane explains: “If you were to take out elements of the jelly part of your trifle, your top cream… would dip back into [the jelly]” The surface of the trifle would no longer be smooth. Much like trifle, when the underneath layer of our skin isn’t kept as plump as possible, the outer layer can appear dipped, creating wrinkles, fine lines and sagging skin.
So how do we keep skin plump in our 30’s?
Our resident science expert, Chris, reveals that firmness is directly related to the skin’s collagen levels. He explains:
“Collagen is a protein, basically the building block of skin. In producing new skin, we’re producing new collagen… As we get a bit older, the production of collagen reduces. The collagen itself, instead of being a nice mesh, can be a bit more like an old worn jumper than nicely packed."
In short, you need to boost skin’s collagen evels in order to maintain plump, healthy skin in your 30’s. Beauty products are bustling with exciting new formulations, designed to increase your collagen levels. Beauty Therapist Nicola from Guinot instructs: be sure to check out Guinot’s Liftosome Lift Firming Face Serum which includes “pro collagen for for lifting and firming – great for those clients concerned with gravity taking hold (!) – so loss of tone, loss of firmness”.
While hormones levels may not dramatically decrease in your 30’s, the hormone oestrogen will gradually begin to decrease. This causes skin to appear dull and tired. It’s important to add products that include high levels of vitamin C to your skin routine, such as Guinot’s Newhite range.
If you are pregnant...
On the contrary, if you are pregnant you will produce high oestrogen levels, which can encourage rapid melanin pigment production. This means you’ll probably notice brown spots or areas of hyperpigmentation. Don’t worry; it’s safe to use Dermalogica’s Powerbright TRx range throughout pregnancy.
Dermalogica Skin Therapist, Naomi, says: “with the hormonal change on the skin… we don’t recommend anything that’s going to over stimulate,” so be sure to stay away from products that contain retinoid a or abrasive ingredients.” Make sure you check skin creams with your midwife or doctor, if you are ever unsure.
In terms of hormones and your skin, the 40’s decade brings a greater decline of the oestrogen hormone in our bodies, which may result in skin looking dry and thin.
This is why, in your 40’s, skin therapists highly recommend products that include ‘hyaluronic acid’. Known for being a popular active ingredient, hyaluronic acid is produced naturally in your skin - but it’s production drops with the decline of the oestrogen hormone. Jersey Beauty’s Skin Therapist, Christine, exclaims that hyaluronic acid can hold up to “1000 times its own weight in water!”
It is essential to put this ingredient back into the skin as soon as you notice dry and dehydrated areas. For an easy solution, try products such as Dermalogica’s Skin Hydrating Booster – just a few drops of this product to your current moisturiser and delight in lasting hydration. Alternatively try ARK’s Skin Perfector Firming Serum, which locks in moisture in the skin’s with hyaluronic acid matrix and improves collagen synthesis.
Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Of course, in your 40’s, wrinkles can appear more pronounced. Dermalogica Skin Therapist, Naomi comments that “the structure of your skin… the collagen and the elastin is reduced dramatically,” so you may need to use targeted treatments for existing wrinkles. A great product to use is Dermalogica’s Multivitamin Power Firm, a cocktail of vitamins to strengthen skin elasticity and improve smoothness around the eye and lip areas, where wrinkles can appear deepset. Multivitamin Power Firm will also improve the appearance of those dark under-eye circles, which are all-toocommon in your 40’s.
What are Antioxidants? Why are they important?
Dermalogica Therapist, Jane, reminds us that external factors can have an effect on your skin’s structure so it’s important to use products that are packed with antioxidants. “Antioxidants are there to neutralise … elements that are in the atmosphere that will break down you collagen and elastin”. You may want to try Dermalogica’s Age Smart Antioxidant Hydramist. A quick spritz during the day will protect skin from environmental assault, such as pollution. Plus, you will notice a brighter complexion
Skin will need a helping hand when it comes to retaining all-important moisture in your 50’s. But, thankfully, brands such as ARK Skincare have created specific products that can give us ingredients that our skin really needs throughout this time period.
Your skin loses the ability to regenerate cells at a great speed, so use an intensive moisturiser such as the ARK Age Defy Nourishing Moisturiser which contains fatty acids such as blackcurrant and borage seed oil to deeply nourish your skin. Perfect for sensitivity, apply a thin layer AM and PM for best results.
Menopause can cause significant skin changes for the skin’s structure. In fact, 30% of your collagen is lost in the first 5 years after menopause. Because your hormone and collagen production levels radically decrease at this age, it’s important to look at potent skin formulas that can work to simulate cell turnover.
This may mean investing in an ultimate, skin health product. Guinot’s fabulous Beauty Therapist, Nicola, tells us:
“Age Logic products… they are symbolised with the [Guinot] burgundy and silver packaging and they are the ultimate! […] They contain very high complex active ingredients to simulate energy and oxygen within the cells […] To almost de-programme cell ageing.”
Nicola explains: “those burgundy and silver products, like your Age Logic Cellulaire, Age Nutritive, Time Logic Age Serum really help slow down biological ageing.”
Simply check Guinot for products starting with the words “Age Logic” and test them out to get the best cell regeneration formulas in your 50’s.