When to start “anti-ageing” skin care

I don’t really like the term “anti-ageing” but as it’s the one used by the majority of  brands out there and it’s recognisable, I will use it for now.  If you can come up with a new phrase please let me know!

It’s a question I’m often asked, “At what age should I start using specific anti-ageing skin care”? Obviously our skin is always ageing, but when does this become obvious, when does that youthful plump glow start to disappear.

I remember my ballet teacher telling us when we about 11 that it was all downhill from there, because at that age our bodies started to fuse up and age and if we weren’t already supple and healthy we didn’t have a chance of becoming so (you’ve got to love dance teachers).  However, back to skin care…

Ageing falls into two categories, intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic ageing is natural biological ageing, totally unrelated to lifestyle factors and extrinsic ageing occurs purely as a result of external lifestyle factors such as sun damage and smoking.

During your 20s the skin will start to dry out which can be a blessing to those who suffered from greasy skin as a teenager, but isn’t so good for those with dry skin already where this can lead to those first fine lines around the eyes and mouth.

In your 30s the skin becomes less plump and thinner as the elastin and collagen levels start to break down, generally the complexion becomes dryer and some women will start to suffer from sensitive skin. The skin under the eyes becomes more delicate and the eye puffiness which used to disappear straight away now lingers for a while.

In your 40s those lines around the eyes and mouth deepen and forehead lines appear. This is when you can really start to notice that the bounce back ability of your skin is fading.

By the time you get to your 50s wrinkles will have settled in, more fine lines will have appeared and some people will suffer from age spots and perhaps a sagging jaw line.

However, help is at hand. If we don’t have those genes where our skin looks amazing throughout our whole life, we can aid the process of younger looking skin by eating healthily and getting plenty of sleep and obviously by using the correct products. Using an appropriate product is easier today as a lot of ranges are clearly marketed to the relevant age group than even just a few years ago. A good basic starter would be Boots ranges: Early Defence for 20 – 35 year olds, Protect & Perfect 30 – 45; Lift & Luminate 45-60 and Restore & Renew 60+.

Throughout your 20s you can help your skin by always using a sunscreen and not smoking as smoking hampers the body’s ability to manufacture collagen. At this age you should be able to use lighter products and antioxidants. As you approach your late 20s and early 30s try regular exfoliation to ensure quicker renewal of the skin, however, be careful with exfoliation if you have broken capillaries. Retinol cream can be introduced. From 35 onwards you will need more hydration and collagen stimulation and into your 40s perhaps dark spot correctors. Past 45 try non- drying cleansers and maybe a gentle cleansing brush to remove dead cells.

Don’t forget your neck and chest area, I personally think you should get into the habit of moisturising these as soon as possible, make sure you include the back of your neck and up towards the front and back of your ears.

There are too many anti-ageing products to name and obviously your budget will dictate which you choose but a lot of the cheaper ranges (Olay, L’Oreal etc) are very good. I’ve tried a lot of anti-ageing ranges and my favourite product from them all has to be Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair serum (sorry to agree with just about every beauty expert out there but it is amazing).

Watch out for future blogs where I go into individual anti-ageing products in much greater detail. If there’s any product ranges you’ve found particularly good please let me know, I love to get your feedback.

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