Optimal Skin Care Through the Ages. Your 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s
Taking care of your skin is a full-time job. What makes it even tougher is the fact that your skin — like the rest of your body — is always changing. To keep your skin beautiful and glowing in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond, follow these dermatologist-recommended practices.
Skin Care in Your 20s
- Latent teenage acne
- Large pores
- Uneven skin tone
Facial Skin Care in Your 20s
When you are in your 20s, your skin is gorgeous. Even if you get a few pimples or blackheads from time to time, savor these years, these times when you don’t have to worry about wrinkles and age spots. Still, you might be dealing with latent hormonal acne from your teen years, and you‘ve definitely got to prep for the future.
Just as in every other decade of life, this means you have to use sun protection. Choose a moisturizer that has an SPF of at least 30, and wear it every day — during rain or shine. Just make sure that it’s non-comedogenic (that it won’t clog pores) as some SPF lotions have a tendency to clog pores and, so, cause breakouts.
If you really want to be fastidious about preventing wrinkles (because they will come), look for a daily moisturizer that contains retinol. This ingredient is great for boosting cell turnover and collagen production. Retinol can also keep acne at bay and even out skin tone, if you suffer from either of these problems.
Body Routine for People in Their 20s
Your body doesn’t need much upkeep in your 20s, but you will still want to exfoliate and moisturize. Use a salt-based natural skin care body scrub in the shower at least 2 to 3 times per week. And follow this up with an after-shower lotion during the dry months. In summer, or whenever your skin will be exposed to the sun, be sure to use a body lotion that contains sunscreen. For a sunscreen that is easy to use, you can always carry around a spray-on sunscreen for those unpredictable moments when you find yourself in the sun’s hot rays.
Skin Care in Your 30s
- Beginning of collagen loss
- Appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Facial Skin Care in Your 30s
In your 30s, it’s all about regenerating collagen production. In your 20s, your body produces collagen quickly and efficiently, but its production slows down in your 30s, so you’ll need to rev it up with a daily dose of vitamin C. This will spur fibroblasts (the cells that form collagen) to increase collagen production.
Once again, make sure that you’re still using an SPF of 30 or higher every day. By your 30s, you should be using a cream with retinoids every night as well. You’ll want to apply both of these products to your neck, chest, and face. In your 30s and 40s, these areas (that have long been exposed to the sun) will begin to show signs of aging. Once you’re finished applying either product to your face, neck, and chest, wipe the excess on the backs of your hands. Like your face, your hands are often one of the first places to show signs of aging.
Body Routine for People in Their 30s
Exfoliation is just as important in your 30s as it is in your 20s. However, you might begin to see something new in your 30s: cellulite. To combat this problem with a natural skin care product, an Arabica coffee scrub can be used two to three times per week on the dimpled skin. The caffeine in the coffee will enlarge blood vessels and tighten the skin. Antioxidants in the coffee will help to do away with toxins. Continue wearing lotion and sunscreen after exfoliating.
Skin Care in Your 40s
- Appearance of lines and wrinkles
- Appearance of age spots
- Possible adult onset acne
Facial Skin Care in Your 40s
If you haven’t changed moisturizers already, it’s time to do so in your 40s. This is when fine lines and wrinkles really begin to make an appearance, and you may notice age spots making an appearance as well. Help dark spots disappear by looking for a facial lotion that contains alpha hydroxy acid. Used on a daily basis, this will even out your skin tone. Just make sure to use this only at night, or you can apply it during the day along with a sunscreen. Alpha hydroxy acid (or AHA) can make your skin especially sensitive to the sun.
You can boost overall resiliency to your skin as well by looking for products that contain coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and peptides. These are both necessary for energizing cell and collagen production, respectively. If you struggle with adult onset acne (which may be caused by menopause), apply dabs of acne clearing medications, such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide — and be sure to avoid irritating cleansers. To prevent the salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide from drying your skin, always be sure to apply a gentle moisturizer after the acne product has fully absorbed.
Body Routine for People in Their 40s
In your 40s, exfoliate less often and more gently. Instead of using an intense scrub, use an exfoliating mitt in the shower with your regular hydrating body wash. Continue moisturizing on a daily basis, but look for a body moisturizer that contains alpha hydroxy acid. AHA is not only great for facial skin care but also for body care. AHA will act as an emollient to slough off dead skin cells on your body without harming your skin. Again, always use a sunscreen when you use AHA.
Skin Care in Your 50s
- Development of lines and wrinkles
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Appearance of age spots
Facial Skin Care in Your 50s
In your 50s, your sebaceous glands start producing less oil. In turn, you might notice that you develop dry skin more quickly. And your skin may become more sensitive as well. To combat these issues, use a gentle cleanser, and stay away from soaps that contain sodium laurel sulphate — especially when washing your face. Sodium laurel sulphate is an ingredient that can suck the hydration from your skin.
Using a potent moisturizing lotion with ceramides and all-natural antioxidants will help to increase your skin’s hydration. To make your moisturizing lotion even more hydrating, mix it with a few drops of jojoba oil.
The gentle skin around your eyes will also need special attention in your 50s. Fat loss and a lack of collagen may enhance the appearance of dark circles and bags beneath the eyes. Use an eye cream with retinol at night to smooth the area around the eyes, and use an eye cream with silicone in the daytime to fill in the fine lines. Retinol can also be used on your cheeks to fade age spots.
Body Routine for People in Their 50s
In your 50s, you should apply the same rules that you use for your facial skin to the skin on your body. This is especially necessary for areas that get a lot of sun exposure, such as your chest, shoulders, arms, and lower legs. An emollient lotion with ceramides will really help these areas, and a cream with retinol can be quite helpful for spot-treating age spots that appear on the neck, the chest, and the backs of your hands.
Of course, you can’t have “perfect skin” forever. Gravity and time will always have their way. But you can do a lot to prevent signs of aging and improve imperfections as you move through life.