Skincare essentials for every age
I am frequently asked for tips for specific age groups and even for full regimens. In the past, I outlined regimens for 30 somethings, 40-somethings and 50+ and will update and expand them in the coming weeks. Skin doesn’t just get older as we make our way through the decades, there’s a series of processes that it goes through. So here’s some ideas of what do when you hit those decade-defining milestones. Or another way of looking at it is if you only do one thing and invest in the best for your age what should it be.

20-somethings: If you are in your 20s, you probably regard taking off your makeup before bed as a skincare routine. I know I did. Well, the best thing you can do for your skin is get the best possible cleanser that you can afford and use it morning and night. There are three reasons for this. First 20-somthings are prone to breakouts. A good cleanser will keep pores unblocked and control sebum without drying out the skin. Crappy cleansers with irritating surfactants or harsh preservatives can cause breakouts like nothing else. A facial cleanser with nourishing ingredients, such as plant extracts, can be left on the skin for a few moments (say while you clean your teeth) to maximize the benefits of them. Nutra-Lift’s Herbal Non-soap ($24 for 8oz) is 80% organic and has a potpourri of botanical antioxidants.

30-somethings: Before you get paranoid about that first wrinkle, the most important thing that you can do is pay attention to your skin tone and complexion. 30-something skin starts to look a little duller as the regeneration of skin cells starts to slow down. Gentle exfoliation will make all the difference. A great investment is an electronic brush such as the Clarisonic or the budget Sirius Skinsonic ($49.95 in the TIA shop) for sloughing off dead skin cells and debris and giving you a healthy looking complexion. A gentle glycolic peel (Juice Beauty’s Green Apple Peel is refreshing and La Vie Celeste’s mask is also a pleasure to use) is a once a week essential and will significantly brighten and smooth the skin. A once or twice a week scrub will also help and I would highly recommend an exfoliating cleanser such as La Vie Celeste’s ($40 in the TIA shop), which uses clays to close pores and clarify the complexion and anti-aging mother of pearl.

40-somethings: Your eyes are the first to betray your age. That’s not a bad thing as those laughter lines are a testament to your good humor and grace under fire, but they are starting to hang around after you stop smiling. A good eye cream is critical and our Five Best for Under $65 are a good place to start. If you feel you need heavier guns and can invest a bit more then check out our Five Best Eye Creams of 2011. If you don’t yet have that many wrinkles, then you can focus on good antioxidant ingredients that will help prevent future damage.

50-somethings: This is the time for the heavy guns. We might be aging, but we are going down fighting. If you have lines then the focus should be on wrinkle repair actives and peptides that boost collagen production. Epidermal growth factors are relatively new actives and they do work: check out ReLuma and E’shee or, if you prefer the idea of plant stem cells, there’s Juice Beauty’s Stem Cellular.  Collagen boosting peptides such as Matrixyl 3000 and Syn-Tacks should be on your radar. If you are finding that post-menopausal moisture loss is now an issue for you, it may be time to check out richer creams such as SenZen’s Infinity or La Vie Celeste’s Extra Rich, both of which have ChroNoline, an active that is supposed to help the skin’s support structure.

60-somethings: Even if your wrinkle prevention tactics and a sinless life spent out of the sun have paid off, sagging skin can be the bane of your 60s. It can feel like a downhill struggle and, frankly, there is no cream that I’ve yet found that really defies gravity. Electric current treatments really do help and if you haven’t yet sprung for an LED light, do it now. Better still have monthly microcurrent treatments with a trained esthetician. I’m still looking for the cream that will make a difference, but for the time being can recommend Chella’s Master Protocol, LiftLab Lift & Repair and Hydropeptide’s Hydrostem+6.