Skincare through the ages

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In your 20s

When you’re in your 20s you’re likely to have the best skin of your life but this is also when you may do a lot of unseen damage and in years to come this will become visible with signs of ageing says Paula Moriarty from Neutrogena. While a lot can be done to reverse the signs of ageing, it’s hard to completely undo it. So undoubtedly prevention is key.

We are constantly exposed to aggressors that can have a negative impact on our skin. Excessive sun exposure leads to premature skin ageing and sun protection should always be applied to exposed areas of skin even if the sun is not shining.

There is a well-known relationship between stress and inflammatory skin conditions such as Eczema and Psoriasis. But chronic stress, which unfortunately can be a fact of life in modern society is associated with premature skin ageing.

It can be difficult to know how to choose to anti-ageing skin care products. Sun screen and a good moisturiser are probably the two most effective anti-ageing agents.

Sunscreen products should offer broad-spectrum coverage and an SPF of 25 or higher. It should be applied daily irrespective of weather conditions as recent reports show depletion of the ozone layer means more of the sun’s irradiation is reaching the earth’s surface with the consequence of an increased potential for sun induced skin damage.

Good moisturisers contain skin-restoring ingredients that instantly hydrate and lock in moisture, while delivering anti-aging benefits. Used daily, moisturisers improve skin’s appearance, helping to keep it feeling smooth, plumped, and soft.

The delicate eye area is one of the first places signs of aging will be seen. So, it follows that an eye cream should address concerns like fine lines, wrinkles, loss of firmness, undereye darkness, and puffiness. Choose an eye cream with a lightweight formula, that is easily absorbed in to the skin and ideally fragrance free, which will lock in hydration to prevent loss of suppleness and keep eyes looking fresh.


In your 30s

What you do in your 20s doesn’t stay in your 20s it has a big effect on your skin in your 30s, says Karen J Gerrard, founder of SEAMS hand cream.

What we eat and drink, exposure to the elements, hormone changes, medications, stress, and even the radiation from a computer has a knock-on effect on our skin.

Skin produces 1 per cent less collagen each year, which is responsible for keeping skin plump and supple.

In our 30s there is greater collagen loss, crows feet appear on the smile line and around the eyes. Blood vessels begin to break, wrinkles show on the forehead and age spots appear.

A skin care routine is essential Cleanse, Tone and moisturise moisturise moisturise morning and night. Liz Earle has a natural skincare range for all skin types. Use a body cream such as Nivea Soft or Sol De Janeriro Bum Bum Cream after showering. Bio oil in the bath and on your hips and thighs where stretch marks are prone to appear, then skin food on particularly dry areas.

Dehydrated skin will loose elasticity bringing on wrinkles and crinkly skin. Water is life - drink it all day long to keep skin supple and clear. Skin is the biggest organ in our body – look after it.


In your 40s

Skincare in your 40s is all about protection against lines and to do this you need to preserve the collagen in your skin says Stuart Miles, the UK’s leading ageing expert. High doses of vitamin C with lots of water will help protect it from the inside along with a reduction in refined sugar. Refined sugar spikes our blood sugar causing something known as glycation which speeds up collagen’s destruction!

Adding anti-ageing superfoods like Blueberries, Almonds, pomegranate seeds and green tea along with live natural yoghurt to your diet will really help. These all contain natural substances to help support and slow down the ageing process.

Meanwhile on the outside as skin ages it loses its natural oils so hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Remove any astringent toners that can over dry your skin and replace them with micellar water. Try introducing a facial oil at night as this is a great way to boost your skins moisture levels as you sleep. We all dehydrate at night so you need to keep what moisture you have locked in.

To help keep those crow’s feet at bay find a light cream or gel that contains peptides to smooth this delicate area and help decrease the appearance of these fine lines. Peptides are fragments of proteins and help revitalise the building blocks of the skin.

Introduce a retinol (vitamin A) based night product, prized for their ability to promote cell turnover and thus diminishing fine lines. It can give some people a mild reaction so if you have a sensitive skin look for Retinyl Palmitate in products which is a safer form of this product and ideal for sensitive skins.

Finally, you will see a change in the firmness of the skin and a loss of elasticity in this decade. Hyaluronic acid is a great product that helps bind to moisture in the skin and plump it up for added firmness and hydration and is certainly something you should be looking for as part of your beauty regime when in your 40s.


In your 50s

As one edges towards 50+ the signs of ageing have appeared and you are even more aware of new changes due the natural biological change (peri-menopause / menopause). We experience further skin dryness, wrinkles worsening and loss of firmness,” says Caroline Casey, Head Trainer at IMAGE Skincare Ireland.

First of all, protect your collagen. Take sunscreen seriously, make sure you are using a broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 30 – 50 for burning and ageing rays every day all year long. Image Prevention + sunscreen doubles up as your moisturiser and SPF with added antioxidants and anti-ageing stem cells to protect your skins collagen and DNA.

Use anti-oxidants in every single product. Vitamin C is one important antioxidant, it has been proven not only to prevent the breakdown of collagen but increase collagen production. Resurface lines and wrinkles with AH’s, either a glycolic or lactic acid product, which can also reduce age spots and aid the penetration of other corrective ingredients.

To firm and lift your skin, use Retinol, the highest concentration your skin can tolerate. Make sure you consult your skin therapist on how to introduce retinol into your evening routine, you may need to gradually increase your usage. Image Ageless Total Repair cream is the perfect introductory retinol product.

Nourish and hydrate your skin, we start to lose natural moisturising factors such as hyaluronic acid and essential oils by half by the time we are 50.

Choose cosmeceutical moisturisers. They contain advance delivery systems to give enhanced hydration and cutting-edge technologies such as peptides and stem cells to firm skin and slow down the ageing process. That’s what I call an intelligent moisturiser!


In your 60s

Plenty of moisture is key to the health of your skin. Don't confuse moisturizer as putting heavy, thick rich cream. The moisturizer should always be with hydrating properties so that the skin can drench itself with water content not oil or waxes. Oil and waxes are barriers and they don't penetrate into the skin. 

Sagging skin with a coarser texture are hard to remedy or totally eliminate and some people resort to cosmetic surgery. But there are less dramatic methods you can do to gain firmer and tighter skin. Radio Frequency facials are showing great results in helping to redefine the contours of your face, they are giving clearer jaw lines and a more plump, radiant skin.

Use skincare serums with lots of peptides to signal collagen building. I recommend Le Mieux Collagen Peptide Serum. A concentrated firming and lifting serum releases skin of heavy, on-set furrows, deep expression lines, and creases for dry, mature, normal, combination and sensitive skin types”. Be sure to complement your radio frequency facials with your moisturisers and serums. 

Sleep is very important for rejuvenation. A good night’s sleep is imperative because the hormone that triggers sleep MELATONIS peaks around 11pm until about 3am. That is why we naturally get tired around that time. When we sleep, our cells rebuild and repair themselves (the growth hormone functions only at night). If we don’t sleep enough, this function is impaired.

 Good wholesome diet plays vital role for keeping skin, firm, clear and brighter. Creams and treatments do help but good nutrition is key to good skin, body and mind. 

Mindfulness and meditation are equally important to soothe your mind, to soothe your expressions and in return it will soften the harsh expression caused by anxiety, anger and frustration and it will show you the reward in getting your expression lines softer and that will help you not be tempted to go for Botox.

Catherine Devane