Defy The Decades
The skin is the largest sensory organ of your body. As we age, our skin suffers natural wear-and-tear, just like the rest of our bodies. You might notice signs such as wrinkles and age spots, as well as thinning and sagging of the skin. There are a variety of factors that can affect how your skin ages, such as your lifestyle, diet, genes, and personal habits such as smoking and excessive drinking.
“Ultraviolet rays are the main cause of ‘extrinsic’ ageing, so sun protection and using a sunscreen of SPF30 daily should be part of your daily regime even in your 20s. Smoking also accelerates the ageing process by reducing your body’s ability to make collagen and also causes wrinkling,” says Dr Rachael Teo, Specialist in Dermatology and Consultant, Raffles Skin & Aesthetics.
How Will You Age?
In his book, Your Future Face, New York City dermatologist, Dr Dennis Gross, explains how to foresee your beauty destiny. He suggests making notes of the particular risks that seem to apply to you, so that you can create a customized skincare plan targeting your skin’s vulnerabilities.
- Look at family members to see if there are shared traits, such as brow furrows, crow’s feet or under-eye bags. Also, studying the parent you most closely resemble can help forecast how you’ll look when you’re older – but don’t forget that lifestyle factors can have a profound effect on speeding up or slowing down the ageing process.
- Notice how you look when you are expressionless versus when you are showing emotion. There’s a strong possibility that the lines or furrows that only appear right now when you squint, concentrate or are tense, will become permanent later in life.
- When you’re exhausted, your face reflects areas of vulnerability, such as skin laxity around the mouth or the deepening of old acne scars on the cheeks. As you age, your skin will have less regenerative power, so these flaws may become more apparent.
- Areas on your skin that appear crinkly though not quite lined or wrinkled –either all the time or just when pinched –usually indicate areas that have sustained more sun damage than the rest. Over time, there’s a strong possibility that these regions will morph into lines or wrinkles or start to sag.
Want to stay youthful? Try to avoid these top five bad habits as they can age your skin faster than you’d think.
It is never too soon to start taking preventative steps against ageing. There are specific skin concerns that we need to pay more attention to during particular decades of the ageing process. Here are some tips you can look out for:
At this point in your life, your skin is the best it can be. However, for some people, acne may occur due to a combination of blocked hair follicles, excessive oil production and bacteria. Symptoms include open and closed comedones (white and blackheads), painful inflamed spots that may occur on the face or upper body.
Concerns: More oil production | Larger pores | Breakouts along the jawline
Solution: Preserve & Protect Recommended regime: Anti-acne cleanser | Toner | Light moisturiser | Sunscreen | Retinoid cream
Your skin is still young, but environmental factors can prematurely age your skin (especially the sun!)
In your 30s, your skin may begin to show the damage based on your past lifestyle and skincare habits. Coupled with decreased cell turnover and a dip in estrogen levels, you may notice that your skin has become uneven and dull. Areas around the mid-face and chin will become more angular and slimmer due to the loss of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid.
Concerns: Dull complexion | Light wrinkles around eyes & mouth | Dry & thin skin | Hyperpigmentation
Solution: Recommended regime: Mild cleanser with hydroxy acids | Sunscreen | Antioxidant-rich moisturiser & serum | Retinoid cream | Undereye cream
Your skin may look dull and lifeless because the natural process of exfoliation stops. More water is lost = drying skin & a decrease in your skin’s natural protection barrier.
So long, estrogen. During this decade, expect less firmness, elasticity and moisture, leaving you with sunken-looking eyes and laxity of skin. Your face will also start losing more subcutaneous fat around mid-face, temples and the front of the ears. The thinning of the epidermis on your skin may lead to more pronounced lines and wrinkles, and a drier complexion.
Concerns: Age spots | Pronounced wrinkles | Uneven skin texture | Premenopausal skin dryness
Solution: Recommended regime: Retinol night cream | Moisturising cleanser | Sunscreen |Chemical exfoliant containing alpha-hydroxy or polyhxdroxy acids | Antioxidant-rich moisturiser
Signs of damage are more visible: age spots, freckles, discolouration, and uneven skin tone. Your skin may lose more moisture.
In your 50s and beyond
In your 50s, you will find that your skin has lost its moisture and glow due to menopause. Your skin will also be more vulnerable to sun and pollutant damage. If you have not been strictly following a good skincare regime, you may also find that your skin will start to sag and become droopy, accompanied with sun spots. Wrinkles and fine lines seen in your 40s will also become more pronounced.
Concerns: Deep wrinkles | Loss of subcutaneous fat | Facial hollowing in cheeks & around eyes| Spider veins | Benign bumps and patches on skin | Stretched pores | Saggy skin
Solution: Recommended regime: Moisturising cleanser | Antioxidant-rich serum | Sunscreen | Hydrating night cream | Hand & foot creams