This post may contain affiliate links meaning I earn money from companies mentioned in this post at no additional cost to you. Read full disclosure here
When should you start anti aging products is a question I get a lot. It is always a good idea to start anti-aging products in your skincare routine early, this way you are helping the skin do more of what it is capable of.
My previous blog post focused on anti-aging foods, this serves as a foundation for the prevention of premature aging. If you have not read it yet, then I suggest you read it before commencing with this post.
The skin in itself does a whole lot of functions that we are barely even aware of. It self-regulates, renews, protects from toxins, maintains moisture content, and regulates skin tone. But as aging progresses, the skin forgets this and starts to fall short of its job. That is why we need to remind the skin to remember its functions with a skincare routine.
Teens to Early ’20s
At this tender age, your skin is already doing its job meaning it is self-exfoliating, renewing, and independent. So you do not need to burden your skin with any step 10 anti-aging skincare routine. Just maintain a simple and gentle skincare routine, this serves as a preventive measure and does wonders to your skin.
Look for products that are mild and gentle for your skin. Just having a cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreens and maintaining good diets and habits is enough to start your anti-aging skincare routine.
The golden rule when it comes to cleansing is to be as gentle as possible. Use lukewarm water when bathing, and ensure your bar soap is gentle as possible. Then select a cleanser that is gently and close to your skin’s natural PH. I recommend Etude House – Soon Jung pH 6.5 Whip Cleanser.
Most of the time, we often forget to moisturize and this is an important step that should not be missed. This step helps the skin to remain hydrated and stay moist. You don’t need thick moisture, just a gel water-based moisturizer is enough. You can find a really good one at Neutrogena hydro boost line.
When it comes to the primary anti-aging skincare routine, you would agree with me that it all starts with sunscreens. Sunscreens block both UVA and UVB light which interacts at different layers of the skin. UVA penetrates deep into the dermal layer of the skin meaning they affect both epidermal and dermal layers while UVB affects the epidermal layer where skin cell renewal takes place.
For that reason selecting a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB light is highly recommended. You can go for sunscreen of at least 30 SPF of which my favourite is the Supergoop SPF 50 lotion
The late ’20s – early ’30s
At this age, stress level becomes so high, that you barely sleep enough. You might even maintain a poor diet and forget to apply sunscreens because there is always a rush to get things done as fast as possible. Hyper-pigmentation and sunspots are more noticeable. Also, the skin becomes dryer and dull due to lack of oil production and the skin defence mechanism is weakened
This is the best time to start introducing antioxidants, chemical exfoliants, and moisturizers into your anti-aging skincare routine. You may also want to introduce niacinamide, although this step is optional
The body already has a natural defence mechanism to protect us from free radicals and sunburn but as we age this defence mechanism slows down due to stress. Therefore, using antioxidants orally and topically is a good start. For the topical application of antioxidants, the most potent and effective is vitamin C. However, there are other antioxidants such as CoQ10 and alpha-lipoic acid you can start with such as The Inkey List Q10 face serum
Look for moisturizers with humectants such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, sodium lactate, honey, and propylene glycol. A humectant acts exactly like a sponge, it draws water from the atmosphere into your skin. To get the most out of humectants, it is a great idea to start with hydrating serums because serums contain active ingredients that penetrate the skin more than the normal moisturizer. One of my favourites is The Inkey List Polylutamic acid
The skin appears dull because the skin needs help to remove dead skin cells. Therefore, the application of chemical exfoliants will take the skin back to normalcy and help to look rejuvenated and fresher. Applying exfoliants may be addictive so it is recommended to exfoliate once or twice a week to avoid over-exfoliation. My favourite chemical exfoliant at the moment is the Krave Beauty Kale AHA
Protect the skin barrier
The skin barrier must be protected at all costs because the natural moisturizing factors such as ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids are decreasing. These three soldiers are important to prevent epidermal water loss from the skin and protect the skin barrier from damage. You should start introducing moisturizers with ceramides and oils rich in linoleic acid.
The Late ’30s and Above
During this age, the body begins to undergo several significant changes that affect the hormones in women and men. For women, the reduction in estrogen levels takes place while testosterone levels in men are decreased. These significant changes pave the way for the skin cells to slow down. As a result, collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid within the dermis break down.
These significant changes become more noticeable in the form of fine lines, wrinkles, and sagginess. Therefore you might need to start applying some active ingredients to remind the skin cells of what it is capable of. This is a great time to start incorporating vitamins and peptides into your skincare routine
Vitamin A (Retinol)
Retinol is the most studied vitamin with FDA approval in the treatment of wrinkles. I would highly recommend you read my post on “The beginner’s guide to retinol“. Since Retinols can be irritating to the skin, it is always a good idea to start with a low percentage and then move your way up as your skin starts to adapt. You may also want to go for other retinol derivatives that act exactly like retinol with little to no irritation.
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoids 2% is a good start
Vitamin b3 (niacinamide)
Niacinamide has lots of benefits; it helps to increase ceramide production, boost collagen and elastin, and reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation amongst other things. You can call Niacinamide “Mr Incredible”.
If Retinol irritates your skin then Niacinamide has a cooling and soothing effect. This makes it a perfect pair for Retinol.
You can apply Niacinamide on your skin days before retinol to prep your skin for Retinol. If you would like to use them at the same time, it’s better to apply niacinamide first (water-based) before Retinol (oil-based) at a five-minute interval.
vitamin c (ascorbic Acid)
Vitamin C is very important when used before applying sunscreens in the morning. Research has shown that using sunscreens reduces only 55% of free radicals. That is why the addition of vitamin C right before sunscreens protects a greater amount of free radicals than sunscreens used alone. Also, the addition of vitamin C serums stimulates collagen in the skin. Since vitamin C is very unstable and highly sensitive to oxygen, it is best to store it in a place with little to no light.
It is also a great idea to start investing more in natural oils as the skin gets drier as age progresses. This helps to seal in moisture and keep the skin looking supple. The best kind of natural oils to go for are those rich in Oleic acid. The thick consistency of these oils makes them best for dry skin types and mature skin. You might want to check my post on Natural oils for different skin types.
Lastly, I would highly recommend you do a facial massage. There are lots of tutorials on YouTube that can help but it is best to go for what works for you. You can do any type of facial manual that can lift up your skin and stimulate collagen.
An anti-aging skin care routine should be started as early as possible to prepare your skin cells for exactly what they are capable of doing. Always start with skincare products that work well based on your skin type. I hope you found this post helpful. Thank you for reading 🙂