It is common knowledge that your skin changes as you age, but do you know why this is?
From your 20s to your 70s, this guide will take you through the many changes that your skin will experience as you progress through life, while explaining exactly how you need to care for it.
In Your 20s
As you leave your teens and move on into your 20s, your face will start to take on more of a mature, womanly look.
Because this is when you begin to lose your “baby fat”, and while this happens quite gradually, you will start to notice your face taking on more of a defined shape as you continue through your 20s. However, this loss of fat does also mean that your skin will start to be more susceptible to wrinkles and fine lines, and you may even notice a couple of fine lines in certain areas of your face, especially as you progress through your 20s.
If you used to suffer from teenage acne, you may notice this start to decline, with some people experiencing dry skin as they reach their 20s.
Sound like a blessing?
It may be for some, but this does mean that you need to quickly become acquainted with how to care for dry skin, as this is completely different than caring for teenage, acne-prone skin.
Your 20s is also when your body’s natural antioxidant production begins to decline, meaning that you need to begin supplementing these topically, as well as ensuring that you are consuming plenty through your diet.
Although you still have plenty of growing up to do when you are in your 20s, and will make many mistakes, which you will learn from, along the way, you need to keep your lifestyle choices in check if you want to prolong the youthfulness of your skin.
Did you know that heavy smoking, as well as worshipping the sun, can add around 20 years to the natural age of your skin?
This means that you need to be limiting everything from sun exposure to smoking to stress to excessive alcohol intake, all while maintaining a healthy diet and a regular exercise regime.
When it comes to anti-aging skin care routines, many people decide to adopt one in their mid to late 20s, as this is the ideal time to begin including anti-aging ingredients, such as retinol, into your skin care routine. You do not need to use this every day, and just once or twice a week should be sufficient.
In Your 30s
Your 30s are likely to be when you really begin to notice a few differences in your skin…
To begin with, this is when your production of collagen and elastin begin to decline.
Wondering why this is important?
Because collagen and elastin are the main structural proteins that give your skin its firmness, smoothness and elasticity, meaning that all of this will begin to decline from your 30s onwards.
If you have not yet started to use a retinol product, then now is the time to do so. Retinol and retinoids are forms of vitamin A, and have been proven to be the most effective anti-aging ingredient out there. In addition to doing several other wondrous things for your skin, retinol is able to increase your natural production of collagen and elastin.
This is also the time in life when sun damage has really started to accumulate, meaning that you may notice some dark sun spots appearing on your face, as well as your body.
What can you do about this?
Well, to begin with, you need to increase the frequency at which you apply sunscreen, because sun exposure is only going to make these dark spots even worse, especially over time.
Did you know that up to 90% of premature facial aging is actually caused by the sun? This means that protecting your face from UV rays could really have a huge impact when it comes to the visible signs of aging that you experience. Studies have shown that those who use sunscreen are 24% less likely to show increased signs of aging, compared to those who do not wear sunscreen.
Back to sun spots, here are a few other steps that you can take to clear them:
- Use skin care products that contain plenty of antioxidants, such as vitamin C and green tea, both of which have been proven to help heal sun damaged skin
- Use a chemical or enzymatic exfoliant to help slough off the dead skin cells that contain the extra pigment
- Use a brightening product, such as one containing hydroquinone or kojic acid, the latter of which is a natural brightening ingredient
The 30s are often a decade when people try to make healthier changes in their life, and this could really benefit your skin in later stages. Try to stick to a healthy diet, while making other positive lifestyle choices.
In Your 40s
If you have not made the best lifestyle choices throughout your life, then your 40s is when this will really begin to be reflected in your skin. For those who smoke, you will start to notice the fine lines around your mouth deepening quite a bit, whereas those who have experienced quite a bit of stress will notice visible furrows in their forehead.
There is still time to change this, whether this means actually quitting smoking or learning a few stress management skills.
One of the reasons why your skin is no longer able to really hold up to all of this is because your cell turnover rate will really start to slow down in your 40s.
Wondering what cell turnover is?
This is the process at which your body naturally sheds its dead skin cells, replacing them with fresh, new ones. Since your body will now not be able to shed these dead skin cells at the rate it used to, these will end up settling on the surface of your skin, contributing to a dull, lacklustre complexion.
Fortunately, stimulating your natural cell turnover process to speed back up is not too difficult…
Want to know the secret?
Exfoliation! Not only does this clear away the dead skin cells sitting on your skin, but it also helps to speed up the rate at which new skin cells travel up to the top layer of your skin.
Something else that will help is the use of a night cream. While your body is asleep, your cells work to heal and regenerate, and this is the time when many new skin cells are created. A quality night cream will contain the necessary ingredients to boost this process.
Retinol is another ingredient that can help with cell turnover, and if you have not already started using a retinol product, now is the time to do so. Take it slow to begin with, and then gradually build this up so that you are using it two to three times a week.
In your 40s, you will also begin to go through some hormonal changes, and, in terms of your skin, this will cause dryness, and will also make your skin thinner. However, for some women, this can bring about acne flare-ups, which may require the use of benzoyl peroxide treatments to clear.
In Your 50s
Due to a dramatic decrease in estrogen levels, your 50s is when you are likely to go through menopause, and this will have quite the impact on your skin.
Here are a few of the changes that you can expect to experience:
- Oily skin and adult acne, due to the decreased levels of estrogen no longer able to mask the testosterone in the body
- Facial hair, caused by the same as above
- Sagging skin, because one of the roles that estrogen played was to evenly distribute fat cells around the body. Without estrogen, the face, neck, hands and arms end up lacking in supportive fat, resulting in sagging skin with a loss of mobility
- Thinner skin, as the lack of estrogen means that blood flow slows down, resulting in less nutrients and oxygen delivered to the epidermis, which is the outer layer of your skin
- More prone to sun damage, due to a decrease in the amount of protective melanin that your skin produces
Since your skin will be thinner, using rich and thick moisturizers is absolutely essential. Moisturizers are designed to form a thin film over the surface of the skin, meaning that they will help to make up for your thinning epidermis.
You should also pay attention to the ingredients in the other skin care products that you use, especially items such as your cleanser. Make sure that these do not contain any drying ingredients, as these will only end up thinning out your skin even more. You need to be using products that hydrate the skin, as this will help to give it a plumper and brighter appearance.
You will hopefully already be using a retinol product, and, if you are only using this three or four times a week, it is time to increase this to five or six times a week.
In Your 60s
Your skin in your 60s will really reflect the amount of care that you have given it in its earlier years.
For those who have not been treating their sun spots, these will significantly worsen now, and new ones will appear extremely quickly. As always, exfoliation can really help with this, so make sure you keep this up.
Your skin will be lacking in quite a bit of structure by now, due to the decline in collagen and elastin, but there is one way that you can add some definition back to your face.
The secret here is…
Face yoga! While this may sound slightly wacky, many have experienced natural face lifts thanks to face yoga. There are a number of exercises out there to try, as well as video tutorials for those who would like some step-by-step guidance.
You could also try using skin care products that contain stem cells and growth factors, as this will help your body in producing new skin cells, since your natural skin cell production rate will have declined quite a bit.
While it may sound all doom and gloom, there is a positive side to entering your 60s when it comes to your skin…
Your hormones will have been fluctuating quite a bit over the past 20 years or so, but they will now have finally calmed down. This means that your skin will become much more stable, making it easier to identify and deal with any issues. However, this could also mean that you end up becoming sensitive to skin care products that you have been fine with all your life, so do keep this in mind if you experience any skin irritation.
In Your 70s
If you haven’t already, you will likely begin to notice some of your wrinkles developing into even deeper folds as you progress through your 70s. This is due to a further loss of elasticity and plumpness in your skin, since no more estrogen is being produced.
It is important to continue on with an anti-aging skin care routine, as this will contain ingredients to help make these folds less severe.
Keep your skin hydrated as much as possible. If you seem to be applying layer after layer of moisturizer to no avail, try giving your face a spritz with some rose water first, and then applying the moisturizer to your damp skin. This will mean that the extra moisture gets trapped into your skin, helping to plump it up.
Reading about all of these skin care changes can be quite frightening, but, while a part of your aging process is down to genetics, the majority of it is actually related to your lifestyle. From your diet to your commitment to sun protection, by taking care of your skin from an early age, you will be able to maintain a healthy, youthful complexion for far longer.