A luminous complexion is your birthright, no matter what your age. Flawless skin can be yours with a few recommended tweaks to your beauty routine. And it never hurts to remind yourself about “what’s around the corner” if you don’t treat your skin with TLC.
In Your 20s
Embrace the way your skin looks without makeup, in all its supple glory, and wage a war against Father Time and Mother Nature, pronto. Even though cells are regenerating at top speed, it’s never too early to start thinking about the future. Wearing protective armor, like sunscreen and eye cream, and adopting a healthy lifestyle are the first steps toward preserving a youthful appearance.
Key concerns: active oil production gives skin its dewy glow but also causes breakouts. Purify with a gentle facial cleanser and avoid potentially drying soaps or astringents (dehydration breeds fine lines and peeling pimples, which can’t be concealed with makeup). The pros warn against partying in the wee hours, smoking, sun tanning and yo-yo dieting. The cumulative effects will show up later in life.
In Your 30s
The good news? Skin is more mature, less temperamental. The bad news? Collagen production, cell turnover and oxygen flow have slowed and it’s starting to show in the form of dullness and fine creases. For many of us, the shock typically hits all at once, seemingly overnight. “Where on Earth did these parentheses around my mouth come from?” Luckily, damage isn’t a done deal.
Key concerns: If you spent your youth frolicking in the sun, say hello to your new brown spots. Other physical changes include deeper expression lines, enlarged pores, broken capillaries and puffiness or dark circles under the eyes. Don’t discard your zit-zapping potions just yet…acne is always a possibility.
In Your 40s
Once women hit 40, it’s easy to tell who’s been taking care of their face and who hasn’t. Skin is drier, thinner and less firm because lipid and estrogen levels have dropped. Elasticity is losing its bounce, and (sigh) fluctuating hormones can still cause occasional breakouts.
Key concerns: Problems with the skin around the eyes become more prevalent at 40. There are bags, drooping eyelids and/or undereye hollows to be reckoned with. The neck also shows tell-tale signs of neglect. It tends to develop rings that give away your age, sort of like the cross-section of a tree trunk.
“Our faces are our lies and our necks are the truth. You have to cut open a redwood tree to see how old it is, but you wouldn’t have to if it had a neck.” Nora Ephron
In Your 50s
It’s never too late to start pampering your skin. Really. At this stage, topical treatments, combined with a healthy lifestyle, still have plenty of wrinkle-fighting promise. However, they can’t replace doctor’s office procedures when it comes to eliminating serious sun damage and sagging.
Key concerns: There’s a big difference between skin at 45 and 55. In your 50s, you lose fat in the face and things start to slide downward, which is why some women opt for a facelift. During menopause, skin continues to thin and becomes more sensitive to climate changes. You’re likely to experience more brown spots and facial hair (although eyebrows become sparse…go figure). Bags or hollows around the eyes are more pronounced.
Category: Beauty & the Beat