The visible signs of aging are an inevitable process that begins in your 20s. Consistent SPF usage can help slow down the effects of aging, but unavoidable factors like genetics, time, and hormone levels combine to change the structure of your skin’s health which results in aesthetic issues like wrinkles, fine lines, dehydration, skin thinning and loss of elasticity. The good news is that there are products to help combat the signs of aging like Biopelle’s skincare portfolio, which uses a combination of breakthrough technologies that actually help you achieve more youthful-looking skin.
How Aging Affects the Skin
Aging affects the skin in a number of ways. According to the U.S Department of Health & Human Services National Institute on Aging, over time your skin will naturally become thinner and lose fat, thereby looking less plump and firm as it did in your early twenties. Collagen, which provides that skin firmness, naturally breaks down over time as your skin produces 1% less collagen per year after the age of 20 (Scientific American) and elastin, which gives skin flexibility and the ability to bounce back into place, also starts to break down beginning in your twenties (Dennis Gross, MD via Byrdie.com). Later in life, women can lose a staggering 30% of their remaining dermal collagen in the first five years of menopause.
Speaking of menopause, Estrogen Deficient Skin is a factor as women age. It’s characterized by dryness, wrinkling, thinness and itching. “Interestingly, many women don’t associate that with menopause, just with getting older,” Diane Berson, M.D., a dermatologist in private practice in NYC, told Dermatology Times. “After menopause, skin loses estrogen and, subsequently, estrogen receptors on skin cells such as fibroblasts… The estrogen binding those receptors is responsible for plumping the skin, stimulating the development of glycosaminoglycans, which improve hydration, and also stimulating new collagen and elastin. The loss of that interaction leads to the clinical signs of dryness and wrinkling”
Combine the completely natural internal aging process of the skin with external forces that affect your skin as you move through life (i.e. sun damage, exposure to air pollutants, tobacco use, etc.) and over time your skin will appear duller, less elastic, and unfortunately have more wrinkles. This is why it’s important to have a skincare routine that adapts with you as you age.
This is why skincare routines evolve, as you age, you have different needs from your products. Learn how to take care of your skin at different stages.
Skincare in your 20s
In your 20s, skincare is all about prevention and laying the basic foundation of your routine.
Upgrade your cleanser: If you’re still using harsh astringents and cleansers you worshipped as a teen, toss it out. As you age, your oil glands shrink, meaning those drying cleansers may irritate your adult skin. Opt for something gentle and free of scrubbing beads.
Introduce exfoliation: Exfoliating is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin to reveal healthier, more youthful skin underneath. You should start incorporating a chemical-based exfoliator (look for terms like salicylic, alpha or beta hydroxy acids) instead of harsh physical exfoliators, like scrubbing beads or mechanical brushes.
Defense mode — Add an antioxidant active like vitamin C: They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. While you may not see visible signs of aging yet, taking active steps to prevent signs of aging is key in your 20s. It’s time to introduce defensive measures like Vitamin C. Serums containing Vitamin C are great at brightening the skin, preventing free radical damage and reversing the signs of sun damage. You can apply Vitamin C as the first step in your skincare routine after cleansing in the morning.
Always use SPF: Without doing anything, your skin will naturally start producing less collagen and elastin beginning in your 20s, so it’s important to slow down whatever external aging factors you can control, and the sun is the biggest culprit. The American Academy of Dermatology says to wear a sunscreen (or moisturizer that contains SPF) that is at least SPF 30. You should wear sunscreen all day, year-round, not just in the summer months. And when you’re outside, reapply your SPF every two hours.
Don’t forget to moisturize: If you’ve recently graduated from splashing your face with water and heading outside, now is the time to invest in a solid moisturizer. Oil-free or water-based moisturizers are great and will keep your skin hydrated all day.
Skincare in Your 30s
Now in your thirties, you are now starting to physically see the signs of aging or damage that began in your twenties. Your skin cell turnover also slows down, meaning dead skin cells sit on the surface for longer causing your skin to look more dull and uneven. Continue to cleanse your skin and wear daily SPF and moisturizer, but consider these new additions to your routine.
Introduce growth factors: Growth factors are naturally found in the skin and help repair damage from the sun and other environmental elements. With age, the body naturally produces fewer growth factors and damage to the skin goes unrepaired, leading to premature signs of aging. Breakthrough technologies like SCA Biorepair contain natural growth factors that promote more youthful-looking skin.
Take hydration more seriously: Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, M.D., board-certified NYC dermatologist at NYU Langone and Mount Sinai, tells SELF that in your thirties, your skin stops producing as much hyaluronic acid, which is what keeps your skin hydrated and looking supple. Now is the time to incorporate serums or moisturizers into your routine that contain hydrating humectants like hyaluronic acid or glycerin.
Start using anti-aging products: Though you could start this after age 25, you should absolutely be introducing anti-aging products, like a retinoid, into your skincare routine by your thirties. Retinoic acid is available by prescription only, while retinol is available in over-the-counter skincare products. All retinoid products are derived from Vitamin A and work to repair sun damage, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and generally smooth the skin. It also helps with acne. Start by working a retinoid product into your skin once a week at night, working up to everyday use.
Up your eye cream game: If you aren’t already using something to moisturize and care for your delicate eye area, now’s the time. Dark circles can make you look older and more tired than you actually are.
Continue exfoliating: Hopefully, you started exfoliating in your 20s, but if you didn’t now is the time to start and ideally, you’re using a gentle exfoliator three times a week to keep your skin looking bright and luminous as you slough off that top layer of dead skin cells.
Skincare in Your 40s
New skin issues that appear in your 40s include skin thinning, which can lead to more sensitive, red, and dry skin. This is also the time when age spots, fine lines and wrinkles become more prominent leading to a change in skincare habits. Additionally, changing hormones during this decade — specifically, a loss of estrogen may cause a loss of collagen and elasticity making your face look less “full” than it used to. Continue the skincare habits from your 20s and 30s (cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize, SPF), but pay attention to these new changes to your skin routine.
Think about stem cells: Stem cells are responsible for regeneration of your skin. But as we age, that function declines, leading to less elasticity, fine lines and wrinkles. In your 40s it’s time to start addressing those concerns. Adding a stem cell product with CellPro™ can lead to the more youthful-looking skin you’re seeking in your 40s.
Upgrade your moisturizers: Over time, skin becomes drier and drier, so it’s key to look for moisturizers that include moisture-trapping lipids. These compounds can mimic the natural lipids in the skin. Have you ever wanted “baby soft” skin? That’s lipids, which can deteriorate over time. Moisturizers that contain ceramides are a good bet.
Focus on your eyes: Start using an advanced, rich eye cream: if you were previously using moisturizer only and pulling it up towards the under eye area, swap that out for a dedicated eye cream formulated specifically for the under eye area to help reduce the appearance of fine lines around the eyes.
Skincare in Your 50s
In your 50s, your skin’s structure and moisture barrier become impaired and skin is less efficient at retaining moisture. Menopause and hormones play an even larger role in one’s 50s and with even less estrogen creation, dryness, sagging skin, and volume loss become a bigger concern. In your 50s, keep up with the routine established in your 40s while focusing on addressing changes in the skin due to hormonal shifts.
Take care of your Estrogen Deficient Skin: Estrogen plays a critical role in helping skin maintain optimal moisture retention, collagen and elastin levels and skin thickness. The body’s estrogen levels naturally decline with age, especially during perimenopause and menopause. This can lead to visible signs of aging. Consider adding MEP technology which is non-hormonal and clinically proven to counteract the visible effects of Estrogen Deficient Skin. In clinical trials, MEP helped 54% of users with dryness, 39% with dull skin and 19% with laxity.
Keep your cleanser gentle: Even if you had oily or combination skin in your youth, you likely are noticing dryer skin now that you’re in your 50s. Make sure whatever cleanser you’re using is both gentle and hydrating, so as to not further dehydrate your skin.
Consider boosting your routine: You may feel like you can’t wait months to see results from your skincare. You’re in your 50s and you want to address skin concerns now. This is the time to introduce a boost to your routine. Boosted treatments are intense jolts of high-impact ingredients meant to jump-start your skincare and improve visible results quickly.
General Skincare Best Practices
All the age-specific skincare tips are meant to compound upon the skincare routine you set the decade before, meaning your essential skincare routine should consist of — at a minimum — cleansing, moisturizing, SPF, and a weekly exfoliation. After those basics, add in whatever treatments fit your specific skincare concern, be it photoaging, dryness or Estrogen Deficient Skin.
You should consider upgrading your routine if you’re noticing more fine lines than usual, your skin is unusually dehydrated, or you’re noticing sun spots for the first time.
Aging is a natural process, but everyone wants more youthful-looking skin. Biopelle is a dermatologist-recommended and award-winning skincare brand that uses breakthrough technologies (like SCA Biorepair and MEP technology) to help anyone, of any age, achieve more youthful-looking skin. Biopelle’s collection of skincare products helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles, enhance skin tone, and reverse the visible signs of photodamage.
When looking for skincare products, consider the source. Biopelle offers several different product lines to treat a variety of aging-related skincare concerns and is backed by dermatologists and published clinical research. Whether you want brighten, firmer, or smoother skin — Biopelle is clinically proven to rejuvenate your appearance.