As we age, the body needs different things to stay healthy. Skin care is no exception to this rule. That’s why making the right adjustments to the care routine, depending on how needs change, is vital to the effectiveness of the care. From our morning routine, to the products we choose to buy, the way we take care of our skin is different in every decade of our lives.

Learn how to give your skin the best possible care, depending on your age:

  • In the 20s

Main concerns and routine

In your 20s, typical skin problems include dryness, acne, blackheads, enlarged pores, hormonal breakouts, and premature aging prevention. Skin care should focus on combating these problems. According to celebrity esthetician Nerida Joy, this decade is all about adopting a proper and above all consistent skincare routine.

Yes to exfoliating cleansers and acids

Dermatologist Ann C. Zedlitz suggests using a cleanser with exfoliating properties, such as glycolic or salicylic acid, to combat clogged pores and oiliness. “The acid will help exfoliate dead cells and brighten the skin,” she explains. To lock in youthful moisture, Joy recommends “a moisturizer with antioxidants, which will replenish the skin with what the sun and environment have stripped away.” She also recommends a gentle product for the under-eye area, applied a few times a week. Incorporating a vitamin C serum as well as retinol into your routine is also recommended.

Definitely cleaning before bed

It is not until about 25 that we underestimate the value of cleansing the face of makeup products before bed. But experts point out that this step is vital for healthy-looking skin, arguing that wearing make-up overnight can lead to irritation, acne-prone skin, dryness and an overall dull appearance.

Dermatologists Gilly Munavalli and Hayley Leight-Dunn recommend a two-step process, using an oil- or micellar water-based cleanser first and then applying a gentle facial cleanser.

Protect your skin’s barrier and don’t overtax it

“From 25 onwards, you start to lose about 1% of your collagen per year,” says dermatologist May Hall. “Now is the time to incorporate elements such as a cleanser, a moisturizer and a sunscreen. Keeping a simple, yet effective routine is key. Choose products that match your skin type and protect the skin barrier. If you have oily skin, choose a cleanser with ingredients like salicylic acid. If your skin is dry, prefer a moisturizing, creamy cleanser, to avoid excessive removal of natural oils from the skin.

Sun protection is also essential. Use a product with SPF 30 or higher and zinc oxide or titanium dioxide daily. “Sunscreen is the best thing you can do for your skin. Start good habits early,” says Dr. Zedlitz.

Invest in skin-loving supplements

In the war against acne, nutrition is everything. “You need tons of green vegetables to help oxygenate the skin and fight bacteria, keeping skin clear. If you don’t eat well, you won’t get rid of acne,” says esthetician Joanna Vargas. “Aim for supplements that focus on hair and nail health, such as those containing biotin and GLA (gamma-linolenic acid),” advises nutritionist Alex Caspero.

  • In the 30s

Protection and repair

“At 30, genetics, sun exposure and age begin to take their toll on the skin, in the form of fine lines and wrinkles, discoloration, sun spots and early volume loss,” say Drs. Munavalli and Dr. Leight-Dunn, revealing their motto for skin care at this age: “Protect your skin in the morning and repair it at night!”

Necessary products: Eye cream, sun protection

According to Joy, 30-year-old skin needs consistent, gentle cleansing, a daily serum, a good moisturizer, a good eye cream, and sunscreen. She also suggests applying a mild exfoliating mask once or twice a week. Alternatively, Dr. Zedlitz recommends using exfoliating pads with 10% glycolic acid to boost skin’s radiance and help tackle fine lines.

New additions: Vitamin C and retinol

Incorporating Vitamin C and Retinol Serum is vital to fighting the signs of aging and keeping skin glowing. “Vitamin C serum will brighten the skin and fight oxidative damage from the sun, which causes the first signs of aging,” explain Drs. Munavalli and Dr. Leight-Dunn. Add retinol to your nighttime routine 3-4 times a week to fight fine lines, even out skin tone and boost collagen production.

At 30 is probably when you start to see the first signs of discoloration or melasma. Dr. Munavalli and Dr. Leight-Dunn recommend using products with “kojic acid, arbutin, glycolic acid and azelaic acid, which even out skin pigmentation.”

Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet

“The foods you eat are very important for skin health,” says Dr. Germain. “Eating an anti-inflammatory diet, limited in sugar, white flour and dairy improves skin.” Caspero explains that due to sun exposure, pollution, stress and loss of subcutaneous support, among other things, wrinkles are a natural part of aging. “Apart from the formation of wrinkles, the skin also becomes rough and dry, leading to redness and scarring. Make sure you consume enough quality fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids. I recommend a quality fish oil.”

  • In the 40s

Hydration and antiaging substances

Once you’ve established a solid care routine, the next few decades are all about staying consistent by adding a few extra steps. “As the skin changes, limited hydration and decreased production of collagen and elastin leads to deeper wrinkles and more significant volume loss,” say Drs. Munavalli and Dr. Leight-Dunn. Eye creams with retinol, peptides and caffeine are beneficial. “Incorporating a hyaluronic acid serum into the skin can ‘lock in’ moisture and keep the skin plump and youthful,” adds Dr. Hall.

According to dr. Zedlitz, you should also add a neck cream to your skin care routine, as well as products for the chest and arm area.

Joy says that at 40 the active ingredients have to come into play. She recommends a gentle cleanser, a daily antioxidant serum, moisturizer and sunscreen, along with a gentle weekly exfoliator. For nighttime, she recommends incorporating ingredients that help tighten the skin, such as peptides, alpha hydroxy acids or retinoids.

Time for collagen supplements

Caspero recommends taking a collagen supplement to boost skin’s elasticity and youthful appearance. “After 12 weeks, you’ll see a significant reduction in lines, wrinkles and dryness,” she claims. Nutritionally, focus on antioxidants, which fight skin damage.

  • In the 50s

Collagen strengthening and hydration

Once you reach 50, Dr. Munavalli and Dr. Leight-Dunn argue that “you have to be aggressive about boosting collagen production.” Prescription retinoids and peptide-based products can prove to be important allies.

Experiment with retinol alternatives and moisturizers

“If a retinol product is too harsh for your skin, I recommend using alternatives, such as bacuchiol,” says Dr. Hall, “Other solutions are growth factor serums and peptides to help with dull, dehydrated skin. In the postmenopausal population, a topical estrogen product such as estradiol may work. Finally, investing in a soothing and moisturizing face cream can make a big difference to your skin.”

Try a weekly acid peel

Decreased moisture retention and cellular function and lower estrogen levels can cause dehydrated and dull skin. So use a chemical exfoliator with AHA or BHA once or twice a week to remove dead cells, boost hydration and help other products work better. According to dr. Zedlitz, you should also incorporate AHAs in the form of exfoliating pads on your hands and chest.

The way of applying the products is important

Joy says that at 50, it’s not just what you put on your skin that matters, but how. He suggests massaging “with upward movements, helping to stimulate the muscular system and attracting oxygen to the blood.” You should also use serums with active substances morning and night. Nighttime moisturizer should be thick to boost cell regeneration overnight, say Drs. Munavalli and Dr. Leight-Dunn.

Focus on antioxidants

For this age group, Caspero recommends an antioxidant-based nutritional supplement. Turmeric is an essential ingredient. “Curcumin can help prevent arthritis and bone loss in older women,” she explains, adding that the concentration of antioxidants it contains effectively fights skin-damaging free radicals.

  • From the 60s onwards

Fights dry skin and sagging

The priority now is to treat dry skin. “Shorter, lukewarm showers and applying a thicker ceramide-based moisturizer twice a day can help,” advise Drs. Munavalli and Dr. Leight-Dunn.

At the same time, face and body hydration is particularly important for replenishing the skin barrier. For this reason, experts recommend adding a humidifier to the home.

According to Joy, the 60s are the right time to layer on healing serums and use good protective moisturisers. Therefore, reduce the frequency of exfoliation and focus on moisturizing and protecting the skin in order to combat excessive dryness, loss of volume and sagging.

Boost your vitamin intake

Boosting vitamin intake is also vital in this age group. In addition to powerful antiaging supplements, Caspero recommends taking vitamin D and B12 vitamins. Although they have not been completely associated with the preservation of beauty and youth, the expert argues that they can help with the normal metabolism and function of the skin. “As we get older, the body does not absorb valuable nutrients from food as efficiently,” he explains.

This information will help you maintain the health and glow of your skin at every stage of life.