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How to: Start an Anti-Ageing Routine in your Mid-Twenties

Thu, 9 August 2012 3:19PM

Quarter-life crisis aside, the mid-twenties are a turning point for skin, too. You still look youthful, like the gorgeous Ashley Greene here …

 

 … yet signs of skin wear and tear are just around the corner. That’s why anti-ageing for this age is all about taking preventative measures and making clever pre-emptive strikes. Here’s how in five easy steps …

1. Size up your Sunscreen

Suncare is without doubt the best anti-ageing strategy around, regardless of your age. Most of what we know as ageing – the lines, wrinkles, spots and roughness – is environmentally induced, with UV exposure at the top of the list of offenders. So it makes sense that there’s little point doing anything for your skin if you’re not protecting it from the sun in the first place. That means actually avoiding the sun during the peak UV times (mostly: in summer, in the middle of the day), and wearing high-factor, broad-spectrum sunscreen all day, all year. For the latest in sunscreen know-how, click here.

2. Add Antioxidants

Think of them as the secondary line of defence. Because no sunscreen (short of a cabana) is 100% effective, some UV rays slip through and trigger free radicals, those nasty little menaces that wreak havoc throughout our bodies, including our collagen and elastin support system. Antioxidants can be sent in (via serums and creams) to neutralise these free radicals. Some also have added benefits, such as boosting collagen production and keeping skintone clear. Our star: vitamin C. Word of warning: C is tricky to stabilise, so expect to pay a high-ish price for a serum (by far the most effective way to deliver it into skin). However, the healthy glow you’ll get for the effort will more than pay it back. Try: Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum, $69.95, Mecca Cosmetica.

3. Get Extra Exfoliation

Skin turnover – which is what keeps our complexions looking fresh and glowing – starts to slow in the twenties. Mechanical exfoliation (i.e using a granular scrub) will help keep things moving along. But alpha hydroxy acids are a much preferable option; as well as exfoliating (in this case, chemically), they beautifully smooth out a skin surface that is becoming less than silky-soft. Because AHAs can irritate skin and make it sun-sensitive, apply a hydroxy treatment at night, a couple of times a week. Try: Environ Alpha Hydroxy Gel, $79, Environ. PS: if you’re struggling with adult acne as much as with ageing, AHAs can also keep congestion in check.

4. Get on the A List

Meet vitamin A. AKA retinol or retinoic acid (whether you’re using an over-the-counter or prescription option). Derms often call it the ‘gold standard’ of anti-ageing. As well as having an exfoliating effect, vitamin A stimulates the cells that produce collagen when they become a little lazy, and peps up circulation for an overall healthy glow. Like hydroxy acids, this strong active should be applied at night (to clean, dry skin), so alternate them for the best (red: most youthful) results. Check out the RoC range of retinol-rich buys, from pharmacies.

5. Finally: Eye Cream

The lines you see around your eyes when your smile are expression lines, or what the pros call ‘dynamic wrinkles’. However, over time, the skin springs back less and starts to settle into ‘static wrinkles’. You might be noticing this delightful phenomenon around now. Look for an anti-ageing eye cream that is not too rich (which could cause milia, those little white blockages) – one great buy for now would be Olay Total Effects Eye Cream, $32.49, from pharmacies. And don’t forget to sun-protect here, too. If that’s not an excuse to go treat yourself to a fab new pair of large dark designer sunnies, we don’t know what is.

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15 Comments

  • Posted by: adriennne Master Fan // Thu, 9 August 2012 04:10pm

    LOVE these tips

  • Posted by: Morning Star Devotee // Thu, 9 August 2012 08:30pm

    I keep thinking that I need to start looking into this (although I still feel to young to be thinking about this), but this has motivated me to really find some products to start using!

  • Posted by: caitie // Fri, 10 August 2012 10:29am

    Thanks for posting this, i think it’s a good summary! I am planning on getting on the Vitamin C bandwagon and hopefully will have some good results. If you are planning on getting pregnant in the next year or so would it be best to leave the Vitamin A/retinol till later? Thanks!

  • Posted by: Jacquie // Fri, 10 August 2012 02:24pm

    Thanks for the article Kat, I just turned 24 and have been wondering about all of this! I’m currently using Garnier’s BB Cream which includes SPF 15 – is that enough to prevent basic day-to-day sun exposure (as in whilst driving in the car) or should I be investing in a proper sunscreen?

  • Posted by: Katrina Lawrence Devotee // Mon, 13 August 2012 11:16am

    Hi Caitie. You’re welcome! If you’re actively trying to get pregnant, I’d leave out any kind of vitamin A from your routine. If, however, baby is still a tiny twinkle in the eye, you should have no issues with the over the counter variety. If you’re planning to go with a prescription form, check with your derm or doctor. Good luck! xx

    Hi Jacquie. You’re welcome too! Your question is a bit of a toughie. Practically every derm I have spoken to about suncare for a regular day at the office has said that an SPF moisturiser should be sufficient. Some even say it’s good because they let slip through enough UV to crank up vitamin D stores. However, as a rule of thumb, if I think I’m going to be outside for more than 15 minutes during the day, I wear a sunscreen as well as my moisturiser, no matter what SPF that moisturiser has. Does that make sense? So I’d probably suggest you either layer a sunscreen underneath your BB cream, or else dust SPF30 mineral makeup over the top xx

  • Posted by: Knyholm Master Fan // Tue, 21 August 2012 04:04am

    Great tips, its never too early to start looking after your skin!!

  • Posted by: daylight dancer Master Fan // Sun, 26 August 2012 04:16pm

    Fantastic tips, i will put them to use

  • Posted by: nita01 Master Fan // Tue, 11 September 2012 02:43pm

    I’ve been religiously looking after my skin since I was 13, I’m now 42….my favourite part of the day. One thing though I wish I had done differently when I was in my 20s would be, that I had worn SPF on my face. I never did and I was opposed to sunnies, hence why I have fine lines around my eyes now. I wish I had listened to my Mum more.

  • Posted by: beautiful87 Master Fan // Wed, 5 December 2012 09:08pm

    great article, and antioxidants are such a great idea

  • Posted by: anitas.artistry Master Fan // Thu, 6 December 2012 05:11pm

    Fantastic info!

  • Posted by: Bantam Master Fan // Sun, 9 December 2012 01:29am

    Gosh so pretty! Good tips to keep in midn for everyone!

  • Posted by: Erin-1312272625 Master Fan // Sat, 8 June 2013 03:21pm

    I’m 21 and am already using all of the above!

  • Posted by: Ina36 Supporter // Mon, 10 June 2013 09:24pm

    25-32 (depending on your skin condition) sounds like a good age to start some of those products. Im still in my early 20s though so I wouldn’t start this early… Sometimes starting too early may not be good for your skin if the products are not designed for you. It depends on the individual’s skin condition though.

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Mon, 22 July 2013 05:50pm

    A good skincare routine is important anytime, whether it be anti ageing or normal.

  • Posted by: beautiful87 Master Fan // Sat, 31 August 2013 02:47pm

    Great tips