Apr 6, 2011

Ageless beauty: The secrets to looking good at any age

By: Sarah Kelsey
Elle Canada
Apr 6, 2011

Ageless beauty: The secrets to looking good at any age

By: Sarah Kelsey
We all want to put our best face forward – regardless of our age and what decade we may be in (our 20s, 30s or 40s). The key is to develop – and stick with! – a skin care routine that complements our skin’s needs as it ages. Get started now with some of these top tips from Dr. Rolanda Johnson, a skin scientist at Olay.

Your 20s
Skin status:
This is the most important decade for your skin. What you do now will determine its health down the road. It’s also the 10-year period your epidermis is at its best – you likely have a natural, healthy glow and your skin, thanks to ample collagen stores, probably looks supple.

Common complaints: Acne is one of the main concerns for women in this age demographic. As is dehydration and the sudden appearance of fine lines (likely around the eyes and lips).

What you should start doing: According to Johnson, women in their 20s should establish a skin care routine they can stick with (meaning washing your face in the morning and at night). A good routine involves cleansing and moisturizing. And always remove makeup before hitting the hay (this will prevent breakouts).

“For sun worshippers, UV damage can also become a concern,” says Johnson. Her suggestion is to use a moisturizer with SPF, “to protect against sun damage.”

Your 30s
Skin status : Much of the damage done to skin (be it not wearing sunscreen or popping pesky pimples), will start to show on a woman’s face in her 30s. Fine lines often turn into wrinkles and fair-skinned women might see hyperpigmentation (age spots or scarring). Collagen stores in the epidermis start to decrease, so skin also becomes thinner and cell turnover starts to slow (so your “natural” rosy glow begins to fade). Dark undereye circles appear more apparent.

Common complaints: Outside of wrinkles and fine lines, women in this age group tend to complain about a lackluster glow (or a “greying” of the skin) as well as skin sensitivity (as the epidermis thins, it becomes more sensitive to chemicals in products).

What you should start doing: “For women in their 30s, using a lightweight and oil-free moisturizer like Olay’s Total Effects Moisturizer Plus Cooling Hydration, is key,” says Johnson. “It helps fight the signs of aging by refreshing the skin.”

More tips for your 30s, plus how to care for skin in your 40s on the next page ...

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In your 30s

To even out texture and tone, it’s also important to start a regular exfoliation routine (this helps slough off the dead skin cells that make skin look dulled out). But be sure to avoid harsh products, since skin is more sensitive. Look for creams containing glycolic and salicylic acid (they help speed up cell turnover, too).

As for busting wrinkles, now’s the time to stock up on anti-aging products, especially those containing retinoid (a form of vitamin A that unclogs pores, boosts collagen stores and reduces fine lines).

Your 40s
Skin status:
“In your 40s, your skin’s natural [anti-aging] process continues to slow down, so the effects you noticed in your 30s will be accentuated,” says Johnson. “Skin begins to lose elasticity and firmness, which becomes noticeable near the chin and upper eye area.” In fact, Johnson says inspecting the skin texture around your eyes is a good way to evaluate how well your skin is “coping” with the aging process (if it’s dry, you may need a heavier moisturizer; if wrinkles are apparent, start applying an anti-wrinkle cream more often).

Common complaints: The biggest complaint will be the deepening of wrinkles and a further drying of the skin.

What you should start doing: Johnson suggests using an, “Exfoliating formula with glycolic acid. [It] hydrates and resurfaces skin giving it a firmer, smoother look and feel.” It’s also important to start searching for products containing antioxidants (they’ll help your skin rid itself of toxins and will slow the rate at which brown spots and wrinkles appear). When shopping your drugstore shelves, look for products containing peptides (they help strengthen the collagen stores you have left and also moisturize).

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Ageless beauty: The secrets to looking good at any age