Yes, you can grow old gracefully with nary a needle or scalpel in sight: you just have to fight back with the right products at the right time. We asked Donna Paty, national education manager for Kiehl’s in Canada, for her top picks on what to stock your medicine cabinet with today to guarantee radiant, youthful, glowing skin tomorrow. Trust us, she knows what she’s talking about – she’s been in the beauty and skincare biz for over twenty years and, at 45 , she looks ah-mazing!
In your 20s
What’s going on: Don’t fool yourself into thinking the worries of aging skin are years down the road. “By our twenties, we’re already starting to see visible changes such as slower cell renewal and dehydration,” warns Paty. Skin type also plays a role here: drier skin ages faster than oilier skin.
How to fight back: Forget about “I love you,” sun protection factor (SPF) are the three little words that should be on your lips, and your face, every single day. Eighty percent of sun damage has already accumulated by the time we hit our tumultuous twenties says Paty. Other fun environmental factors, such as smoking, staying up late and a not-so-healthy diet will also contribute to unflattering aging later in life. Now is a good time to take a pro-active approach with products packed with skin-friendly antioxidants.
Get glowing with: Ultra Facial Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15, 75 ml, $32; and Lycopene Facial Moisturizing Lotion, 50 ml, $50.
In your 30s
What’s going on: Loss of elasticity, thinning around the eye area and dryness are the main troubles of a gal in her dirty thirties.
How to fight back: To remove dead skin cells and enhance the absorption of moisturizers, Paty suggests incorporating a twice-weekly exfoliation into your skincare routine. Either a physical or a chemical exfoliator will even out skin tone and texture. Protect and prevent your delicate eye area by religiously using an eye cream that addresses specific concerns, be they puffiness, dark circles or fine lines.
Get glowing with: Pineapple Papaya Facial Scrub, 113 g, $36.50; and Abyssine Eye Cream, 50 ml, $43.In your 40s
What’s going on: You’ll see a noticeable loss of density in the epidermis and dermis (deeper layer of the skin). “The support structure of the skin starts to thin out and the contours of the face, jaw, neck and décolleté begin to soften,” Paty says.
How to fight back: At this stage, firming is the name of the game. Anything that boosts collagen and elastin production will help improve the appearance of elasticity and fullness. Paty likes serums,” they’re formulated with a light texture and higher concentration of active ingredients for deeper penetration and quicker action.” Apply one underneath your moisturizer.
Get glowing with: High-Potency Skin-Firming Concentrate, 50 ml, $75; and Cryste Marine Firming Cream, 50 ml, $65.
In your 50s
What’s going on: “Chronological and environmental damage that’s accumulated over the years is now highly visible,” Paty says. Don’t give up! It’s never too late to start giving your skin the TLC it deserves.
How to fight back: Look for products with Vitamin C. This powerful multi-purpose ingredient will kick start slowed cell renewal, help dissolve over-pigmentation (such as brown spots) and smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Your skin will feel and look smoother and more radiant.
Get glowing with: White Brightening Botanical Cleansing Cream, 150 ml, $28; and Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate, 50 ml, $75.
More ageless tips from Paty:
• Be proactive: Update your skincare routine as your skin ages and changes, before anything drastic happens.
• Stick with it: Don’t toss a new skincare product after a few days or weeks. Stick with it for at least 1 month to 6 weeks, that’s your skins natural renewal cycle and when your likely to see results.
• Have a seasonal skin care routine. Give your skin the extra moisture it needs in the winter and the head-to-toe sun protection in warmer months and you’ll have 365 days of gorgeous skin!
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.