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.