Skin is the single largest organ in the human body, but it is also one of the most vulnerable. As the skin ages, it loses resilience and everything from hormonal imbalances, to environmental aggressors like viruses, UV rays and air pollution, can contribute to dull and tired-looking skin.
Leading dermatologists believe you should start prioritising skin care in your 20s and 30s, and we agree wholeheartedly - prevention is always better than cure!
Fine lines usually start appearing during your late 20s and early 30s. While these can be mild, it’s a good idea to care for them early on. Caroline Hirons, a London-based aesthetician, explains:
“Your skin, right now, looks like it's in its prime, but what you do right now will determine how it looks later on”.
You can prevent fine lines from developing into deep wrinkles by giving your skin a little extra TLC, starting with the areas most prone to lower collagen production. These are the areas where skin is typically looser, such as around the eyes, mouth and neck.
Collagen-boosting treatments, such as skin peels, can contribute to a brighter appearance, whilst retinoids and microdermabrasion can also work well in the long-term. If you’re unsure, your dermatologist should be able to advise on the best products for your skin.
Hair loss and hair thinning are common eventualities for many people, but did you know that the best person to help with hair issues is actually your dermatologist?
This is because hair thinning is not because of an issue with your hair; it’s to do with the scalp. To give yourself the best chance of luscious locks in later life, a trip to the dermatologist can help. They may be able to diagnose your scalp issues, and can sometimes provide remedies which target your specific scalp issues.
Skin cell turnover slows down as you move through your 20s, which in turn could lead to duller looking skin. Celebrity dermatologist Harold Lancer, highlights when you should start upping your skin routine:
“Skin-repair replacement mechanisms begin to slow by age 20. By age 25, the skin has decelerated its repair mechanisms, and that affects your entire body”.
You should consider a revitalising daily skin care routine. Exfoliating with an antioxidant-rich serum can remove dead skin cells, and cleansing milks are effective at balancing the complexion and removing the day’s grime. It is worth, however, speaking to your dermatologist, as they can advise a routine that is specifically tailored to your skin.
Using a foundation or sunscreen that has SPF 15 to 30 is generally recommended by experts:
“You should be using [SPF] 15 to 30, because much more than that is [just] marketing. Just make sure to apply it liberally — that’s the one mistake a lot of my patients make with sunscreens”, Dr Lancer says.
If you think your skin could do with a check-up, our resident dermatologist, Justine Hextall, is an expert in maintaining healthy skin: “When I talk about a skin care plan, this may involve a course of clinical treatments but also guidance on diet, exercise and a skin care regime that will maintain optimum skin health”.
If you’ve been using the same beauty products since you were a teenager, it might be time for you to switch it up. Inflammatory conditions, such as acne or psoriasis, tend to affect your skin differently as you get older. Peter Lio from Northwestern University says:
“Adult acne tends to be deeper and more cystic, but our skin gets drier and thinner overall as we age”.
Your dermatologist can look over the most vulnerable areas of your skin, offering recommendations based on your individual needs. Some products can be bought from over the counter, but most topical solutions will need to be prescribed by your dermatologist, so it’s definitely worth a visit.
Our eyes may be the windows to our soul, but it's our skin that really tells people how we are. The damage we unconsciously do to the skin when we are in our adolescence, teens and early 20s becomes visible from 25 onwards as collagen production in the skin slows. By looking after your skin, using the right products, protecting it from UVA and UVB rays and meeting with a dermatologist at least annually it is possible to dramatically slow the ageing process and repair damaged skin.