As we grow older, our skin transitions through a number of phases as a result of the natural ageing process, hormonal changes, the impact of our lifestyle and the environment.
But now leading consultant dermatologist and cosmetic doctor Ophelia Veraitch, who is based at the renowned Cranley Clinic on Harley Street, has revealed the steps you can take in each decade to keep your skin at its best.
Dr Ophelia advises that people with young skin should focus on their nutrition and maintenance, while more mature skin should invest in more intense sunscreen and laser treatments.
Here, a look at the skincare rules every woman needs to know.
IF YOU’RE IN YOUR 20s
Dr Ophelia Veraitch gave her tips on how to care for your skin in every decade, starting off with Retinol, SPF 30 and eating a protein-rich diet in your 20s Pictured: stock image
Skin rules for your 20s
Retinol: ‘Start to incorporate retinol into your skincare regimen to boost collagen and prevent the signs of premature ageing. It not only reduces the fine lines, but it can help to reduce pore size helping to give the appearance of smoother skin.’
SPF 30: Use SPF 30 everyday, even during Winter. This protects the skin from UVB rays which contribute to the premature ageing of the skin.
Protein-rich diet: Try and eat a diet rich in protein, fruit and vegetables, and Omega-3 fatty acids in order to keep skin at its optimum health.
You might not yet have visible signs of ageing during your 20s but that doesn’t mean you are too young to start caring for your skin.
There are products and lifestyle choices you can make to boost your skin before you hit 30.
Dr Veraitch explained: ‘During your 20s, lifestyle factors such as excessive alcohol, smoking and sun exposure can have a huge effect on our skin later on in life,’ explained Dr Veraitch.
‘Diet is a big factor in skin health at this age and missing out on essential nutrients can effect our skin and hair.
‘Regular exercise is also important and some skin conditions are more common in those who are overweight.’
IF YOU’RE IN YOUR 30s
Skin rules for your 30s
Vitamin C serum: ‘Upgrade to a medical-grade skincare regimen that includes a Vitamin C serum in the morning. This highly potent antioxidant prevents free radical damage that can lead to signs of premature ageing.’
SPF 50: In your thirties, it is best to up your daily dose of SPF from 30 to 50 with UVA and UVB protection to protect you for the harmful ageing effects of ultraviolet radiation.
Retinol: Invest in a retinol to use at night for its anti-ageing properties and to address pigmentation.
Dr Ophelia notes that the 30s are when cells begin to show signs of changing.
‘A decrease in collagen leads to a loss of volume on the face and we also begin to see the formation of fine lines around the mouth, eyes and forehead,’ she explained.
This decade is also the most popular decade for British women to have a baby, which causes huge implications for their skin.
‘People often talk of a pregnancy glow. This is largely down to the increase in blood flow to the skin’.
‘However, the flip-side is “pregnancy spots” or melasma caused by an increased production of oestrogen and progesterone. During pregnancy pre-existing skin conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis can also worsen,’ she says.
IF YOU’RE IN YOUR 40s
Skin rules for your 40s
Keep up SPF, retinol and Vitamin C: Continue with using an antioxidant such as Vitamin C in the mornings, an SPF 50 daycream and a retinol at night.
Chemical peels: Medical grade chemical peels and facials such as Hydrafacial are great to help restore the skin’s hydration and luminosity.
Fillers: Fillers can also address loss of volume. Newer injectable treatments such as Profhilo is an injectable hyaluronic acid based product for treating skin laxity, boosting and hydrating the skin, and remodelling the ageing and sagging tissue.
Laser treatments: Can help even out colour changes in the skin and treat skin laxity.
‘The forties is the decade when things start to slow down,’ explained Dr Veraitch. ‘Especially your lymphatic system which is responsible for draining the toxins from your skin. This can lead to puffiness, often in the eye and cheek areas.
‘The decline in sebum production also means that your skin is less protected and more vulnerable to damage from environmental factors such as sunlight and pollution.’
The expert explains that changes in this decade result in a decline in oestrogen, and with it the skin loses its tautness, causing the appearance of wrinkles.
The forties are also the time where smoking, drinking or sun exposure can begin to catch up with your skin, resulting in broken red blood vessels on the face which create a ruddy appearance.
‘Similarly smoking can not only create more pronounced lines around the mouth but also dull the skin,’ she added.
IF YOU’RE IN YOUR 50s
In your 50s, sun damage becomes more visible, and can create dark spots on one’s skin. Consider upping the moisturiser used on your body and signing up for laser treatments
‘Skin pigmentation abnormalities are a common occurrence in this decade, as are age spots which may appear on hands and arms as well as face,’ Dr Veraitch said.
Skin rules for your 50s
Moisturise your body: Using a regular moisturiser such as Cetraben ointmment on the body is fantastic way of maintaining the skin barrier and battling dryness.
Vitamin A retinol: Vitamin A retinol-based products are great for rejuvenating the skin, and if applied regularly can even help to increase the production of new skin cells and collagen.
Chemical peels: Dr Veraitch explains that chemical peels can help even out the complexion, and help with enlarged pores, redness and pigmentation.
Lasers treatment: Laser Therapies can address redness, skin laxity and pigmentation. It can also be a good option for facial hair removal, especially as waxing can be too damaging on delicate skin at this age.
Botox and fillers: When it comes to cosmetic procedures, she says that injectables such as Botoxilium toxin and fillers can help take years of your appearance.
In this decade, sun damage becomes more visible, and can create dark spots on one’s skin.
‘Thin red lines, or spider veins, may also appear, often as a result of sun damage. As you get older the stores of fat under your skin tend to deplete, as does the collagen and elastin.
‘This combination not only makes your sun more sensitive to sun damage but also means broken capillaries and visible blood vessels are often caused from normal wear and tear too.’
Pores can also become more pronounced and skin can become looser and wrinkle more easily due to the lack of collagen and elastin.
‘Possibly the biggest change in this decade though is the eyes, which see eyelids become heavy and more hooded as the skin becomes less elastic,’ Dr Veraitch continued.
In their Fifties, women also experience seismic hormone changes due to the onset of perimenopause and menopause.
‘Reduced oestrogen means the skin is drier and it becomes more fragile as a result. It can break more easily causing cuts and scabs,’ she said.
Female hormones level dropping also means hair could appear on your chin, along the jawline or above the lips.
‘The hormone changes at this age are also often to blame for some women developing acne.’
IF YOU’RE IN YOUR 60s
‘During your 60s you’ll notice that skin becomes drier and thinner and is starting to look paper-like in places,’ explained Dr Veraitch.
‘While the good news is that this means you’ll be less likely to suffer from breakouts, the bad news is that this leaves your skin more fragile and at greater risk of damaging easily, not to mention the increase in wrinkles.’
Skin rules for your 60s
Thicker moisturisers: Thicker moisturisers help protect the skin barrier as their skin grows drier.
Lower concentration retinol: Whilst it’s okay to continue using retinol, it’s sensible to switch to a lower concentration formula to account for the fact that your skin is thinning and will absorb ingredients more easily.
SPF: Limit any existing age spots you have on the face and hands from getting bigger by ensuring that you use sunscreen daily on any areas of the skin that are exposed.