By Mimi Greenwood Knight
Your skin is pretty amazing. As your body’s largest organ, it can regulate your internal temperature, prevent dehydration, and keep harmful microbes out. Yet this incredible armor can benefit from a little TLC. Whatever your age, the best thing you can do for your skin is wear sunscreen. (You saw that coming, right?) Choose products with a broad-spectrum sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more to protect your skin from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, and reapply often to avoid sun damage, skin aging, and skin cancer.
The American Academy of Dermatology Associates offers other advice for each decade of life.
20s – Your body’s happily churning out elastin and collagen, giving you fresh, firm, tight-looking skin. Still, eating healthy and exercising is vital for building lifelong skin-healthy habits. Begin using hydrating skincare products. Vitamin C serum can help offset skin damage caused by free radicals and UV rays. And it’s not too early to begin annual skin checks with a dermatologist, especially if you have a family history of skin cancer or have had considerable sun exposure.
30s – Natural hydration and skin regeneration begin to slow. Start using retinol products to boost collagen, and plump skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin tone while reducing mottled patches. It’s not too early to consider cosmetic treatments such as peels, BOTOX, or other injectables to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Wash your face twice daily with warm water and a mild cleanser (not soap).
40s – You’re probably starting to see more signs of aging. Start adding an eye cream into your skincare routine and using an overnight cream to ease the aging that shows on your skin. Exfoliation is essential for natural cell turnover and, of course, avoid stress, sun exposure, and second-hand smoke and keep getting those annual skin checks.
50s – Your skin can become noticeably drier as hormone levels plummet further during the stages of menopause. Exfoliating is crucial to help skin shed dead cells and optimize the hydrating effects of anti-aging skincare products and services. Keep up the good work and be sure to eat plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats, and drink plenty of water.
60s and Beyond – Bump moisturizing up to twice a day and continue using a serum to help hydrate your skin and even out skin tones. Annual skin check-ups are even more important now since skin cancer is highly treatable when caught early. Consult your dermatologist for other advice on keeping your skin healthy and looking great.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Your skin makes up about 15% of your body weight.
- The average adult has nearly 21 square feet of skin containing over 11 miles of blood vessels.
- Adult-onset acne is more prevalent in women than men and is more likely to appear along the jawline, which suggests a hormonal imbalance.