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Skincare Routine By Age: Should Your Skincare Regimen Change As You Get Older?

It’s obviously no secret that our complexion changes as we age, but exactly how we are supposed to adapt our routine as each decade passes is a little less obvious. If you’re unsure about how to best take care of your skin in your 30s, 40s, and beyond, this guide will help you establish a routine that works best for you – no matter your age. 

What Happens To Our Skin As We Age?

The changes we see in our complexion as we age are largely caused by the gradual decline of collagen and elastin, as well as the slow down of skin cell turnover – the process of shedding dead skin cells and replacing them with fresher skin cells. 

When we’re in our teens and early 20s, the skin cell turnover cycle typically lasts between 14 to 21 days. However, it slowly gets longer as we age, and can take around 60 days (and sometimes even longer) by the time we’re in our 50s, although this will vary from person to person. Since the skin isn’t being as frequently renewed with newer skin cells, the complexion can be more prone to age spots, wrinkles, uneven texture, and other signs of aging. 

Another major change is a loss in moisture. Our skin typically produces less natural oil as we age, which can lead to drier, rougher skin. A lack of moisture can also make lines more prominent.     

Why Your Skincare Routine Should Change

We know that our skin changes as we get older…so why wouldn’t our routine? 

Don’t worry – this doesn’t mean you don’t need to completely overhaul your regime every few years. However, as you age it’s important to assess how your complexion has changed, as well as how it’s responding to the products you’re currently using. Here are some general guidelines to follow, based on your age. 

If You're In Your 20s

Don’t have a skincare routine yet? Now is the time to get started! 

At the very least, you should be using a cleanser and moisturizer every morning and night. It’s also essential that you wear sunscreen on a daily basis to protect your skin against the harmful effects of the sun. Although the exact products may change, you’ll need to continue regularly cleansing, moisturizing, and wearing sunscreen daily to maintain healthy skin into your 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond! 

Beyond establishing a foundational routine, there’s no better time than your 20s to start using serums. A lightweight and gentle hyaluronic acid serum (like theHyaluronic Pure Boost Serum) is an appropriate choice for anyone, regardless of skin type. This will add much-needed moisture to the skin to soften and plump the complexion while minimizing the appearance of any fine lines. 

Additionally, you should consider using an antioxidant serum, such as theCoQ10 Boost Serum. Antioxidants work to counteract the negative effects of free radicals, which can break down collagen in the skin and contribute to visible signs of aging.  

Small Batch Serums

If You're In Your 30s

As you hit the big 3-0, you might start to think about how you can implement more powerful anti-aging steps into your routine. In addition to using antioxidant and hydrating serums, consider starting to use a retinol (either prescription or over-the-counter) to help prevent and minimize signs of aging. An anti-aging eye cream can also be beneficial, since the eyes are often one of the first places to show lines. 

Since your skin cell turnover process will be slower than it was in your early 20s, this is also an ideal time to work a chemical exfoliant into your routine, if you haven’t already. Alpha hydroxy acids will help aid the skin cell renewal process to more quickly shed built-up dead skin cells for a softer and more youthful complexion. 

If You're In Your 40s

Your 40s are all about continuing the good skincare habits that you established in your 20s and 30s. Keep up with the daily cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen. However, if you’ve noticed your skin has started to get drier, you may consider switching out a foaming cleanser for a gentle hydrating cleanser, or a gel moisturizer for a lotion or cream-based formula. 

Hydrating and antioxidant serums, retinol, and chemical exfoliants can all continue to be beneficial in your 40s. If you really want to boost the antioxidant power, you can also add a brightening and anti-aging vitamin C serum to the mix, like theVitamin C Boost Serum

If You're 50 or Older

By 50, you’ve likely noticed a loss in moisture – so douse your skin with hydration! Focus on using ahyaluronic acid serum, as well as a richer moisturizer made with ingredients like ceramides, shea butter, and glycerin. This will create a comfortable and softer complexion, and will also help your skin retain elasticity and plumpness. 

Since you’ll be focusing on adding moisture back to the skin, you might want to lessen your usage of chemical exfoliants and retinol, which can contribute dryness and aggravate skin that is now more delicate. Of course, continue to wear your sunscreen daily for protection.