Professional skin therapists are often asked about what skincare should be used at different ages. This is a great question to be thinking about if you do want to defend your skin from premature damage and age smart.
At Dermalogica, we’re not about anti-ageing. We’re pre-programmed to age from the day we’re born – it’s natural. Instead, we focus on how to slow down accelerated skin ageing and how to speed up process in the skin (that do decline with age) to promote firmer, smoother and brighter skin.
Read on to learn how your skin changes decade to decade, and what skincare to include at every age.
your non-negotiable at every age: sunscreen
Did you know sunscreen is considered the number one defence against premature skin ageing? This is one product that should be included in every skincare routine at every age to prevent sun induced skin ageing. And it needs to be worn every day.
It’s a common misconception that sunscreen is only needed during the summer months. The reality is that UVA rays are present at the same intensity, all year round, even on cloudy days. UVA rays penetrate to the deeper layers of the skin, causing visible skin ageing in the form of wrinkles, sagging skin, uneven skin tone and sunspots. Even when we are indoors, UVA rays can penetrate through glass and cause damage to our skin, so a daily dose of SPF is necessary for long-term youthful, healthy skin.
Dermalogica uses advanced technologies to deliver feather light, wearable sunscreens that offer maximum protection against both UVA and UVB rays (labelled as broad spectrum). Plus, they also target and treat skin specific conditions.
skincare for your 20’s
As early as our 20s, unhealthy lifestyle habits, environmental damage and constant UV exposure begin compromising skin's structural integrity. Our cell defences start to weaken in the face of free radicals, and our natural ability to fight off skin damage declines. Cell renewal (the process at which our skin makes new skin cells) and cell turnover (the rate at which skin cells shed) - also naturally start to slow, diminishing skin radiance. What’s more, delicate areas such as the eyes show up signs of ageing first, so you might notice some visible lines around the eyes.
Here's our top age prevention picks and strategies for your 20’s:
- Exfoliation – Rule of thumb: the older we get, the more exfoliation we need. This is due to our natural exfoliation mechanism slowing with age. Using a gentle exfoliant such as Daily Microfoliant will help give skin a brightening boost. This powder based exfoliant gently smooths and polishes thanks to rice, enzymes and Salicylic Acid. It can be used once a day, either morning or evening after cleansing. Used in the morning, it helps create a smooth, glowing canvas for make-up application!
- Vitamin C – Known for its potent antioxidant properties, Vitamin C is a star defender when it comes to fighting against free radicals – the number one cause of accelerated skin ageing. UV, pollution, cigarettes, alcohol, stress and high GI foods are all sources of free radicals. Vitamin C steps in to quash free radicals before they cause damage. It’s also super brightening and helps to stimulate collagen production for improved skin firmness. Essentially, Vitamin C is a multi-tasking hero! However, not all Vitamin C is created equal. Vitamin C is highly unstable and must be tamed to stay active when it’s on our skin. Dermalogica’s BioLumin-C formulas contain an ultra-stable Vitamin C complex that’s also bioavailable, meaning it’s able to get deep into the skin for maximum results. BioLumin-C Serum is a lightweight daily serum loaded with Vitamin C and additional protective antioxidants. It can be used both morning and evening, applying to a clean skin, prior to moisturising.
- Protect your eyes – As the skin around our eyes is the first to show up damage, investing in an eye treatment early is a solid skincare investment. BioLumin-C Eye Serum is an ultra-light gel eye treatment that treats uneven skin tone around the eyes, whilst protecting against environmental damage. Alternatively, if puffy eyes are a concern (not enough sleep and too much screen time!), consider Awaken Peptide Eye Gel. Apply alongside your morning coffee to energise the skin around your eyes and reduce the appearance of fine lines.
- Tech Neck – Signs of skin ageing on the neck are showing up much earlier in the modern world. Lines and wrinkles on the neck can be a result of our desk jobs and technology habits. Neck Fit Contour Serum offers a daily at-home workout for the neck and chest. This specialised firming serum comes with a roll-on applicator that massages the skin as the serum is absorbed to help lift, smooth and infuse the serum in the skin.
skincare for your 30’s
In our 30s, collagen (which keeps skin firm) and elastin (which keeps skin bouncing back) begins to decline and change. In fact, it’s estimated that we lose approximately 1% of collagen every year from age 30, resulting in visible lines and wrinkles. Cell renewal and turnover continue to decline, leading to a duller complexion and uneven skin tone. Some cells can even become inactive, or turn into "zombies," giving rise to damaging inflammatory toxins that accelerate the appearance of skin ageing.
Here's our top age prevention picks and strategies for your 30’s:
- Brightening Boost – To combat declining cell renewal and turnover rates, incorporate additional exfoliation into your routine. You may use a cleanser that contains exfoliating agents for an extra boost, such as Daily Glycolic Cleanser. This gentle, yet effective, gel-based cleanser features Glycolic Acid which promotes exfoliation to leave skin brighter with every cleanse.
- Peptides – With key dermal proteins (collagen and elastin) beginning to decline, it’s time to stimulate natural production to help counteract the loss. Peptides are infamous for reducing fine lines and wrinkles and preventing against premature skin ageing. In simple terms, they are chemical messengers, capable of communicating with cells in the skin – one of these being the cell that is responsible for making collagen and elastin. You will find peptides used throughout the AGESmart System.
- Retinol – Considered the gold standard in the prevention and treatment of damaged skin, Retinol (pure Vitamin A) is reliable for delivering fast, visible results. As lines and wrinkles become noticeable in your 30’s, it’s a good time to start using Retinol. Not only does it stimulate collagen and elastin, but it also speeds up cell turnover and renewal AND evens skin tone. Due to its potent nature, use Retinol with care. For example, you may want to gradually build up use whilst also stopping other forms of exfoliation to all your skin to acclimatise to Retinol. Also, this active is for use only at night and you MUST wear a daily sunscreen during the day. Overnight Retinol Repair is a concentrated customisable night-time treatment that contains microencapsulated 0.5% Retinol. Microencapsulation ensures Retinol remains stable and delivery is targeted to the lower layers of the skin. Working synergistically with Retinol is Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, a potent peptide that works to further improve skin firmness. The treatment comes with a Buffer Cream that you can mix with Overnight Retinol Repair to minimise irritation and maximise results. It’s worth noting that Retinol isn’t for every skin. If that’s the case for your skin then look for more milder forms of Vitamin A such as Retinyl Palmitate. Vitamin C is another superior, but more gentle, active if Retinol is not for your skin.
skincare for your 40’s
By our 40s, skin appears thinner and its naturally protective barrier lipids are not as pronounced. Dehydration can be an issue. Depending on hormonal activity, unusual activity may appear in skin from uneven skin tone to adult acne. More prominent signs of skin ageing can also appear, such as dark spots, and significant dullness.
Here's our top age prevention picks and strategies for your 40’s:
- Up the exfoliation ante – You know the drill by now…more exfoliation as we age (dependent on skin sensitivity). MultiVitamin Themafoliant is a powerful self-heating, skin polisher that combines physical and chemical exfoliants to refine skin texture and bring life to dull skin. It contains a cocktail of multivitamins which are infused as the exfoliant is worked over the skin. It can be used 1 – 3 times a week, alternating with a daily exfoliant option.
- Hyaluronic Acid – Including humectants in your skincare kit will help quench a thirstier skin and leave skin feeling more comfortable. A humectant is an ingredient that attracts and binds moisture to the skin, and Hyaluronic Acid is one of the best. Not only is it found naturally in the skin, but it can attract and retain more than 1000 times its own weight in moisture, resulting in super plump, supple skin. Circular Hydration Serum goes beyond simply hydrating the skin, but it stimulates hydration from within and prevents moisture from escaping. The result is sustained, long term hydration levels in the skin. Alongside Hyaluronic Acid, it contains an Algae Extract-Infused Moisturising Matrix for long-lasting hydration and Lactobacillus Ferment and Oat Extract to soothe and balance skin's microbiome.
- Cool and calm – During the mid to late 40’s is when the first signs of menopause tend to show, with a common symptom being hot flushes. UltraCalming Mist cools and reduces redness in the skin fast, whilst improving hydration. It’s a spritz toner, meaning it can be used on the go, when a hot flush appears.
- Clear and firm in one step – Another skin change for women during menopause is oil and breakouts. This is due to estrogen levels decreasing and consequently, testosterone, which turns on the oil glands, no longer being masked. Retinol Clearing Oil is the ideal solution if you want to promote a firmer skin and at the same time, banish breakouts. This night time treatment uniquely combines both Retinol and Salicylic Acid in a soothing plant-based oil, working with the skin’s circadian rhythm to clear, renew and nourish overnight.
skincare for your 50’s and beyond
After our 50s, our barrier lipid layer lessens, leading to less efficient moisture retention and more potential for sensitivity and dehydration. Chronic stress and inflammation both inside and outside of the body delays skin recovery – leading to lasting marks and longer healing times. By now, skin can show prominent wrinkles, fine lines and discoloration.
Here's our top age prevention picks and strategies for your 50’s and beyond:
- Maximise exfoliation – You’ll want to really power up cell renewal and turnover and help promote a smoother, more radiant skin. Rapid Reveal Peel is our most potent at-home exfoliant. Designed to be used weekly, this professional-grade at-home peel has been shown to increase cell turnover by 44%. It contains a 10% concentration of Lactic Acid which gently accelerates cell renewal, brightens and hydrates the skin. There’s also Native Australian Caviar Lime Extract that provides a source of Citric Acid to create a burst of exfoliation and reveal smoother, radiant skin.
- Lift and Firm With lines and wrinkles becoming more pronounced due to collagen decreasing and external damage also becoming more visible, you’ll likely want a product that firms fast! Phyto-Nature Firming Serum is a highly advanced, 2-in1 lifting and firming serum that works instantly and over time for long lasting results. In fact, it’s been clinically proven to help skin return to a younger state, giving you up to 5 years back! Along with safeguarding against future damage, it contains biomimetic peptides that restore key skin processes that decline with age and from exposure. It also utilises new ingredient technology that fights stress and inflammation in the skin – two of today’s biggest triggers of accelerated skin ageing.
- Retinol for the eyes – You may want to change up your eye treatment in your 50’s and 60’s, as lines become more visible around the eyes. Our most powerful eye treatment, AGE Reversal Eye Complex, contains microencapsulated 0.1% Retinol to deliver a powerful firming effect to the delicate skin around the eyes. It also contains Niacinamide and Ash Tree Bark Extract to maintain hydration and address darkening around the eyes that occurs with age due to the capillaries weakening. A reminder that it’s a nigh time treatment only, given it stars Retinol – for the first two weeks of use it’s recommended to be applied every other night. Be sure to only treat the skin around the eyes, not the lids, and to use a size of a grain of rice in total!
- Upgrade your moisturiser – As mentioned, skin becomes significantly drier with age, and more so for women, due to changes in estrogen levels. Consequently, you’ll need a heavier moisturiser. Super Rich Repair is our richest moisturiser at Dermalogica. It contains peptides that works to improve skin firmness, coupled with barrier restorative ingredients including Shea Butter, Evening Primrose Oil and Jojoba, plus, soothing Oatmeal. It can be used both day and night, but you’ll need to apply a sunscreen over the top during the daytime.
- Extra calming – For skins that do find they experience greater sensitivity, look to include a few calming formulas in your routine. Described as the antidote to sensitivity, UltraCalming Serum Concentrate works fast to calm, cool and reduce redness in the skin. It’s fortified with botanical based lipids that mimic the skin’s own, to help restore the barrier. This light but ultra-hydrating also contains Hyaluronic Acid. Through regular use, it will help to subdue skin’s reactivity for a calmer, more comfortable skin.
Revising your skincare as you age will help to promote your healthiest skin. But skincare is not the only solution. Our exposome (environment and lifestyle) plays a significant role too. A healthy lifestyle combined with a targeted skincare routine is the best way to take care of your skin and age smart.
professional skin treatments to support skin ageing
Having regular professional skin treatments with a qualified skin therapist will also help to advance results, plus your skin therapist will be able to provide you with the most accurate product recommendations for your unique skin. To find your local Dermalogica professional skin therapist, visit our store locator.