Beauty Tips & Tricks

Skin Care

The Most Important Skin Care Products You Need to Use at Every Age

28 Aug, 2018
By Daniela Massenz
With today’s knowledge and brilliant skin care, every woman can have great skin for as long as possible. Here’s a decade-by-decade guide on the products and ingredients you need to keep your skin looking its very best at every age…

Who doesn’t want great skin? We aren’t all born with it, but a good skin care routine… both inside and out… can really make it look its personal best. For the rest, there’s laser ;)

Skin science knows so much about how the skin works and what to do about keeping it healthy and looking good, and our choice of skin care can really make a difference to how well our skins will age.

For those of us lucky to be living at the bottom tip of Africa, looking after our skin from a young age is vital - the downside of all this beautiful sunshine is that our hides take a serious beating from all that exposure, so our skin ages far sooner than people living in less sunny climes.

The bottom line: Effective skin care from a young age can slow down the effects of environmental ageing dramatically. While all skins are different and other factors influence its state, skin shares common features. Discover what challenges each decade brings, then find the solutions to address them.

Food for Thought

Eighty – some scientists even say 90 – percent of what we see as ageing (lines, sagging skin, loss of radiance and tone, blotchiness, pigmentation) is not due to natural ageing, but rather due to environmental damage – the bulk from exposure to the sun’s UV light, but also pollution, chronic stress, smoking, not enough sleep or water, yaddah yaddah.

Before glazing over, really take in this important info: UV damage starts accumulating from childhood, even though it may look okay on the surface. It starts showing on up around about your 30th birthday, so best you take precaution early on. It’s one of those no-brainers that the most important thing you can do to look after your skin at any age is to use sun protection every day – even when it’s cloudy or you’re indoors.

The recipe for skin that looks great into your eighties: Aside from wearing sunscreen every day, cut down on sun exposure (10 minutes twice a week is plenty for vitamin D production), stop smoking, eat lots of anti-oxidant rich foods (bright fruit and vegetables) and good proteins and fats (nuts, seeds, salmon), drink your eight glasses of water, manage stress, exercise and get eight hours of sleep a night. Simple, really!

Skin Care Products for Your Carefree 20s

This is as good as it gets for skin, and it’s not surprising we feel bulletproof. Your skin cells turn over (fresh, plump cells rise to the surface and old, dry cells slough off) at top speed, and the collagen and elastin fibres that keep it plumped up and elastic are performing at their peak. Your skin looks soft, smooth, radiant – and glows with, well, youth.

Now for the not-so good news: While we can’t see the signs of sun damage, deep in the skin dermis it is beginning to make changes as skin-damaging free radicals cause mayhem in cells, triggering premature ageing and even increasing your risk of skin cancer – start checking for suspicious-looking moles.

With all our lifestyle stresses, adult acne could also be another unpleasant reality. You may even be making it worse by not using your prescription acne medication properly (compliance is essential!), and by using harsh treatments that strip the skin of its natural protective oils.

Your skin specialists
  • This is the best time for you to take preventive action. Start using antioxidant-based serums and creams. Studies show that topically applied antioxidants like vitamins C and E and polyphenols from grape seeds can help fight free-radical damage to the skin. While use of these power nutrients needn't be limited to the twenties, this is the age to get into the habit of using antioxidant skin products.

    Try these: Mineraline Rejuvenate Antioxidant Vitaserum with vitamins C, E and B5 and Solal Healthy Aging C-Serum with stabilised Vitamin C and antioxidant Chromanol.
  • Treat your acne with salicylic acid (often combined with other fruit acids). They dry up the blemishes and exfoliate damaged and pigmented skin cells.

    Try these: BioNike Acnet Cream with glycolic acid, salicylic acid and alpha-hydroxy acids and La Roche Posay Effaclar K+ Oily Skin Anti Sebum with salicylic acid and zinc PCA.

    Read More. Here's How to Effectively Treat Every Type of Acne (And Hide Them Too!)

Skin Care Products for The Active 30s

Most of us start noticing that our skin is changing in our early thirties. The sad news is that cell turnover has slowed down and it takes longer for fresh cells to get to the skin’s surface, so the skin starts looking dull and patchy. The production of collagen and elastin is also not as fast, and the first fine lines may start appearing around the eyes, which have the thinnest skin; expression lines like frown lines could also start to appear. Time to step up the treatment…

Your skin specialists
  • Make exfoliation a daily habit. In addition to cleansing your face, you need to exfoliate) to help speed up your skin's cellular turnover. Force your skin to speed up the cell turnover by doing it yourself. When you exfoliate, you slough off all the old cells, exposing the fresh ones underneath.

    Our ingredients of choice – chemical exfoliators (AHA, BHA, fruit enzymes), because they melt the glue holding old, dead skin cells to the surface, without harsh scrubbing. Try Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner 125ml with mild fruit acids for daily exfoliation.

    Glycolic acid is a very popular fruit acid as it penetrates below the skin’s top layer to stimulate exfoliation. It helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles, make pores smaller, and leave skin brighter and smoother. Try Bioderma Sebium Serum Purifying Concentrate Gentle Peel with glycolic acid and soothing, anti-ageing rhamnose.

    Enzymes are often extracted from papaya, pineapple and pumpkin. Try Solal Exfoliating Mask with payaya enzymes and Nutri Woman Dermaceutics Oxygenating Papaya Masque with AHA’s.
  • The retinoids (vitamin A derivatives in the form of retinoic acid, retinol, etc.). The original anti-ageing powerhouse, vitamin A, is vital for healthy skin – it’s what they use in high doses in medical treatments like Roaccutane.

    Retinoids are used in lower doses in skin products to increase skin cell turnover, increase production of collagen, normalise oil production and clear pores, as well as reducing skin tone unevenness. BUT they also make your skin sun sensitive and may increase dryness and flaking, at least initially. It’s usually a good idea to start with a low dose and build up tolerance. It’s usually best to use retinoid treatments at night.

    Try these: Environ Skin EssentiA and Youth EssentiA: read their great advice on using retinoids here; Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Anti-Wrinkle Serum with retinol and multi-vitamins and L’Oréal Revitalift Magic Blur Anti-Ageing Moisturiser with pro-retinol A and opti blur technology.

    Need to Know

    When using highly active exfoliating ingredients such as retinoids and hydroxy acids, daily sun protection is not negotiable as your skin will burn (with more premature ageing) and you will get pigmentation marks if you don’t.
Read More. Beware of Using These Beauty Ingredients, According to Dermatologists

Skin Care Products for The Fabulous 40s

This is the decade where your skin really changes – brace yourselves! For sun-worshippers, the evidence will be there on our faces as pigmentation marks, deeper wrinkles and loss of elasticity and firmness. Our skin cell turnover rate is now less than half of what it was in our twenties (gulp!), say the experts.

The skin also starts to thin and sag because of a slow decline in the levels of oestrogen hormone, as this helps to maintain supportive collagen and elastin. For the same reason, as well as diminished oil in the skin, dryness can become a problem, and the skin can become more sensitive.

Your skin specialists
  • Using intense moisturisers and anti-ageing creams with intensive antioxidants, (vitamin C, polyphenols, green tea, vitamin E, resveratrol, etc.) in addition to a daily sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30 should be beauty staples of women this age.
  • Lactic acid is the exfoliator of choice if you have a tendency to sensitivity as it’s much less irritating way than other acids. Gentle and effective, it softens lines and wrinkles. One of our favourites is REN’s radiance range, especially Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask, with lactic and glycolic acid.
  • Vitamin C (or usually one of its stable derivatives) is a powerful antioxidant against free-radical activity that also brightens skin and pumps up collagen production.

    Try these: Vichy ProEven Night Concentrate with LHA (a form of salicylic acid + vitamin C) targeting dark marks; Vichy LiftActive Vitamin C Brightening Skin Corrector which combines 15% pure vitamin C and hyaluronic acid; BioNike Defence Elixage Serum with polyphenols; Nivea Q10 Plus C Day Cream SPF 15 and Olay Total Effects Moisturisier + Serum Duo SPF20 with antioxidants vitamins C, E and niacinamide.
  • Peptides are the building blocks of proteins. They have many different functions and actions, but basically allow the skin’s structures to communicate efficiently. They are scientifically proven to heal damage, stimulate collagen production and improve cell renewal. Some also block the message that makes muscles to contract.

    Try Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Super Firming Serum with skin-plumping Amino-Peptide Complex II, antioxidant vitamins E and niacinamide.

    Read More. The Best Serums Will Help You Reach Your Dream Skin (Yes, Really)

Skin Care Products for Fifty and Forward

Lower hormone levels during and after menopause cause a dramatic change in the skin. Without compensation, it becomes drier, looser, thinner, more lined and dull. Hormone replacement therapy can counteract many of these symptoms, but it brings its own concerns. Plant (phyto) ingredients like soya, algae and wild yam have ‘hormonal’ characteristics that help to keep skin healthy and youthful as it becomes thicker, more elastic and less dry.

Your skin specialists
  • Increase your skin’s moisture content and choose products with nourishing oils and the super moisturiser, Hyaluronic acid (HA), which holds water in your skin, so it feels comfortable, hydrated and plumped up. This is the age when serums become an absolute must-have as they include much higher levels of active ingredients than moisturising creams.

    Try these hydrating serums with Hyaluronic acid: Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum; Bioderma Hydrabio Serum for Very Dehydrated Sensitive Skin; Nivea Cellular Anti-Age Cell Renewal Serum and Avène Serenage Serum.

    Or try nourishing oil serums:
    Payot Nutricia Huile Ultra Nourishing Silky Dry Oil with oleo-lipidic complex: sweet almond virgin oil, raspberry seed oil and meadowfoam oil; L’Oréal Age Perfect Extraordinary Face Oil and BioNike Defence Elixage Serum.
  • Use products that counteract hormonal ageing. In the first 5 years after menopause, 30% of the collagen in the skin is lost. The skin loses its elasticity and wrinkles become deeper. There are many products which include a cocktail of ingredients (many of which include HA) which will help improve the look and feel of the skin at this age.

    Try these: L’Oréal Revitalift Laser Renew Anti-Ageing Super Serum with ceramides and proxylane (HA); Dermactin Anti-Wrinkle Collagen Skin Serum; Vichy LiftActiv Serum 10 Supreme and Uriage Isofill Replumping Serum.
  • Another problem that women of all ages battle with, but which increases with age, is hyperpigmentation, where patches of dark pigment appear on the skin. From the fifties onwards, you may see age spots appearing on hands and face. See the box below for treatment and product options.

    Read More. Everything You Need to Know About Face Oils, Explained

    Skin Care Products for Every Age

    Slather on a moisturiser or foundation with added SPF. Broad-spectrum sunscreens (those that block the sun's burning UVB rays and ageing UVA rays) with a minimum SPF 30 should be the norm, even on cloudy days. To make protecting your skin even easier, plenty of moisturisers, BB Creams and foundations contain broad-spectrum SPFs.

    Layer on a skin tone-evening treatment if you have patches of dark pigmentation. These are designed not for lightening your natural skin tone, but rather for returning areas of the skin that have patchy, darkened pigmentation to normal (a big problem in South Africa for all skin tones due to our sun and the use of contraceptive pills, among other things).

    If your problem is serious, see a dermatologist, who will give you the appropriate treatment for your case. It may be hydroquinone, which is still the most effective melanin lightener, but this is perfectly safe if used under dermatologist-controlled conditions.

    For less serious problems, there are over-the-counter options available, but be careful about what you buy. Stick to reputable, prestige brand names to be safe. Natural botanical-based bleaching agents – vitamins A and C, kojic acid, liquorice extract, mulberry and bearberry extract and the plant extract arbutin - are effective and mild. Studies show that all help lighten hyperpigmentation spots.

    It’s absolutely essential to use a complementary high factor sunscreen you use these products to prevent further melanin stimulation.

    Try these: Eucerin Even Brighter Clinical Concentrate Ampoules; Clarins Bright Plus Serum; Nutri Woman Dermaceutics Even-Derm Brightening Serum and Ponds Flawless Radiance Anti Spot Even Tone Serum.

    The BioNike Defence B-Lucent range includes the Drop-On Focus Anti-Dark Spots Treatment for small age spots or acne scars, the Anti-Dark Spots Skin-Evening Concentrate for larger marks like melasma and the Anti Dark Spots Protective Cream SPF 50 to prevent further marks from forming.

    Read More. Pigmentation and Dark Spots Explained: Everything You Need to Know

Shop Your Products Now

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Bioderma Sebium Serum Purifying Concentrate Gentle Peel
R 254.95

BioNike Acnet Cream - Oily Impure Skin
R 129.95

BioNike Defence B-Lucent Anti Dark Spots Protective Cream SPF 50
R 249.95

BioNike Defence B-Lucent Anti-Dark Spots Skin-Evening Concentrate
R 325.00

BioNike Defence B-Lucent Drop-On Focus Anti-Dark Spots Treatment
R 169.95

Bionike Defence Elixage Huile Serum R3
R 699.00

Dermactin Anti-Wrinkle Collagen Skin Serum
R 280.00

Eucerin Even Brighter Clinical Concentrate Ampoules
R 489.95

La Roche Posay Effaclar K+ Oily Skin Anti Sebum
R 245.00

L'Oreal Age Perfect Extraordinary Face Oil
R 284.95

L'Oreal Revitalift Laser Renew Anti Ageing Super Serum
R 259.95

Mineraline Rejuvenate Antioxidant Vitaserum
R 265.00

Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Anti-Wrinkle Serum
R 179.75

Nivea Cellular Anti-Age Cell Renewal Serum
R 239.95

Nivea Q10 Plus C Day Cream SPF 15
R 169.95

Nutri Woman Dermaceutics Oxygenating Papaya Masque
R 140.00

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Super Firming Serum
R 294.95

Olay Total Effects Moisturisier + Serum Duo SPF20
R 189.95

Solal Exfoliating Mask
R 195.00

Solal Healthy Aging C-Serum - All Skin Types
R 385.00

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum
R 495.00

Vichy Liftactive Serum 10 Supreme
R 535.00

Vichy LiftActive Vitamin C Brightening Skin Corrector
R 455.00

Vichy ProEven Night Concentrate
R 415.00

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