Today we have polluted our environment to the extent that notions of natural beauty have become outdated. Our skin gets damaged and needs additional care to look its best. And in a world where a plethora of skin care options exist, what is the perfect skin care routine for you? We talk about this today in the first part of our series on skin care routines, focusing today on women.

All skin care routines need to be tweaked here and there, and only after trial and error can you find a routine that suits you perfectly (that is unless you have a dermatologist create a custom skin care routine for you). We can provide advice and a map of what care your skin needs based on what stage of life you’re in. After all it only makes sense that one skin care routine would not suit all ages.

Your teens:

This is the time of strong hormonal changes which brings along with the mood swings many common skin problems. Acne and dandruff can show up before other signs of puberty. In this period the focus is on reducing the visible effects on the skin. As the skin is still young and the immune system is still building up, heavy use of skin care products can cause irritation and a worsening of the symptoms. Hence, a minimal but efficient skin care routine should be followed.

  1. Cleanse. The first step of all routines is to regularly cleanse. Cleansing helps control the excess oil. It can be hard to teach your child to regularly cleanse but it’s best if they form the habit early on. It is important to cleanse in the morning as well as at night.
  2. Topical Treatment. Acne takes weeks to start clearing up. Hence, it is better to use topical treatments instead of harsher spot treatments. Moreover, harsh products may cause irritation with repeated use. Don’t overdo the treatment as people tend to follow one strong product with another. This is harmful for teen skin.
  3. Clean SPF. Sun Exposure builds up over your lifetime, and lighter skinned teens can get sunburned easily. Sun exposure can appear as patches of freckles. Hence, a clean SPF i.e. simple sunscreen should be included in the skin care routine.

If you’re involved in sports or other sweaty activities, then you should consider heavy cleansers and skin wipes.

Your 20’s:

Natural Skin Renewal peaks near the age of 20. Some signs of aging start appearing near the late 20’s, but skin aging is not a major concern in this period. The 20’s are the period of career beginning for most people and so the calendar is expected to be filled with late nights and early mornings. The focus in this period is to help the skin get the nutrients it is lacking and reverse any effects of exhaustion such as dark circles under the eyes.

  1. Exfoliate: You should exfoliate lightly daily to get rid of the dead skin cells, dirt and pollutants on top of your skin. Good exfoliators contain salicylic or alpha/beta hydroxy acids which additionally help to unclog pores and slow bacteria growth for some time.
  2. Cleanse: Get rid of the harsh anti-acne stuff you’ve been using all high school. Try new cleansers and find the perfect one for you.
  3. Sunscreen: The sun’s UV rays break down the skin’s elastin tissue (which give the skin their elasticity) and the collagen protein (that makes the skin taut). As aging effects start to set in and production of these proteins decreases, sun exposure only helps accelerate these effects. A good SPF should hence not be underestimated.
  4. Moisturise: Your oil glands start to shrink in your 20’s, leading to drier skin. You should consider oil based moisturises for the winters. However, for the warmer months you’d be better off with a moisturizer that isn’t very rich and has hydrating components. And if your acne continues into your early adulthood, definitely forgo the oil rich moisturiser.
  5. Anti-aging: It is good to start early. You should have at least one anti-aging product such as a night cream or serum. Opt for products with a healthy dose of anti-oxidants and Vitamin C, both of which are important ingredients for a healthy skin.

However, take care not to overdo it. People in their early 20’s tend to overcompensate by trying too many new products and skin care routines at once. Go slow, and ease yourself into the process. You should also take care to never sleep with your make-up on. Seriously.

Your 30’s and 40’s :

This is the period when aging becomes a major concern. If you didn’t follow a good skin care routine early on, then aging effects might appear for you earlier than other people. During this period the skin loses elasticity due to a breakdown of the dermis structure consisting of elastin tissues and collagen. The skin then starts sagging. In the late 30’s fine lines become more prominent and start their transformation into wrinkles and folds. This is also a time to focus on your diet and if you’re taking enough anti-oxidants and important nutrients such as Vitamin C. Apart from the following, the 20’s skin routine also needs to be followed.

  1. Get in with Serum Brighteners: These are the decades when years of sun exposure, hormonal extremes during pregnancy and accumulated damage from loss of skin renewal really start showing up on your skin. The result is a loss of complexion and spots (melasma for pregnant women). So get in with brighteners, but if you’re pregnant, then hands off the old hydroquinone solution.
  2. Retinoids: Collagen is responsible for the tautness of your skin. With age, this protein under the dermis decreases which leads to fine lines and wrinkles. However, collagen topical creams can’t get through the skin easily. Retinoid skin creams, however, help collagen production. Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives and also help with pigmentation of the skin and acne. They are hence one of the most efficient and powerful skin care products. And heavy on your wallet too.(Remember retinoids are a big no-no if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.)
  3. Eye Cream: This is the decade when crow’s feet appear and caw to everyone about how exhausted you are. Many people are genetically predisposed to baggy eyes, and can choose the fast solution of hyaluronic injections. Regardless, the need of eye creams is real and you should apply one twice a day.
  4. Weekly mask: A good mask can help to not only mask your troubles, but also repair them. A weekly 15 minute mask helps your skin repair faster, be smoother, unclog pores and reverse some of the aging effects.
  5. Reminder: Don’t neglect the basic steps of exfoliating, cleansing, sun protection and moisturising.

The upkeep of the skin only increases as you age. But if you start early, and you start smart, then hearing constant gasps about your true age will be the only skin related problem you have.

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