This is a question we hear, over and over again in the skincare industry, and for good reason. It is important to know how skin changes over the years, and one approach does not fit all skin types. That said, there have also been a lot of changes over the years as science and skin technology improves and progresses, so too does our awareness and expectations. The expectations we had for what is possible in the 1990s is so different to what we can hope for now. And isn’t that a fabulous thing! We are seeing more and more celebrities such as Christie Brinkley, Halle Berry, Gwyneth Paltrow, Helen Mirren and Demi Moore show us that it is possible to look much younger, fresher and more attractive than ever before in every age group. You just need to make sure you are doing the right things, and not doing the wrong ones!
So without further ado, let me lend you my decades of experience, working alongside Australia’s top cosmetic surgeons, to outline a few of the key do’s and don’ts and let you in on some of those celebrity secrets…
Early Twenties to Mid 30s
Being in your twenties and early thirties isn’t what it used to be. With the rise of social media, image is more important to our young clients than ever before and it all starts with a good skincare regime. With the availability of information on the internet, young people are more educated about what is out there than previous generations were before them. However, along with this influx of information has come a lot of confusion as well. This has left a lot of young women in a situation where they feel both terrified of ageing, yet overwhelmed by the information and confused about what they should be doing to look their best. There is always some new health cleanse or cream that is claiming to be more natural, or some new dramatic treatment claiming to be more effective. There are scary over-hyped stories about the dangers of active ingredients and the cosmetic industry. Yet at the same time, serious procedures (such as injectables) are minimized and treated as risk free, which can result in early overuse and unfortunate irreversible changes that can actually age a young face more than prevent ageing.
Megan Fox is a good example of this. An absolutely stunning beauty who began using cosmetic skin interventions as her career took off. Initially, this was beneficial to her looks, as she used subtle augmentations (Botox, rhinoplasty, skin peels, active ingredients, laser and filler) to achieve the glamorous look that catapulted her to fame. However over the years, we watched the gorgeous Megan go too far. The result of this was a very “plastic” look, dry crepey skin and a look that aged her incredibly. Luckily Megan saw the error in all this and was able to reverse most of the damage, however her skin does seem to have suffered from this, and she still looks older than she needs to at such a young 30 years old today. The pictures below show the change in Megan.
The problem isn this case was not any one treatment or product, rather overuse of all of them in an aggressive manner, creating an aged / unnatural appearance that actually detracts from her natural facial harmony and beauty, and has over-stressed her skin. Her skincare regime was wrong for her age group.
The lesson for young skin then, is less is more. But less does not mean nothing. Something is still better than nothing. When it comes to anti-ageing regimes for the mid-thirties and under, balance is the key word.
There are two ends of the scale; at one end is ineffective intervention; coconut oil, overpriced moisturizers that do nothing but provide light hydration, or (gasp) not doing anything at all for your skin. This will lead to premature ageing (often not noticeable until decades later, especially in regards to sun damage). At the other extreme, is the overzealous use of fillers and products designed for people much older, in an attempt to stop the ageing process aggressively (which results in the above issue of stressed aged skin and an unnatural appearance).
So with the 20 – Mid Thirties group, the key is finding a practitioner that sees the bigger picture of your skin journey and assists you with the little tweaks that will pay off big-time in years to come.
Here are just some of my Do’s and Don’ts for the 20s – Early 30s;
DO find a practitioner you trust, and stick with them. Take their advice and follow through on it. No amount of social media ad/google searching can replace years of experience and knowledge. You should feel comfortable and taken care of in the hands of your skincare professional. If you find someone with this kind of expertise, trust them, and don’t forget to implement their advice, it can’t work for you if you’re not doing it!?
DO use a daily/nightly skincare regime that includes a good cleanser, toner and hydration, as well as a sunscreen, and a serum / active ingredients cream for night use. Commit to this, it may seem like a significant investment now, but it will prevent you from needing a lot greater investment in repair work later!
DO explore things like Skin peels, Microdermabrasion, LED, Micro-needling to keep your skin refreshed and young looking, but do these treatments moderately, and with the advice of your practitioner. These kinds of treatments can considerably offset the ageing process, but if overused they can do the opposite. Always leave at least one month between ablative treatments, and never undergo multiple contraindicated treatments at once. Aggressive intervention is not necessary, and can be detrimental for young skin (yes, you ARE still young!).
DO consult your practitioner about injectables before heading down this path, or continuing if you have already started. Injectables can be helpful when used correctly, in the right hands, however, there may also be other ways of achieving your goals. If you do get injectables, talk to your practitioner about which ones, and how these will affect your other treatments. Tread lightly with injectables. These should only be used for a very subtle enhancement or support, never relied on isolation as a sole anti ageing strategy.
DO look into exfoliation. Not those daggy old 80’s style grainy scrubs, we are talking about skin brightening chemical exfoliation here, but make sure you consult your skin practitioner about the exact right amount of these ingredients before pursuing this. As above, balance is key.
DON’T Doctor shop / Clinic hop in an attempt to get the cheapest treatments. Doing this in an attempt to bargain hunt treatment prices is where people really run into trouble, creating an early “Housewives of Orange County” look, or resulting in patchy overlapping treatments, or poor application and practices that can cost a lot more down the track than you will save.
DON’T go a day without sunscreen. Seriously, don’t do it. The sun is the number one factor in aged skin. Numero Uno. It’s not even up for debate. Science has proven this over and over and over again in more studies than you can imagine. Wear it daily. Start as young as possible. Never skip a day. If you ignore everything else, do this! Have a look at this image of a truck driver who shows distinct asymmetrical ageing due to years of sun damage to the window side of his face (no prizes for guessing which one).
DON’T waste your time and money on what we in the know call “fluff and puff” if anti-ageing and amazing skin is your goal. By all means, have a relaxing aromatherapy steam facial with a complimentary massage for relaxation and fun. We all love a bit of gentle pampering, but things like this won’t do much for your skin long term. If you really want “bang for your buck” you need to be looking to active ingredients, such as vitamin A, C, E, antioxidants, hyaluronic and exfoliating acids in the right preparations and percentages to make visible changes to your skin.
DON’T fall for marketing gimmicks and pyramid scheme/internet crazes. Yes, I know that -insert popular Instagram model- uses a special tea and claims that all she uses on her skin is organic -insert brand- coconut oil and you too can look just like her. Or the facial exercises people, who claim that anything effective is bad and will ruin your skin forever so please sign up to this program and we will fix everything… Or the “Health” marketing, which is really big right now “If you wouldn’t eat it don’t put it on your skin”. No, just no. This has no basis in science. The digestive system and the skin are completely different organs. Many things that are safe to eat are absolutely not safe for the skin, and vice versa. Many of the products marketed as organic/healthy / preservative-free etc are simply ineffective, and in some cases, a lot more dangerous than actual clinically tested scientifically proven products and treatments.
DON’T overdo it or let anyone convince you to overdo it just to make more money selling you countless treatments and creams. Make sure that when you are talking to your skin practitioner, you really feel they are listening to you and taking your long-term goals into account. A good skin practitioner will not only know what to recommend but also what to talk you out of. Find someone you trust. Ask to see before and after photos of their patients. Have a consultation and get a feel for their knowledge and patient care. Don’t let anyone sell you something you don’t really want. Trust yourself. Find a practice that you feel comfortable with and a practitioner you feel you can trust with the longer-term picture of your skin. You only get one!
I hope these tips have helped orient you a little more to better navigate the often confusing world of anti-ageing skincare and treatments. Please feel free to contact Visible Changes Adelaide if you would like to book a complimentary skin consultation to discuss your skincare goals and needs in more specific detail. We want to see you looking and feeling fabulous, not just now, but in years to come!
And remember… WEAR SUNSCREEN!?
Article courtesy of Saphire Clinic in Quesnsland