Healthy skin is beautiful. It defines aging gracefully and reflects how well we take care of ourselves. Today’s 60, after all, is yesterday’s 40, and many of us are looking for ways to care for our skin so it reflects our emotional–not our chronological–age.
As older cells migrate to the surface of our skin, they’re sloughed off, and new cells are generated. This 28-day regeneration cycle tends to slow as we age, so we have different skin care needs at different stages of our lives.
Challenges Through the Ages 20 to 35
- Seventy-five percent of skin damage has already occurred, mostly from sun overexposure.
- Overactive sebum production begins to decrease.
- Cell regeneration begins to slow.
- Fine lines begin to develop.
- Nettle leaf helps clear up skin conditions and reduces appearance of dark circles under the eyes.
- Lavender, a potent cell regenerator, has antiseptic properties.
- Peppermint oil has anti-inflammatory properties for oily and acne-prone skin, and is toning for all skin types.
- Sweet almond oil mimics natural moisturizing factors in skin.
- Clary sage helps balance the skin’s pH level.
- Astragalus root is an antioxidant that promotes cell regeneration.
- Orange oil acts as a natural detoxifier.
- Rosemary oil works best for oily, acne-prone skin and eczema.
What to Do
- Use a daytime moisturizer with broad-spectrum SPF.
- Keep skin healthy by protecting it, and minimize the damage you’ll see later.
- Develop a daily skin care routine to assist the skin’s natural functions.
- Hydrate skin with a light, water-based moisturizer at night.
- Use a gentle exfoliating product–be careful not to overdo it.
Challenges Through the Ages 36 to 49
- Expression lines become more pronounced.
- Fine lines become more visible.
- Skin becomes drier.
- Skin elasticity begins to decrease.
- Hyperpigmentation from sun exposure becomes more pronounced.
- Natural fruit acids, (pineapple, grapefruit, passion fruit, lime, raspberry) speed cell regeneration and stimulate formation of collagen and elastin.
- Flaxseed oil, a source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, aids cell regeneration.
- Fennel, a powerful detoxifier and anti-inflammatory, strengthens skin elasticity.
- Carrot seed oil combats formation of wrinkles.
- Wheat germ oil helps prevent moisture loss from skin.
- Licorice acts as a cosmetic skin lightener.
- Soybean peptides reduce puffiness and help firm skin.
- Aloe vera improves hydration.
- Vitamin A (beta carotene) stimulates skin circulation and reduces toxins.
What to Do
- Use a richer moisturizer.
- Always moisturize morning and night.
- Use products to boost cell regeneration.
- Hydrate and protect the delicate eye area.
- Use natural collagen-boosting products.
Challenges Through the Ages 50+
- Fine lines become more pronounced wrinkles.
- Skin loses its elasticity and becomes thinner.
- Skin can become more sensitive or easily irritated.
- Skin becomes drier and less able to retain moisture.
- Avocado oil is highly therapeutic and rich in several important vitamins.
- Sodium lactate, an antioxidant, is used as a humectant.
- Pomegranate stabilizes free radicals
- Borage seed oil, a rich source of essential fatty acids, helps improve mature and damaged skin.
- Gotu kola, an anti-inflammatory, aids in the synthesis of collagen.
- Spirulina contains protein and essential amino acids.
- Safflower oil provides superior deep moisturizing.
What to Do
- Provide extra moisturizers high in emollients and essential oils to help keep skin soft and smooth looking.
- Use hydrating masks to soothe and revitalize skin.
- Always avoid excessive exposure to the sun and wind. Use sunscreen to protect your skin from further damage.
Eight Super Antioxidants for Every Age
Free radicals are a byproduct of oxidation that damages skin and accelerates the aging process. Antioxidants can help prevent free radicals from damaging cell structures.
- Bilberry is an astringent that helps promote exfoliation.
- Selenium preserves tissue elasticity and slows down hardening of tissues through oxidation.
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) stimulates synthesis of collagen.
- Ginkgo works as an anti-inflammatory, soothing the skin.
- Grapeseed extract contains flavonoids.
- Coenzyme Q10 neutralizes free radicals.
- Vitamin E protects cell membranes.
- Green tea extract helps prevent skin cancers and combats premature aging.
Skin ages in two ways: intrinsically, because of our genes, and extrinsically, because of environmental factors.
- the rate that collagen breaks down
- the ability of our skin to maintain moisture
- the speed of skin cell regeneration
- how fast we recover from skin damage
- exposure to sun and wind
- dietary factors
- lack of hydration
- lack of sleep
- exposure to pollutants
- poor skin care habits
- medication and drug use
- alcohol consumption
- chemicals in skin care products
Luckily, the list of factors we can control is longer than those we can’t.