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Skincare Routine For Every Age Group

Here’s a quick guide to the products each age group should be using in their skincare routine… 

skin care for different ages

Over the past year, skincare has grown in popularity. Learning how to care properly for your skin, as well as taking time out for yourself whilst doing your skincare routine, has been the perfect escape during the pandemic. So many of us have overhauled our skincare routines (or created one from scratch) and social media has been there to help introduce us to lesser-known products into those routines.  

Thanks to social media, we are exposed to just how many different products there are out there… With influencers, beauty editors and brands recommending so many products for different skin concerns, it can be hard to know which ones are right for you.  

Whilst a product may sound amazing, depending on your age and skin type, it might not be the best thing for your skin… After all, skincare in your 20’s is much different to your skin in your 50’s! That’s why it’s important to tailor your skincare routine to your skin’s needs, and a lot of that comes down to age.  

In your 20’s

Your skin in your 20’s is invincible, right?  

You can use any product on it, not use anything at all, or use a combination of lotions and potions and your skin will be fine… right? Wrong.  

Whilst your skin may look like it can deal with anything, it can’t. These younger years are the most important to look after your skin and prevent concerns later down the line. Usually, the lifestyle in your 20s will include late nights, alcohol and sun exposure; All these factors can harm your skin without you noticing. Taking early precaution can prevent the ageing process from creeping up on you so soon. 

Your main skincare focus in your 20’s should be to protect your skin and keep it looking plump and young. Keeping the skin hydrated and using SPF daily are both super important steps in your skincare routine. Here’s what your skincare routine should include:   

  • Ideally, you would start with a good double cleanse system (basically cleansing your face twice) to make sure all makeup, dirt and SPF is removed from your skin. This could include a makeup remover to make sure all eye makeup is removed, or just diving straight in with two cleansers.   
  • Exfoliating your skin a few times per week can help to remove dead surface skin cells and is especially beneficial if you suffer from breakouts. Salicylic acid is great for breakout-prone skin and it can also help to even out skin tone.  
  • At this age, you should also include a vitamin C serum which is an antioxidant, and a hyaluronic acid serum to keep the skin hydrated. If you’re concerned about the first signs of ageing appearing on your skin, you can slowly start to introduce retinol into your routine (suggested after 25+). Retinol helps to increase cell turnover and regenerate skin cells, so it can improve the signs of ageing as well as any targetting acne scars or uneven skin tone you may have.   
  • A good routine wouldn’t be complete without a soothing moisturiser and an SPF. Make sure you choose a moisturiser to suit your skin type and then follow up with your chosen SPF. The higher the SPF, the better your skin is protected, so try to opt for SPF50. SPF30 is also great, but you may need to reapply more frequently for full protection.   
  • Face masks and eye creams are fine to include as part of your skincare routine, but aren’t essential at this age. They’re nice to have though – I love a face mask when I’m having a pamper evening or if I’m targeting a specific skincare concern. 
a young woman with clear skin
a young woman with eye mask

In your 30’s

The late 20s and early 30s are when the skin ageing process begins, so you would need to make some small changes to your routine to keep your skin looking and feeling youthful and glowy.  

After the age of around 26, your body slows down the production of collagen and other components such as CoQ10, so the skincare you use should include ingredients that help to reduce the effects of these changes and work to keep your skin looking young and healthy. If you’re a regular sunbather and haven’t always used SPF, the effects of this may also start to show in the form of pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. 

  • As in your 20’s, a strong double cleanse system is important to remove everything from the skin, followed by a chemical exfoliator. Salicylic acid will help your skin if there are still signs of breakouts, or you could try a glycolic acid for deeper level exfoliation. Skin cell turnover has already started to slow down by your 30’s, so using a chemical exfoliator regularly helps to remove dead skin cells, minimise the look of pores and also even skin tone.  
  • Continue with your vitamin C and hyaluronic acid serums and think about introducing niacinamide to your routine too. When choosing a hyaluronic acid serum, opt for a multi-molecular weight hyaluronic acid that penetrates different layers of the skin and plumps from multiple layers for ultimate hydration.   
  • If you’re not already using retinol, now would be the perfect time to add it to your routine. If retinol has already been a regular in your routine, you can consider increasing the strength for a more intense treatment.  
  • Whilst some people don’t consider eye cream essential in a skincare routine, the skin around your eyes is much thinner and more delicate than the rest of your face, so it needs looking after. If you don’t have the budget for an eye cream, make sure to moisturise around the eye area. If you want to include an eye product, choose a light cream or gel to keep the area around your eyes hydrated and plump. 
  • Finish up your skincare routine with a good moisturiser to suit your skin type and then your daily SPF. 

In your 40’s

When you reach your 40’s, the signs of ageing are unfortunately well underway. Changes in hormones cause the skin to become drier, so hydration is key to keeping a healthy youthful-looking complexion.   

  • A double cleanse is just as important now as in earlier years, followed by acids, serums and a moisturiser. As skin cell turnover is slowing down more, retinol is a beneficial ingredient to encourage cell renewal and to help fight the signs of ageing.  
  • Chemical exfoliants such as AHA’s and BHA’s acid are great to remove dead skin cells and leave a glowing, smooth complexion. Physical exfoliants are more likely to damage the surface of the skin.   
  • Serums such as hyaluronic acid are super important to keep the skin hydrated. An eye cream with retinol and hyaluronic acid will keep the eye area hydrated and plump.   
  • In your 40’s, opt for a moisturiser that contains hyaluronic acid or glycerin, and don’t forget to moisturise down to your decolletage too! If you’d rather use a separate product for the neck, look for a product high in moisturising and nourishing ingredients like peptides and ceramides for barrier protection.   
  • The final step of your routine in your 40’s is of course SPF. As you increase the strength of your retinol and incorporate acids into your routine, your skin is becoming more and more sensitive to sunlight. It’s more important than ever to apply SPF after using retinol and acids. 
a middle-aged woman appliyng skincare

In your 50’s… and beyond

Similar to your 40’s, the key to your skincare routine in your 50’s is hydration for long-lasting skincare health. Collagen production has slowed drastically by this point, so it’s important to keep your skin nourished and looking healthy by using products that target these areas and concerns. Unfortunately, fine lines and wrinkles will likely be more prominent so these concerns should also be your focus.  

  • When choosing a cleanser, opt for a cream or oil cleanser. Oil and cream cleansers cleanse your skin, removing all signs of makeup, dirt and impurities, without stripping the skin.   
  • Retinol and exfoliants should still be a part of your skincare routine, but be careful when using treatments and try not to use anything too harsh. Always slowly incorporate new products into your routine to avoid any reactions or damage of your skin barrier.  
  • As with your skincare routine in your younger years, hyaluronic acid is your skin’s best friend. It’s ideal to include hyaluronic acid in your routine, whether thats in the form of serums and mists, as well as being a key ingredient in your moisturiser. Products rich in peptides and ceramides are also beneficial in your 50’s, as they can help to keep your skin barrier strong and plump. 


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