As you grow and age, your skin changes a lot (remember part one of this series?); it goes through hormonal shifts, through seasons connected to your overall health and changes relative to your environment. So it is wise to re-evaluate its needs regularly.
We have divided up four important seasons here for you with our tips on what is happening to your skin and how you can support and look after it during each period of your life.
Since age is really just a number, your skin may not correspond to these numbers exactly, and of course skin type will play a role as well, but you can use these four seasons of age as a general guide for what you can expect from your skin throughout your life and how to best manage it.
Your skin is still recovering from the changes of puberty and you may continue to face acne or spots from time to time, but it should be beginning to settle. This is a great time to establish a simple, natural skincare regimen that will strengthen your skin and give it what it needs to face a time when it may be indoors, in air-conditioning more often than it has been before (hello, fancy new office job!).
It’s also the best time to start ‘prejuvenating’ (i.e. protecting your skin against future damage and signs of aging). The best pre-emptive strike you can take against premature aging is to invest in a high-quality natural sunscreen and use it every single day.
Look for sunscreens that use physical barriers rather than chemical so that you aren’t adding anything to your skin that isn’t good for it. Natural sunscreens use minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to form a physical shield from the sun and they are tested and held to the same standards as chemical sunscreens, so if they say SPF30+ they will provide just as good a barrier as anything chemical without the toxic effects.
This is a time to build strong, resilient skin. Your levels of collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans are beginning to drop, so now is the time to physically top them up to keep skin bouncy. This flexibility makes the skin far less likely to form early or deep wrinkles.
Don’t fall for false skincare promises though! Read the ingredients list carefully on any product you pick up and if there is anything unnatural or toxic in there, put it right back down. It isn’t worth gaining one benefit and facing a host of side-effects when there are plenty of powerful natural skincare options on the market.
Look for products that top up your hyaluronic acid and are filled with Vitamin C and A, and exfoliate wisely! Don’t traumatise your skin with harsh scrubs, but rather exfoliate gently with ingredients that do the work for you, like grapefruit extract and bromelain from pineapples.
Consistency is the key with skincare in your thirties – carefully curate a simple regimen that protects and strengthens. Also, keep wearing that sunscreen you got in your 20s, please!
In your 30s we said to keep your skincare consistent, and that holds true in your 40s as well… But consistency doesn’t mean you don’t change things up or add new products when your skin needs it!
It’s time to start looking at strong active ingredients to make a difference to the way your skin regenerates. An active ingredient is a substance that is biologically active. These are substances that change the biology of things they come into contact with; they actively work to change what they touch.
In natural skincare, these are ingredients that occur naturally, but which are powerful enough to change the chemistry of the skin. In part two of this series, we mentioned a few of these key natural actives, but they’re worth talking about again.
Look for boosters, serums and masks that contain natural actives like Hyaluronic Acid, Gotu Kola, Narcissus Tazetta Bulb, Green Coffee, Bearberry Extract and Ginseng to slow down cell aging, stimulate new cell growth and improve circulation and tissue synthesis. (You can read more about all of these ingredients here.)
You may also consider upgrading your cleanser from a foaming formula to a more emollient, creamy one if your skin is becoming drier.
And, as always, please wear sunscreen every day.
VM Recommends for Your 40s: The Holy Trinity Daily Maintenance Routine, Prebiotic + C, Pineapple Enzyme + HA Eyelift Serum, Marine Collagen, Super C + Bearberry Illuminating Face Serum, Gold & Lime Caviar Coconut Membrane Sheet Mask
It is all about giving back to your skin now. Using a powerful, enriching oil with your skincare routine is valuable for older skin that needs extra protection from the elements.
Look for nourishing, protective ingredients like Seabuckthorn oil, the richest known natural source of carotenoids, beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A), vitamin E, vitamin K1, and beta-sitosterol. This oil is not only good for cleansing and gently exfoliating the skin, it also aids in healing.
Another powerful oil is Pumpkin Seed oil, which is rich in vitamin E, zinc, omega 3-and 6- fatty acids as well as antioxidants, so the benefits for your skin are almost endless. It helps to retain moisture, fight free radicals and this in turn keeps skin youthful and able to regenerate and protect itself.
You may even like to add in an intensive moisture treatment every now and then, something with shea or cocoa butter and some natural waxes like beeswax to deeply nourish and protect.
And finally - say it with us, now – wear sunscreen!
The truth is that there isn’t a dramatic shift across the years in how you need to look after your skin - it is much more intuitive than that:
Start simple and consistent, building strong, healthy skin that is protected from the sun and well-nourished internally and then if you notice a deficit, add something to counteract, heal or boost your skin.
If you spend time on your skin daily, you will be naturally attuned to any changes as it ages and you can adapt your regimen and ingredients to maintain beautiful, healthy skin at any age.
Feature image: Jennifer Marquez