“Time marches on, “ said Dolly Parton in her famous role as Truvy Jones in Steel Magnolias. “And eventually, you realize it is marching across your face.” As you get older, you realize that the skin-care routines you started as a young adult may not work any longer. When you are 20, a good cleanser and a moisturizer with sunscreen might be all you need.
But, into your 30s and 40s, you have to work a little harder to keep beautiful, young-looking skin. By establishing a good routine with the right products now, you protect your skin from the harmful effects of life, and stay fabulous as you age.
When you are older, those days you spent in the sun without adequate sunscreen will come to call. The better you take care of your skin when you are younger, the less work you will have to do to reverse the effects. And, remember that the time of year bears little on the damage ultraviolet rays can wreak on your skin. So, plan to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen, generally at least SPF 15-20, with both UVA and UVB protection. If you want to save time, find a moisturizer that fulfills your sunscreen needs. That way, you do not need to apply both.
Washing your face becomes really important as you get older, to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells and restore some of your natural glow. But, you need to choose the right cleansers for your skin type. Creamy cleansers help to prevent dry skin, while you may prefer a foaming cleanser with alpha hydroxy acids to help you exfoliate in the morning. In your 40s, you may be better off with gentle creamy cleansers to prevent damaging your delicate skin.
Moisturizers and Creams
Antioxidants are important to keep free radicals from destroying your skin. Exposure to free radicals, coming most commonly from natural sunlight, has the power to cause serious health problems, including skin cancer. Select a moisturizer containing antioxidants to minimize effects from the sun and other environmental factors. But, this may not be enough for you in later years, especially at night. Find a cream with hyaluronic acid or rich shea butter. This may help maintain the volume of your face, as well.
Over time, many women realize that the basics are not enough to get the job done. At this point, they turn to prescription retinoids to improve moisture, remove blemishes in skin tone and decrease skin imperfections. These retinoids include:
Hydroquinone minimizes the dark patches on your skin caused by sun damage or melasma. It prevents the skin from producing melanin, which makes skin darker. Tretinoin works to decrease blemishes such as acne, and even improves the look of wrinkles. Retinol acts as a chemical exfoliant to remove flaking skin without causing further damage. But, many women cannot tolerate daily use of retinoids, so use them with caution.
Depending on your age and skin-care needs, you should create a routine you can perform in the morning and at night. You must use sunscreen to protect from damaging UV radiation. Into your 30s and 40s, moisturizers and skin creams become more important. And, into middle age, you find that prescription retinoids can make a real difference. By taking action appropriate to your age and skin type, you will have a face and skin that looks great, no matter how old you are.