It’s no surprise that your skin will change as you age. It may not be as clear, hydrated and resilient at forty as it was when you were seventeen. As your skin changes, your skincare routine should adapt to accommodate those changes. At every age, your primary skincare goal should be giving your skin what it needs- whether that’s moisture, a good exfoliator, a boost in collagen production or antioxidants. So how exactly should your skincare evolve? We’re here with Dr. Lee’s blueprint for changing your skincare routine as you age!
Puberty - 20s: Establishing a Routine + Providing Proper Protection
Acne breakouts are often introduced in your teenage years because your hormone levels spike during puberty. These hormones trigger the sebaceous glands to produce more oil, which can mix with bacteria and dead skin cells to form inflammatory acne. If you’re starting to wear makeup regularly, consider using a cleansing wipe before washing your face at night. SLMD’s Step Zero: Cleansing Wipes remove makeup, bacteria and dirt to prevent the formation of acne while you sleep. It also contains Aloe and Chamomile Extract to calm inflamed skin.
To tackle acne, adopting a comprehensive approach is key. To combat clogged pores, teenagers should use an exfoliating cleanser every morning and night. SLMD’s Salicylic Acid Cleanser is gentle enough for use on sensitive skin and contains acne-fighting ingredients like Salicylic Acid along with soothing ingredients like Allantoin. After you wash your face in the morning, apply an acne-fighting treatment with Benzoyl Peroxide, an anti-inflammatory that kills acne-causing bacteria and brings relief to the pain, redness, and swelling associated with acne. It is the active ingredient in SLMD’s BP Lotion, which also has antioxidants like Vitamin E and Beta Glucan to protect the skin from environmental stressors that could cause fine lines and wrinkles later. Add a lightweight moisturizer like SLMD’s Facial Moisturizer, which has Vitamin C to brighten your complexion in addition to amino acids (the building blocks of peptides) to maintain your skin’s texture. All three of these products can be found in SLMD’s Acne System, which provides a thorough routine to get your acne under control.
In addition to combating acne, you constantly need to be combatting external factors like sun exposure, that can damage your skin. The most important form of protection is sun protection! You should be applying SPF every day- even if you’re planning on staying inside. UV rays can penetrate through clouds, windows, and your clothing. Using a moisturizer with SPF is a great way to incorporate sunscreen into your skincare routine. SLMD’s Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15 is both formulated with acne-prone and aging skin in mind - with antioxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Green Tea Extract. Another form of sun protection is a mineral powdered sunscreen like SLMD’s UV Bounce, which can be used as a setting powder over makeup and is great for reapplying throughout the day.
Another important precedent to set while you’re young is treating pimples rather than popping them. Rather than picking at any pimples that surface, keep a spot treatment handy. Dr. Lee recommends the BP Spot Treatment for inflammatory acne (big, red, painful papules or pustules) and the Salicylic Acid Spot Treatment for noninflammatory pimples (blackheads and whiteheads).
Mid/Late 20s: Start Thinking about Anti-Aging
If your efforts to dry out your adolescent acne have dried out the rest of your skin, it’s time to focus on hydration. Hyaluronic Acid is also a great hydrator that can hold 1,000 times its weight in water. It can be found in SLMD’s Hyaluronic Acid Serum, which can be used before or mixed in with your moisturizer!
This is a great time to begin using anti-aging products, and Retinol is the holy grail of restoring a youthful glow. As a Vitamin A derivative, Retinol encourages cell turnover to minimize fine lines and wrinkles and boost collagen to keep skin plump and firm. SLMD’s Retinol Serum can be used at night to prevent signs of early aging while you sleep. It can also be found in SLMD’s After Acne system, along with the Salicylic Acid Cleanser and Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15.
30s: Restoring an Even Complexion
In your 30s, no-sunscreen days and popped pimples may be catching up with you. If you’re struggling with uneven skin tone and texture, Dr. Lee suggests adding a toner to your routine. SLMD’s Resurfacing Acne Swipes is essentially a toner in a pre-loaded pad. Packed with Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid, they can be used on clean, dry skin to slough away dull skin and unclog pores. To tackle acne scars and sun spots, Hydroquinone is a powerful skin lightening agent that inhibits the production of melanin to reduce visible dark marks and restore an even complexion. It is the active ingredient in SLMD’s Dark Spot Fix, which also contains Kojic Acid and Salicylic Acid to prevent and improve the appearance of dark spots due to acne, melasma, and sun exposure.
40s: Wrinkles and Sagging
Although consistent sunscreen use may delay or improve immediate signs of aging, eventually everyone’s skin begins to crease and wrinkles form. Hydrating and anti-aging products (like the ones suggested above) are a good option to reduce the appearance of aging at home, your dermatologist can also offer more quick-fix options.
For fine lines and moderate to severe wrinkles caused by facial expressions, Botox is the preferred treatment. Those glabellar lines (the “elevens” between your brows), forehead lines, and moderate to severe crow’s feet (those lines around the eyes) respond well to Botox and other neurotoxin injectables. However, Botox treatments are temporary, so you may need to repeat the treatment every three to six months to maintain preferred results.
While Botox targets lines caused by facial expressions, fillers combat lines that are unchanging, like sleep wrinkles on the chin and cheeks, laugh lines and lip lines. Those who want to restore volume or structure to their face (like plumper cheeks or lips) that they lost due to aging or an active lifestyle would also benefit from fillers! Continued use of the above products — namely SPF, a good cleanser, and moisturizer should always have a spot in your routine.