Early 20's

My best advice to my younger patients is that it’s never too early to start getting into good skin habits. Our skin is a complex and dynamic organ, which relies on a consistent skincare regimen to obtain the essential nutrients it needs to reach its optimal health. Your skin will thank you for your efforts in the later years. 

Many of the nutrients that our skin needs in our 20’s are in fact the same list of nutrients needed in our 30’s, 40’s and beyond. Great news for us all, as it simplifies things brilliantly. However, our skin does have anatomical and physiological needs that change through the decades and often require a more targeted approach.

As you move from your teens to 20’s, your puberty hormones start to stabilise and as a result, most people in this age group will see a reduction in the frequency of Acne and breakouts. You are not fully in the clear from spots and blemishes however, so your skincare strategy should still be focussed around methods to keep your pores healthy. In your 20’s the skin has a healthy skin turnover, which means the skin is pretty good at producing lots of new, healthy skin cells, to replace the old skin. This speedy cell turnover prevents excessive old, dead skin, from building up in the top layers.

Use a detoxifying cleanser containing ingredients such as Salicylic acid, a fruit acid that has a deep pore cleansing action and helps to regulate oil control. This is best reserved for night time use. Follow with a water based antioxidant toner to rebalance skin PH. Integrate these products with gentler cleansing options for the other half of your cleanse regime, such as a cream or gel cleanser in the morning. I normally recommend the gentler steps are reserved for the morning and the nighttime dedicated to the more active products. This is a simple yet effective way to keep your pores healthy and blemishes away. Women may be prone to breakouts at certain stages of their cycle. It can be worth adding in an over the counter Benzoyl Peroxide product after your cleanser and before your moisturiser. This reduces the inflammation and congestion in your pores. For more frequent or severe breakouts, it is sensible to see your GP for more of a medical input.

 

Use a gentle exfoliation mask once a week, Remember ‘less is more’- avoid over exfoliating.

Some believe that if they scrub their skin ‘Brillo pad’ style, they will remove blemishes and pigmentation. In fact, over-exfoliating can damage your skin, leading to increased redness, sensitivity, pigmentation and spots. Top pick mask ingredients include Lactic acid, Salicylic acid, Zinc, Sulphur and Bentonite clay.

Mid-late 20's

UV rays, environmental stressors and medications such as the contraceptive pill, may lead to increased melanin ( brown pigment) and melasma pigmentation. Our youth promoting collagen stores slowly start to deplete in our 20’s, with a 1-1.5% reduction every year, making this a good age to start using quality antioxidants in your skincare regime. Key ingredients to look for include Vitamins B, C and E. Using a serum rich in these nutrients can help to protect your skin and improve skin radiance. Don’t forget your broad spectrum SPF protection should be worn daily too and look for mineral ingredients, such as Zinc oxide and Titanium Dioxide, as these won’t clog your pores. 80% of premature skin ageing is caused by UV damage and as we have UV rays around us all year round, this step is in my list of skin regimen ‘must haves’

 

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30's

Increased UV damage and exposure to blue light from our phones and screens, leads to thinning of the epidermal layers (top layers), reduced lipid barrier health and reduction of important skin hydrators, such as Hyaluronic acid. For this reason, it is especially important that our skincare products preserve our skin’s natural PH levels and work hard to support our epidermal barrier health. Our skin’s protective ‘acid mantle’ becomes weakened with age and more sensitive to even the slight disruption in skin PH. We also know that from the age of 20 years, we lose approximately 1-1.5% of our collagen every single year. So by the age of 30 + our collagen and elastin, the important stretchy proteins that keep our skin looking smooth and line free, have significantly depleted. As a result, this age group may start to see the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Melanocytes (cells that make brown pigment) can also become unstable, meaning that they are more likely to overproduce brown pigment, melanin, which can lead to hyperpigmentation and sun spots.

I recommend adding in pigment stabilising antioxidants in serum form. Look for ingredients such as Vitamin C, Alpha Arbutin and Resveratrol, which are all natural plant based pigment lighteners.

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40’s , 50’s and beyond

During the perimenopause, the ten year period leading up to the menopause)  your sex hormone levels decline significantly. In particular your Oestrogen, which is needed for collagen production and to support skin barrier function. Your skincare strategy should therefore focus on boosting collagen formation and hydration within the skin, to counteract the hormonal changes.

I recommend supporting your skin’s needs from the outside in. In terms of skincare, switch out anything that’s too stripping, foaming cleansers, double cleansing and facial brushes. Cream or gel cleansers allow for a hydrating, barrier supportive cleanse. Follow with a water based, hyaluronic acid rich toner. This helps to  rebalance skin PH and hydrate the skin.  The serum choice is really key. Look for antioxidants in your morning serum, such as Vitamins C,B, E. Coenzyme q10 and at night, a gentle serum rich in a Retinoid, such as a Granactive Retinoid. This will aid new collagen production and boost repair without exacerbating dryness and sensitivity. At the moisturiser step, adding in plant based Peptides, barrier supportive Ceramides, Niacinamide and hydrating Hyaluronic acid can be a game changer. Try integrating a gentle fruit acid based exfoliating mask once a week, to improve cell turnover and repair. Lactic acid is a good choice for sensitive skin prone to dehydration as it exfoliates but also is a humectant, so helps to draw moisture into the skin.

In terms of supporting the skin from the inside out, there are a number of things that you can do. Ensuring that you can provide your skin with the building blocks it needs to build and repair collagen and connective tissue is key. Your nutrition and supplementation play an important role here.

I recommend taking a daily Type 1 marine collagen supplement. Look for one with ingredients that enhance the skin’s ability to build and repair, such as Hyaluronic acid, phytoceramides and vitamin cofactors. My go to is Beauty Complex by Revive Active.

When you go through the menopause you can also be prone to gut dysbiosis and issues disruption of your gut microflora and absorption of nutrients. This can also lead to issues with hormone metabolism and excretion which can exacerbate menopausal symptoms. The change in hormones often goes hand in hand with some adrenal fatigue and mitochondrial dysfunction (your energy producing cells). I recommend taking a targeted supplement that addresses these needs with probiotics, adaptogens, digestive enzymes, vitamins and minerals that support healthy hormone balance, such as magnesium, B6, thiamine and iodine and DHA to support brain function.

The idea of supporting the hormone balance in your skin topically is also becoming more mainstream.Our Nuriss Labs Service can support your journey (link to page)

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