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Skin Care By Age: The Experts Tell Us When You Need to Start

Skin Care by Age: The Experts Tell Us When You Need to Start Using These Ingredients

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Close up of a young woman applying moisturizer to her face. Asian woman looking happy while following skincare regime.

Did you know almost a third of Brits have never changed their skincare routine? A study by Absolute Collagen has delved into the skincare habits and struggles of the nation, revealing that 33 percent of people have stuck to the same products throughout their lives. Skincare expert, Dr Sophie Shotter explains why this needs to be addressed: "Just as you may need to adapt your exercise routine or diet with age, the same needs to be done for your skincare routine," she explains. "Your skin undergoes various changes throughout your life, which can be influenced by environmental factors like sun exposure, stress, and pollution, as well as the natural process of ageing."

The reason why people tend to stick to the safety of certain products varies, but according to the study the majority of people (54 percent) blame their lack of knowledge and understanding for all the different skin care ingredients available. From vitamin c to retinol, niacinamide to peptides it can be a minefield when it comes to selecting a serum or moisturiser.

But do not fear, if you're one of the Brits struggling to get to grips with what ingredients you need and why, or you've been using the same cleanser and moisturiser for the last 10 years read on. We spoke to some of the top skin experts in the UK to give us a breakdown of the ingredients you need in your teens, twenties, thirties, and forties.

Which Skin Care Ingredients Do You Need: Teens

While teens might not see it this way, their skin is the best it is going to be. "Even with disruptions like hormonal breakout and similar, elastin and collagen are at their maximum levels," Gaia Carminati, Head of Product Development at Indu, a brand dedicated to teen skin, tells POPSUGAR UK. "Skin renewal happens really fast and skin retains hydration easily. This is why at this stage they do not really need much support from skincare ingredients. While a correct diet and balanced water intake is the best thing teens can do, they might need mild exfoliants and BHA (known as salicylic acid) if they suffer from blemishes or an extra boost of hyaluronic acid if they have dry skin."

According to Ada Ooi, Celebrity Facialist and Founder of 001 Skincare, it is all about looking after the skin at this age. "For teenage acne prone skin, I'd much rather balance the skin's barrier than just dry the spots out," she tells POPSUGAR UK. "As this can have an adverse effect of lowering the long term reliance of the skin, causing further breakouts." She recommends investing in a gentle, multi-functional cleanser for young, sensitive skin like 001 Exfoliating Conditioning Silk Gel Cleanser (£42). "This will gently exfoliates and cleanses with a mild dose of lactic and salicylic acid, without disrupting the skin's barrier," she says.

Which Skin Care Ingredients Do You Need: Twenties

This is a decade of two halves when it comes to your skin and its needs. "Your 20s are a decade of changes," explains Carminata. "Younger people in their early 20s still benefit from a highly functioning skin, but might need to start introducing some ingredients like vitamin C. However after 25, your skin starts to slow down (collagen and elastin levels start to deplete, hydration retention needs some support, cellular turnover is slower) so this is where you might see some signs like small lines around your eyes or on your forehead – on top of your vitamin C you will need some help with a hyaluronic acid serum, and AHA exfoliants to help increase cell turnover.

Your collagen production slowing down is the key takeaway from your twenties and why it is important to start thinking about collagen banking. "It's really important to wear SPF daily, when your collagen production starts to slow down from your mid-20s onwards," says Ooi. "Protecting your skin from environmental stressors early-on is essential to prevent premature ageing."

Dr Shotter agrees, "Daily use of SPF is essential for protecting your skin from harmful UV rays and keeping any premature signs of ageing at bay in your twenties. Opt for an SPF factor 30 which will block out the vast majority of UV rays (97%) or above."

An ideal option is Hello Sunday Mineral Hydrating Serum SPF50 (£25) as this light formula won't clog pores and contains hyaluronic acid to help boost moisture levels.

Which Skin Care Ingredients Do You Need: Thirties

As you hit your thirties this is when you may first start to notice signs of aging, "Fine lines, more texture, skin not as flexible, and even changes to some of your features, can occur during this decade," explains Carminata. "This is all due to slower production of collagen and elastin, even less retention of hydration and an even slower skin renewal process." According to Ooi, introducing peptides into your skin care is essential at this point. "Peptides send signals for collagen production and boost hydration," she explains. "Helping to prevent and tackle ageing."

Another addition to your skin arsenal at this point should be an eye cream. "Skin around the eyes is 10 times thinner than other areas of the face," Ooi explains. "So it's important that we incorporate a product with the right formula, as it ages faster because the eye area is not supported with very strong muscles. This is because it's designed to allow for rapid and refined movements like blinking for over fifteen thousand times a day."

Absolute Collagen Deep Lift Eye Cream (£40) contains collagen boosting peptides as well as niacinamide and squalene to help repair and nourish this fragile area.

Which Skin Care Ingredients Do You Need: Forties

Once you hit your forties its all about the hormones again. "As we age, our oestrogen decreases, which means our skin becomes drier," explains Ooi. "This combined with our daily expression habits means it's easier for wrinkles to form."

As we age, our fat and protein breakdowns rapidly, especially from the centre, "This leads to lower elasticity and fat density, causing our skin to lose its volume," says Ooi. "This combined with gravity and looking down at books and phones mean that the skin starts to drag downwards and sag. Our facial expressions create creases, yet our skin can no longer bounce back to where it was, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles." She recommends adding collagen-boosting products containing amino acids which contain essential omega fatty acids, providing the building block for collagen. "Studies have shown that amino acids are important nutrients in repairing damaged skin and promoting wound healing, but also in balancing the skin's pH, retaining water across cellular layers for deep hydration, as well as protecting against UV damage," she explains.

"It's essential to up your hydration in your forties," says Dr Shotter. "Make sure to use hydrating serums and introduce nourishing products such as a night cream into your skin care routine. Night creams are often thicker and more hydrating than your everyday moisturiser, which can help your skin repair and feel replenished while you sleep."

For some of our favourite night creams check out our guide to 15 of the best night creams here.

Lauren Ezekiel is an associate editor at POPSUGAR UK, where she writes about all things beauty and wellness. With a degree in journalism and 12 years' experience as a beauty editor at a leading Sunday supplement, she is obsessed with skincare, hair and makeup, and is often found offering advice to innocent bystanders. Her work has been published in Grazia, OK, Health and Beauty, The Sun, ASDA, Dare and Metro.

Image Source: Getty / jacoblund
001 Exfoliating Conditioning Silk Gel Cleanser
001 Exfoliating Conditioning Silk Gel Cleanser
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Absolute Collagen Deep Lift Eye Cream
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