Unless I’m on a mission to source out the latest miracle cream recommended by the beauty pages of Cosmo or Marie-Claire, strolling down the skincare aisle anywhere from Sephora to Selfridges is an experience that’s more daunting than exciting. Within minutes, it becomes clear that choosing “the right products” isn’t always easy. With rows and rows of potions and lotions calling out to us, many women resort to trial and error— usually relying on the simple (and often misleading) claims on labels. Beauty may know no age boundaries, but when it comes to proper skincare, different types of regimen suit different age groups.
Unlike your taste in men and perhaps fashion, the needs of your skin change at every stage of your life and your skin care routine should be adapted to its specific needs. You can invest in an expensive set of serums and creams thinking that they can take several years off your look yet still end up with mediocre results if the products were not age-appropriate. To pick the right products, it helps to understand what’s happening to your skin during different stages of your life. Here’s RSB’s simple guide to skincare broken down decade by decade, along with some products and treatments we recommend to help keep you looking your best at any given age.
Are you ready to glow?
In terms of looks and skin condition, women in their 20s are widely considered as being in the prime of their lives. Skin during this period should not manifest signs of aging yet, unless you are accustomed to a life of decadence and debauchery characterized by chain smoking and hard partying. However, one should not be fooled because something is lurking beneath the rosy surface— especially if you are always out in the sun or frequently exposed to the dirt and smog of the city. The seeds of skin damage are often sowed early in life, though they manifest years later. Therefore, it pays to be proactive and start taking care of your skin in your 20s to prevent and decrease the signs of aging.
The two major steps to remember: keep your skin sun protected and well moisturized. Do yourself a huge favor by wearing a good broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB on your face and neck before you head out into the sun. There is always a price to pay for the folly of Youth so avoid tanning beds at all costs no matter how tempting they seem. Studies by the America Skin Cancer Foundation have shown that those who subjected themselves to tanning beds regularly before the age of 35 increase their risk for developing skin cancer by 75%!
To keep your skin well moisturized, incorporate an antioxidant-rich serum such as Glo Therapeutics Ultra 15% C Serum or Sloane Inc Vitamin C Elixir into your routine to help prevent free radical damage and improve the overall health of your skin. This is also a good time to get into the habit of wearing an eye cream. The skin around the eyes is thinner and more delicate and often develops fine lines and wrinkles before the rest of the face. Keep this area well hydrated with Kiehl’s Abyssine Eye Cream or Sloane Inc Oygen Eye Serum which is very much like an energy drink for your eyes, packed full of goodness in the form of hyaluronic acid, soy peptides, hexapeptides and Co-enzyme CoQ. This instant brightener erases dark eye circles and brightens up your peepers instantly, with a texture so smooth and light that you can wear it both day and night.
Regular facials will help rid your skin of impurities brought about insults of daily living such as pollution and sun exposure. Working with a professional therapist will offer you the opportunity to consult with an expert on the best way to take care of your skin to develop habits to guard against further damage. Consider the Clear-fection Facial available exclusively at The Sloane Spa @ Marina Bay Sands. This skin clearing and comedone purging facial combines multiple steps that not only help to achieve a clearer complexion but effectively deal with signs of premature aging. It consists of deep cleansing, dead cell exfoliation using ultrasonic cleansing to unclog pores, PPx vacuum and light therapy to detoxify and keep sebaceous glands tame & balanced, followed by a fruit acid wash to refine troubled skins; giving you lots of mileage in your quest towards graceful aging.
30s to 40s
This is the decade when early signs of aging set in. When scrutinizing your face with a magnifying mirror (aren’t we all obsessed with that?) in between juggling a career and taking care of a baby or two, you will start to notice fine lines and wrinkles gathering around your eyes and the corners of your mouth. The strategy to adopt now is to prevent these tell-tale signs of age from becoming more visible with time.
Cellular turnover start to slow down in your 30’s so you might find that your skin looks a little dull and lacks radiance. Help to combat this with regular exfoliation to get rid of dead skin cells. Consider opting for microdermabrasion formulations which have finer natural granules than traditional scrubs and exfoliators that shouldn’t irritate the skin. My personal favorites are Origins Modern Friction Exfoliator and Sloane Inc Microdermabrasion Cream. Containing microscopic beads of magnesium crystals suspended in a nourishing mix of jojoba oil, sunflower oil, almond oil, citric acid, jojoba oil, xanthan gum, tocopherol, lecithin, grape seed extract and grapefruit seed bitters; this gentle yet powerful dream scrub strips away lacklustre dead skin and moisturizes at the same time; leaving your skin fresh and baby soft to the touch.
Consider Microdermabrasion and Professional Chemical Peels for some serious heavy duty skin polishing and skin renewal. Containing a blend of fruit acids and other active cosmeceutical ingredients, chemical peels aim to return your face to its soft, supple complexion and enhance its beauty by renewing collagen and elastin, eliminating wrinkles, reducing pore size, removing superficial acne marks and blending out uneven skin tone. To further ‘age-proof’ yourself, Intense Pulsed Light or IPL therapy produces gratifying results. Frequently referred to as a photo-facial, IPL utilizes light at different wavelengths to rejuvenate skin marked by early signs of aging to restore it to its former youthful glow. Similarly, a procedure known as Laser Toning which engages a new technology that helps address wrinkles at their root gives equally good results. Using laser energy that penetrates deeply without injuring the top layer of skin, the deep dermis is stimulated to produce natural collagen and other vital proteins to restore youthfulness with little to virtually no downtime.
40s to 50s
This is the time to engage in some serious action to fight against the ravages of Father Time and tackle aging head on. Whatever good or bad habits we incurred in our youth will start to leave its marks on our faces in this decade. As the aging skin starts to lose moisture and the youthful glow it once enjoyed begins to fade, fine lines become more pronounced, wrinkles are etched deeper and pigmentation starts to surface.
Vitamin A (usually referred to as retinol) is a popular choice in products specifically for older skin due to its ability to stimulate collagen for a plumper skin effect, increase cell turnover for a smoother finish and reduce pigmentation to a certain extent. However, retinol causes photosensitivity and can further dry out and irritate the aging skin. It is therefore judicious to wear a good sunscreen and keep the skin well moisturized with emollients while on it.
The Brilliant Skin Program tailored by The Sloane Clinic is designed to repair aging skin and tackle stubborn pigmentation by utilizing FDA approved, advanced Fraxel Light microlaser peel technology and LED Red photomodulation. These two treatments work hand in hand to transform and deeply invigorate stressed, weathered skin without incurring significant downtime and health risks. Patients often report not just an improvement in discoloration but more supple and youthful looking skin with less prominent lines, tighter pores and better texture.
50s and beyond
When one steps into the golden age of 50s, skin gets noticeably drier and thinner due to changes associated with reduced hormonal levels of estrogen and progesterone brought about by menopause. At this point, the skin loses its firmness and starts to sag.
Oil production slows down as we age and once you hit menopause, it’s time for a richer and more emollient moisturizer. Both collagen and elastin are attacked by sun-generated free radicals so besides having a sunscreen, consider antioxidants such as Vitamin E, Green Tea extracts, Peptapeptides or Astaxanthin which can help minimize cellular damage and fight aging. Whichever product you choose, always give it some time to work. The general appearance of your skin should improve after about a month of continual usage but for a more dramatic change, it may take up to 6 months or more.
Looking time worn and in need of some muscled works to defy the act of gravity and reverse the signs of aging but is afraid to go under the scalpel? The 3D Facelift is an award-winning youth freshener by The Sloane Clinic that employs the powerful synergistic actions of the sag-lifting Ulthera and skin-tightening Thermage in a unique protocol for the ultimate uplifting experience sans surgery. Post treatment, expect an age-reversed, refreshed version of you as a more defined jawline is re-sculpted, tired eyes revived, and weighed down laugh lines and double chins get re-anchored in a perkier place.
For those in need of a complete surgical makeover, the minimally invasive Endotine Mini Facelift gives remarkable results that rival those of traditional works with a fraction of the downtime. Another advantage of the Endotine lift is that skin tension is distributed evenly, reducing skin irregularities and dimpling that can occur with traditional sutures giving a much more gradual and natural looking lift . With an average recovery time of 7 to 14 days, this is indeed a fairly small price to pay for shaving years off your age.
* Selected as Article of the Month May 2013*