[By Morgan McMichael]

Unless I’m on a mission to source out the latest miracle cream recommended by the beauty sage 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 those 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 ReadySetBeauty’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?

The 20-somethings

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.

SAVE: 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 heading out in the day. 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 CHAI CITRINE Pure Vitamin C Elixir & Powder into your routine to help prevent free radical damage and improve the overall health of your skin. By engaging premium vitamin C stabilization technology, CITRINE offers the purest and freshest form of hydra-stabilized L-Ascorbic Acid, with unparalleled anti-oxidant prowess to fight against destructive free radicals we are exposed to on a daily basis. CITRINE is good for the 20-somethings as a skin brightening and skin rejuvenating agent, boosting skin’s health and improving its resilience to enhance skin radiance, imparting upon dull and lacklustre complexions an invigorating glow that brings out the best of Youth.

SPLURGE: 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. CLEAN SLATE is a well put together SEXTEXT ideally suited for 20-somethings commonly troubled by oily, clogged skins. Combining the purification benefits of both DEEP DEEP CLEAN and CLEAR BLUE facials, Aqua.dermabrasion is one of the key feature with an ever enlarging fan base. The gentle jet of accompany fluid containing a potent blend of AHA/BHAs infuses treated skins with acne busting agents while providing continuous moisture application to ensure maximal comfort level, reducing friction and softening the skin and sebum to extract impurities and blast them away with ease. Aqua.dermabrasion immediately leaves the skin clearer and brighter, with no complicated special post treatment care to take note of nor any significant downtime that will hinder your daily routine. Regular sessions do much more than keeping your pores squeaky clean, multi-tasking to help with fine lines, wrinkles, surface blemishes, uneven skin tone and possibly mild pigmentation all at one go; giving you lots of mileage in your quest towards graceful aging.

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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. And we aren’t even talking about dreaded skin pigmentation such as sunspots and melasma! The strategy to adopt now is to prevent these tell-tale signs of dermal aging from becoming more visible with time.

SAVE: 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 chemical peels for some serious heavy duty skin renewal that goes beyond your usual DIY scrub and paper masks. The Glamour Peel specially concocted and available exclusively at the SW1 Spa is an understated treatment that’s true to its moniker, playing the role of a celebrity stylish as a fuss-free 6 in 1 weekend peel that brings forth a red carpet difference. Aimed to add glow and sparkle to lackluster complexions, it uses not one, but a combination of three different types of pharmaceutical grade fruit acids that have been carefully selected to deliver a quick all-round complexion improvement. By effectively getting rid of dead skin cells and replenishing essential antioxidants into your skin, this star-worthy treatment addresses six key skin concerns for a thorough perk-me-up at one go. With skin brightening, spot fading, line smoothening, pore reduction, sebum balance and hydration boost under its belt, the Glamour Peel serves as an excellent primer for a fresh face of makeup, be it bare minimum or full-on sultry, you’ll definitely make heads turn with equal parts admiration and envy even if you’re geared for the bog 4-0.

SPLURGE: Get a headstart towards graceful aging with medically inspired and scientifically proven spa treats such as the hugely popular 24K Uplift facial. A hybrid facial that utilizes Sygma Lift which combines clinical ultrasound skin lifting technology with cold laser for toning skin with facial indulgences, the 24K Uplift facial does triple action to sculpt, lift and refine, getting the 30-somethings looking inexplicably youthful in a jiffy.

To further ‘age-proof’ yourself, Quattro Toning is a new revolutionary Californian technology that targets pigmentation, firms skin and restores radiance all at the same time. Touted by those in the know as the perfect lunch hour “perk me up”, it utilizes laser energy that penetrates deeply without irritating the top layer of epidermis, stimulating the production of natural collagen and other vital proteins, Quattro Toning restores youthfulness and luminosity to your skin with virtually no downtime.

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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.

SAVE: 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.

A potent yet gentle preparation that can be used nightly to fight visible signs of aging is the aptly named, SW1 AGE DEFY, a rejuvenating and anti-aging lotion which combines retinol with a powerful, natural moisturizing agent packed full of hyaluronic acid and vital collagen. Similarly, CHAI GOLD OIL RETINOL Vitamin A Anti-aging Neck Treatment is an age-defying treatment that combines retinol and the essence of pure 24-carat gold with the prowess of antioxidants and essential fatty acids harvested from natural botanicals that enhances skin’s elasticity, firmness and smoothness for total skin rejuvenation. These products not only fights wrinkles, but also effectively tones, lifts and firms skin while delivering long-lasting hydration, to repair and rejuvenate while you sleep!

SPLURGE: If creams, lotions and potions alone aren’t making the cut to garner you with the kind of results you desire, perhaps it’s time to explore viable options that are based on medical knowledge and backed up by board approved technologies. The highlight of the age defying Baby Skin Program conceptualized by the team of medical beauty experts from the SW1 Clinic is the BB AquaTouch Laser, utilizing a novel 1927nm Thulium wavelength of the patented non-ablative Fraxel technology for faster clearance of pigmented lesions, improving skin elasticity and reducing enlarged pores and wrinkles all at one go. The ultimate skin transformation is completed with LED Red photo-biomodulation   therapy, stimulating skin renewal with complementing Pearl Éclat‘s extra whitening boost to revive the glow from within, leaving your skin a little less flawed and smoother to the touch, raising the bar of your beauty standard a notch closer to perfection.

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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.

SAVE: 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.

SPLURGE: Short of going under the knife for a surgical neck lift, opt for gentler but nonetheless effective modalities such as Ulthera and Thermage to restore some of the features robbed by the passage of time. Ulthera is an advanced FDA approved treatment that engages medical ultrasound for deep tissue lifting, tackling a sagging jawline and double chin with panache. By utilizing patented monopolar radiofrequency waves, Thermage tightens and lifts by stimulating collagen remodeling and regeneration. By combining these two excellent non-invasive modalities to harvest their synergistic effects in the Trinity Facelift Program, not only do they iron out loose skin and improve the appearance of neck lines, but help to re-contour a weak, saggy jawline. Expect an age-reversed, refreshed version of you 3 to 4 months post-treatment, 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, reviving one’s profile to a more youthful definition that was once there but somehow went missing as the years rolled by.

“For those in need of a complete surgical makeover, the Endotine Facelift gives remarkable results that rival those of traditional works with a fraction of the downtime.” Says Dr. Chia Hui Ling, consultant plastic surgeon with the SW1 Clinic.

Another advantage of the Endotine device is a new technology that uses 5 “tines”, instead of sutures to fix the cheek tissue in its new position. As tension is distributed evenly, this outstanding device reduces skin irregularities and dimpling thatcan occur with traditional sutures, giving a much more gradual and natural looking outcome in general. 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.

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