When should we start using retinol? When does our skin age? The world of skincare can be a confusing place to be in, and getting multiple skincare advice from a multitude of sources doesn’t help with our confusion. Which is why, we’re getting the help of skincare experts and dermatologists to help us break down some of our most pressing questions about our skincare routines.
A pinnacle of skincare is anti-ageing, and we sought the help of acclaimed dermatologist and dermatological surgeon Dennis Gross, M.D., for all our pressing questions. Best known for his bestselling, award winning line, Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, which counts beauty experts and celebrities such as Emily Ratajkowski and Chrissy Teigen as fans, Dr Gross is a leader in cosmetic dermatological procedures, with extensive research in skin executed at multiple prestigious institutes.
At what age does our skin start to age?
Dr Dennis Gross: In your mid-20’s, your collagen production and cellular turnover slows down, but the rate at which your collagen breaks down stays the same. This means that you’re producing less collagen but breaking it down at the same rate!
Are certain skin types more prone to ageing sooner?
Yes – female skin tends to not be as thick as male skin, so when it breaks down the signs of ageing are more noticeable sooner. Also, if you have dry skin, you’re more prone to early signs of ageing.
Ingredients to look out for that help with anti-ageing?
You want to look for ingredients like vitamin C, retinol, LED which stimulate your own production of collagen. Alpha and beta hydroxy acids also help stimulate new cell production by increasing cellular turnover. Hyaluronic acid also helps with plumping the skin
What products are better to start with sooner than others?
My top two would be a physical SPF and vitamin C serum. The sun is the number one cause of early ageing – a physical SPF and vitamin C serum will give you the best protection from UVA/UVB. Additionally, vitamin C stimulates your skin’s own production of collagen. Also an eye cream is important to start using in your early 20s. The skin around your eye is thinner than the rest of your face and typically one of the places that is the first to show early signs of ageing.
How should our anti-ageing skincare routine change as we approach our 20s, 30s, 40s, and more?
20s: Prevention is key at this age, so you must begin to topically apply products that contain antioxidants and collagen boosting ingredients. Also remember to wear an SPF every day. Starting an anti-ageing regimen early on will limit the damage done to your skin, making it easier to treat signs of aging as the years continue.
Never go to sleep with your makeup on. Doing so can block pores, leaving oil trapped inside. This leads to bacteria buildup and breakouts.
30s: Scientific research shows that at age thirty, collagen and elastin production starts to decline in quantity and quality. Be sure to incorporate a vitamin C product in your daily regimen – it not only protects skin against damaging free radicals, but also stimulates your body’s natural production of collagen. Retinoids, derivatives of vitamin A, are also an important part of the antiaging arsenal in this age group. They stimulate the production of new skin cells and inhibit the body’s natural enzymes that break down collagen. Professional peels, administered by a doctor, can help firm skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Use at-home versions – like the Alpha Beta Daily Peels – regularly between visits to exfoliate and further battle the onset of wrinkles. Also incorporating LED is a great idea for this age. My SpectraLite FaceWare™ Pro has both blue and red LED lights to combat adult acne and breakouts and signs of aging.
40s: Collagen production slowing means deeper creases and enlarged pores. As your skin becomes less elastic, pores expand because the collagen fibers in the walls around them diminish. To combat this loss, choose products with retinol. Noninvasive lasers like Smooth Beam and Ulthera can also help stimulate collagen production and fight wrinkles without downtime. When washing, choose a non-foaming cleanser and avoid bar soaps, which can be drying. Try Alpha Beta Pore Perfecting Cleanser – it creates a rich lather that leaves skin deeply cleansed but also soft and balanced.
Apart from skincare products, what other preventative measures can we take to prevent premature skin ageing?
There are a lot of lifestyle choices that you can make that will help keep your skin young and healthy – getting a good night sleep, regular exercise, not smoking, drinking within moderation all help your skin look its best.