So, you just blew out 25 candles on your birthday cake, set your 25-year-old life goal and partied all night. What’s next on the to-do list? SKINCARE!
Time is ticking and no matter how hard you wish for it, you know you won’t be looking young forever. Without proper preparation, sooner or later those fine lines will deepen to form wrinkles and that youthful-looking skin will be sagging.
But isn’t 25 a little too young to be worried about wrinkles and the whole aging process? Well, you’ve heard it a thousand times and it’s true – prevention is better than cure. Read on for a heads-up on what you need to know about anti-aging for women in their 20s.
Understanding the Aging Process
As we age, our body will face some changes too. As for the skin, the turnover rate of new cells will slow down, and collagen and elastin production will decrease. If you didn’t already know, collagen and elastin are needed to strengthen the dermis and epidermis bond, to maintain the skin’s firmness and elasticity.
Know Your Skin
At this point, you’re probably asking – “What can I do?” While you won’t be able to stop the aging process, you can surely slow it down. The first step is always to understand your skin. What is your skin type and skin concern? By understanding these two, you can create a skincare routine that suits you best. The best skincare routine can’t happen overnight, however having a clear idea of your skin type will help a lot in getting you in the right direction.
You may want to spend some time reading up on skincare ingredients. Active ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) not only help in increasing collagen and elastin production, but also aid in brightening up skin tone, preventing fine lines and smoothing skin texture. Another famous premature aging prevention ingredient is retinol. Retinol is a form of Vitamin A and a powerful antioxidant that reduces signs of aging. However, using these active ingredients, especially high-strength ones like retinol, comes with a warning; only incorporate them into your regime when your skincare routine is complete and consistent, and ensure that you start with a low percentage or low concentration, to minimise the risk of irritation. These active ingredients are definitely not for beginners, so build up your basic skincare routine first, maintain it for at least six months to be on the safe side, and then you can start doing research on more potent ingredients to help tackle premature aging. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen religiously!
Hydration is Key
You’ve heard it many times – hydrate your skin! And no, we don’t just mean drink water. You should hydrate your skin topically, such as with a hydrating toner, hydrating serum or face mist, because drinking water only is not enough as the skin is the last to absorb water consumed by the body.
Hydration is important because well-hydrated skin results in a healthy skin barrier, which contributes to a healthy overall skin condition. Some ingredients that help with hydrating are hyaluronic acid, glycerine and urea. There are many hydrating products in the market that come in various forms, whether it is a toner, serum or essence. Finding one that suits your skin type and skin concern should be a breeze! Just make sure you know what ingredients your skin loves.
Another effective way to keep your skin hydrated is the 7 skin method, where you apply a hydrating toner seven times. This method may also be employed in three or five layers, depending on what your skin prefers. Remember to seal in all that hydration with a moisturiser at the end, to prevent transepidermal water loss which could lead to dehydration.
They Attacc But We Protecc!
Applying thousands of products on your skin is meaningless if you don’t protect it. Call it sunblock, sun cream, sunscreen or simply sun protection, but applying SPF (and reapplying it every 2-3 hours!) plays a major role in preventing aging signs. The sun’s UVA rays especially contribute to premature aging symptoms.
You may have seen the viral photo of a truck driver (attached), which serves as proof of the effects of prolonged sun exposure. The right side of his face, as pictured, shows more visible signs of sun damage as that was the side exposed to sunlight via the truck window. The left side of his face looks visibly better, so imagine how protected your skin would be with regular use of sunscreen! SPF also helps in preventing dull skin tone, skin cancer, sunburn and sunspots.
Photo from Metro UK taken from New England Journal of Medicine
You can’t count on skincare 100% for premature aging prevention. Maintaining a healthy or well-balanced lifestyle is important too! The outcome of the lifestyle you lead today will definitely show later in life. Establish a healthy routine and practise it daily. This includes eating a healthy and balanced diet, exercising and getting that sweat out, managing stress, getting enough sleep and cutting off tobacco. These may look like minor practices but doing it consistently will surely get you glowing.
“Aging is a fact of life, but looking your age is not!”
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