As I’ve said before, we all have different skin types and skincare is not one size fits all (especially when it comes to age!) When you age, your skin will need different things that it didn’t when you were in your twenties. Simple as that!
Straight out of my book, The Everyday Supermodel I’m going decade by decade with all the do’s and don’ts of caring for your skin:
Start A Regimen: Cleanse and moisturize in the A.M and P.M. Wear a broad- spectrum sunscreen daily, at least an SPF 30. Pack it in your school bag, especially if you play sports outside, so you can reapply. Always wash your face after gym or sports.
Zit Zap: For the blemish prone, consider a salicylic-acid-based cleanser, and an organic/non-comedonenic/simple moisturizer. One with a low dose of benzoyl peroxide works too. If you do have acne, get on top of it. Ask your parents to see a dermatologist to set up a personalized acne-punishing plan.
Don’t Scrub-A-Dub-Dub: Contrary to popular teenage belief, for those with acne, scrubbing your skin a million times a day will not help. It will disturb the natural pH balance of your skin. And do NOT use alcohol (or Listerine or toothpaste, for that matter) on pimples either-they can burn the skin. Finally: Do. Not. Pick! It can lead to scars later. And most of the time, say no to cortisone injections for cystic acne. Use these with extreme caution as cortisone can eventually break down proteins in the skin, leaving a crater in it’s place.
Start To Exfoliate: Cell turnover slows down once we get into our mid to late twenties. Exfoliation speeds the process. Start to incorporate lightweight anti aging ingredients into your regimen. A hyaluronic acid serum, like SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel, is great.
Practice Safe Sunscreen: I really didn’t wear sunscreen in my twenties and I tanned a lot (one of the reasons why I have melasma) so learn from Molly’s mistakes! Always. Wear. Sunscreen. Hands down, daily use of a broad spectrum SPF is the number of preventative anti-aging method.
Treatment Talk: Get a good referral and start to see a facialist or dermatologist occasionally. Be proactive and ask questions. They’ll let you know what products and services are right for you.
Makeup Will Cake Up: I don’t care how tired you are, how drunk you are, or how hot the guy is sleeping next to you-take off your makeup before you go to bed. Your skin will thank you.
Think Before You Ink: I’m sneaking this in! Tattoos are not a rite of passage. Please don’t get one impulsively. Wait. Wait. Then wait some more. And only then, if after all that waiting, you honestly believe you’ll want a tattoo of a butterfly or a shooting star on your shoulder when you’re fifty years old, by all means, go for it.
Don’t Smoke, Period: I did. It was stupid. Smoking makes you stink. It’s terrible for your health, teeth, eyes, hair, and skin. Don’t do it.
Here’s where people really start to break away from the pack. If you’ve taken care of your skin up to this point, it will show. And if you haven’t, it will show.
Use The Fantastic Five: In your thirties, skin cell turnover continues to slow. Lines form and get deeper. Spots show up. Skin just isn’t as firm or tight. Experts agree and research supports the anti-aging benefits of five powerhouse ingredients-start using them!
Treat Yourself: Consider treatments that will freshen up your skin: a series of light peels to brighten, lightly tighten, and stimulate cellular turnover. Maybe a bit of Botox to treat frown lines and help prevent future lines from forming.
Supplement, Sister: Get serious about taking supplements. Make sure you are taking a multivitamin (or prenatals.)
Stop The Excuse Caboose: This can definitely be a busy-bee decade. But don’t make excuses for not taking care of yourself and your skin. Do not give into the: I’m a busy “mom/studio exec/fill in the blank whatever you are and therefore I have no time” syndrome. Take time for you. Moisturize. Put in the effort. You are worth it.
Forties & Fifties:
Back in the day, forties seemed...old. And now I’m in my forties! Today, we are more beautiful than ever! All the advice from the thirties applies…just turn it up a notch.
Moisturize: I read Bobbi Brown moisturizes the heck out of her skin, and she’s a beauty biz icon; she must know what she is talking about. In our forties, hydration levels drop drastically and we are more dry and crepey. At-home moisture masks and steam treatments are great for bringing back the pinky glow that starts to go.
Treatment Town Hall: In your forties, bones start shrinking and you begin to lose fat from under the eyes. (And we gain it everywhere else?! What a joke.) Injectables such as Restylane and Juvederm are great for those hollows and shadows. Thermage combats the sag that starts and helps tighten around the mouth and the “turkey neck.” Everybody is different and needs different things.
The Exercise Equation: Don’t stop exercising because your life feels like a blur with kids and work. Studies show that those who exercise actually have thicker, firmer, more elastic skin.
Don’t Freak Out: …and then do everything all at once. It’s all about little stuff here and there
Or Try Newfangled Treatments: Avoid jumping on the bandwagon of new, untested/unproven beauty solutions. Don’t do anything unless it’s been tried, evaluated by professionals, and you really trust it.
Sixties, Seventies, & Beyond:
We everyday supermodels (and my momma is one of them!) are only as old as we let ourselves feel. Big Momma, that’s what everyone calls her in Kentucky, doesn’t look or feel a day over sixty. However old she really is, is her little secret!
Embrace Your Beauty: You’ve earned it. We are stunning as we age. Anxieties of youth are traded for the wisdom and experience of living. Take a step back and appreciate the woman that you are.
Regimen: The skin continues to thin and lose elasticity and moisture, so products that firm and moisturize are all key. The Fantastic Five ingredients should be front and center.
Treatments: Stronger peels and laser treatments are good for the deeper lines that develop around the mouth and under the eyes. Injectable fillers, such as Restylane and hyaluronic acid, take quite a few years off and leave a natural look. Very subtle nips and tucks might be warranted as the jawline loosens and eyelids tire.
Don’t Become A Split Screen: Some women do treatments that create a disconnect in their face. Smooth forehead and cheeks and then the opposite towards the jaw and neck. Look at solutions that will work together to address the entire face and neck as a whole.
Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.