In the least shocking news ever, most women would like to stay looking twenty-something forever. And the hell why not? Your twenties are a great age. You've finally grown into your features, you've lost that baby fat roundness and your spots (should have) cleared up too. Sadly we can't put the breaks on time but there are a few things EVERY girl in her twenties and thirties needs to know about her skin. And you'll find them below.
From the way stress wreaks havoc on your complexion, to the secret signs of ageing and just what to do about them, we spoke Aurelie Felix, Elizabeth Arden's Senior Skincare Scientist to find out more.
Just when you thought you could enjoy yourself - your skin starts to age
Sadly, just as soon as you leave teenage acne and university behind and get your first big girl job, it seems that the ravages of time are already trying to catch up with you.
Those late nights cramming for exams and interviews, those hilarious girls nights out? They all start to show up on your skin. Those pesky planet-sized pores, those crinkly crows feet and dreary skin tone? While you might not yet look like your gran, all of these skin complaints are the first signs of ageing.
You need to take skincare seriously from 25 onwards
While we should all have good skincare habits way before the age of 25, if you've been a loyal soap and water girl all your life up until now, it's never too late to start being skincare serious - especially if you want to keep your pores perfect for longer. Twenty-five is the critical age to keep in mind, because up until this age your skin has been behaving itself, plump with healthy collagen and young enough to be able to tolerate your non-stop lifestyle.
Most women start ageing from 25 onwards due to a combination of chronological ageing - the natural ageing process that happens to all of us, and environmental ageing, which is predominantly due to lifestyle choices.
"At 25 your natural regenerative processes begin to slow; your skin replaces old cells more slowly and there is also a slower turnover of the surface skin. Even if you live in a bubble your skin and your cells would experience chronological ageing. The good news for your skin is that chronological ageing counts for approximately 20 per cent of skin ageing whilst 80 per cent of skin ageing is due to the environment." Aurelie says.
...You are 80% responsible for your skin
It's never nice to be held completely responsible, so it's reassuring to know that you have the ability to control lifestyle related ageing factors - the power as they say, is in your hands. Not getting enough sleep, stressing yourself out, stuffing yourself with sugar, slobbing about or sunbathing - none of these lifestyle habits make for youthful skin.
Investing in some good routines and habits in your twenties and thirties is key to safeguarding your skin. Get eating some skin boosting foods, change up your exercise regime and start cleansing, toning and moisturising - morning and night! Forget about those convenience wipes and start pampering your skin. If you treat invest in it now it will pay off later.
The Secret Signs Of Ageing Explained:
Your skin could lose its sparkle
Your skin doesn't look too bad but there's something about it that just isn't the same any more? We feel you. You're probably suffering from a lack of radiance. It might sound like beauty-speak but having lack lustre skin is a real thing - and loads of women in their twenties and thirties suffer from it.
Whether it's down to a stressful lifestyle, city living or the wear and tear of the daily grind, dull skin is a total bore. Luckily there is something you can do to regain your former fresh-faced glow.
Aurelie recommends a good skincare routine that contains ingredients that support your skin's production of collagen. She says, "To achieve a radiant glow, the surface of the skin needs to be smooth. Improvement in moisture, collagen and elastin matrix levels will ultimately improve the brightness of the skin so that it is healthy and creates a foundation for optimum light reflectivity."
The Flawless Future range powered by Ceramide is a good place to start as it uses nutrient rich ingredients that target skincare concerns for women in their twenties and thirties, their Micro Caplet Serum includes pearlescent micro caplets that burst on application helping to instantly illuminate dull skin.
Your new best friends will be SPF and antioxidants
We all crave a picture perfect skin tone - one that is glowing and even, but pigmentation can sometimes ruin the dream. Extra freckles, age spots and darker patches of skin are all caused by melanin - the pigment in skin that gives it colour.
Discolouration and pigmentation are exacerbated by exposure to UV rays, hormonal changes, inflammation and biological factors, leaving skin looking uneven and less flawless, so what can you do to reclaim that airbrushed skin we all crave?
Make best friends with antioxidants and broad spectrum SPFs. We mean it. Nothing will take care of your skin more on a daily basis. If a glass of wine in the sunshine is your idea of a good time, then take note, your skin will not be enjoying it as much as you - and will show you too - with pigmentation and uneven skin tone and trust us, neither of those are on anybody's wish list.
Aurelie says, "It is extremely important to wear a day cream including broad spectrum SPF protection (UVA and UVB protection) everyday. Whilst sunscreens are really important to counteract the harmful effect of the sun it is not enough alone to protect against environmental assaults - this is where antioxidants come in. Antioxidants protect the cells in our body and work by scavenging free radicals and binding to them before they can cause damage."
Look for a day cream that combines SPF with antioxidant protection. Key ingredients like licorice extract, vitamin C and Idebenone can together combat pigmentation by brightening the skin while providing protection.
Wrinkles aren't just for old people
Perhaps one of the less 'secret' signs of ageing, fine lines and beginner wrinkles are definitely on our list of things we want to avoid.
They start to appear when there is a breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin.
"Collagen and elastin provide the support structure for skin which helps keep it smooth and resilient. As these fibres break down, the skin begins to lose its strength and elasticity. When this happens fine lines and wrinkles can begin to appear." Aurelie says.
While depleting collagen is one reason for fine lines, sun exposure is another major culprit. So wear a hat, put on your sun screen and never be afraid to go HIGH with your SPF protection. SPF30, 40 or even 50 are absolutely fine to wear everyday - even on cloudy days those UV rays are still harmful. Remember - SPF is your BFF.
Another thing we can do to help keep those fine lines on the down low? Exfoliating. "Ensuring your skin is gently exfoliated 1-2 times a week will help remove dead skin cells to re-texturise and smooth skin. It's also really important to to hydrate skin and apply moisturiser."
We recommend using a cleanser with a low percentage of glycolic acid as an exfoliator twice a week to slough away dead skin cells and to keep your cell turnover healthy.
You will become obsessed with your pores
Once we were only obsessed with blocked pores - picking, scratching and squeezing at spots, but as your twenties and thirties start merging together you start to notice pores - everywhere. Suddenly it's like your face has been covered in tiny holes. How did this happen?!
Usually enlarged pores are down to unruly oil production. AKA your pores are producing too much sebum. When oil production is above normal, other skin debris like dead skin cells start to clog the pores, stretching them out and making them way more visible.
Of course, poreless and flawless magazine skin is somewhat unachievable but that's not to say we can't fight against enlarged pores. While we can't photoshop our faces every day we can do something to reduce big pores and leave our skin looking smoother and firmer.
Aurelie says, "Gently exfoliating skin can remove excess skin cells from the surface of the face (so they don't build up in the pore) and exfoliate inside the pore (to improve its shape) allowing for a more even flow of oil."
She also says Vitamin A can help improve cell renewal and minimise the appearance of enlarged pores so look out for skincare lines with this superpower ingredient.
You will realize there's more to life than skin
While every girl wants to look her absolute best, throughout your twenties and thirties you actually become a whole lot more comfortable in your skin - both literally and metaphorically. No what you look or feel on the outside, these power decades are all about self discovery and making your life what you want.
And while you're off conquering your dream career/family/travel plan, checking in with your skin will become second nature. The secret signs of ageing? Yeah, they're no biggie when you know how to tackle them.
Check out these celebs with flawless skin for inspo:
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Let us know your top skin saving tips @SoFeminineUK!
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