Best Health

THE CHANGE UP

Your skin trans­forms as you move through your 30s, 40s and 50s — but is your beauty rou­tine trans­form­ing as well? Here’s how to tai­lor your skin care to the de­mands of each decade.

- By KAREN ROBOCK photograph­y by GE­OF­FREY ROSS

The skin­care prod­ucts you need in your 30s, 40s and 50s to meet the de­mands of each decade.

JUST WHEN YOU think you’ve got your skin-care rou­tine nailed down, there’s a wrin­kle. And a zit? Your skin’s needs change as you age, and what worked in your 20s prob­a­bly isn’t re­sult­ing in com­plete per­fec­tion (many) years later. Cer­tain skin-care prac­tices should be life­long — hello, SPF! — butwe went to the ex­perts for the low­down on what your skin re­ally needs, decade by decade.

In your 30s…

This is the decade to get se­ri­ous about skin care. “In your 30s, you may start to no­tice the ef­fects of life­style choices and ge­net­ics: sun dam­age, environmen­tal dulling of the skin, lines around the eyes and dark cir­cles,” says Shop­pers Drug Mart beauty pro Sarah Au­bert.

Now’s the time to fo­cus on pre­vent­ing fur­ther dam­age — and to start main­tain­ing what you’ve got. “Your 30s are your sweet spot for fat and col­la­gen pro­duc­tion,” says Dr. Ju­lia Car­roll of Com­pass Der­ma­tol­ogy in Toronto. “Peo­ple tend to look more sculpted, and your face tends to look more ma­ture, in a good way.”

In the morn­ing

A gen­tle face wash will help pro­tect your skin’s nat­u­ral bar­rier. A day­time mois­tur­izer is also es­sen­tial, so opt for a light­weight cream that suits your skin type. And bonus points if it con­tains SPF 30, which al­lows you to skip the ex­tra step of ap­ply­ing a sunscreen. Women with dark skin should avoid the min­eral-based SPF prod­ucts — “they can make dark com­plex­ions look dull or ashy,” says Car­roll — and go for sheer chem­i­cal UV fil­ters. If your skin is show­ing signs of hy­per­pig­men­ta­tion, ap­ply a vi­ta­min C serum be­fore your day cream to help min­i­mize dark spots.

If you’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing dry­ness, smooth on a few drops of fa­cial oil as well be­fore your face cream to seal in mois­ture, plump the skin and pro­vide a healthy-look­ing glow.

At night

A few times a week, af­ter cleans­ing, use a prod­uct con­tain­ing al­phahy­droxy acids (or AHAs), like gly­colic acid, or a mild scrub to help boost skin cell turnover. Opt for a mask con­tain­ing gly­colic acid, or try a one-and-done night cream that works while you sleep. But be wary of overuse, es­pe­cially if you have dark skin, be­cause the bright­en­ing ef­fects can cause postin­flam­ma­tory hy­per­pig­men­ta­tion in com­plex­ions with higher melanin con­tent. An­other must is an un­der­eye cream con­tain­ing in­gre­di­ents like retinol (to boost col­la­gen), caf­feine (to de-puff the area) and niaci­namide (to re­duce red­ness).

In your 40s...

These are the years when deeper wrin­kles tend to set in around the eyes and mouth. There can also be an over­all loss of vol­ume in the face, as we start to lose sub­cu­ta­neous fat (the fat be­low the sur­face of the skin that bat­tled grav­ity bet­ter in our 20s). “As you hit your 40s, that del­i­cate bal­ance starts to tip a lit­tle bit, and you be­gin to break down more fat and more col­la­gen than you’re pro­duc­ing,” says Car­roll. Plus, acne seems to spike in this group due to fluc­tu­a­tions in es­tro­gen and pro­ges­terone lev­els. This can lead to big-time break­outs, es­pe­cially the large cys­tic type, that tend to ap­pear along the jaw­line. “And they can leave spots and scars be­hind too,” says Car­roll.

In the morn­ing

If you’re deal­ing with hor­monal acne, or even “maskne” from wear­ing a face mask, cleanse with a face wash con­tain­ing sal­i­cylic acid to help min­i­mize break­outs. “Retinol is also some­thing you can add in for sure in your 40s,” says Car­roll. Layer on a retinol­based serum daily (or ev­ery few days, de­pend­ing on the dosage strength of the prod­uct and your skin’s re­ac­tion to it) be­fore your mois­tur­izer, to help im­prove skin tone and tar­get fine lines. You can also buy face creams that con­tain retinol, if you want to re­duce the rou­tine by a step. In your 40s, “it al­ways comes back to the ba­sic three: sunscreen, vi­ta­min C and retinol,” says Car­roll.

At night

Now’s the time to shore up your ef­forts. An­tiox­i­dants like resver­a­trol, growth fac­tors and pep­tides can all help turn around dip­ping col­la­gen pro­duc­tion, mak­ing them im­por­tant in­gre­di­ents to look for in a night cream. Be sure to mois­tur­ize nightly be­fore you tuck in, and don’t for­get to ap­ply the prod­ucts down your neck as well. It’s also a good idea to dab a rich eye cream around your peep­ers. “Eye creams with ac­tive in­gre­di­ents such as vi­ta­min A can help with der­mal thick­ness, mak­ing cir­cles less vis­i­ble, as well as un­der-eye dark­ness by pro­mot­ing drainage and mi­cro­cir­cu­la­tion,” Au­bert says.

“Acne can spike in this group, due to fluc­tu­a­tions in hor­mones.”

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 ??  ?? 1 This light­weight mois­tur­izer nour­ishes with an­tiox­i­dants like vi­ta­min C, kick-starts dull-look­ing skin with a bright­en­ing com­plex and pro­tects against UV dam­age.
NEU­TRO­GENA BRIGHT BOOST MOIS­TUR­IZER WITH SPF , , WAL­MART.CA 2 A blend of nine plant oils, in­clud­ing pome­gran­ate, apri­cot and av­o­cado, helps lock in hy­dra­tion. It’s per­fect for an in­vig­o­rat­ing fa­cial mas­sage.
WELEDA AWAK­EN­ING BODY & BEAUTY OIL, , AMA­ZON.CA 3 This gen­tle ex­fo­li­at­ing cleanser con­tains finely ground apri­cot seeds to buff away dead skin cells. Bonus: The pack­ag­ing is sus­tain­able and fully re­cy­clable.
ZERO FACE SCRUB, , SHOPPERSDR­UGMART.CA
1 This light­weight mois­tur­izer nour­ishes with an­tiox­i­dants like vi­ta­min C, kick-starts dull-look­ing skin with a bright­en­ing com­plex and pro­tects against UV dam­age. NEU­TRO­GENA BRIGHT BOOST MOIS­TUR­IZER WITH SPF , , WAL­MART.CA 2 A blend of nine plant oils, in­clud­ing pome­gran­ate, apri­cot and av­o­cado, helps lock in hy­dra­tion. It’s per­fect for an in­vig­o­rat­ing fa­cial mas­sage. WELEDA AWAK­EN­ING BODY & BEAUTY OIL, , AMA­ZON.CA 3 This gen­tle ex­fo­li­at­ing cleanser con­tains finely ground apri­cot seeds to buff away dead skin cells. Bonus: The pack­ag­ing is sus­tain­able and fully re­cy­clable. ZERO FACE SCRUB, , SHOPPERSDR­UGMART.CA
 ??  ?? 1 This serum max­i­mizes re­sults with one per­cent retinol, but the slow-re­lease for­mula min­i­mizes ir­ri­ta­tion for gen­tle bright­en­ing. THE INKEY LIST RETINOL, , SHOPPERSDR­UGMART.CA 2 Tap this luxe un­der­eye hy­dra­tor be­low your eyes morn­ing and night to de-puff and tighten skin, and treat dark cir­cles.
MONAT EYE SMOOTH NOUR­ISH­ING EYE CREAM, , MYMONAT.COM 3 Treat blem­ishes, pre­vent dark spots and limit se­bum ox­i­da­tion to help pre­vent fu­ture break­outs. EAU THERMALE AVÈNE CLEANANCE WOMEN COR­REC­TIVE SERUM, , SHOPPERSDR­UGMART.CA
1 This serum max­i­mizes re­sults with one per­cent retinol, but the slow-re­lease for­mula min­i­mizes ir­ri­ta­tion for gen­tle bright­en­ing. THE INKEY LIST RETINOL, , SHOPPERSDR­UGMART.CA 2 Tap this luxe un­der­eye hy­dra­tor be­low your eyes morn­ing and night to de-puff and tighten skin, and treat dark cir­cles. MONAT EYE SMOOTH NOUR­ISH­ING EYE CREAM, , MYMONAT.COM 3 Treat blem­ishes, pre­vent dark spots and limit se­bum ox­i­da­tion to help pre­vent fu­ture break­outs. EAU THERMALE AVÈNE CLEANANCE WOMEN COR­REC­TIVE SERUM, , SHOPPERSDR­UGMART.CA

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