When it comes to caring for the skin, “anti-aging” and “preventative aging” are terms being used by so many who want to preserve their youthful appearance. This is certainly a good strategy to incorporate early on but for those in their 20s and even teens, doing so may be causing some problems.
Exfoliation. What you need to understand is that normal cell function still occurs in your 20s (unless you have acne), and many anti-aging products are focused on stimulating cell turnover by exfoliating the skin using ingredients like glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids. Many people will use acids in their serums, scrubs, and cleansers, and this can be too aggressive, damaging the skin’s barrier function, resulting in redness and irritation. Add in twice daily usage of a sonic cleansing brush and your skin will definitely be over-exfoliated. This is anything but healthy and anti-aging for a young skin type. Once cell regeneration slows down, starting in your 30s and beyond, you can increase the amount of exfoliation to keep cells behaving young.
Moisturizing. There is a common misconception that the richer the moisturizer is, the better it is for preventing and softening wrinkles and ultimately better for preventing aging. If your skin is very dry, your skin does need intensive moisture using lipid-rich oils, but normal, combination, acne-prone, and oily skin types do not need this. The result can be clogged pores, breakouts, and an increase in blackheads.
Serums. I love a good serum and I firmly believe that using one under your moisturizer day and night can dramatically increase how your skin looks and behaves. But those in their 20s and younger have to be careful. Many serums have active ingredients in them that are designed to be anti-aging by increasing the metabolism of the cells (such as certain vitamin combinations and peptides). However, these ingredients may be too active for younger skin and those prone to breakouts, since this type of skin already has an active metabolism. This stimulation may increase breakouts of the skin.
The best way to prevent aging for young skin is to use sunscreen every single day of the year; eat a diet rich in antioxidants to prevent aging from the inside (read my anti-aging tips); and always, always, always use products exclusively formulated for your skin type. Once you get into your 30s and acne is mostly behind you, you can start to consider incorporating more active ingredients into your skin routine. Don’t know your skin type? Take my Skin Type Quiz.
Renée Rouleau is a skin care expert and celebrity esthetician who believes there’s more to skin than the one-size-fits-all approach. Her exclusive skin care line is based on nine unique skin types, rather than the standard – dry, normal and oily. Her skin care products, Dallas skin care spas and her LA and NY pop-up spas attract a celebrity clientele which includes Demi Lovato, Anna Faris and Melissa Joan Hart. Visit www.ReneeRouleau.com for more information.