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Most of us are chasing that perpetually youthful appearance as we get older. It can be difficult to embrace the changes that come with aging, particularly those that affect our skin. After all, your skin is what people see when they look at you, so it makes sense that you want to find skin care products that support healthy skin and keep you looking young and fresh. 

As you get older, your skin suffers the effects of toxins in your environment, poor dietary choices, smoking and drinking. Even if you make healthy lifestyle choices most of the time, your skin will still begin to age as the years go by.

But, there’s good news. You’re not doomed to saggy skin or dry skin or wrinkles, dark spots, age spots and the list of other skin complaints that people, particularly women, begin to complain about in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond. Use this guide to help you find the ideal anti-aging treatments for your skin’s needs. 

In Your Twenties 

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This decade is all about responsible skin care. That means using products designed for your skin type and wearing sunscreen every day. Take good care of sensitive skin and choose products designed to counteract the natural aging process. These may boost collagen, fight damage from the sun and keep skin hydrated and firm. While you can certainly try cosmetic procedures, during the decade, skincare products are the name of the game. 

Look for items like micellar water, topical retinol and moisturizer. During your twenties, and throughout your entire life, you want to make sure you take the time to wash your face each and every day, preferably using a cleanser that is designed for your skin type. By using the right products in your younger years, you can help prevent wrinkle formation and avoid needing invasive procedures as you get older. 

Weight gain can also affect skin health and sometimes occurs during this decade as you go through college, get married, have children or any of the other transitions that create a hectic lifestyle. Healthy food, avoiding too much alcohol and getting enough sleep are the gold standard when it comes to staying young and looking that way too. 

In Your Thirties 

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Being in your thirties by no means indicates that you are old. However, this is the decade when your skin begins to change and also the decade when it’s a good idea to pay close attention to your skincare routine so that you can battle the appearance and wrinkles, dull skin, and the myriad of other skin woes that may begin to crop up. The right products can counteract premature aging and keep your skin looking and feeling its best. 

During your thirties, your skin naturally begins to lose collagen and elastin simply because production slows down. This can lead to sagging, wrinkles and less-than-radiant skin.

There are surgical and non-surgical techniques to battle the outward signs of aging. Look for those that help with skin tightening, as well as products that can mask pigmentation changes, such as those that may appear as the result of acne breakouts (which doesn’t actually care what age you are and will crop up at strange times throughout your life).

What you want during this time of your life are preventative ingredients, that is, those that can help prevent issues, rather than trying to mask signs of aging that have already appeared. This includes wrinkle treatments, such as anti-wrinkle serums or moisturizers that infuse your skin on a daily basis, helping keep it firm and plump, which cuts down on the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

This might also be a good time to try aesthetic treatments, like lip fillers or dermal fillers. Both work to plump and hydrate specific parts of your face, smoothing the skin and making it look younger. The treatments are targeted and will work on areas you have deemed as trouble spots, such as the lips, jawline or around the eyes. This kind of treatment involves injecting the skin directly with active ingredients that work their way through the outer layer of your skin and into the deeper skin layers. Common injectables include hyaluronic acid, collagen biostimulators and fat cells, each of which hydrates and plumps skin at the injection site. Fillers last for a few months to a few years so be prepared to repeat the treatment on a consistent basis. 

Small doses of muscle relaxing injections such as Botox, Dysport, or Daxxify can be given to prevent lines and wrinkles from forming in the high movement areas of the upper face. These treatments have commonly become known as “Baby Botox”. Done correctly, these treatments will smooth facial wrinkles, but won’t compromise your facial expression. 

No matter how old you are, sunscreen is always a must. It fights the daily damage caused by the sun’s rays. Not only can sun exposure lead to skin cancer, but it also contributes to many of the signs of skin aging, including brown spots and poor skin texture. 

In Your Forties 

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As you enter your forties, the effects of gravity become more pronounced, which means the appearance of wrinkles may be more pronounced. This is the time for combination treatments that can keep skin looking young and stave off the need for surgical enhancements. That means blending skincare products that contain the active ingredients necessary to enhance the production of collagen, counteract sun damage and volume loss, as well as penetrating all of the layers of skin to blur facial lines and keep new ones from forming.  

This is also the decade when skin gets thinner, which can lead to sagging, especially in the neck area. For that reason, you’ll want to choose products that boost collagen production to keep skin plump and firm, as well as treatments that restore volume. This can come in the form of moisturizers, serums and other over-the-counter products. You can also work with a board-certified cosmetic physician to find prescription topical treatments to target your specific skincare concerns. 

Like your thirties, your forties are a good time to choose dermal fillers, particularly in the jawline and cheek areas along with neuromodulators for lines that form from repetitive muscle movement over the years. Botox is one of the most common and involves injecting the botulinum toxin into your skin, which sounds bad, but is actually good for reducing wrinkles and smoothing out the treated area. It doesn’t last forever, so you will need to have the treatment repeated regularly to hold onto the results.  

A 2 syringe cheek filler result by Z Center for Cosmetic Health. Individual results may vary.

Laser treatments are another great option in your forties. They work by boosting collagen levels so that your body produces more of it. Because collagen keeps skin firm, you can expect that creating more of it can lead to plumper, healthier and younger-looking skin on your face, jawline and neck. This works because the laser actually damages deep layers of the skin. As the body works to repair the damage, it stimulates the growth of new skin cells. You may need a few repeat treatments to achieve the results that you are looking for. 

Radiofrequency microneedling is also a good choice here as it can help counteract the visible signs of aging on your face, including wrinkles and saggy skin. By using tiny needles that puncture the skin along with heat, this procedure stimulates collagen production. It’s benefits include skin tightening, reducing the size of pores, and improving overall skin texture.

In Your Fifties 

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You may have heard that fifty is the new forty, and choosing the right skin treatment for your needs can certainly make this evident on your face. During your fifties, your hormones begin to reduce and many women experience menopause during this decade.

This shift in hormones brings thinner skin, hyperpigmentation and more visible pores. Bone and fat loss during your fifties means you might see sagging and loss of volume in your cheeks, jaw and neck. These skin conditions can certainly add years to your face, so now is the time for specific treatments to counteract them. 

Like your thirties and forties, dermal fillers are an option past your fiftieth birthday as a way to enhance collagen synthesis and boost the firmness and radiance of your face. In addition, this might be a great time to try nonablative skin rejuvenation. This procedure makes use of lasers and is a one-stop shop for treating wrinkles, fine lines, age spots and loss of skin tone. You will likely need a few treatments to get the results you want, but once done, you’ll enjoy an absence of wrinkles and appreciate a new smoothness.   

Chemical peels are another fantastic option at this age. You may need 6-8 peels to get the final results you want, but the procedure is not an invasive treatment and is effective for getting rid of age spots, wrinkles and other skin imperfections, while also brightening the overall appearance of your skin. It’s done by removing the top layers of the skin using acid. The procedure should be performed by a trained and licensed cosmetic cosmetic physician and you’ll see the results after a couple of weeks.  

Genius RF Microneedling Before & After

You read a little bit about radiofrequency microneedling above, but your fifties are a prime time to choose the treatment. As the tiny needles pierce your skin, they are combined with radiofrequency, which creates heat. The result is an increase in collagen and elastin, both of which decrease as you get older. As your skin heals, that collagen and elastic increases, which can help smooth wrinkles and tighten saggy skin. Radiofrequency microneedling can also reduce the appearance of scars, another way to boost your youthful appearance and turn back the hands of time.  

In Your Sixties and Beyond 

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Just because you are in your later years doesn’t mean you can’t still look youthful. And it definitely doesn’t mean you should stop taking care of your skin. In fact, it’s just as important now as it was when you were younger. In this decade it’s less about looking younger and more about balanced skincare that leaves your skin looking clean, fresh and glowing. That’s why this is the time to choose rejuvenating and replenishing treatments. 

Look for procedures to tighten and tone the skin around the eyes and dermal fillers that help soften wrinkles and fine lines. You might also consider laser treatments that balance skin and fight irregular pigmentation. This is also the time to try lifting and tightening treatments to help firm the skin and keep it from sagging. 

Hydration at this age is also very important because skin tends to lose more moisture the older you get. You should use an exfoliating scrub regularly, though this shouldn’t be a new technique as exfoliation at any age is great for getting rid of dead skin cells, but in your later years, it also refreshes the skin and reveals the brighter skin beneath. A facial oil can make your skin look hydrated and a skin lotion with alpha hydroxy acids will boost moisture in the skin covering your entire body. 

The Takeaway

As you get older, many factors contribute to the overall health of your skin. By making healthy choices in your younger years, you can ward off the signs of aging as you get older. That includes eating a nutritious diet, getting plenty of exercise, sleeping enough at night and avoiding too much sugar, alcohol and caffeine. At the same time, you should be choosing the right skincare products, based on your skin type and specific skin needs. 

Adding targeted treatments as you age can counteract the specific skin issues you are facing, including changes to your skin’s texture, tone and elasticity. Whether it’s loose skin or visible blood vessels, pronounced wrinkles or leftover acne scars, the right products are vital for preserving the youthfulness of your skin, especially on your face. 

There’s certainly nothing wrong with aging and we should embrace it, but every woman feels better when she likes the way she looks so skincare becomes important as the years go by. Working with a dermatologist allows you to build a skincare routine for whatever decade you’re living in. Keep in mind that your routine will change as you get older so be ready to embrace new products and treatments.

Choosing the right place for your treatments is as important as the treatments themselves if you want to be sure of the results you expect. Arrange a one-to-one consultation with a skincare professional at Z Center for Cosmetic Health for advice on what treatments might be best for you.