Transitioning Skin Care Products
Many people stick with one line of skincare, or one particular product, from the time they are a teenager dealing with acne and continue to use that line or that product through adulthood. Some even maintain their skin care habits through middle age, maybe transitioning one time in their 20s or 30s. This is an approach to skin care that is not healthy or beneficial. In fact, there are two very good reasons to transition skin care products regularly. As the seasons change so do your skin's needs, and as your go through the natural aging process, they do as well.
Seasonal Skin NeedsDermatologists will tell you that your skin changes seasonally, and so should your skin care routine. In fact, a recent study in the British Journal of Dermatology, indicates how important this is: The skin barrier is affected by climatic and seasonal changes. Both children and adults suffer from red cheeks in the winter in northern latitudes and some may even develop more permanent skin conditions such as atopic eczema and rosacea," said senior author Dr. Jacob Thyssen, of the University of Copenhagen, in Denmark. "By the use of high magnification we show that the skin cells suffer from shrinkage and therefore change their surface. The clinical message to individuals is that they should protect their skin with emollients in the winter and sunscreen in the summer. The study looked at 80 adults' cheeks and hands and tested the changes in filaggrin and corneocytes. It found that significant differences in the summer and the winter exist, which affect the barrier function and components of the epidermis. (Source). The fall and the spring are the best times to transition your skin to the extremes of summer heat and humidity and the winter's cold. You should make a switch to lighter products and more diligent use of sunscreen in the summer, as well as good exfoliants. Creams are generally too heavy to use during the summer. As the winter approaches with the cooler weather, the humidity drops and and it becomes important to focus on hydration for your skin. It is better to cleanse less in the winter to avoid over-drying your skin, and to use less retinoids and other face-stripping compounds that can interfere with the barrier function. (Source). Coming out of the winter into the spring is the best time to give your skin a good exfoliation and keep it moisturized, just not with heavy creams. It is also important to realize that your skin can build up a tolerance to certain ingredients that are in skincare products over time, so if you have a separate summer and winter skincare routine then your can get longer staying power from your favorite products.
Skin Needs in your 20s and 30sEven when you make seasonal changes to your skincare regimen, the changes that happen as you age will likely necessitate some adjustments in products and routines. As you leave your teens and enter your 20s, chances are you will be leaving behind acne medicine and moving into skin maintenance routines. According to WebMD:
- Your Face in Your 20s. Experts say that as you head from your teens into young adulthood, your face shows it with a more "womanly" look. "You begin to lose the 'baby fat.' And while the change is subtle, overall you begin to look less like a girl and more like a woman," says Ellen Marmur, MD, chief of dermatologic surgery at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. But with that new womanly appeal comes, believe it or not, the start of facial aging. "This is the decade when the very early signs of what we call 'motor wrinkles' -- lines and creases related to movement -- first appear. And the first place they appear is the brow," Marmur says. In addition, if you spent a lot of time in the sun as a child -- or long hours squinting at a computer screen -- you may also see the beginning of "crow's feet," those tiny expression lines around the eyes.
- Your Face in Your 30s. While you'll still retain much of your youthful look, this is the decade when you may notice your skin looks 'tired' and less radiant. Goldberg says you'll also begin to really notice crow's feet around your eyes, plus previous sun damage may exacerbate the start of small brown spots. You may also begin to see dilated blood vessels, particularly around the sides of your nose. You should be prepared for the start of the "dreaded 11's" - that pair of lines that pop up between the brows - as well as shadows forming in the triangular area between your nose and the corners of your mouth. "Both the '11' lines and the nasolabial lines around the mouth will appear and deepen during this decade," says Marmur.
The Transition to Maturity
- Your Face in Your 40s. As you enter your 40s, lines begin to appear around your upper lip -- and if you smoke, they'll come faster and go deeper. "This is called the 'purse string' muscle," Marmur says. "And because this area is prominent, it's more at risk for sun damage. So if you skipped out on sunscreen in earlier years, you'll see the results here first." Goldberg says be prepared to see more wrinkles in your forehead and crow's feet around your eyes plus a deepening of the smile lines. Moisturizers need to be richer and thicker, say experts, and if you haven't already started, this is the decade to use a night cream. "You do need stronger moisturizers and you definitely need to use a night cream after 40," Goldberg says. The reason, he says, is that when you sleep, your body goes through a natural rejuvenation process. You're also not exposed to all the dirt and pollution that assaults skin during the day. So, Goldberg says, products used at night tend to get into the skin a little better and may offer better results. This is also the decade when you may benefit most from using an antioxidant skin care product. Marmur says keep using those retinol-based creams, upping the frequency to between four and five times a week.
- Your Face in Your 50s and Beyond. If you've minimized sun exposure and used sunscreen, you can expect to glide into your 50s and 60s with your skin looking pretty darn good. If not, you'll likely be facing the cumulative effects of sun damage and age, which include not only a deepening of lines and wrinkles but also a massive breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers, the support structures that hold up skin. "This usually results in a drooping of the face, and skin gets loose," Marmur says. Moreover, she says, as we age, we lose some of the fat beneath our skin, which also contributes to a loss of structure as well as making skin thinner and more translucent. This can cause blood vessels just below the surface to look more prominent and your skin to look discolored. In addition, Goldberg says brown spots that went untreated in the past will become more prominent now as new ones continue to appear. Moreover, a drop in estrogen that occurs during the 50s will cause skin to look and feel drier, making lines and wrinkles look deeper and more prominent. "The 50s and 60s is also when the effects of gravity really kick in. So in addition to treating lines and wrinkles, you also need to focus on treatments that tighten the skin," Goldberg says. Increase the use of rich moisturizers, such as shea butter, and if you've been a soap-and-water girl, Marmur says stop immediately and start using a gentle non drying cleanser on your face and neck. And, she says, continue using retinol products five to six times per week. (Source).