With so many products and treatments vying for attention and promising miraculous anti-ageing results, it’s easy to go wrong or miss vital steps in your beauty routine.
Have you ever found yourself standing, stumped, in front of rows upon rows of moisturisers, cleansers and serums, trying to decipher which of the various and vaguely scientific ‘new technologies!’ and ‘miracle ingredients!’ might
actually smooth out those fine lines and wrinkles, and give you that sought-after glow? You’re not alone.
We’re bombarded with choices and promises, but it’s important to find the right combination of products for you and
to apply them in a way that maximises their collective benefits. If you’re treating your skincare the wrong way, your
routine could actually be ageing you – so put an end to agonising over which products to buy, overspending and unsatisfactory results with these tips.
What to avoid
Harsh scrubs and ingredients like alcohol and fragrance can cause inflammation, irritation and sensitivity, and damage the skin’s protective barrier. This leaves your skin vulnerable to infection, environmental damage and dehydration, making it look older. Avoid products containing parabens, phthalates and triclosan (which all have the potential to disrupt hormones), as well as harsh detergents and surfactants like sodium lauryl sulphate, fragrances and petrochemicals.
More H2O than moisture
Many moisturisers are water-based. They may leave your skin feeling nourished and hydrated for a short while,
but as the water evaporates, your skin can actually end up feeling tighter and dryer than before, causing faster ageing. Avoid water-based moisturisers that don’t contain humectants – substances made up of water-loving hydrophilic groups, like amine and hydroxyl. These bond with the water in the moisturiser and lock it into the skin, keeping it properly hydrated.
Dehydrating cleansers and toners
The cleansers and toners you choose might not seem vital to anti-ageing – after all, they’re supposed to clear away dirt and excess oils before you move on to the hydrating and nourishing steps in your routine. However, they’re just as important to your skin’s moisture and using the wrong types can affect the ability of your moisturiser and serum to
penetrate your skin’s layers and do their job. Use an age-appropriate cleanser that won’t strip your skin’s natural oils too much and avoid alcohol-based toners, which will dehydrate your skin. Gentler cleansers and toners will boost the effectiveness of your other products and leave your skin more nourished, hydrated and younger-looking.
What to add
Alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA) chemical exfoliants, which include ingredients like lactic glycolic acids, separate the bonds that hold dry, dead skin on the surface. They help your skin shed these dead cells naturally and evenly, leaving it feeling and looking smoother and younger.
Oil-based or humectant-rich moisturisers are ideal for ageing skin. If you aren’t a fan of applying oily substances to your face, check water-based moisturisers for humectant ingredients such as amino acids, urea, glycerine, peptides and hyaluronic acid. For optimal moisture, choose cream over lotion and gel moisturisers, as it tends to have a lower
Serums are non-negotiable for over-40s. They’re the most powerful concentrated products available and are perfect
for targeting specific skin concerns such as dark marks. Serums contain potent doses of active ingredients which are light and fast-penetrating, and deliver more noticeable, faster results. Add a serum that addresses your specific skin needs to your morning and night skincare routine.
Eye-loving cream or gel
Use small amounts of eye cream or gel (not too close to your eyes), gently dotting it around the area and melting it in with your fingertips. Avoid using too much and rubbing vigorously, as this area’s incredibly sensitive. Everyday use should help tackle puffiness, dark circles and crow’s feet.
The biggest age-accelerating perpetrator is the sun. UVA rays lead to damaged collagen and elastin in the deeper layers of your skin, while shorter UVB rays cause hyper-pigmentation and sun spots. Use a sunscreen daily, or ensure your moisturiser or foundation includes SPF protection.
Your morning anti-ageing routine
Once you’ve chosen the right products, applying them in the correct order will maximise their benefits. Start your morning skincare with a gentle cleanser. Next, apply your serum (sparingly, as serum is potent enough to work in tiny amounts), which will enhance the effectiveness of your other products, boost sun protection, protect against free radicals and improve skin tone. Follow with a delicately applied eye cream or gel to plump and soothe the delicate eye area, then apply your sunscreen and moisturiser (one product that does both is ideal).
Your night-time anti-ageing routine
Your night routine should start with a richer cleanser to break down oil, make-up and dirt. Every second or third night, follow up with an AHA exfoliant to brighten and smooth your skin. Next, apply a serum – preferably one containing collagen-stimulating retinol, as it will work overnight to brighten skin, unblock pores and improve texture. Then dot on
an eye cream and gently melt it into the skin. Finish with a rich, nourishing night cream (oil-based ones are great, as it doesn’t matter if your skin appears slightly greasy while you sleep).
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