Your Ultimate Guide to Getting Amazing Skin At EVERY Age

Your Ultimate Guide to Getting Amazing Skin At EVERY Age
Sølve Sundsbø for Vogue Italia 

Reality check: everyone ages (except for J.Lo, it seems). As our age ticks upwards, our skin does the opposite—wrinkles, drooping, and dullness are all issues that that happen naturally as we get older. Ideally, the goal is to find a regimen that allows you and your skin to age gracefully, and more importantly, happily and confidently.

Though the fountain of youth may be a myth, there are modern products and procedures that mimic its effects (thank you, science). But with all the serums, masks, peels, and treatments out there, it can be confusing knowing what to use when. Are your 20’s too early to start using retinols? What ingredients should you look out for in your 40’s? Is 30 too young to start Botox? To help you always put your best face forward, we spoke with Dr. Marina Peredo, dermatologist and associate clinical professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, and asked for her advice on the best things you can be doing for your skin at every age.


Click through the slideshow for our ultimate guide to getting amazing skin at every decade of your life!

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    In Your 20’s

    The #1 Priority: Prevention

    Common issues/concerns:
    Acne is still a major skin concern for many women in their 20’s, as is developing good skin habits. “Your lifestyle really affects your skin,” Peredo says. “So it’s important to develop good habits. The routine you develop in your 20’s sets the tone for the rest of your life!”

    Products You Should Be Using:
    Peredo says sunblock is the number one product you should be using in your 20’s. “I love Elta MD [products],” she says. “All the sunblock is transparent and uses clear zinc!” Number two on her list? Antioxidants. “Use a daily moisturizer that contains vitamin C and E—or any product that has antioxidants in it.” If your skin is acne-prone or oily, look for products with salicylic acid to keep breakouts at bay.

    Recommended skincare regimen:
    Cleanser, serum [optional], a moisturizer with antioxidants, sunblock

    Biggest skin mistake:
    This one was easy—“Not removing your makeup before bed!” she says. If you’re prone to falling asleep with a face full of makeup on, place a package of multi-tasking makeup removing wipes, like Ole Henriksen’s Truth To Go Vitamin C Wipes ($15), on your nightstand in case of emergency.

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    In Your 30’s

    The #1 Priority: Finding the right products

    Common issues/concerns:
    “Your 30’s is when signs of aging start creeping in,” Peredo says. “Everything you do to your skin in your 20’s—the good and the bad—will start to show.” Small crow’s feet, fine lines, freckling, uneven pigment are all common concerns.

    Products You Should Be Using:
    Peredo says to add retinols to your skincare routine once you’re in your 30’s. “Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that will help with new collagen production, renew skin cells, and exfoliate your skin,” she says. “If you have an uneven skintone, it also helps with that.” She suggests asking your dermatologist to recommend an OTC retinol or prescription Retin-A (for more about retinols, check out our ultimate guide). Other ingredients to look for are hyaluronic acid (for plumping) and glycolic acid (for brightening). Your 30’s may also be a good time to start procedures. “It’s so much easier to fix things when they’re not as bad,” Peredo says.

    Recommended skincare regimen:
    Cleanser, retinol, eye cream, moisturizer with antioxidants, sunblock

    Biggest skin mistake:
    Peredo warns against falling into the trap of believing that the more expensive the product, the better it is. “So many women use the wrong products,” she says. “They buy expensive products without knowing what they do—you need to be educated and learn about everything you use on your skin.”

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    In Your 40’s

    The #1 Priority: Smoothing and plumping

    Common issues/concerns:
    “Taking care of your skin in 40’s is basically the same as your 30’s, but I would add in one extra product: a growth factor,” she says. Growth factor peptides are proteins that stimulate collagen production. “A lot of times they may have proprietary names and products may not specifically list them in their ingredients,” she says. “Ask your dermatologist if you don’t know where to start!” She swears by SkinMedica’s TNS Essential Serum ($270).

    Products You Should Be Using:
    Peredo tells her clients to follow the acronym GRASS in their 40’s and beyond: Growth factor, Retinol, Antioxidants, Sunblock, and a Specialty product (like an eye cream or skin brightener). If you have uneven pigment, start doing chemical peels or microdermabrasion. If you spent your 20’s baking at the beach, she suggests starting with light laser procedures or skin resurfacing to brighten hyperpigmentation and sun damage.

    Recommended skincare regimen:
    Cleanser, retinol, growth-factor peptide, specialty product, moisturizer with antioxidants, sunblock

    Biggest skin mistake:
    “Because most signs of aging start showing up at this time, a lot of women might go overboard and try to overcompensate with products and procedures,” Peredo says. This does more harm than good—your skin can be left irritated and super-dry. If you’re ever unsure about what you should be doing, consult your dermatologist.

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    In Your 50’s

    The #1 Priority: Rejuvenation

    Common issues/concerns:
    “As someone in my 50’s, my biggest concern is my neck,” Peredo says. She recommends using whatever product you’re using on your face on your neck as well, since a droopy neck is an obvious sign of aging. “Most of us will experience loss of collagen and elasticity at this point,” she says. “A lot of my patients will start thinking about Botox or fillers in their cheeks, temples, and other areas that show signs of aging.”

    The good news is that if you take good care of your skin, there are lots of things that can be done non-surgically, too. Chemical peels can brighten and transform your skin, as well as at-home peels (we love the Fresh-a-Peel ($85) resurfacing peel by Goldfaden MD). Moisturizing products, like sheet masks made with hydrating botanicals, will help your skin look plump and bright.

    Products You Should Be Using:
    Since your skin gets dryer as you get older, Peredo says that eye cream becomes an essential at this point, and to add a super-hydrating nighttime moisturizer to your GRASS regimen.

    Recommended skincare regimen:
    Cleanser, retinol or Retin-A, eye cream, moisturizer with antioxidants, hydrating nighttime moisturizer, sunblock

    Biggest skin mistake:
    “I recommend my clients start doing procedures at this point, but to not get too crazy,” Peredo says. “You want to look good for your age—you’re not trying to look 20!”

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    In Your 60’s

    The #1 Priority: Keeping Up Your Regimen

    Common issues/concerns:
    “The skin concerns in your 60’s are pretty much the same as they are in your 50’s,” Peredo says. However, they will be more pronounced—think loss of volume in your lips and cheeks, as well as deeper lines and wrinkles.  

    Products You Should Be Using:
    On top of your GRASS regimen, look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid and natural oils to help replenish your skin’s moisture barrier and fill in lines. As for procedures, Peredo suggests considering injectibles, Botox, lasers, or a non-surgical tightening treatment, like Ultherapy, to plump and brighten your complexion.

    Recommended skincare regimen:
    Cleanser, Retin-A, eye cream, moisturizer with antioxidants, hydrating nighttime moisturizer, sunblock

    Biggest skin mistake:
    “I have a lot of patients who spend lots of money on fillers and lasers, and then they go home and don’t follow up with a good skincare regimen,” Peredo says. “Investing money in procedures, but not doing your homework at home is the biggest mistake!”


    Keep clicking for our top skincare picks for every decade of your life!

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    Ole Henrikson Truth To Go Vitamin C Wipes ($15)

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    In your 20's, try...

    Ole Henrikson Truth To Go Vitamin C Wipes ($15)

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    In your 30's, try...

    Tatcha Moisture Rich Silk Cream ($)

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    Kate Somerville Micro Glycolic Polisher ($90)

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    Kate Somerville Micro Glycolic Polisher ($90)

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    In your 40's, try...

    Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum ($60)

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    In your 50's, try...

    Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Cream ($22)

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    Goldfaden MD Fresh-a-Peel ($85)

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    Goldfaden MD Fresh-a-Peel ($85)

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    SK-II Facial Treatment Mask ($124)

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    SK-II Facial Treatment Mask ($124)

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    In your 60's, try...

    Korres Quercetin & Oak Instant Wrinkle Filler ($44)

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EXPLORE: Ole Henrikson, Origins, EltaMD, Tatcha, Peter Thomas Roth, Kate Somerville, Murad, Dr. Brandt, SkinMedica, Goldfaden MD, SK-II, Korres, Algenist, ROC, Olay, Skin, How-To


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