This year, I turned 28. One step closer to 30, one step further away from the beloved ingredients I'd come to rely on as being the most effective for my skin. This isn't necessarily a bad thing—with every birthday comes the chance to discover a life-changing product.
During our 20s, our skin type and needs can change dramatically. Teen acne can turn into dehydrated, party-girl skin, before fine lines, uneven skintone and anti-ageing protection become our topmost concerns (save for a hormonal breakout or two). By the time we're in our mid-20s, we've amassed a beauty stash of serums, oils and masks dedicated to our every skin concern, some of which we haven't touched in years.
Sometimes, it really is best to get back to basics. In an effort to sift through the noise, we quizzed seven experts across various fields to determine the very best anti-aging treatments, and it became apparent: sun protection, quality skincare and looking after your body from within is really all it takes. For the simple advice we all need to hear, scroll on!
The woman responsible for the glowing skin of Lara Worthington, Jessica Gomes and Nicole Warne swears by taking a preventative approach to skincare. "Protect your skin from pollution, free radicals and UV by layering an antioxidant serum underneath your broad spectrum sunscreen every single day of the year, no matter the weather," implores Melanie Grant. "A healthy lifestyle is essential to anti-ageing, so it's important take care of yourself by eating well, getting sufficient sleep and exercise.
Avoid stress, smoking, alcohol, sugar… all of these things contribute to premature ageing."
"My top anti-ageing advice is to drink a few cups of organic green tea daily," says naturopath and founder of Bodhi Organic Tea, Lisa Guy. "Green tea is rich in polyphenols, namely epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which acts as a powerful antioxidant that fights oxidative damage that leads to premature aging of the skin and the rest of the body. EGCG slows down collagen and elastin breakdown (the main proteins in the skin that give the skin tone, strength, and elasticity), and can also help regenerate aging surface skin cells." We'll drink to that.
Echoing Grant's sentiments, prevention is best, says Sydney plastic surgeon Dr. Jack Zoumaras. "In Australia, our summers can be particularly harsh. Avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun, i.e., sun baking, ensures that you don't 'fast track' the aging process."
For damage already caused to skin, Zoumaras recommends bespoke chemical peels, as prescribed by a plastic surgeon. These work by causing a controlled chemical burn to the skin—depending on the depth, it may burn all of the epidermis and some of the dermis. The intended result is the formation of new skin cells, new collagen, and rejuvenation of the skin. A medium peel involving salicylic acid, lactic acid and resorcinol is recommended for sun damage, whereas a deeper trichloroacetic acid peel would be better suited to aging skin, as it results in more peeling and rejuvenation, and can take up to a week recovery.
"As a general rule, the longer the downtime, the better the result," explains Zoumaras.
"Start early with quality skincare, and develop a good skincare routine in your 20s," says Dr. LeWinn's national training manager, Kerrie Moore. "Start your skincare from your chest up, as this area, plus eyes, hands, and neck, show the first signs of aging."
Moore also encourages daily sunscreen usage and always removing makeup before bed. "The skin repairs itself at night and eliminates toxins while the body is at rest, failing to do so may cause congestion, blackheads, puffy eyes and dull skin," explains Moore. She also spruiks a healthy diet, exercise, getting sufficient sleep and drinking enough water as having a positive effect on skin health.
Skincare expert and French technique aficionado Elisa Markovic is known for creating compliment-worthy skin for her clients, and touts broad-spectrum sun protection as her number one product. "Ideally, you want a multi-functional sunscreen with antioxidants to mop up free radicals before they cause permanent damage to the skin, as well as DNA Enzyme Complex to help support the skin's natural repair system and protect against future damage," says Markovic. When it comes to daily skincare, she recommends extending your coverage by using antioxidant mineral skincare with SPF15, and reapplying throughout the day.
Top antioxidants to look out for include turmeric, acai and cocoa. (Yum.)
When it comes to anti-aging, it's important to consider all aspects of your regimen. Kristin Barnes, Sydney's resident brow expert and founder of Kristin Fisher Eyebrows, knows just the trick: "Having beautifully groomed brows can take years off your look. Simply removing the fluffy hairs surrounding your brow, then tinting one shade darker than your natural color will give your brows definition, framing your eyes and face perfectly. Some clients call our simple brow shape and tint 'a mini facelift!'" says Barnes.
As she counts Brooke Testoni and Pip Edwards among her impressive list of devotees, when she talks, we listen.
For UK celebrity facialist Linda Meredith, skin is not only her business but her clients', too. Working her magic over Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow, she's known for stellar skin rehabilitation. Her advice is to avoid the quick fix and always think long term. "Look after the skin you were born with. So many of my younger clients are unhappy with the way they look and jump into quick-fix treatments without thinking of the long term side effects, which in fact could cause premature aging.
Our philosophy is feed your skin like you feed your body. Hydration is important as it will plump up the skin but more importantly, it allows the active ingredients to penetrate deeper and work effectively. Most women only think about anti-aging products when they are older and do not realize that for the first 10 years between 25 and 35 it is actually invisible. It starts below the surface and only appears in our late thirties," says Meredith.
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