Coincidentally, Byrdie's editors happen to all be in our 20s. And while we make it our business to stay educated on the newest products, techniques, wellness trends, and procedures (and to interview experts in the industry to fill in the gaps), we'd be remiss not to mention we've only dealt with preventative aging firsthand.
That being said, our age doesn't stop us from finding out the products that work. As such, I reached out to a few of our readers, women who care about skincare and are all over the age of 30, for their insight on the subject of anti-aging. I posed questions about what actually works, what they've been doing for years, and what they've recently picked up, and I pressed them about the products they swear by.
Below, nine women reveal their secrets.
"I am 45 but look younger because of my Asian genes and oily skin. My approach to anti-aging skincare is to stick with products that focus on scientifically proven ingredients with published concentrations. My favorites are SkinMedica Age Defense Retinol Complex 1.0 ($93), Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment ($107), SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic ($165), Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum ($80) and B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel ($52), and Dr Jart+ Ceramidin Gel-Cream ($49). I am looking to try The Ordinary's Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% ($6) next."
"I didn't start using anti-aging products until I was 35, and I wish I'd started sooner. Now, at 43, I'm devoted to my skincare regimen to try to avoid the needles. I use The Ordinary Buffet ($15), along with Argireline Solution 10% ($8), Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 ($7), Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% ($6), and will soon incorporate retinol. And, of course, SPF on the daily. I need to get better at the whole 'healthy lifestyle' thing, like regular sleep and lower stress levels, but one step at a time.
People think I'm about 10 years younger than I am, so I must be doing something right. Right?"
"The biggest thing I've noticed is the benefit of using oils. Years ago, I said 'I have oily skin' and stripped the life out of it. Now it's about resurfacing acids and oils to manage my skins oil production. I also use primers more, retinoids, vitamin C, and double cleanse. A semi-regular peel or facial helps too, but is sometimes forgone due to cost or a choice to spend money elsewhere. It’s more of a process for sure, but when I stray from a routine, my skin shows it."
"I've used Vaseline Petroleum Jelly Original ($4) to remove my eye makeup my entire life. I always go to bed with a clean face and use a light moisturizer before bed."
"I double-cleanse any makeup off, first using an oil-based cleanser then a regular cleanser like Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser ($6) or Cereve Hydrating Cleanser ($11). I pat my skin rather than rub it with a towel! I use retinoids by prescription and sometimes alternate that with an AHA/BHA serum. In the morning, I use a simple moisturizer with ceramides and hyaluronic acid (unscented), vitamin C serum with ferulic acid, along with daily SPF. I do a mechanical exfoliation a few times a week (with a Clarisonic, $127).
You don't need expensive products for great results—save your money for dermatologist procedures like peels, derma-planning, and Botox, if you are so inclined. Consistency has been key."
"I have struggled with oily skin as well as breakouts, particularly cystic acne on my jawline, since my 20s. I finally found what I was looking for with The Ordinary, as well over the counter Differin Acne Treatment Gel ($11). It has been a long struggle to accept my skin as it is and to leave the house without makeup. But finally, after so long, I feel like I know it works for me and I feel confident. Ultimately, you have to find out what works for you and makes you feel good."
"I'm 37 with no wrinkles yet. The biggest thing for me is regular exfoliation. I shave my face with an eyebrow razor once a week and use chemical exfoliators as well (Biologique Recherche's Lotion P50, $65). I have had pretty clear skin except for recently when I started getting hormonal cysts on my chin. I started using Vintners Daughter Active Botanical Serum ($185), and it seems to be helping."
"I am almost 51. I drink lots of water [and apply] sunscreen every day. I do periodic Botox maintenance (every six months to a year) and take Spironolactone for hormonal breakouts, vitamin E, and fish oil supplements, and try to have a monthly professional facial. I love Dermalogica products; they seem to work best on my skin."
"My skin became super sensitive about five or six years ago when I was living in L.A., and has become dry in the last couple years since I moved back to New York. I stick to everything unscented and use face wash and masks that have activated charcoal. In the morning, I use vitamin C serum, Cetaphil Redness Relieving Night Moisturizer ($17), and SPF. At night, I use a retinol serum and the same night cream or an AHA overnight peel and jojoba oil to spot treat extra dryness as needed."