It’s never too early to start taking care of your skin. While skin aging is inevitable, this article explains how positive lifestyle and skincare choices in your 20s help you to keep your skin healthy looking, prevent premature aging and delay and reduce the visible signs of skin aging.
What are the first signs of skin aging and when do they appear?
The most noticeable first signs of skin aging are fine lines and wrinkles, a lack of radiance and dull skin.
There are a number of internal and external factors that influence the age at which our skin starts to visibly age but, in general, fine lines and wrinkles can start to appear as early as our mid 20s and deepen with the passing of time. From your mid 20s you may also notice that your skin starts to dry out and lose radiance and can sometimes appear dull and tired.
What causes the first signs of skin aging?
As we get older, the body’s processes slow down. Substances that keep skin firm and smooth start to reduce and this leads to structural changes in the layers of skin which we start to notice on the surface.
Skin starts to lose hyaluronic acid, cell turnover slows down and sebum production reduces. These changes add up to increased sensitivity to the sun, dryness and roughness.
The blood supply to our skin also starts to reduce as we age. This, combined with various lifestyle factors, can result in a loss of radiance and skin that looks pale, dull and tired.
There are a number of factors – both internal and external – that influence the speed and severity of skin’s aging process.
What are the internal factors that influence the first signs of skin aging?
Our genetics determine our skin type and the rate at which biological skin aging occurs. Biological skin aging is a term used to describe the natural skin aging process.
Fair skin often shows signs of aging at an earlier stage than darker skin as it is less protected against UV rays. And sensitive skin is more prone to the early development of wrinkles than less sensitive skin types. You can read more about this in how does skin age and how should I care for it?, how skin differs between the major ethnic groups and how to recognize and protect sensitive facial skin.
What are the external factors that influence the first signs of skin aging?
External factors such as the sun, pollution, smoking, some medications, diet and lifestyle choices are known to trigger free radicals and cause oxidative stress to skin. Oxidative stress causes skin to age prematurely, which means that it develops signs of aging faster than one would expect.
While we can’t change our genes, we can influence the factors that determine premature skin aging.
You can read more about free radicals and oxidative stress in: free radicals: what are they and how do they affect skin? You can find out more about the external factors that trigger free radicals and oxidative stress in understanding skin: what are the factors that affect it? and how does skin age and how should I care for it?
1 Ramos-e-Silva et al., ‘Anti-aging cosmetics: Facts and controversies’. Clin Dermatol. 2013 Nov-Dec; 31(6): 750-8.
Skin care for your 20s: How can I keep my skin looking younger?
The sooner you start caring for your skin the better because it’s easier to delay the signs of aging than it is to treat them once they’ve arrived. Lifestyle and skincare choices in your 20s will help you to prevent premature aging and delay the signs of aging on your skin.
Optimal lifestyle choices
Your skin reflects your overall health so try to get plenty of exercise, a good night’s sleep, eat a healthy balanced diet and give up smoking:
- An anti-aging diet. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables rich in antioxidants to help neutralize the free radicals associated with premature skin aging. Try to limit your alcohol intake and drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated.
- Stop smoking: The harmful chemicals found in cigarette smoke and nicotine are responsible for increasing free radicals in the skin. As well as the risks of lung cancer and heart disease, smoking is proven to cause premature skin aging.
Anti-aging skincare products for your 20s
Regular cleansing, moisturization, the use of powerful, proven anti-oxidant skincare ingredients such as Vitamin C and, most importantly, appropriate daily sun protection will help you to keep your skin healthy, prevent premature skin aging and delay the visible signs of skin aging.
- Regular cleansing: Cleanse and tone in the morning and evening to clear skin of sweat, sebum, make-up and dirt that can cause oxidative stress. The Eucerin DermatoCLEAN range includes cleansers and toners for all skin types.
- Moisturization: Keep skin hydrated with moisturizers that have been specially formulated to address the first signs of aging: fine lines and wrinkles and skin that looks dull and tired. With Eucerin’s unique blend of two highly-concentrated forms of Hyaluronic Acid, the Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler range gives 20-something skin the moisture it needs. If your skin needs an immediate and long-lasting moisture boost try Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler Moisture Booster. If your skin is looking dull or stressed try Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler Hyaluron Intensive Mask – an innovative anti-aging face mask made from biocellulose that provides immediate hydration. Fine lines are reduced and skin looks and feels dewy, fresher, more radiant and rejuvenated.
- Anti-oxidant skin boost: Vitamin C is a highly potent antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and stimulates collagen production. You can read more about its benefits as a skincare ingredient in Vitamin C: a powerful anti-oxidant for your skin. Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler Vitamin C Booster is clinically and dermatologically proven to strengthen skin and plump up wrinkles for smoother, fresher and more radiant skin in just seven days.
- Sun protection: The best way to protect skin from photoaging is to limit the time spent in the sun, avoid it during its most intense hours, wear protective clothing and apply an appropriate sun protection product, even if the weather is cloudy or when you’re in the shade. As your face is exposed to the sun on a daily basis, we recommend year-round, daily facial sun protection. It’s also important to use sun protection for a week after using Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler Vitamin C Booster as it may make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Eucerin Hyaluron- Filler Day SPF 15 and Eucerin Hyaluron Filler Day SPF 30 both offer UVA and UVB protection. If you are looking for a higher level of protection, the Eucerin sun protection range offers Eucerin’s Advanced Spectral Technology and a comprehensive range of SPF 50 products. Skin changes with each life stage and the way it is cared for should reflect its changing needs. To find out how to care for your skin as you move into your 30s and beyond read How does skin age and how should I care for it?