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  • She Says

Skin Mistakes You’re Making In Your 20s, 30s, and 40s

  • IWB Post
  •  October 12, 2015


Our skin changes with growing age. Glamour magazine asked few dermatologists to talk about this transformation and how we can make it less harmful for us:

Skin Mistakes You’re Making in Your 20s

  1. Forgetting to reapply sunscreen: UV rays can give you wrinkles, brown spots and even skin cancer. Dermatologist asks you to reapply it after every 2 hours.
  2. Not sanitizing your cell phone: New York City dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D says, Your phone is a magnet for bacteria. And when you hold it up to your face, those germs can mix with makeup, dirt, and oil, resulting in breakouts. Avoid them by cleaning your screen regularly with an alcohol wipe or disinfectant cloth.
  3. Treating adult acne the way you treated your breakouts in high school: Dermatologist suggests, “Adult acne tends to be deeper and more cystic, but our skin gets drier and thinner overall as we age.”
  4. Putting off anti-aging products: You may not see wrinkles yet, but to keep it that way, Dr. Zeichner suggests using anti-aging serums and creams now. He says, “The sooner you start, the better you’ll look. Adding a pea-size amount of retinol (the anti-aging gold standard) to your nightly routine.If your skin is sensitive, mix it with a serum or moisturizer to buffer irritation. Retinol helps prevent fine lines, lighten pigmentation, and can even slow down certain types of precancerous cells.”

Skin Mistakes You’re Making in Your 30s

  1. Skipping your skin care regimen: Elizabeth Tanzi, George Washington University, says, “It’s all about preventing damage during the day and repairing at night.”
  2. Not switching up your products: Starting in our 30s, skin gets drier, cells turn over slower, collagen production gets sluggish, and skin tone becomes more uneven, says Dr. Tanzi. Take stock of the current state of your skin and buy products accordingly.
  3. Overexfoliating: Limit exfoliating to one or two times a week. Dermatologist Sonia Batra says, “Skin is already beginning to lose elasticity, so overdoing it with gritty scrubs and cleansing brushes can cause capillaries to rupture and worsen the appearance of fine lines.”
  4. Missing your annual mole check: The single most important thing you can do for your skin (besides wearing sunscreen with a rating of SPF 30 or higher on the regular) is to get a mole check every year. “A thorough exam only takes five to 10 minutes,” says Dr. Tanzi. Before you go, remove nail polish and avoid tanning or getting sunburned.

Skin Mistakes You’re Making in Your 40s

  1. Not moisturizing enough: Regardless of your skin type, now is the time to add an extra dose of hydration. According to Dr. Batra, “Hormonal changes in our 40s make skin drier and decrease its ability to keep moisture in. To boost hydration without clogging pores, switch to a milk or cream cleanser and layer a lightweight serum under a noncomedogenic moisturizer like Neutrogena Deep Moisture Night Cream before bed.”
  2. Cocktailing too many products: Batra says, “Piling on multiple active ingredients can often lead to redness, inflammation, and peeling.” Antioxidants work best when combined (vitamins C and E are an especially powerful duo), retinols paired with acne treatments and alpha hydroxy acids are a recipe for disaster. Her rules for minimizing irritation: Introduce one new product at a time, wait a full minute between layering products to buffer interactions, and go for formulas that are fragrance-free.
  3. Skipping eye cream: “It’s OK to use a serum or moisturizer around your eyes, but you’re better off going with something that’s specifically formulated for that area [usually fragrance-free with a lower concentration of active ingredients] to avoid irritation,” says Dr. Batra. And don’t forget an eye cream with sunscreen. She says, “Your eye area is so thin that even a few minutes of sun exposure can cause collagen and elastin to start breaking down.”
  4. Banking on products to perform skin miracles: As far as anti-aging products go, no amount can completely obliterate wrinkles or bring back the chiseled cheekbones of your 20s. For that, you’ll have to see a dermatologist. A few effective ideas are Fraxel laser treatments to even out skin tone and texture, plumping up cheekbones, and Botox to soften wrinkles.

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