The days of anti-aging are over. We’re future-proofing now.
It’s 2020. And as much as this year has been, let’s say less than ideal, it’s given us a chance to spend time with ourselves. The year has seen us embrace who we are: trackie dacks, unwashed hair, bushy eyebrows and all.
During this time of reflection, we have come to a firm realisation: we don’t want to be anti-ageing, we want to embrace our future selves.
Ageing happens. It’s inevitable. And, in the words of our favourite Queer Eye star, Jonathan Van Ness, “it’s a privilege” (listen to his full interview on Gritty Pretty Radio, here). So, why is it that we dread it so much? Why is it that a few crows’ feet become permanent and all of a sudden we forget about the laughing fits and good times that produced them?
To be clear, we still want to care for our skin; to make the most of our complexion but without fighting against our body. Kelly George, founder of Kelly George Aesthetics, is along for the ride and shares her skin-loving wisdom here.
They may be your party years – but your twenties are also the best years to lay some skincare groundwork. This is the time to create good habits. George’s number one tip? “Every single person needs to use sunscreen every single day.” It may sound cliché but this tip will keep your skin looking and feeling its healthiest.
“Your early twenties are also a great time to get educated about active ingredients,” recommends George. Depending on your skin type you may even like to incorporate a gentle exfoliant (like the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum) or a light hydrating peptide (think The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5). The best thing to do is keep it simple and care for your skin as best you can. N.B. Your skin is young, so don’t go too crazy trying to fix issues that aren’t there yet.
So you’re recovering from the dirty thirty celebrations and have suddenly realised that you’re now firmly in adulthood. Now is the time to incorporate a few more heavy duty ingredients into your routine.
“If you’re over 30 (and not pregnant or breastfeeding) I would recommend using a retinol,” says George. “This is when we naturally stop producing collagen and the collagen we do have starts to deplete more rapidly.” Adding a retinol formula in will help promote collagen production and cell turnover, leaving your face luminous and plump (we love the Alpha-H Vitamin A Serum with 0.5% Retinol).
Your 30s are a particularly important time to nourish your skin from the inside. Think: more whole foods and drinking plenty of water. This will serve you greatly in the long run, trust us.
George also loves the addition of supplements to really super charge your skin, “I love The Beauty Chef’s Glow Inner Beauty Essential,” says George. “It does wonders for the skin, you just have to be consistent and ensure you get your daily dose.”
Now, to the 40s. By now, on George’s advice, you should have ramped up your skincare routine to include retinol along with hydrating products and gentle exfoliation. Consistency is key.
In terms of lifestyle, “minimising stress is hugely important,” says George. “The stress hormone, cortisol, accelerates the breakdown of collagen which leads to thin, sagging skin and wrinkles.” To combat this, she suggests regular exercise (this helps to bring blood flow to the skin which gives you that glow) as well as aiming for a diet rich in antioxidants to help fight the free radicals that cause premature ageing.
This is also a great time to start getting more regular salon treatments that promote skin cell renewal (i.e. micro-needling or LED treatments) as this will help firm your skin – plus, it’s a great excuse for a little you time.
Regardless of where you’re at in your future proofing journey, it is important to check in with your thoughts at every stage. How do you speak to yourself? Are you kind to yourself when you look in the mirror? Our skin goes through so much in a lifetime: happiness, loss, babies, holidays, celebrations, pollution and even air conditioning, so you’ve got to cut it some slack.
Taking care of your skin is a form of self-care, not a way to change the way you look. Be kind, embrace change and just live!
Do you have a top tip for keeping your skin looking healthy and fresh in the long term? Leave it in the comments section below!