Listen up, ladies: how you treat your skin right now matters. It’s never too late to start good habits, and even if you’ve abused your skin in the past (no judgment—we remember the ’80s, too!), there are plenty of things you can do today to avoid further damage in the future. But just as you shouldn’t wear the same clothes when you’re 45 as you did when you were 17, every decade’s ideal skincare regimen is different. To help, we’ve consulted Harvard Med School graduate and expert dermatologist Dr. Jennifer Lee for tips and product recommendations that will allow you to achieve the healthiest and most beautiful skin possible for years to come!
Dr. Jennifer Lee’s Skincare Tips for your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s:
- It’s never too early to start healthy habits when it comes to your skin. You should always try to avoid the sun and never use tanning beds—this is true at any age. Drink plenty of water, moisturize daily to hydrate your skin, and wear sunscreen every single day (no less than SPF 30).
- Twenty-somethings should start a skin care regimen that helps with aging skin down the line. Using a Retinol can help increase cell turnover and help prevent fine lines and wrinkles. Add in an eye cream—Neocutis Lumiere Eye Cream is a wildly popular one with beauty editors—along with a good moisturizer, and you’ve got a great basic regimen.
- If you are struggling with acne during this time, a daily Retinol (or prescription Tretinoin cream) may help. You should also think about using a Clarisonic—it’s great for deep pore cleansing and getting off makeup, dirt, and oil.
- Skin maintenance is very important during this decade. Fine lines and wrinkles may begin to appear, but there are things you can do to help prevent and treat these. Continue with a nightly Retinol as well as a good eye cream and moisturizer. Sunscreen is essential and, if you can, avoid the sun as much as possible.
- Add a nightly serum that includes growth factors, such as Skin Medica’s TNS Essential Serum. You may consider Botulinum toxin treatment (such as BotoxTM or DysportTM) to help treat wrinkles like crow’s feet or scowl lines. Consistent treatment over time can help prevent deeper furrows.
- It’s also a good idea to think about skin maintenance; more maintenance now means less correction in the future. Don’t forget about skin care on areas like the neck, chest, and backs of the hands. Nectifirm by Revision is a great cream for the neck.
- It’s during this decade that you may notice more fine lines and wrinkling of the skin as well as age spots or broken blood vessels. There are multiple treatment options for these problems. If you find yourself needing extra coverage, use a tinted moisturizer. Intellishade moisturizer by Revision is tinted and also contains SPF 45. If you’re looking for something more comprehensive, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments are helpful for brightening the skin, evening out your complexion, and treating sun spots.
- A series of chemical peels can also help with overall skin texture and tone. The treatments that I mentioned for the 30’s are also really great for continued maintenance in the 40’s, including Ultherapy for skin tightening and Botox for treatment and prevention of fine lines, but you might also consider adding an antioxidant face treatment that can help neutralize free radicals.
- This is the age when you may start to notice deeper wrinkles and sagging skin, not only on the face but also on the neck and chest areas. Treatments at this age are more for correction, but it’s never too late to start a good regimen. All of the basic skincare tips discussed above still apply in your 50’s. Ultherapy is a safe, non-surgical lifting treatment that provides a wonderful option if you don’t feel ready for a surgical procedure. It’s a quick, comfortable procedure that can help lift sagging jowls, neck, and eyebrows.
- Co2 Fractional ablative resurfacing laser treatments can help repair sun-damaged texture, help with skin tightening, and even improve acne scars.
When it comes to your skin’s health, Dr. Jennifer Lee knows her stuff. As the Medical Director of REN Dermatology in Franklin, Tenn., Dr. Lee is a diplomat of the American Board of Dermatology. She is a Harvard Medical School graduate and faculty member at both Harvard and Vanderbilt medical centers.
Since opening her practice in 2013, Dr. Lee has been featured in high-profile outlets such as InStyle Magazine, Yahoo Beauty, and Refinery 29.
Dr. Lee specializes in all aspects of general dermatology, as well as cosmetic and laser procedures such as Botox, Restylane, skin resurfacing and rejuvenation.