Series: Changes in your skin as you age: The 20s
As you age, your skin undergoes several natural, intrinsic changes, including:
- Decreased collagen and elastin, leading to fine lines, wrinkles and loss of elasticity
- Skin becomes thinner and more fragile
- Reduced oil gland activity, which impairs the skin’s ability to stay moisturized, leading to dry skin
Though you can’t reverse all these age-related skin changes, you can slow the aging process by taking good care of your skin. In this first article in our series on aging skin, we’ll cover your skin’s needs and challenges when you’re in your 20s.
Skin in your 20s:
What’s happening: You have plenty of collagen in your 20s to keep your skin supple and give you a healthy glow. Though 20-something skin is plump, your skin is already starting to age. Beginning at age 20, your skin produces about 1 percent less collagen each year. In your mid-20s, your skin starts to turn over more slowly, meaning that dead skin cells build up and your skin becomes more prone to discoloration and loses its elasticity and glow. By your late 20s, you may already begin to see fine lines.
Challenges to healthy skin:
Acne. Although hormones levels start to even out in your 20s, acne may continue to be a problem. Women may experience increased oil production and breakouts before and during their menstrual cycle, when hormone levels fluctuate.
Caring for your skin in your 20s is critical to promoting healthy, attractive skin in future decades. How well you take care of your skin in your 20s influences how soon you see signs of aging in your 30s and what type of damage appears in your 40s. Take these steps to protect your skin and prevent premature aging:
Wear sunscreen every day, all year round. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight is the No. 1 reason the skin ages, accounting for about 90 percent of the symptoms of premature skin aging. Protect your skin from those damaging UV rays by wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day, even on cloudy days and when you’re inside.
Moisturize. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, sunscreen and moisturizer are the two most effective anti-aging skincare products. When your skin is well hydrated, your skin cells are plump, giving you a radiant, fresh glow. Choose a moisturizer that doesn’t contain ingredients that irritate your skin or trigger breakouts.
Develop a skincare regimen that works for you. Consider including products with these ingredients:
- Gentle exfoliator to treat fine lines without irritating skin
- Lactic, glycolic or salicylic acids to increase cell turnover, reduce the appearance of fine lines and make skin look clear, even-toned, smooth and glowing
- Anti-oxidants (such as vitamin C) to keep fine lines from turning into wrinkles
Spot treat acne. Use acne treatments on individual blemishes to avoid using drying antibacterial acne products on unaffected skin
Stop smoking. Smoking is second to sun exposure in causing wrinkles and dry skin.
Manage stress. When you’re stressed out, your adrenal glands produce too much cortisol, a stress hormone. Cortisol causes your sebaceous glands to produce extra oil, making your skin oily.
How micro-needling can help
The SkinPen micro-needling procedure improves the appearance of acne scars and fine lines by stimulating the body’s natural remodeling of collagen and elastin. Starting micro-needling in your 20s can help you get ahead of many aging skin issues, improving your skin’s health and appearance and staving off the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
Talk to your SkinPen provider about your individual skincare needs and to customize a procedure specific to you.