Skin Solutions: Skin care recommendations for every age

As we age, our skin transitions through a number of phases and ageing occurs due to intrinsic (natural ageing process, hormonal changes) and extrinsic (lifestyle, pollution, sun, the environment) factors. Below are some suggested skin care recommendations for every age by decade, as well as essential skin care products for every age.

These are the steps you can take to keep your skin at its best in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond!

Skin care recommendations for every age

The essential skin products and skin care rules by decade


You might not yet have visible signs of ageing during your 20s, but that doesn’t mean you are too young to start caring for your skin. This is the age when lifestyle factors, such as excessive alcohol, smoking and sun exposure can have a huge effect on our skin later on in life. At this age diet also plays a big part in skin health and missing out on essential nutrients can affect your skin and hair. Regular exercise is also important.

In your 20s the following skin care products are essential…


Retinol: Start to incorporate retinol into your skincare regimen at night to boost collagen and prevent the signs of premature ageing. There are many benefits of retinol, primarily that it reduces the appearance of fine lines and pore size.

SPF 30: Use SPF 30 everyday, even during winter. This protects the skin from UVB rays which contribute to the premature ageing of the skin.


Eat a diet rich in protein, fruit and vegetables. Omega-3 fatty acids will help to keep skin at optimum health.



The 30s are when cells begin to show signs of changing and ageing. A decrease in collagen leads to a loss of volume on the face and fine lines around the mouth, eyes and forehead start to appear. Many women in their 30s choose to have a baby and pregnancy can impact the skin in many positive and negative ways. An increased blood flow to the skin can leave skin with a natural glow, while acne or melasma (a form of pigmentation) can occur. These skin conditions are both caused by an increased production of oestrogen and progesterone.

In your 30s the following skin care products are essential…


Continue to use Retinol at night for its anti-ageing properties and to address pigmentation and add the following products into your daily skin care regime…

Vitamin C serum: Upgrade to a medical-grade skincare regimen that includes a Vitamin C serum in the morning. This highly potent antioxidant prevents free radical damage that can lead to signs of premature ageing.

SPF 50: Up your daily dose of SPF from 30 to 50 with UVA and UVB protection to protect you for the harmful ageing effects of ultraviolet radiation.



During your 40s things start to slow down, especially your lymphatic system which is responsible for draining the toxins from your skin. This can lead to puffiness in the eye and cheek areas. The decline in sebum production also means that your skin is less protected and more vulnerable to damage from environmental factors such as sunlight and pollution.

Hormonal changes in your 40s result in a decline in oestrogen which causes the skin to lose its tautness, creating wrinkles.

This is also the age where excess drinking or sun exposure catches up in the form of broken red blood vessels on the face. The effects of smoking also becomes more obvious on your skin in the form of pronounced lines around the mouth and dullness.


Continue with using an antioxidant such as Vitamin C in the mornings, an SPF 50 day cream and a retinol at night and add the following to your skin care programme…

Chemical peels: Medical grade chemical peels and facials are great to help restore the skin’s hydration and luminosity, even out the complexion, help reduce enlarged pores, redness and pigmentation.

Fillers: Fillers can address loss of volume and treat skin laxity and sagging tissue.

Laser treatments: Help to address redness, skin laxity and pigmentation.



In your 50s, sun damage in the form of dark spots (hyperpigmentation) becomes more visible on your face, hands and arms. Thin red lines, or spider veins, may also appear, often as a result of sun damage. As you get older the stores of fat under your skin tend to deplete, as does the collagen and elastin. This causes your skin to become more sensitive to sun damage, pores become more pronounced and skin becomes looser and wrinkles more easily.

During your 50s your eye area begins to show signs of ageing as the eyelids become heavy and more hooded as the skin becomes less elastic. The onset of perimenopause and menopause results in reduced oestrogen meaning the skin is drier and more fragile. It can break more easily causing cuts and scabs. Dropping hormone levels also mean hair could appear on your chin, along your jawline or above your lips. The hormone changes at this age are also often to blame for some women developing acne.



Continue using the products as listed, especially a Vitamin A retinol that can even help to increase the production of new skin cells and collagen. Add the following…

Body moisturiser: Using a regular moisturiser on the body is fantastic way of maintaining the skin barrier and battling dryness.

Hair removal: Laser hair removal is a good option for facial hair removal, especially as waxing can be too damaging on delicate skin at this age.

Botox: Injectables such as Botoxilium toxin can help take years of your appearance.



During your 60s skin becomes drier and thinner. You’ll be less likely to suffer from breakouts, but paper-thin skin is more fragile and at greater risk of damaging easily, not to mention causing an increase in the appearance wrinkles.



Limit any existing age spots you have on the face and hands from getting bigger by ensuring that you use an SPF 50 sunscreen daily on any areas of the skin that are exposed. Then use the following products…

Thicker moisturisers: These help to protect the skin barrier as their skin grows drier.

Lower concentration retinol: Continue using retinol but switch to a lower concentration formula due to the fact that your skin is thinning and will absorb ingredients more easily.



In summary

Women in their 20s and 30s should focus on wearing SPF daily and their nutrition and maintenance.

Women with mature skin – those in their 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond – should invest in more intense sunscreen and laser treatments.



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Kathryn Rossiter

Kathryn is a South African lifestyle blogger and mom of 2 who has been blogging daily for over 9 years! She writes about travel, health, beauty, fashion, decor and family... but not food (unless it's food she's eaten made by someone else) as she is a hopeless cook. She only wakes up early for 2 things... a red-eye flight to somewhere exotic and early morning game drives. She has just finished an extensive home renovation and would prefer to never see another box again. She's never met a chocolate or glass of bubbles that she didn't like!

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