Lacey GattisANSWERED BY

When Should I Start Using Anti-Aging Products?

We've discussed using anti-aging products in your twenties before, and every expert we spoke with agreed that A) the best thing you can do is wear sunscreen religiously, and B) there's no such thing as "too young" for preventing skin damage... by wearing sunscreen. Are you sensing a trend? Find a mild, broad spectrum sunblock like Chantecaille Ultra Sun Protection Primer, which also makes a great base. Or try a hydrating version like Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream (a little extra moisture can't hurt). You could even go all out and get NIA24 Sun Damage Prevention UVA Sunscreen, which specifically exists to seal your skin in like some kind of youth Tupperware.

Besides keeping any and all UV away from your face forever, the experts also agree that using overly harsh anti-aging products can actually make wrinkles and texture issues worse, not better. So regardless of your age, if you're piling on the retinol or glycolic acid and wondering why you have more fine lines than you did before, it's probably because your routine is inadvertently drying out and sensitizing your skin.

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  • B

    ASAP! I've been using anti ageing eye cream since I was 16 and haven't looked back since. And I believe in SPF50+ all day, everyday, and yes, even when I'm at home just lounging!

    • softy

      wow, i admire your dedication to the cause. do you mind sharing what sunscreen you use? no matter what brand i've tried, i still hate the feeling of it on my face, but i force myself to wear it when i'm going outside. i'd love to find one that's so comfortable to wear that i'd even put it on indoors.

      • Mimi

        The chantecaille one mentioned above is AMAZING!!

      • Tanita Razaghi

        Try the Shiseido Sunscreen for babies & sensitive skin. It feels like nothing is there! Warning though, it is an extremely watery formula which requires to be applied in sections.

      • B

        Hi, I use Clarins SPF50, La Roche Posay SPF 50 Fluid or Hada Labo UV Creamy Gel SPF50++++ (Yes, that's 4 pluses and a brilliant Japanese product!)
        I actually love the way these 3 sunscreens leave my skin - dewy but not tacky!

        And truth be told, I once finished 1.5 bottles of the LRPSPF50 fluid when I was on holiday in Bermuda for 7 days. I layer on at least 3 layers before leaving the room - trick is to apply half of the face first, then the other half, and then layer on another layer. The final layer is on the W region on the face - which is the cheekbones & the nose bridge.

        Hope this helps.

        • softy

          couldn't find clarins spf 50 on sephora, but found the spf 40 and bought it. hope it works. thank you!

      • CK

        Maybe try the ones from VMV Hypoallergenics and the one from Kiehl's. Their consistency is like lightweight lotion, just a tad creamy but easy to spread. They leave no white cast but they kind of brighten the face as if some parts of my face are highlighted. Depending on your skin type and the weather, they can also make you dewy fresh.

        There's Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense (SPF50+ PA+++) and then there's VMV: Armada Face Cover 30 and/or Armada Sport 70 (it says "sport" but I like using this daily). I suggest you visit their website, there's so much information.

        P.S. Don't get the Armada 45 cause that one feels pasty.
        P.P.S. VMV also got a lip balm with SPF 60+.
        P.P.P.S. Has anyone tried Clinique sunscreens in yellow bottles?

  • Gotham

    Here are a few 'skin' tips that I shared with my 19 yr old niece, (who is fascinated with my 40 year old skin). I started when I was 16.

    Always wear sunscreen anytime you are outside regardless if it is sunny. Kiehls and Anthelios by La Roche Posay are excellent.

    Cleanse and moisturize twice daily. You don't need to use La Prairie in your 20's (that comes later lol). But just as you see results when you work out each week, being consistent with a skincare routine is key.

    Never go to sleep with your makeup on. Never. Use white pillowcases to help get that point into your head.

    Since lines really shouldn't be prominent, focus on investing more in Brightening serums, ones that keep your skin even and as smooth as possible.

    Never pick at your face, just tears the skin in the long haul resulting in scarring within a few years.

    Three biggest internal factors that are simple but accurate...

    Try and get minimum 7 hours of sleep a night.

    Give up the soda, seriously just no more. Not even diet crap.

    Up your water. Not flavored. At least 5 glasses a day. Your skin will absolutely glow.

    This tiny guide is pretty much law when it comes to myself. Aging is a part of life but considering my face looks far younger than I am, well it's certainly nice to be able to slow the process significantly. ;)

    • JY

      I would be careful about the Kiehl's and Anthelios sunscreens because they contain a lot of alcohol. The alcohol gives the sunscreens their lovely, lightweight, fast-drying texture, but it damages skin and can exacerbate acne.

  • http://www.beautyandludlow.com/ Victoria

    I've been using anti aging products for years and i'm 22 now. It's never too early to start. I haven't gotten into retinols yet but brightening serums, eye cream, and SPF every day!

    http://www.beautyandludlow.com

  • M Meador

    Yes I'm in the same boat as many commenters below, have been using a complete skin care routine since I was young (12). I am now 25 and (obviously) have no signs of aging yet. The pay off will hopefully be apparent later in life! I've always worn sunscreen 365 days a year, rain or shine. I use a good cleanser (CeraVe) a retinol (Atralin) and finish up with CeraVe lotion. My night cream has always changed throughout the years. Whatever the products are, consistency is key. I also am big into serums, specifically Estee Lauders Advanced Night Repair for a nice antioxidant boost. It's never too early to start!

  • Polina G.

    I agree, you need to start as soon as possible! I've had a well-rounded skincare regimen since I was in my teens, which included cleansing & moisturizing twice a day, always removing make-up for the night, frequent face masks, eye creams, and I added a daily SPF as I approached my 20s(that's when I learned about its importance). I'm 24 now and have introduced AHAs, BHAs, and retinol into my routine, as well as more potent eye creams. I have noticed that my skin has gotten thinner as the intro says, but also brighter, even, lighter, and more healthy. I'm also wearing less foundation now that I'm happier with the way it looks. I must add that I have quite deep expression lines (forehead, eye area, around mouth) and I'm contemplating getting Botox injections to prevent their further development (because mine are just much worse than of most people in their 20s or even 30s).

  • maiastras

    I think prevention is key. I already have very finicky combination skin, so by force I end up using products to remedy my skin woes while contributing to anti-againg (Vit.C serum, anti-oxidant face oil, zinc sunscreen, the occasional clay mask and lactic acid peel). However, I think the proper use of products is important as well, where you make sure that you aren't poking, prodding, and picking.

    ITG's Isabelle Bellis videos are excellent guides, and you can further supplement with learning how to give yourself a lymphatic drainage massage. Gentle lymph massages are pretty well known in Japan where I grew up, and doesn't require much force the way other massages do.

  • anita rivas

    Start using anti-aging skincare products the moment you realize you need them, I started using skincare at the age of 15 and started to aggressively pursue the fountain of youth while in my thirties.

  • Cat

    I've used AHAs regularly since my early twenties (mild ones, nothing too aggressive) but they were prescribed by my dermatologist for my acne prone skin, it never even occurred to me that they also served anti-aging purposes until I started looking into these sorts of things a few years ago. Now I could not be without them, they really keep my skin decongested and I notice the difference right away when I stop using them for more than a couple of weeks, usually in the form of tiny blackheads on my nose (gross, sorry).

    My take on this is, as with most things in life, moderation is key. I don't think we should be slathering ourselves with stuff just for the sake of it. Only use things that have a purpose in your routine, and take it easy!
    (But do always wear sunscreen).

  • Melissa

    Don't forget to work from the inside out as well! Hydrate! All day! Water! Water! Water!!!
    Washing your face, eye cream, and a good moisturizer! Every morning and night.
    And I agree about the sunscreen UNLESS you're going to get your photos taken somewhere with a flash! It really messes with the flash, so be sure to just have a wonderful hat on your super glamour days =)

  • Cora

    I am in my late 20's, am training to become a dermatologist, and I don't use any specific anti-aging products, but am careful to use/do the following:
    1) Sunscreen, at least SPF 15-30 every day. Unless you are VERY pale, no need for anything over 30 on a day to day basis (SPF protection plateaus, so you are getting incrementally less benefit from SPF 60 vs. 30 than 30 vs. 15. When I holiday at the equator I'll use higher SPF, but for day to day use I use 15-30). I like La Roche Posay Anthelios or Vichy Aqualia Thermal UV for my dry skin.
    2) Moisturizing eye cream. Doesn't necessarily have to have any fancy anti-aging or firming activity at this point. Moisture will help prevent wrinkles and will help undereye concealer go on more easily.
    3) A good heavy duty moisturizer at night. I have dry skin, and moisture will prevent wrinkles as well. Right now my favs are La Roche Posay Nutritic Intense Riche, and Vichy Aqualia Thermal Night Spa.
    4) A retinoid/retinol cream. Many girls are on a topical retinoid (e.g. adapalene, tretinoin) for acne in their teenage years. This is a great treatment for prevention/treatment of wrinkles, dark spots, etc. It can be a bit irritating/burning to the skin at first, but we tell patients to apply it for 1 hour before bedtime, then wash off, repeat for a few days, and work your way up to 2 hours - 3 hours - etc... until tolerated overnight.
    5) Always take off all your makeup at the end of the day!

  • lemonpie

    I believe in a healthy lifestyle from birth. This includes a very good diet (food is medicine), enough water, lots of sleep, exercise, oxygen, love and happiness. Beauty comes from the inside NOT from a bottle. I believe in high quality, organic, natural products and few products because too much just aggravates the skin. I DO NOT believe in sunscreen. Most of them contain chemicals that are extremely bad for the skin plus we need vitamin d (most people are deficient). I'd rather use some oils that contain a natural SPF. Sunbathing, however, is truly the worst.

    • JY

      I agree about healthy diet, water, exercise, sleep, etc., but sunscreen protects against skin cancer!

  • http://thoughtsofglam.com/ ThoughtsofGlam

    I'm 23 and just started using eye-cream on a regular basis. In my teenage years I used absolutely nothing on my face. Just a quick swoosh of liner and some mascara. I've become more conscious about moisturizing and protecting from the sun. My favorite thing to do is use a bb cream that provides super light coverage and also has spf.

  • Tanya

    I'm 43. I started a dermatologist prescribed acne/anti-aging regimen around 28 (AHAs and retinol, now full-blown Retin-A.) I've always worn a ton of sunscreen. My father had skin cancer several times when I was a kid and my beautiful mom already had terribly sun damaged skin in her 30s, skin she obsessed and obsesses over. I decided not to go that route. It made me a little weird as all my friends were always at tanning salons to get their base tan and I was my natural, somewhat pale color. I am now reaping the rewards. It is not so much my face that makes the difference. It is my neck, chest, and arms, which have almost no signs of aging. I love my friends, so I don't say, "I told you so," but laugh to myself when they ask why my arms looks so young or if I've gotten Botox (no.) Makes the teasing on the beach 20 years ago so worth it!

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