Your 20s

In your 20s, the goal is to take preventative measures; taking diligent care of your skin now means fewer problems ahead. Sunscreen should be a part of your daily routine. In this decade, you also experience common issues such as adult acne, caused by hormones. Another hormonal skin concern is discolouration or brown patches that become darker with sun exposure. 

Your ideal skincare routine

For acne and general skincare, wash your face twice a day. If you have dry skin, use a cream cleanser; if it is oily and acne-prone, choose a product that fights oil and breakouts. Follow up with a light moisturiser and SPF 30 sunscreen lotion. You can also use a moisturiser that already has sunscreen. Focus on consistently wearing sunscreen and hydrating so that you don’t damage your skin with the sun and bad diet choices. 

Try: NIVEA Sun Anti-age and Anti-pigments Sunscreen, R129,99


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Your 30s

At this stage, your acne will usually subside. However, your skin is starting to dry out. You may also start seeing more hyperpigmentation, fine lines, sunspots and darker circles under your eyes. Your skin may feel less smooth while your pores become more enlarged. 

Your ideal skincare routine

Cleanse twice a day, and use a toner to firm your skin, minimise pores and keep them from clogging up. Exfoliate three to five times a week to remove dead skin cells. Be sure to wear your sunscreen every day, with a higher SPF. At night, use a heavier night cream plus retinol a few times a week.

Try: Clarins Fresh Scrub, R455


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Your 40s 

You may develop more fine lines, wrinkles and large pores. Pigmentation may also get worse, with a loss of overall skin elasticity that will be most pronounced around your eyes. You may experience even more dryness on your skin due to hormonal changes and, for some, a specific type of acne called perioral dermatitis may develop. 

Your ideal skincare routine

Use a hydrating cleanser twice a day, followed by a treatment serum with time-released ingredients. You need to treat and give your skin extra protection all-day long, not just at night. Follow your serum with a moisturiser that contains SPF. The reduction of sebum as you age affects your skin’s ability to hold on to moisture, which is why facial oils are really important. Use them at night, before applying your moisturiser.

Try: Lamelle Dermaheal Foaming Cleanser, R260


 

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Your 50s–60s

Your skin’s elasticity and collagen may continue to break down further, causing side effects such as loose skin, fine lines, redness and blotchiness. If you have been diligent with sunscreen application, this laxity might not be quite advanced, and you may fare better with fine lines and hyperpigmentation. 

Your ideal skincare routine

Cleanse twice daily with a super-hydrating face wash, followed by a facial oil, retinoid cream or serum, an antioxidant-rich moisturiser and sunscreen with a high SPF. At night, you need to be more aggressive in your treatment than you were in your 40s. Increase your retinoid use to every night instead of just three times a week. Apply facial oil and a rich night cream on your face and neck to lock in moisture and boost your skin’s oil levels. You lose water and natural skin oil as you age, so you need to do both to balance the levels out. 

Try: Vichy Minéral 89 Fortifying and Plumping Daily Booster, R375