As we age, our skin transforms, and often we experience different skin concerns during each stage of life. Whether it’s the woes of adult acne in your 20 or the stress of dryness and loss of elasticity in your 50s; each stage offers its own skincare challenges to overcome, and our skincare should reflect these changing needs.
“Choosing the right products to cleanse, protect, nourish, and repair skin at each of these stages will help to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy — whatever your age.”
Incorporating acids into your skincare routine is a great way to give your skin a much-needed helping-hand at every age. Skincare acids are little active ingredient powerhouses that can help tackle everything from acne and oily skin to fine lines, dullness, dryness, and more.
“Acids may initially sound like a scary thing to incorporate into your skincare routine — especially if you have sensitive skin. But, the kinds of acids we use for skincare are ‘organic’ or ‘weak acids’ that have acidic properties and are helpful due to the balance they contribute to the skin’s pH Levels.”
But with so many different acids out there, how do you figure out which one to use? To help you decide what products would suit your skin, we’ve put together a guide to acids for every age. We’ll look at the specific benefits of each ingredient and how to use them to benefit your unique skin concerns.
The roaring 20s
Oily skin and adult acne are very real issues for many people at this age — and so are the dark spots that often go hand-in-hand with acne-prone skin. Salicylic acid is a great options to use during your 20s when combination and oily skin are rearing their pesky heads.
“Salicylic acid gently works to reduce oiliness and clear out the dead skin cells that clog pores — the two major causes of acne. It’s also a pigmentation fighter and helps to reduce inflammation and redness.”
Using a daily Salicylic acid cleanser like Skin Functional Salicylic Cleansing Complex Gel Cleanser will help to gently clean impurities without stripping the skin. While a topical spot treatment, like Catrice Pore SOS Spot Treatment can help to reduce the appearance of skin impurities in a matter of hours.
30 is the new 20
For many people, their 30s is the period in their life that they start to see the first signs of ageing, such as fine lines and wrinkles. Other concerns, like hyperpigmentation and sunspots may also appear when creeping into that three-decade’s old mark.
If you’re still using the same skincare products from your 20s, it’s time to replace some of them with more targeted products with powerful active ingredients. Depending on your skincare concerns, consider incorporating acids that target fine lines, wrinkles, uneven pigment, volume loss, and other premature signs of ageing.
Look at including skincare products with Retinoic acid, like Skoon's award-winning Retinin Retinal 0.1% Resurfacing Cream or Filorga NCEF-Intesivea Supreme Multi-Correction Serum.
“Best used at night, Retinoic acid is derived from vitamin A and is well known as an anti-ageing powerhouse. This hard-working acid can help to accelerate skin cell turnover and collagen production, even out skin tone, and fade pigmentation.”
Another acid to consider using in your 30s is Glycolic acid. A brilliant exfoliator, Glycolic acid can help to reduce the appearance of pores, dark spots, and fine lines, while keeping your skin looking and feeling smooth, fresh, and bright. For a radiant complexion, treat your skin once a week with a mask like the Ren Radiance Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask.
Fabulous in your 40s and 50s
Your 40s is a time to really step up your skincare game. This is the age when for many people, environmental pollutants start to take a toll on the skin, making antioxidants very important. By the time we reach our 50s, skin cell turnover significantly declines, and many people experience significant dryness, loss of elasticity and deeper expression lines.
Ascorbic acid, the synthetic version of vitamin C, is a great acid to incorporate into your skincare routine during your 40s. This wonderful ingredient boasts antioxidant benefits to gently soften signs of ageing, fade dark spots, brighten skin tone, and increase collagen production.
“Best used in the morning (while still using retinol at night), Ascorbic acid has been shown to preserve existing collagen while also working to slow down the enzymes responsible for collagen degradation. What’s more, it has been shown to be very effective in preventing and treating sun-damage in skin, a concern that often only rears its ugly head when we reach our 40s.”
Up the ante with the addition of Hyaluronic acid in your 50s, and you’ll look like you’re drinking from the fountain of youth. Hyaluronic acid is an amazing moisture booster that immediately plumps up the skin, leaving it feeling softer while helping to improve the appearance of fine lines.
“The great thing about Hyaluronic acid is that it can be used at any age. The skin always needs to be hydrated and this moisture-boosting acid works well when used alongside other acids like Vitamin C and glycolic acid.”
Try Pharmaceris A-Hyalauronic Acid Cream for an all-in-one solution to seal hydration into the skin by applying a moisturiser directly afterwards.
So where do you start? With so many products on the market, it can take time to find what works best for your skin. Don’t concern yourself with the latest fads, but rather understand exactly what you are putting on your skin. There is no harm in using products from different brands either. You need products that are going to be effective and result in skin that most importantly feels healthy.”
Acids are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to skincare. There are plenty of great skincare products available to help give your skin a fighting chance against ageing and other skin concerns. For some of the best performing products available in South Africa, check out The Beautiful Store’s range of skincare and beauty products.