Every day a new magic ingredient makes its appearance in the news and on every shelf of every spa, salon and supermarket, which leaves us, the consumer, a little bit more confused on what to buy and what will work best for our skin.
The answer is simple; the skin is a leaving breathing organism just like we are. If you give it the right food and hydration it will be happy, if you don’t it will be thirsty, hungry and angry (pretty much just like us).
Our skin however goes through many changes throughout the decades so you have to consider the age factors as well. What drive the changes in our skin as we age are our hormones—from puberty, pregnancy, menopause and even stress. Our skin glows when estrogen becomes the dominant hormone in your body. It keeps our skin plump, firm and smooth by increasing collagen and elastin, the building blocks of healthy skin.
But when estrogen declines—during the week of your period, as you age and as menopause approaches—you can still take steps to help skin smooth out, firm up, and glow on. Here's how:
In your 20’s
What happens: Estrogen peaks during your 20s, giving most women their best-ever complexion: luminous, taut, and even-toned. Throughout the month, estrogen masks the sebum-producing effects of testosterone, but when estrogen dips the week leading up to your period, newly dominant testosterone makes its presence known in the form of breakouts and blemishes
What to do: Use a gel cleanser to get rid of the excess oil. Spend a minute to properly cleanse your skin and to give time for the product to emulsify all that oil. Rinse well and apply a toner to keep your PH balanced. Always moisturize with a water based moisturizer. Never skip the moisturizer as the skin will compensate the dryness on the surface by producing more oil.
In your 30’s
What happens: This is when estrogen levels start to dip, causing the decrease of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. Cell turnover slows, too, and skin bounces back less easily from inflammation.
How it looks: Dryer, thinner skin, more obvious traces of expression lines on the forehead and around the eyes. This is the beginning of age spots, and an increased flaring of inflammatory conditions like rosacea and occasional acne.
What to feed it: Now is the time to start your anti-ageing regimen especially at night when the skin rests and repairs. A mild glycolic or salicylic chemical exfoliator will help get rid of the dull, dry cells on the surface and increase product penetration. Look into serums and moisturizers with vitamins, especially A and C which are powerful antioxidants that prevent environmental damage to your skin.
In your 50’s and beyond
What happens: Estrogen comes to a halt during menopause and testosterone takes center stage. You'll lose a third of your collagen within the first five years of menopause, and with it your skin's bounce-back, moisture and glow. Inflammation also peaks, making skin more vulnerable to damage from sun, smoke, and pollution.
How it looks: Skin thins, dries, deflates and gets looser. Lines become deeper, pores stretch, lids may sag and become hooded, eye sockets hollow, spider veins may become more visible, age spots show up, and small-yet-benign bumps, patches, or skin tags may grow. Expect peach fuzz, if you didn't already have it, on the cheeks, chin, and upper lip.
What to feed it: It's time to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, because without the natural hyaluronic acid that comes with estrogen, skin doesn't hold onto moisture. Serums with peptides will help force your body produce collagen and elastin without the presence of estrogen. Niacinamide will reduce redness and sun spots and ceramides will help keep your protective barrier intact.
In addition, there are several available procedures that help increase collagen production such as LED light, proven to stimulate fibroblasts to increase collagen and elastin, Microneedling will activate the injury response of your skin producing more collagen to counteract the injuries created by the needles, RF lift which helps remodel the existing collagen fibers, Injectables such as Botox will help paralyze the muscles and temporarily reduce the lines and wrinkles around your eyes and on your forehead, Juvederm to help plump areas on the lower side of your face.No matter your age, remember one ounce of prevention equals five pounds of care.
Eliana has over 20 years experience in skin care. She has trained and managed estheticians at MAC Day spa, formerly Sanda Ganè European day spa. She is now the owner of Refinery21 studio and she is always available for free consultations. Email her with any skin care related questions at Eliana@refinery21studio.com