Recognizing your skintype and its needs is the foundation of a successful skincare recipe. In this section I’ve covered the most common skin problems. Let’s troubleshoot together: I’ll share my best tips and product recommendations.
Aging skin is not a skin type because all types of skin age all the time. Our biological age can also be completely different from our skin age. Skin aging takes place in two different ways: chronologically, as we grow older, and extrinsically, which typically is called aging prematurely. It’s interesting that the great majority of skin aging is extrinsic, i.e. premature aging, instead of, for instance, being genetic.
Premature skin aging is caused by excessive sunbathing, an unhealthy diet that lacks in nutrients, heavy use of alcohol, smoking, air pollution, lack of exercise and fresh air, too intense physical exercise without proper recovery, chronical stress, too little sleep, and insufficient skin care. All of these factors increase the production of free radicals, in other words oxidative stress, that cause cell damage. This is why antioxidants are important in skin care for people of all ages because they help in neutralizing free radicals.
The signs of chronological and premature skin aging are similar. Skin becomes dryer, thinner and starts to sag more. This is caused by a decline in the levels of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid that keep our skin full, elastic and firm. In addition, the level of sebum on the skin’s surface decreases, which also causes dryness of skin. Due to saggy tissues, skin pores may become larger even on dry skin.
A useful rule of thumb is that you can start treating your skin as aging skin around the age of 35. However, the most important thing is to examine your skin’s condition. Sometimes the skin of a 30-year-old can look ten years older, if skin care has been neglected and lifestyle has been unhealthy for a longer period of time. If you have been sun-worshipping a lot when you were younger, the signs will start showing retroactively, sometimes even only after ten years, and the skin may appear a lot older than what your biological age is. If the skin is showing signs of premature aging, a course of treatments with anti-age products intended for older skin can be used. In addition, if you sunbathe often during the summer or travel in the Southern Hemisphere during the winter, an intensive course of anti-age treatment is suitable also for skin that’s under 30 years old.
High-quality natural cosmetics products automatically treat the signs of premature skin aging because they contain humectants, micronutrients, antioxidants and fatty acids. In other words, the skin is treated with ingredients that moisturize the skin, neutralize oxidative stress, strengthen the skin’s protective barrier aka its hydrolipidic film, and support cell renewal. In addition to all of these, actual anti-age products for aging skin also contain ingredients that prevent the developing of sunspots and help in boosting collagen and elastin, to firm the skin and smooth out wrinkles.
Depending on the skin’s structure, aging skin can be exfoliated 1–2 times per month. If the skin is thin, it can be exfoliated once a month, or even less frequently. You shouldn’t use mechanical exfoliation; instead, depending on your skin type and sensitivity, choose a mild peel consisting of fruit acids or enzymes or a very fine-grained clay-based micro scrub. If your skin isn’t sensitive, you can use a fruit acid peel. In the winter cold, it’s best to exfoliate less often; once a month is sufficient. Steer clear of fruit acid peels during the summer months. In the summer, a clay-based micro scrub is a good choice, as it also helps deep clean the pores from sunblock. Clay-based scrubs are very fine-grained to the degree that they feel grainless, so you can use this kind of exfoliation for example once a week.
You can use a renewing and firming cream mask or gel mask once a week on aging skin. Especially in the winter and in the summer, you can leave the mask on the skin overnight, and follow up in the morning by cleansing your skin with cleansing oil or cleansing milk. You must always remember to use a facial mask after exfoliating. In treating aging skin, steer clear of masks that dry and tighten on the skin because they remove moisture from the skin.
In late autumn, in November, you should switch your moisturizer to a richer one, which should then be used until April. A rich moisturizer helps prevent moisture evaporating from the skin in cold and windy weather.