Skincare Essentials At Every Age

Our skincare needs change as we enter different phases of our lives. What worked for you in your twenties will be useless as you enter your thirties, forties and fifties.

If you don’t adapt to your skin’s ever changing needs you could be missing out on crucial steps that will keep your complexion at it’s best. No matter where you’re at, here are the skincare essentials you don’t want to miss.

In Your Teens

Benzoyl Peroxide for Breakouts

Being a teenager is hard enough without having to deal with the added stress of dealing with breakouts. Acne is experienced by 85% of teenagers, ranging from a few mild pimples to severe cystic spots. Skip the heavily fragranced formulas and pretty packaging for effective treatments that work quickly and efficiently.








Benzac AC 2.5% Mild Acne Gel ($17.99) is a clinically proven acne treatment that contains glycerin to keep the skin soft. If your skin is extremely oily, you can use Benzac AC 5% Moderate Acne Gel ($19.99), which has a higher strength of Benzoyl Peroxide.

Purifying Cleanser

Even if you don’t suffer from acne, younger women are prone to overactive sebaceous glands, which leads to blocked pores and shiny skin. Using a purifying cleanser morning and night will help to rid the skin of dead skin cells and excess oil.










Olay Fresh Effects {Shine, Shine Go Away!} Shine Minimising Cleanser ($10.99) is a deep cleaning, purifying cleanser, which removes dirt, oil and makeup to leave your complexion clear and refreshed.


In Your 20’s

Antioxidant Serum

You’ve heard it before, your 20’s are all about prevention from the sun and environmental damage. What you probably haven’t heard is that an antioxidant serum is an absolutely non-negotiable part of your skincare routine. Topical antioxidants protect cells from free radicals caused by UV and environmental pollutants. By neutralising free radicals within the skin, antioxidants stop damage to DNA, collagen and elastin.










Apply an antioxidant serum daily in the AM before sunscreen. A great option is The Jojoba Company CoQ10 Antioxidant Serum ($49.95).


Nothing accelerates the aging process more than sun exposure without protection. Fortunately, accelerated aging from sun exposure is completely preventable. This is why sunscreen is the greatest anti-aging product of all time.

Aside from very real risks of skin cancer or looking like an old leathery handbag, the damage from UV rays counteracts the benefits of even the most expensive anti-aging treatments, so save your money and use protection daily.












Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face SPF 50+ Superscreen ($40) is ultra hydrating and non-greasy with pomegranate extract and vitamin E to soothe skin. This is the perfect everyday sunscreen as it doubles as a fantastic primer for your makeup.












Sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two to three hours, which is extremely inconvenient with a full face of makeup. This is why you should keep a dry sunscreen in your handbag at all times. DermaQuest’s On-the-Go Finishing Powder SPF 30 ($99) is a convenient dry sunscreen with a built in brush that makes sunscreen touch-ups through out the day a breeze. Since the powder is translucent, you can dust some on your scalp for extra protection.

In Your 30’s

Eye Cream

The skin around the eye area is one of the first places you will see early signs of aging, so if you didn’t begin using an eye cream in your 20’s now is the time to start. The delicate eye area is too fragile for your usual face cream so fine lines, dark circles and puffiness must be treated with a product specifically formulated for the eye area.

Just as important as the eye cream itself is how you apply it. Eye cream is best applied with your pinkie, dabbing the cream along the lower bone of your eye socket, outward away from the nose. Also apply cream with the same dabbing motion on your upper lid following the bone of your upper eye socket, outwards away from the nose. This ensures the cream will be properly absorbed and treat the entire eye area.

A note on dark circles: unfortunately if lack of sleep is not the cause then it’s most likely genetic.











Sleep deprived or not, dark circles will rear their ugly head at some point so choosing an eye cream that brightens the eye area, whilst also targeting the signs of aging is genius. Ren’s Keep Young and Beautiful Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eye Lift ($87) instantly lifts and brightens the eye area whilst also reducing the appearance of fine lines and crows feet.


Retinol is the MVP of anti-aging ingredients. It is a powerful vitamin A derivative that increases collagen production, speeds up cell turnover and repair, and shrinks oil glands. A prescription retinol such as Tretinoin is the most effective option, however many over-the-counter products can still bring in impressive results.

If you’re using a retinol for the first time, it’s important to introduce it into your routine slowly. This will avoid a bad reaction while your skin is getting used to the product. Retinol increases your skin’s sensitivity to the sun so make sure you are always wearing sun protection.

When choosing a retinol formula, it’s best to look for creams that show the percentage of retinol in the bottle. An effective formula should contain 0.5% – 1% retinol.











Paula’s Choice 1% Retinol Treatment ($78) is a high-percentage retinol treatment combined with vitamin C, peptides, antioxidants and plant-based anti-irritants.

In Your 40’s

Peptides to Boost Collagen

As you age, collagen production slows down, resulting in fine wrinkles, thin skin, loss of firmness and dry skin. When you hit your 40’s it’s imperative to add collagen boosters to your routine to slow down the intrinsic aging process.

Peptides are short chains of amino acids, which were first used topically to heal wounds as they regulate growth rates of skin cells, limit oxidation and create an anti-inflammatory environment. Peptides are an effective anti-aging ingredient as they stimulate collagen production and speed up skin cell turnover.












Adding a serum such as Ultraceuticals Ultra C10+ Firming Serum ($106), which contains two peptides (Microelastin and MicroCollagen) will help to stimulate the skin’s natural renewal of collagen and elastin. This results in smoothing wrinkles and improving skin firmness.

Dark Spot Corrector

Nothing ruins a luminous, healthy complexion quite like dark spots and an uneven skin tone. Pigmentation, freckles and dark spots are all caused by a build up of melanin, most likely from years of UV damage. Your first line of treatment is fading the melanin with brightening/ whitening products.











Shiseido White Lucent Microtargeting Spot Corrector ($149) improves existing dark spots and builds the skin’s resilience to resist new dark spots.

In Your 50’s

Rich Night Cream

After 50, your main priority will be preventing dryness, as you are more prone to dehydration, flakiness and irritation. Since your skin cells repair overnight, a rich night cream filled with nourishing anti-aging ingredients is a no brainer.










Kiehl’s Super Multi Corrective Cream ($78) supports epidermal renewal and helps visibly correct wrinkles, fine lines, loss of suppleness and elasticity, while smoothing and retexturing the skin’s surface. It’s gentle enough for sensitive skin, so it won’t aggravate any irritation caused from dryness.

Advanced Wrinkle Treatments

You may feel like there’s not much you can do in your 50’s to improve the appearance of existing wrinkles but this is far from the truth. The skincare industry has come a long way, and although there are plenty of gimmicks on the market, there’s also some amazing breakthrough products backed by clinically proven results.











Your at home skincare routine is now more important than ever. An advanced anti-aging booster will hydrate, firm, plump and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Kate Somerville Dermal Quench Liquid Lift Advanced Wrinkle Treatment ($144) blends hyaluronic acid (a natural moisturiser produced by the body to keep tissues cushioned and lubricated), artificial oxygen carriers and botanical extracts to combat the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin, uneven skin tone and dryness.


Written by Sophie Howe.