When to start using anti-ageing skincare according to a dermatologist

·Contributor
·4-min read

Dr. Shreya Andric is a dermatologist based in Sydney. She is passionate about skin health and her mission is to educate the public on how to care for their skin, and also clear up the vast amount of misinformation out there on this topic.

While Dr. Andric has independently chosen the products that appear in this article, she does not receive revenue from the links. Some of the links may return revenue to Yahoo Lifestyle Australia.

Dr Shreya Andric is a Sydney-based dermatologist on a mission to educate people on how to look after their skin. Photo: supplied.
Dr Shreya Andric is a Sydney-based dermatologist on a mission to educate people on how to look after their skin. Photo: supplied.

Skin ageing occurs via two pathways: intrinsic ageing, which occurs simply from the passage of time and extrinsic ageing, which is secondary to external factors such as ultraviolet (UV) irradiation, pollution, and cigarette smoking.

Intrinsic ageing is characterised by fine wrinkles, dryness and pigment changes on sun-protected sites, whereas extrinsic ageing is characterised by deeper wrinkles, rough texture, redness, coarse blood vessels, and pigment changes on sun-exposed sites.

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When to start an anti-ageing skincare routine

The signs of ageing can be evidence of a life well-lived, however, for many, anti-ageing skincare is not necessarily about 'hiding' your age, but protecting your skin and keeping it as healthy as it can be at each stage of life.

Unfortunately, there is not a lot we can do to prevent intrinsic ageing, however, the signs of extrinsic ageing can certainly be slowed with a healthy lifestyle and an effective skincare routine. But when to start?

During the teenage years and the twenties, collagen production is high and skin appears supple and firm. As collagen and elastin production starts to slow down and cellular renewal starts to slow down, the signs of ageing begin to show.

For most people, this will be around the age of 30 as fine lines especially around the eyes, the forehead and the mouth become more prominent. Some people are quite expressive, however, and they may start to see lines setting in even in their twenties.

In an ideal situation, an anti-ageing regimen should be started before wrinkles and fine lines have started to set in, ie. the early twenties.

Young woman with photo of aged eye over her own
Anti-ageing skincare should be introduced in the early twenties, says Dr Shreya. Photo: Getty Images.

Anti-ageing products to try

Sunscreen

Given UV irradiation is one of the biggest culprits causing extrinsic ageing, this is the time to be introducing a sunscreen into your daily routine and it is a habit that should be maintained for life.

It is important to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is at least SPF30+ and reapplying every 2-3 hours. Personally, I lean towards drier skin so I like using the UltraViolette Supreme Screen Hydrating Sunscreen. My patients who have oily/acne-prone skin really like the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreen.

Use of sun-protective clothing and hats also play a role.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Invisible Fluid Facial Sunscreen SPF 50+ 50ml, $32.95 from Adore Beauty. Photo: Adore Beauty.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Invisible Fluid Facial Sunscreen SPF 50+ 50ml, $32.95 from Adore Beauty. Photo: Adore Beauty.

Vitamin C

Antioxidants help to defend the skin against free radical damage. They will enhance the effect of your sunscreen and help to boost collagen production also. Vitamin C is my (and most dermatologist's) favourite antioxidant.

Your twenties is a good time to start using a vitamin C serum — for more on vitamin C check out my explainer piece.

Topical retinoids

Other than sunscreen, topical retinoids have the most clinical evidence showing their effectiveness in anti-ageing. They work by increasing cell turnover, therefore bringing the younger skin cells to the surface faster, and are able to penetrate through the top layer of the skin (the epidermis).

This prevents collagen breakdown and thickens the epidermis, which results in an improvement in fine lines when used consistently for a minimum of three months.

Retinoids should be introduced around the age of 30. A prescription-strength retinoid will obviously be more potent than an over-the-counter retinol but a retinol is a good place to start for most people to get your skin used to it. My preferred retinol is the SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0.

SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0, $127 from Adore Beauty
SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0, $127 from Adore Beauty

Hyaluronic acid

Another sign of ageing is skin dryness. As we age, it is important to keep the skin hydrated to maintain the skin barrier.

Hyaluronic acid is a sugar that occurs naturally in the body, including in the skin, the eyes and the joints. It plays a crucial role in skin moisture and can decrease the depth of wrinkles, reduce skin roughness and increase elasticity.

La Roche Posay's Hyalu B5 Pure Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum contains two types of pure hyaluronic acid as well as vitamin B5, which work together to hydrate skin immediately and over time.

In terms of general skin health, it is also important to maintain a healthy diet with plenty of water and nutritious food. In addition, avoiding sunbaking and smoking will keep your skin as youthful as possible.

La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Anti-Ageing Serum 30ml, $48.99 (on sale) from Chemist Warehouse
La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Anti-Ageing Serum 30ml, $48.99 (on sale) from Chemist Warehouse

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