At what age should you start using anti-ageing skincare products?

Wondering when you should start incorporating anti-ageing products into your skincare routine to prevent wrinkles? This expert’s answer will surprise you.

Rewind 10 years ago and the concept of anti-ageing was just a miniscule addition to your beauty routine. Nowadays it’s the biggest skincare trend of the moment.

Terms such as ‘wrinkle-free’, ‘collagen boosting’ and ‘lift and plump’ are placed front and centre on packaging. People are now more aware of the importance of wearing SPF to prevent free radical damage. Ingesting edible beauty elixirs and bars are now a thing. And is your skincare routine really complete if you don’t gua sha? (pfft, that’s a hard N-O).

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So, in an age where preventing wrinkles is everyone’s biggest concern, it begs the question: when exactly should you start using anti-ageing skincare products?

“In our younger years, the concept of anti-ageing is usually not a consideration,” Biologi’s Dermal Specialist Lucy Macdougald tells Body+Soul. “Our teens and twenties are the years where collagen is free-flowing, often leaving skin supple and firm. However, as we age, collagen and elastin production starts to slow down, leaving us with visible signs that the passing years have crept upon us.

“It’s important to note that there’s nothing wrong with ageing because the lines and wrinkles can tell the story of a life well lived. However, for many, reversing the signs of ageing isn’t necessarily about ‘hiding’ their age, instead about increasing confidence.”

Macdougald notes that the 30-year-old mark is when people often start thinking about anti-ageing products into their skincare routine once they notice fine lines around the eye area becoming more prominent.

“At this age many people might also notice fine lines around their mouth area, along with the ramifications of previous sun exposure (such as sun spots or pigmentation). As ageing becomes more noticeable with each passing year, it’s worth noting that cells start to age long before we can see the visible signs,’ she explains.

“In the thirties, cellular renewal starts to slow down which is often why people start to really notice signs of ageing during those years.”

But – and there’s a big but – thirty is too late to start investing in wrinkle-banishing products.

“After all, how you take care of your skin before that has a dramatic impact on your skin as it ages.”

Macdougald swears by one rule when talking about anti-ageing: “prevention is always better than cure.”

“The most effective way to slow down the signs of ageing is to start early and be consistent. It’s not impossible, but once the signs of ageing have started to appear, it becomes much harder to reverse them.

“I always recommend beginning an anti-ageing regime well before the wrinkles and fine lines have set in.” More specifically, “your early twenties”.

Your twenties should be all about focusing on those antioxidants and sunscreen.

“During your twenties is an important time to start building antioxidant protection. Antioxidant protection can be the best form of defence against free radical damage (which is almost impossible to avoid in our modern-day world). Antioxidants will build the protective dermal layer, whilst helping to boost collagen production and combating free radical damage.

“Your twenties are also the time to start applying sunscreen daily and adopting this as a habit for your entire life.”

But it goes beyond just applying serums and creams to your face – your lifestyle plays a huge role in your ageing process, too.

“Every day, the impact of both internal and external ageing factors take their toll on skin cells. Anti-ageing can therefore be looked at from a holistic point of view by ensuring that you live a lifestyle that will be kind to your skin.

“Beyond using anti-ageing skincare products in your twenties, maintaining a healthy diet, with plenty of water and nutritious food will assist with the process,” Macdougald explains.

“Also abstaining from activities that might negatively affect your skin like sunbaking and smoking will keep your skin in its most youthful condition possible.”

Best anti-ageing skincare products of 2020

Need help on choosing the best anti-ageing products? Here’s our top picks of the best anti-ageing products:

Biologi Bm Regenerate Anti-Ageing Serum, $125 at Biologi

Alpha-H Liquid Gold Midnight Reboot Serum, $129 at Sephora

The Ordinary No-Brainer Set, $49 at Deciem

Edible Beauty Beauty Reset Drops, $42 at Edible Beauty

La Roche Posay Pure Vitamin C10 Serum, $69.95 at Adore Beauty

IT Cosmetics Confidence in Your Beauty Sleep, $79 at Sephora

The Beauty Chef Antioxidant Inner Beauty Boost 500ml, $42 at Adore Beauty

Youth to the People Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream, $87 at Sephora