Right before I turned 16 (ages ago), I remember lamenting to my mom how tragically old I was. It was the beginning of the end, I decried. After all, I was in drama, always snagging the leading roles in my high school’s productions. I did NOT want wrinkles “like an old person.” I told her I wanted Oil of Olay for my birthday.
Mom, always there with her stellar sense of humor, made sure to include a bottle of it “for the ‘old’ lady” she’d written on the card.
Needless to say, I’ve always looked after my skin since the days of my youth. Even when I made poor choices about everything else (which I finally gave up), I always took care of my skin.
But it wasn’t that I used an anti-aging product. In fact, I went on to use many other brands not designed for aging skin. It begs the questions…what happens if a young person uses anti-aging products?
In short, nothing.
Anti-aging products aren’t some miracle that will stop you from ever aging. Your skin ages because YOU age. You can’t top the hands of time because aging starts from the inside out.
However, the good news is if you take care of yourself and your skin, you’ll slow down that process. It’s not to say that anti-aging products don’t work…they do! But at a young age, you’re really wasting your time. You should establish a proper skincare routine for your skin type, protect it from the sun, and always keep it moisturized.
Oh, and don’t ever, ever, ever go to sleep with your makeup still on. Your boyfriend doesn’t really believe you woke up like this and if he’s worth keeping around, he’ll love you without makeup too. Love your skin more by religiously worshipping it with a stringent morning and nighttime skincare routine.
Let me tell you a bit more why you shouldn’t use anti-aging products at a young age and more about what you should do to always look fabulous! But first let’s clarify a few things.
Using an anti-aging product at a young age won’t make your skin lazy
There are some rumors swirling around that if you use anti-aging products at a young age, it will make your skin “lazy.” Like it gets used to the ingredients and therefore will stop responding to them.
Well, that’s just silly. Skin can’t be lazy, not unless it’s you that’s being the lazy one (like what I said above about not removing your makeup before you go to bed). If you want to keep your skin looking full of vitality, it’s best to keep active. You don’t need to be a gym rat, but find your favorite way to get active whether it’s dancing or running through the trails in the forest. Anything goes as long as it keeps you moving.
By keeping active, you keep your circulation going. And with that circulation, you send oxygen and key nutrients through your blood to all the tissues in your body. As people age, they look much younger when they’re active. Don’t blow it!
Also, make sure you’re eating healthfully. Sure, at your age, you can eat a whole pizza and drink a keg of beer without gaining an ounce. But it’s more than that. This kind of eating WILL catch up with you (I promise you on that). While living a little is a good thing, living la vida loca every day is going to take its toll. Make sure you eat plenty of protein (even plant-based is good) to help build your skin tissues. Fill your plate with fresh fruits and veggies, cook without tons of oils, avoid fried things as much as possible, and for the love of everything, keep processed foods out of your life.
In my own home, my pantry is full of organic, minimally-processed items like wheat pasta for example. You won’t find food with chemicals, preservatives, and artificial colors and flavors in my home. These foods can have cancerous effects, not just for the skin but for the entire body. The fresher you eat, the fresher your skin will always look.
Why you shouldn’t start using anti-aging products at a young age
So, if it doesn’t hurt to use anti-aging products at a young age, then why shouldn’t you use them? It’s certainly a good question, but there are several reasons why you should stick to products that aren’t designed for aging skin when you’re still young.
– It’s a waste of money
While no harm would come of using anti-aging products in your 20s, these tend to be more expensive. You need nourishing vitamins, natural oils, minerals, and other beneficial ingredients, but you can get them in formulations designed for your skin.
Any dermatologist will tell you that using skincare products designed for your skin type is THE way to get your best skin. Think about it. If you have oily skin and try to use dry skin products, your skin will never improve. It’s the same concept here. You don’t need to shell out the big bucks for those luxury anti-aging products right now.
Save your money. Literally. Put it in a savings account and when you’re old enough to need anti-aging products, you’ll have plenty of money to spend, and enough left over for sweet handbags and shoes.
– It can cause acne especially for oily skin
Now, if you have oily skin, those rich ingredients in anti-aging skincare can make it worse. Like I said, you need to focus on your skin type. Yes, they make anti-aging products for oily skin, but because those ingredients are designed to treat aging skin as well, you’re not giving your skin the best. Use something formulated for your skin type.
Oily skin is more prone to breakouts so get right to the source and enjoy your youthful skin by making it clearer. Getting a handle on breakouts now is your best defense from acne marks and scaring which will definitely look worse as you get older.
– There is no proof that anti-aging products are working when it comes to a young skin
Not all anti-aging products are created equal either. It might seem like a good idea at the time to snap one off the supermarket shelf and toss it in the cart along with your groceries. But dermatologists say many of these ordinary formulas don’t go through the kinds of testing they should be to confirm their effectiveness.
In other words, clever marketing is all around you, scaring you into anti-aging skincare when you don’t need it and promising products that deliver results when they don’t. Some brands DO have unbiased and documented scientific research to back up their ingredients, but these are pharmaceutical-grade brands. And these, my dear, are indeed pricey. That’s why you should save your money. Anything effective is going to cost a pretty penny.
When should you use anti-aging products?
Most of you 20-somethings won’t need to use anti-aging products. Yet. Much of it depends on your lifestyle. Did you grow up on the beach like me, constantly out in the surf with your friends? Did you play sports outside all the time? Sit out by the pool and sunbathe the day away? If so, you’ll need to incorporate them sooner than someone that stayed out of the sun most of the time.
Even if you were vigilant with your sunscreen, you may need to start them earlier. The good news is though that if you’re still in your 20s, you can start now with a good sunscreen habit. Don’t skip it. You’ll wind up with age spots in your 40s and leathery skin. It WILL happen to you if you do not take steps to care for your skin and your health.
Another factor is genetics. Look at your family tree. Do your parents still look young? Chances are if they look years younger than they are, you will too. That doesn’t mean you should slack on skincare though. Even with good genes, you need to take care of yourself now so you can be that person that looks good for their age.
Best anti-aging formula for a young person
Want to know the secret anti-aging formula for young people? I drank out of the Fountain of Youth! I’m not joking about that, but I honestly don’t think that helped me look younger. I took care of my skin by using sunscreen, I ate right, and I exercised too. And I still do those things.
If you want the key to your own Fountain of Youth so you can keep on with that wrinkle-free forehead and avoid crow’s feet, you should be sure to follow this formula detailed below.
– Avoid smoking
Smoking. It looks so cool, so carefree. But we all know the real dangers of it. In addition to what you likely know about smoking being harmful for your health, it prevents your body from making enough collagen (that’s what keeps your skin bouncy and youthful) and it can bring on premature wrinkles.
They’ve done studies on this with twins too. One twin smoked while the other didn’t, and guess which twin looked better years later? The one that didn’t smoke!
– Always use sunscreen
While smoking seems cool, sunscreen feels very uncool. I know, I was young once too. But take that time to protect your skin. And I don’t just mean at the beach, pool, or while running outside. Any exposed skin on your hands, arms, etc. should be covered with sunscreen.
Even if you’re just driving to your office job. That sun comes in and causes damage to the skin on your hands, face, and neck.
Every day, use a sunscreen that provides broad spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of 30 or higher (up to SPF 50). Don’t skip it. You will reap the benefits when you look like you’re still in your 20s when you’re in your 40s, trust me.
– Stick to a good moisturizer
Moisturized skin will always keep you looking youthful. Find a quality moisturizer for your skin type. There are effective ones in every price range for every type of skin. Just leave the anti-aging out of it.
Do your research and read your labels. There are so many buzz words with skincare now. Cut through that clutter and choose the stuff that has scientific backing to improve and protect skin. By keeping skin properly hydrated, you’ll keep it bouncy and youthful.
There’s no need to panic at your age about anti-aging skincare products. You really don’t need them at this point. Your best course of action in preventative maintenance. This will keep your whole body healthy and youthful, with the added bonus of having fabulous, glowing skin.
Eat good-for-you-foods. Drink plenty of water. Exercise daily. Ingest plenty of antioxidants. Go to sleep at a reasonable time. Don’t drink soda. Avoid sugary, fried, and fatty foods as much as possible. Quit smoking. Slather on sunscreen. And do all those healthy things you’re often encouraged to do.
These things might seem a bit tragically uncool, but I can think of something worse…looking old when you’re not old! I speak from the experience of a woman who had her fun in the sun and thankfully listened to her nagging doctor-daddy to always put that sunscreen on before I went out to the pool or beach. At my reunion, I looked much the same as I had in my youth while other friends of mine looked like grandparents!
Be smart about your skincare from the inside out and you’ll be just fine!