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How to care for your skin at every age

Yahoo Lifestyle
11 January 2013

While the majority of us update our wardrobe on a regular basis, it's all too easy to forget that our skin care regime needs regular overhauls, too.

Here's how to find the ideal products for your skin, whatever your age.

15 to 25

Young skin needs less moisture but extra help controlling bacteria and preventing spots, although it's important to remember that the very ingredients commonly used to treat spots can often lead to dryness. 

Those with oily skin should look for mattifying products infused with anti-bacterial ingredients, while those prone to drier skin should opt for light moisturisers which won't clog pores.

It's also important to exfoliate regularly as cell turnover is highest when we're younger, and exfoliating will help to boost radiance by removing dead skin cells.

[Related: Celebrity skin secrets revealed]

 "People between 15 and 25 are looking for products which will treat the major problem: acne and imperfections,” says Aurélie Guyoux, scientific director at skincare brand Etat Pur.

"That’s why the ideal products are ones which contain ingredients with purifying and sebum-regulating properties, like Zinc Gluconate and salicylic acid. 

People between 15 and 25 are also looking for light moisturising textures, perfectly suited to their oily or combination skin, and for cleansers capable of absorbing toxins, impurities and sebum."

Product suggestion: The Body Shop Tea Tree facial wash, £5 / €6, The Body Shop

25 to 40

Once we get to out mid-20s, sebum production tends to slow down and the first signs of aging will also appear.

“People between 25 and 40 have two major needs: moisturisation and the prevention of ageing,” says Aurélie Guyoux.

It's also worth investing in a product specifically for use on the eye area, where the skin is especially delicate. Smile lines may also appear deeper, while smokers and sun-lovers will often notice fine lines and wrinkles earlier than others.

Cleansing also becomes more important - a PH-balanced cleanser can help to prevent and reduce the signs of ageing by helping to maintain the skin's delicate moisture barrier.

[Related: The 10 best vitamin C skincare products]

Exfoliate regularly - we're more likely to suffer from an uneven skin tone in our thirties and removing the dead skin cells is essential for a clear, radiant complexion.

Depending on your skin type, it might be best to avoid powder-based foundations, which can sit in fine lines. Instead, opt for liquid formats and use a primer underneath.

Rituals Line Defence Eye Lotion, £22.50 / €27, www.rituals.com

40 to 55

The forties and fifties can be quite a tough time for skin. “Between the ages of 45 and 55, a lot of changes happen to what’s known as pre-menopausal skin,” says Nataliya Robinson, skincare therapist and founder of www.nataliyarobinson.co.uk

“The lack of oestrogen within the skin can lead to a decrease in both thickness and the suppleness." Sun protection becomes even more important, as the skin is less able to protect itself from harmful rays.

"The number of melanocytes (melanin-producing cells) decreases with age, so there is less natural protection," explains Nataliya. 

"Skin also needs to be strengthened with lipids, vitamins and liposomes. Vitamins A, C and E should all be used in your skin care regime, as they increase the regeneration of your skin, as well as having anti-oxidant properties. 

A night cream is as important to use as a day cream as at night we absorb key ingredients more deeply.”

Clarins Extra-Firming Night Rejuvenating Cream, £48 / €58, Boots

[Related: Cut your chemical skincare count]

55 and upwards

Women aged 55 and over are more likely to suffer from sensitive skin, so look for products which contain natural ingredients. 

“From the age of 60 upwards the production of collagen and elastin starts to reduce and the skin's metabolism starts to slow down,” says Nataliya Robinson.

“As a result women can experience allergic reactions, dry skin, flaky skin and discolouration. At this stage of life, skin can react badly to certain products, so make sure you use hypoallergenic products."

Night time skincare becomes even more important, but consider ditching cream for an oil, which will seal in moisture.

"Invest in a high quality oil, such as almond oil, apricot kernel oil or jojoba oil," suggests Nataliya. "In addition, a good moisturising cream with SPF built-in will help to protect the skin from more pigmentation while also infusing it with moisture."

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Premiere Intense Moisture and Renewal Overnight Regeneration Cream, £72 / €87, Boots

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