As you’ll know if you read along regularly, last year I at last discovered that there’s a whole world of skincare out there. I was very late to the game! It’s now something that I enjoy and I have learned a fair bit more over the last few months. I have put a lot of the things right now and it’s never too late to start taking better care of yourself, but I do wish I had known some of this before, so I thought today I would share 3 skincare tips I would give my younger self.
Sunscreen is everything
This is the most basic step of skincare if you’re looking to take care of yourself, keep your skin healthy and safe, and to help slow down signs of aging.
I can’t tell you how many times I have tanned my face, even burning it several times as a teen and in my twenties. And now I can see it! This is obviously the biggest repair job that your skin needs to work on, along with trying to ensure your skin is healthy.
I now wear SPF 50 every day, with makeup including SPF on top of that. As the sunnier weather is now arriving, I will be reapplying regularly throughout the day.
I understand that there is absolutely no point in using other products to take care of my skin if I am not using SPF. Sun damage will not only undo every effort I am making, but some of the products I use can actually make my skin more sun sensitive so it could lead to significantly more damage.
Younger me, wear sunscreen.
Stop stripping your skin
Ah, the old stripping the skin of oils to make it less oily. Sound logic in my teens and the good old 90s, right? Nope!
If you strip and dry out your skin guess what it does? It works harder to produce more sebum so you become even more oily. Along with having dehydrated skin and potentially a weakened skin barrier which can then all lead to more spots and poor skin.
I get it now. I have plenty of hydrating products in my skincare routine, I use a few lovely toners and serums from Korean skincare. I understand the importance of keeping my skin hydrated, for oiliness, for the skin barrier, for having healthy skin.
Of course there is room for acids, masks, cleansers and exfoliants to help manage skin, but all in moderation and only on hydrated and healthy skin.
Younger me, stop punishing your skin, be more gentle.
Get some Vitamin A
Current advice is to begin using some form of Vitamin A from your mid-20s, perhaps a couple of times a week, building it up as you get older.
Vitamin A in skincare is retinoic acid, so includes the family of retinoids such as retinol, retinal and Retin-A.
Retinol stimulates production of new skin cells and helps to dispose of trapped melanin keeping it healthier and clearer.
Retinoids are the only (aside from SPF) scientifically endorsed products for actually fighting and reversing signs of photo-aging such as sun damage, reduced elasticity and fine lines. It takes good care of your skin, along with using the sunscreen.
Younger me, get on that retinol!
Now, I can’t go back and tell myself these things, but I can do something about them now and of course I do. It is never too late to work on getting healthy skin. These were some of the earliest things I looked to change and put right, sunscreen being my first priority.
Of course there have been other things that I now do differently such as double cleansing of an evening, using antioxidants every morning, using different products and so on, but these three are the things I believe make the biggest difference and are the three tips I would pass on to anyone starting out.
Whilst I can’t go back in time and tell my younger self all of this, I can help my kids out as they navigate this as their skin changes. I’d have loved help back then as a teenager as I struggled to control my teen skin, and a tip-off about the SPF would have been handy!
If you’re late to skincare too, it is worth checking out my skincare basics for complete beginners post as I shared lots of handy resources there and I shared recently a little about a brand I have been enjoying, Face Theory.
Have you always been good about taking care of your skin? Or what would you want to tell your younger self?