Are You Anti-Aging Too Early?


Now more than ever, the words “anti-aging” and “preventative aging” are being used by so many when it comes to their skin. This includes those in their 20s and even teens. I hear it from my clients all the time—”I really want to take care of my skin to prevent aging and wrinkles.” While I couldn’t agree more with this mindset, for those in their 20s and younger, some may actually be causing more problems for their skin in an effort to do this.

Here’s three areas where young skin types may want to go easy: 

Exfoliation. What you need to understand is that normal cell function still occurs in your 20s (unless you have severe acne), and many anti-aging products are focused on stimulating cell turnover by exfoliating the skin using ingredients like glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids. Many people will use acids in their serums, scrubs, and cleansers, and this can be too aggressive, damaging the skin’s barrier function, resulting in redness and irritation. Add in twice daily usage of a cleansing brush like Clarisonic and your skin will definitely be over-exfoliated. This is anything but healthy and anti-aging for a young skin type. Once cell regeneration slows down, starting in your 30s and beyond, you can increase the amount of exfoliation to keep cells behaving young. Exfoliation should be kept to only a few days a week. See exfoliating skin care products.

Read: Is the Clarisonic Brush Harmful or Helpful to the Skin?

Moisturizing. There is a common misconception that the richer the moisturizer is, the better it is for preventing and softening wrinkles and ultimately better for preventing aging. If your skin is very dry, your skin does need intensive moisture using lipid-rich oils, but normal, combination, acne-prone, and oily skin types do not need this. The result can be clogged pores, breakouts, and an increase in blackheads.

Serums. I love a good serum and I firmly believe that using one under your moisturizer day and night can dramatically increase how your skin looks and behaves. But those in their 20s and younger have to be careful. Many serums have active ingredients in them that are designed to be anti-aging by increasing the metabolism of the cells (such as certain vitamin combinations and peptides). However, these ingredients may be too active for younger skin and those prone to breakouts, since this type of skin already has an active metabolism. This stimulation may increase breakouts of the skin.

The best way to prevent aging for young skin is to use sunscreen every single day of the year; eat a diet rich in antioxidants to prevent aging from the inside (read my anti-aging tips); and always, always, always use products exclusively formulated for your skin type. Once you get into your 30s and acne is mostly behind you, you can start to consider incorporating more active ingredients into your skin routine.

Read: Skin Tips by Age

Read: Four Ingredients Your Facial Cleanser Should Never Contain

Read: Should You Get Botox to Prevent Wrinkles from Forming or Getting Worse?

Which skin care products are best for you? See our nine skin types or take our Skin Type Quiz and get products recommended.

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Renée Rouleau

Celebrity Esthetician & Skincare Expert
As an esthetician trained in cosmetic chemistry, Renée Rouleau has spent 30 years researching skin, educating her audience, and building an award-winning line of products. Trusted by celebrities, editors, bloggers, and skincare obsessives around the globe, her vast real-world knowledge and constant research are why Marie Claire calls her “the most passionate skin practitioner we know.”