Skin Care Guides

Preventative Skin Care

6 minute read

It doesn’t matter how old you are, skin care journey, or what stage of life you’re at, taking care of your skin can start at any time.

Preventative skin care isn’t the same as anti-aging—especially if you’re in your teens and twenties. Anti-aging skin care often focuses on anti-wrinkles, age spots, or sagginess. In reality, aging is natural, and the only way we can really “stop” this process is to take care of our skin before we become self-conscious.

By the time we realize our skin is at a mature state, albeit with wrinkles, age spots, and the other whatnots, unfortunately, it’s too little, too late. Which begs the question, do anti-aging products really work, and are they worth it? That’s a can of worms for next time.

When we’re young, our skin naturally produces collagen, hyaluronic acid, and estalin. These three components are what keeps our skin looking plump and “youthful.” Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.

According to some dermatologists, our natural collagen production slows down when we reach our late 20s and inevitably our 30s.

Now this is where preventative skin care comes in play. And no, I don’t mean fancy zapping tools. We’re talking about the routine we constantly scrutinize and products spend our preciously earned $$ bills on.

One angle we can approach our preventative skin care routine is as a long-term plan—kind of like an investment. According to Dendy Engelman, MD, in a feature with Byrdie, she suggests we should have a 10-year skin care plan by the time we sing happy birthday for the 30th time.

“Prevention is better than a cure… In most things health and beauty, prevention is key. From wrinkles to hyperpigmentation, the more you protect and pre-treat your skin with proper ingredients and formulas, the better equipped you are to combat signs of aging.” - Dr. Dendy Engelman

Another vital point to consider when we think about ‘prevention’ is the ingredients we choose. It’s crucial we chose the right ingredients and products that work with our skin type. Don’t pick a product because a YouTube beauty guru raved about it. Reflect upon your skin’s needs and how you truly feel. Our skin changes, which means it’s essential we adapt, too.

For instance, if you’re 18, you don’t necessarily need an eye cream; invest in an exfoliator. Or, if you’re 28; invest in an intensive night serum. Taking a few minutes to research about products can save you money (and skin mishaps) in the long run.

So, if you already have a steady skin care routine with a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and more, your preventative skin care routine is almost complete. Additionally, if you’re one to jump on trends and hype trains, you may have included retinoids in your routines, too. Retinoids products are powerful antioxidant products that help skin cells turn over. (Remember, it’s not an exfoliant).

While retinoids are marketed toward an older demographic, dermatologist in an interview with British Vogue, Dr. Maryam Zamani, says:

“I think it’s good to start on an over-the-counter retinol in your early to mid-20s to give your skin time to acclimatise, but unless it’s for acne control reasons, prescription strength should come a lot later,” - Dr. Maryam Zamani

After surveying many various sources from beauty publications, beauty blogs, and dermatologist interviews, here are some of the most commonly recommended products to incorporate in your preventative skin care routine.

  • Sunscreen
  • Vitamin C
  • Exfoliation
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Retinoid
  • Gel Cleanser

Applying your creams and skin care products on your neck and décolletage can also prevent wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, too!

There are several factors to consider when setting up your preventative skin care routine. These factors go beyond the products we use on our faces. The environment plays a massive role in how our skin feels and reacts daily. So, be sure to get enough sleep, eat well, and protect yourself from UV rays and pollutants.

Embrace your skin, embrace aging—and don’t forget, the older we get, the wiser you are.

Our Picks:

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, $166

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum, $38

COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser, $14