Beauty & Anti-Aging

Skincare Through the Years

Look your best at every age
Karina Timmel

Regardless of your age, the ingredients for glowing skin are a nutritious diet, plenty of water and regular exercise. Once those basics are covered, the next step is evaluating your skin care regime to make sure you are doing what’s appropriate for your skin type and age. Read on for expert tips to help you maintain healthy, great-looking skin.

In your 20s, you should…

Concentrate on maintaining clean, moisturized skin and preventing sun damage. Twenty-somethings often don’t think about their skin, but it’s much easier to slow signs of aging than reverse them, says Mindy Terry, founder and president of Creative Spa Concepts. The key daily products include: cleanser, toner, moisturizer and “you should be using a sunscreen with SPF 20-30 that has a zinc or titanium dioxide,” says Raena Gruber, medical aesthetician with Aesthetic Specialty Centre. For a complete block, you need to use a moisturizer and a regular sunscreen; Terry recommends using compatible products from the same line to prevent oil buildup on skin.

As another preventative measure, Melissa Babcock, M.D., F.A.A.D., of Babcock Dermatology suggests incorporating a product with antioxidants like green tea to further protect the skin and keep it looking youthful.

In your 30s…

Integrate anti-aging products, such as an eye cream and deeper exfoliation into your routine. “Introduce an eye cream before you see that you actually need it and never quit using it,” Terry says. “Important to note, the skin around eyes is thinner and more
delicate, so don’t just use your regular moisturizer in this area.”

That translucent, dewy look tends to fade in your 30s because of layers of dead skin cells on your face. “Because of sun damage, the skin’s surface cells begin to die and not renew as quickly so that by the time you’re 30 years old, you have about 30 layers of dead cells on the surface of your skin,” says John Armitage Rusca, M.D., plastic surgeon and medical director of The Spa at the Institute for Aesthetic Surgery. Dr. Rusca recommends applying a type of topical acid—lactic, glycolic and alpha-hydroxy will all do the trick—to slough off the dead cells and stimulate collagen and elastin production. While you can find over-the-counter acids with a 3- to 10-percent acid concentration, dermatologists offer deeper in-office peels that use a 20- to 70-percent concentration.

In your 40s, 50s and 60s+ …

Target unavoidable sunspots, sagging skin and bigger wrinkles. If you’ve been skin- and sun-savvy in previous decades, it will show the most now. There are still changes that are inevitable, though. For example, some people naturally lose facial tissue/fat in their cheeks and lips and form large wrinkles from years of frowning. In these cases, botox and injectable fillers can help smooth out and plump up the skin. “When injected correctly, Botox paralyzes select facial muscles of expression to erase fine and deep wrinkles,” says Stephanie S. Gardner, M.D., dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon with Aesthetic Specialty Centre. “Fillers are not only used to fill facial crevices, but also are used to add volume to the mid face, including the cheeks, under the eyes and temples, rounding out the face for a more youthful appearance.”

Dr. Babcock also recommends using a prescription product with a vitamin A derivative like Retin-A or periodic in-office vitamin A treatments. This vitamin boosts collagen under the skin and exfoliates the surface to lighten sunspots and diminish the look of wrinkles. Just be sure to apply plenty of sunscreen as it makes skin very sensitive to the sun.

Skin experts zero in on our readers’ needs

Trey HumphriesTrey Humphreys, 35, Buckhead

Skin type: Smooth and slightly tan

Facial cleanser: Organic soaps or Kiehl’s

Facial moisturizer: Art of Shaving shaving cream and aftershave

Daily sun protection: None—only when sunbathing in the summer

Additional products: Sometimes face and body lotions from Target

Expert advice: ”Men with normal, smooth skin really have it made. Shaving daily provides that chronic exfoliation which helps regenerate new collagen to prevent wrinkles. A daily sunscreen would keep his skin looking younger longer. Applying an eye cream with retinol before bed would help maintain a youthful look to this delicate area where men usually show their age.”
—Lyn Ross, L.M.E., founder and CEO of Institut’ DERMed


samSamantha Bryan, 35, Dunwoody

Skin type: Combination with a few lines

Facial cleanser: Dove Moisturizing Body Wash

Facial moisturizer: Oil of Olay

Daily sun protection: SPF 15 in moisturizer

Additional products: Occasional mud mask from Helena Curtis

Expert advice: You should never use any kind of body wash on your face. This will strip the natural oils on your face, which will make your skin produce more oil to make up for the lack of moisture. She should be using a cleanser with glycolic acid/alpha hydroxy acids in it and a higher SPF (20-30) with zinc or titanium dioxide in it to protect her from sun damage and skin cancer. Her mask is fine, but not very corrective—an exfoliating scrub or mask would be better.
—Raena Gruber, medical aesthetician, Aesthetic Specialty Centre

robin waibelRobin Waibel, 45, East Cobb/Roswell

Skin type: Combination with freckles, fine lines around eyes, sporadic acne breakouts

Facial cleanser: Jan Marini BioGlycolic Cleanser; Clinique Liquid Facial Soap-Mild

Facial moisturizer: Estee Lauder Time Zone Lotion with SPF 15 and Skinceuticals Renew Overnight (oily)

Daily sun protection: SPF 15 or more in moisturizer, depending on the season

Additional products: Estee Lauder Perfectionist CP+, Future Perfect Eye Crème and Advanced Night Repair; Skinceuticals Eye Balm, Eye Renewal Gel and Hydrating B5 Gel; Bioelements Breakout Control and Kerafole (mask)

Expert advice: “The use of many different products shows that she is interested in taking the best possible care of her skin. I suggest that Robin stick with one company to give her the benefit of products that are made to work synergistically.”
—Mindy Terry, founder and president of Creative Spa Concepts


JedNitzberg23Jed Nitzberg, 46, Marietta/East Cobb

Skin type: Oily

Facial cleanser: Generic daily face wash

Facial moisturizer: None, other than the occasional spritz after shaving of a light B.Kamins spray

Daily sun protection: None

Additional products: None

Expert advice: “You don’t need a million products, just a few of the right ones. However, his routine is a little too low maintenance. I would add in an exfoliator or an exfoliating cleanser every few days and a daily moisturizer with sunscreen.”
—Amy Leavell Bransford, licensed esthetician and owner of New Moon Skin Care

Charlotte EngelCharlotte Engel, 56,
LaVista Park

Skin type: Normal, fine lines, still have blemish problems time to time and work to diminish blackheads

Facial cleanser: Olay Regenerist Daily Regenerating Cleanser

Facial moisturizer: Olay Total Effects 7 Mature Skin Therapy and Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Moisturizing Treatment

Daily sun protection: SPF 15 in moisturizer and some in Chanel foundation
Additional products: Olay regenerist Eye Lifting Serum

Expert advice: “This is a good, sensible, economic regime. I would add an intensive skin brightening product with glycolic, salicylic, ascorbic, arbuten, lactic and hydroquinone to control oil and breakouts and even out any discoloration from exposure to UV light.”
—Lyn Ross, L.M.E., founder and CEO of Institut’ DERMed


Mark EngelMark Engel, 59, LaVista Park

Skin type: Oily and sensitive with large pores

Facial cleanser: Just water

Facial moisturizer: None

Daily sun protection: None

Additional products: Edge Sensitive Skin Shaving Gel

Expert advice: “This is like working with a blank slate! I would start by getting him a gentle foaming cleanser and a toner or hydrator that he could use after cleansing and/or shaving. I love toner for men because it can add moisture and hydration without leaving the skin feeling heavy, which most men hate. A daily sunprotector would be an ideal addition.”
—Amy Leavell Bransford, licensed esthetician and owner of New Moon Skin Care

Skin Care Terminology

Alpha hydroxy acids: A well-known ingredient in peels, facials and skin care products, these acids (including glycolic and lactic) can be derived from fruit, milk or sugar, and work by removing the dead skin cells to reveal newer, less-damaged cells.

Antioxidants: Certain antioxidants in skin care products, when stabilized and formulated correctly, can help to assist in skin repair, strengthen blood vessels and neutralize free radicals, which contribute to sun damage and aging of the skin.

Botox: A physician-administered treatment of small injections of a purified protein produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium that reduces the activity of facial muscles. It is FDA approved to temporarily smooth moderate to severe frown lines between the brows in those ages 18-65.

Chemical peels: There are many different levels of chemical peels—from over-the-counter to in-office treatments. Usually, a chemical solution is applied to the skin, which causes it to peel and reduces fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration and texture.

Collagen and elastin: These are proteins that are found in the skin and keep wrinkles and fine lines from forming or becoming worse, as well as give structure to the skin. As you get older, your body’s ability to produce these proteins diminishes, making the skin wrinkle and sag.

Facial fillers: Also known as dermal fillers, or injectables, these solutions are injected under the skin’s surface to fill in wrinkles, lines, lips and improve sunken areas on the face.

Hydroquinone: A prescription-only topical treatment that decreases the formation of melanin (the skin’s brown pigment) to lighten areas of dark discoloration of the skin such as sun spots, freckles and melasma.

Microdermabrasion: A non-invasive cosmetic treatment that uses a machine to slough away surface cells on the skin to improve the appearance of scars, fine lines, large pores, acne, sun damage and texture of the skin.

Restylane: A facial filler composed of hyaluronic acid, an acid that occurs naturally in the skin, Restylane is injected into lines, wrinkles and lips for volume and fullness.

Retin-A: Retin-A, or Tretinoin (generic), is a medication prescribed by a doctor that uses a form of vitamin A to increase cell turnover. When used correctly over time, it can clear up blackheads, mild acne, texture and fine lines and wrinkles.

—Alan M. Gardner, M.D., board-certified dermatologist, Gardner Dermatology