What happens to your skin through the decades of your life

Thought your skincare only needed adjusting with the weather? Think again. Our routine needs constant adaptation as we age - so if you’re considering a serious overhaul, these are the things to consider when it comes to your skin…

The world of skincare can be a confusing place at the best of times. 

From serums and creams, to acids and toners, every week seemingly brings news of miraculous ingredients and must-know beauty products that we need to incorporate into our regimen at the soonest possible opportunity.

But when you factor age into the mix, things can get a little more complicated. Our skin is in a constant state of evolution, and, just like us, needs different products based on its current needs. 

The question is: how exactly do we go about tailoring our skincare as we move through each new decade of our life? Do we need to create a whole new routine, or is there a one-size-fits-all approach to treating different age groups?

To help you sort fact from the fluff, we’ve spoken to dermatologists Dr Ophelia Veraitch and the experts at skincare specialist Être Vous and compiled a breakdown of the ways your skin develops during each decade of your life, and some tips on how to help care for it. 

From millennials treatments to middle-aged skincare concerns, you’ll find all the information below on what you can be trying to help look after your skin.

In your 20s


It’s a well-known fact that our 20s is a golden period for our skin. Structural proteins like collagen (which keeps skin plump and firm) and elastin (which give skin its flexibility) are in full flow, and we’re glowing with youth - quite literally. 

That being said, this is also the time when skin is experiencing its first major transformations, and as you enter your late 20s, the effects of sun damage, or a lack of sleep or stress can start to take hold.

“During your mid 20s your skin begins to slow down the rate at which is turns over new cells, as cell production slows down. It’s also during this decade that your skin starts to lose its natural elasticity,” explains Dr Veraitch. 

“Start to use retinol to boost the collagen and futureproof your skin. It not only reduces the fine lines, but it can help to reduce pore size helping to give the appearance of smoother skin.

“You should also introduce a SPF of at least 30 to your daily skincare routine, even during the winter months. This protects the skin from UVB rays which contribute to the premature ageing of the skin. 

It doesn’t all have to be 14-step skincare routines and lifestyle transformations. Supplements are also an easy and effective way to give your skin a helping hand.

Imedeen Derma One skincare tablets are specifically designed to maintain your skin’s moisture balance and radiance, just add two to your daily routine and contain skincare super-ingredients zinc and vitamin C.

Zinc helps with the maintenance of normal skin while vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect skin cells from oxidative stress.

In your 30s


With puberty behind you and a proper skincare routine in place, your 30s is a time when skin is typically more stable.

This is a decade, however, that usually brings the first age-related changes, as cell turnover and collagen production both slow down. This means that your skin will have less volume and elasticity, and you might also notice the appearance of fine lines and a slightly duller complexion.

“We have approximately 24 fat pads (collections of fatty cells) in the face,” explain the experts at Êtres Vous. 

“Facial fat behaves differently to body fat – once lost, it does not regenerate the same way as before. In our early to mid 30s we start to lose volume in the cheek area, which leads to a deepening of our nasolabial folds (smile lines). 

“As more is lost from different areas, skin is unsupported and therefore further falls forward, leading to sagging and contributing to the formation of marionette lines and jowls. Hyperpigmentation may also surface.”

If pregnancy is part of your life plan, your 30s are the most popular decade for British women to have a baby. 

“People often talk of a pregnancy glow,” explains Dr Veraitch. “This is largely down to the increase in blood flow to the skin. However, the flip-side is ‘pregnancy spots’ or melasma caused by an increased production of oestrogen and progesterone.”

All this means though, is that skin needs a little extra help to stay fresh, dewy and firm. 

Try building key ingredients like glycolic acid and retinol, a form of vitamin A, into your routine. Antioxidants like vitamin C, meanwhile, contributes to the protection of skin cells from oxidative stress.

In your 40s


Just like the previous two decades, your skin has completely different needs when you hit your 40s. Happily, you’ll already be familiar with some of the changes that took place in your 20s and 30s, so you’ll be better placed to improve the health of your skin.

There are two key concerns at this stage of life: cell turnover and hydration.

“Cell turnover will have halved since your 20s, and as perimenopause (the transition towards menopause) kicks in and oestrogen levels begin to decline, skin may become thinner, drier, and lose its elasticity,” explain Êtres Vous experts.

“You may also notice more broken or thread veins. Eyelid skin thins, resulting in drooping skin in this area and upper lip lines may also form.”

“When you enter your 40s your lymphatic system which is responsible for draining the toxins from your skin slows down. This can lead to puffiness, often in the eye and cheek areas,” adds Dr Veraitch.

To promote cell renewal, daily exfoliation will become your best friend. It’s worth investing in both an exfoliating cleanser and a cream cleanser to meet your skin’s needs for both cell renewal and hydration. Introducing peptides will also stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, while a chemical exfoliator or peel formulated with AHAs, such as lactic acid, will restore your glow.

If you want to help look after your skin without slathering it in endless potions, try adding Imedeen Time Perfection supplements to your daily routine.

The tablets are created to care for your skin in your 40s and contain a blend of tomato extract, grape seed extract and the antioxidants zinc and vitamin C. 

Zinc and vitamin C each helps protect cells from oxidative stress while vitamin C contributes to normal collagen formation for the normal function of skin. 

In your 50s


As you enter your 50s you’ll likely be clued up on what your skin needs, and cringe at the days of going to bed with a mere swipe of a harsh make-up removing wipe.

The average age for women to enter menopause in the UK is 51, which can play a significant part in how your skin appears during this period of your life.

“Changing oestrogen levels may result in drier skin, while loss of volume can manifest as slackness along the jaw, under the chin and in the mid-face,” explain Être Vous experts. 

“Sun damage and hyperpigmentation may also surface, along with deeper lines, wrinkles and rougher feeling skin.”

“Using a regular moisturiser such as Cetraben ointment on the body is fantastic way of maintaining the skin barrier and battling dryness,” advises Dr Veraitch.

“Meanwhile vitamin A retinol-based products are great for rejuvenating the skin, and if applied regularly can even help to increase the production of new skin cells and collagen.”

You can also try adding Imedeen Prime Renewal supplements to your daily routine to help feed your skin.

The tablets help maintain skin firmness and lock in moisture and contain a blend of white tea, lycopene, grape seed extract and vitamins E and C.

Vitamin E in particular is an antioxidant that contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress.

In your 60s+


When it comes to your 60s you can celebrate the fact that your skin will likely be free of the kind of volatility you might have seen in previous decades. 

“During your 60s you’ll notice that skin becomes drier and thinner and is starting to look paper-like in places,” explains Dr Veraitch. 

“While the good news is that this means you’ll be less likely to suffer from breakouts, the bad news is that this leaves your skin more fragile and at greater risk of bruising easily.

“Penetration of topical ingredients improves as our skin thins so it’s a good time to invest in products with active proteins like growth factor peptides.

“Whilst it’s OK to continue using retinol, it’s sensible to switch to a lower concentration formula to account for the fact that your skin is thinning and will absorb ingredients more easily.

“You can limit any existing age spots you have on the face and hands from getting bigger by ensuring that you use sunscreen daily on any areas of the skin that are exposed.”

With a product to suit all age ranges, Imedeen skincare supplements help improve the overall quality and appearance of the skin. Results can be seen in as little as 90 days – softer, smoother, younger-looking skin all over. Shop the collection here.

When the Stylist Beauty Council tried Imedeen 63% agreed that after 90 days their skin was noticeably softer and smoother. Book a free 15 minute consultation with an Imedeen skin expert to find out which Imedeen product is right for you and celebrate 30 years of Imedeen with a 20% discount on the brand at Boots here.