Photo by Aurélien Dauvel on FlickrThe signs of damage Most women begin to see signs of damage to their skin when they get to their early thirties. Dr. Cohen lists "sun damage, fine lines, uneven pigmentation, broken blood vessels, age spots, liver spots” and, in some cases, “precancerous spots,” all as possible signs of aging that can start to appear in a woman's thirties. Unfortunately, according to Dr. Cohen, most of the damage we do to our skin happens before we’re eighteen—but that doesn’t mean you should just give up. Preventing further damage is paramount. Get into a routine Aside from “sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen,” Dr. Cohen recommends a simple and straightforward routine of “cleanse, moisturize, protect." These three steps will ensure that your skin is clean, hydrated and protected from the sun’s rays. The steps can be tailored to your own skin type. For example, if you are older you might want to pick a moisturizer that has a creamier consistency as “with the change in estrogen, skin often becomes noticeably more dry." Your “protect” part of the routine should always be some form of sunscreen—even in the winter.
Aveeno Positively Radiant Cleanser, $23, aveeno.ca. Ole Henriksen Truth Serum with Vitamin C, $60, sephora.ca. Clinique Moisturizing Lotion, $32, sephora.ca. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 45, $16, available at mass drug retailers across Canada.Look out for active ingredients Dr. Cohen also recommends working a Vitamin C serum into your morning routine because “it’s an antioxidant, it stimulates collagen and it helps with transfer of pigment." At night, try Retin-A to help avoid and reduce fine lines, or peptides to "stimulate collagen production." Another active ingredient to look out for is Glycolic Acid, which "causes exfoliation and gets rid of dead-looking skin." A weekly mask is a great way to work moisturizing, detoxifying and exfoliating ingredients into your life. Check out our list of editor-tested favourites.