32; the year we need to start taking our skincare seriously. Yes, I’m now 32. I turned 32 last month and I haven’t written many blog posts since because I’m just so upset about it. I’m joking, of course. While I am mildly disconcerted about how quickly my life is passing by, that’s not the reason I haven’t written anything. I had covid followed by a trip to Las Vegas, followed by bank holidays that all fell on my working days making my other working days busy.
Anyway, I digress, let’s jump into skincare.
I’ve written about skincare for many years now, as a beauty journalist and also on my blog. I like to think I know skincare pretty well, and that’s why I’ve placed quite a lot of emphasis on turning 32.
If you’re tentatively creeping into your 30s, like me, you may’ve started seeing the very first signs of ageing. These look different for everybody, but for me, here’s what I’ve noticed:
Signs my skin is ageing
- My skin is noticeably different when I don’t drink enough water. In my early 20s I could survive on alcohol and pizza alone and my skin would shimmer in defiance. Now, there’s not so much shimmer.
- The same goes for if I don’t take my make-up off every night & cleanse and moisturise. I can’t get by doing minimum anymore.
- My eyes are showing the first signs of ageing; I notice it in photos more than day-to-day with my laughter lines (and frown lines) becoming more pronounced.
- I’ve also noticed a very minimal drop to my plumper cheeks. It is very minimal but skincare is an important part of my job so I do notice these things.
It really doesn’t matter
Seeing your skin age really doesn’t matter. In fact, if we’re going to get philosophical about it, ageing is a privilege that not everybody gets to experience.
That said, if you can do good by your skin, then you should. I find that I feel happier and more confident when I’m looking after my skin. Just 3 days of well-maintained skin can make a huge difference. Even if you don’t want to put the work in full-time, it’s always nice to have these tips in the lead up to a special occasion.
Here’s what I do to maintain ‘the glow’. And before I continue, please let me caveat that by saying that I have ‘the glow’ (in my opinion) only about half of the time. I am a human being and I’m trying my best!
READ MORE: What’s in my make-up bag?
Drinking at least 2l of water a day is the single best thing you can do for your skin. If you want to see results in 3-5 days, drink 2l of water per day. And, while you’re at it, try to cut out the sugar (note to self).
Water helps your skin in a lot of ways;
- It tightens it and stops the ‘sag’.
- It maintains a healthy pH balance. I won’t go into too much detail about the pH balance of skin, but if you’ve been pregnant before you may’ve noticed your pH balance went into overdrive. I couldn’t put anything on my skin without a reaction. Typically, on a scale of 0-14 (0 being alkaline and 14 being acidic, you want to keep your skin at a 7). Top tip: washing your skin with water after taking your make-up off really helps with this.
- It gives your skin a plump look. You know the type of plumpness that people get by having cheek fillers? It’s possible to replicate a version of that by drinking enough water and looking after your skin.
If you down loads of water in 5 minutes, though, research has found that you’ll just end up needing a wee more. So, if you do want to retain the water, you should sip it.
In order to see great results – and I say this as a person who has tried and tested this – you have to take your make-up off at night. Let your skin breathe at the very least.
If all you can be bothered to do is cleanse your face, then that’s a good start, but for optimum results you need to do more.
I’m currently cleansing with Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser (Emma Hardie’s cleansing balm does leave you with more of a glow, though), then using my CurrentBody Skin LED Light Therapy Mask for ten minutes 4-5 times per week. I then slather on some Beauty Pie Japanfusion serum, an Elemis eye revive mask and cap it all off with a layer of Farmacy’s firming night balm. The only new part of this routine is the Beauty Pie serum, which I really do love.
This routine probably happens for half of the month and the other half I just cleanse my make-up off but there is no situation where I don’t at least take my make-up off.
NB: Always include your neck as a part of the skincare routine. It should be seen as an extension of your face and given as much attention as your face. The lipidic layer is reduced 30-40% on the neck so it’ll so age faster.
Combine 2l water per day with a decent skincare routine and you’ll see a big difference within a week.
LED Light Therapy
It’s clinically proven to reduce wrinkles by 35% in the first four weeks and I have definitely seen a difference. It’s an investment, for sure, and if you aren’t into your skincare there are cheaper ones on the market, including Aldi’s version.
The LED lights improve texture, skin tone and firmness.
READ MORE: Are Adanola leggings really worth the hype?
Right, this is the big one. I wear factor 50 SPF on my face most days (again, when I remember). No, I don’t really get a tan on my face but my face never tans well anyway. I’m the type of person who tans exclusively on the nose and chin and end up looking like a beacon to warn planes away from mountain ranges.
It’s really hard to find a decent SPF for the face, many of the ones I tried made me break out in spots, but when you find the right one it’s very worth it. Annoyingly, everybody’s skin is different, so you’ll have to go through the process of finding the right one without my advice.
A dermatologist told me that UV exposure is responsible for 80% of visible facial ageing.
Along with SPF, wearing a hat and sunglasses will help protect your skin. I do go overboard, but with skin cancer in my family I’m not taking any chances for the sake of a light tan. Fake tan works well nowadays, people.
Using a Gua Sha as often as you can will have a big impact. My Gua Sha is from Amazon and I would implore you not to spend too much money on the higher-end ones. They’re all the same. Byrdie has a great article about how to use a Gua Sha if you’re not sure. I would recommend opening up your lymphatic system by pressing the lymph nodes just inside your collarbone, next to your ears and either side of your nose five times. This stops a build up of fluid congregating in that area.
If you’re a big puff ball like I am, this little instrument will become your new best friend. It’s a lovely way to relax, too.
You drink enough water, you put on SPF, you have a decent skincare routine etc. but you’d still like to make your skin look more youthful. I have a few quick tried-and-tested hacks for you to try:
- Don’t wear as much eye make-up. Taking away dark eyeliner around your eyes can make you look younger.
- Have your brows dyed. More pronounced brows flatter the structure of your face.
- When applying concealer, always apply it in an upward motion and brush it into the skin in an upward motion, too. So, start on the outer corner of your eye and instead of sweeping the concealer under your eye, sweep it upwards towards your temple and buff in.
- Don’t use foundation every day. Use it very sparingly as it clogs up your skin.
- Try a lip tint instead of lipstick. Lipstick can highlight the beginnings of wrinkles around the mouth.
- If you do use lipstick, swipe the upper lips from corner to middle rather than the other way around for fuller looking lips.
- Use bronzer, highlighter and blusher higher than you think on your cheekbones. Bronzing the underneath of your cheekbones can make your face appear gaunter than it is.