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The Best Skincare Routine For Your Age

It’s a constant debate in the beauty industry, and with the rise of TikTok, skincare is the new makeup. Everyone is using it (hallelujah!) and everyone has an opinion on the products that should feature in your skincare routine.

While we are not here to say that anyone is wrong - coming from a Beauty Therapist, the Proverb co-founder, Kirstie, shares how skincare products should be ordered in what we call the ‘Guide to Skincare By Age’. Depending on your age, your skin care regimen will differ from person to person. For example, you are not going to be encouraging a 16-year-old to apply retinol, just as you will not be advising a 50-year-old to use a teen acne treatment. So let’s take a look at the best skincare for every age:

Skincare Routine For Teens And Early 20s 

This is the start of the skincare journey. Anyone looking back now and remembering how they treated their skin as a teen is probably cringing…from sleeping in makeup to jelly moisturisers and the dreaded face wipes - we’ve all been there, but hopefully, you won’t have to now. 

Morning Skincare Steps For Teens

1. Cleanse (cream or clay mud cleanser) 

Skincare for teens starts with a good eye-makeup remover: it’s the time to experiment so they need to know how to take it off effectively. Save scrubbing your eyes and making them red and sore by using a balm cleanser: it will melt away any eye makeup instantly. It doesn’t need to be expensive - the key is getting into the habit of removing makeup properly.

2. Hydrating Toner

Next up, we have toner, and there are 2 types of it. Firstly an acid product, but you should only be using an acid when you’re younger if you suffer from acne or regular breakouts. If so, we recommend you start with a mild lactic or salicylic acid - you don’t have to use it daily and it should only be used at night as it can put your skin at risk from burning in the day without proper SPF protection.

The other type of toner is a hydrating toner with hyaluronic acid or glycerine. Our suggestion: opt for a spray toner and in the morning just spray the mist over your face.

3. Moisturise 

Opt for a moisturiser that is light and hydrating, depending on your skin type. 

4. SPF 

The last step in your teen skincare routine is an SPF 50 cream that feels comfortable on your skin. If you do suffer from acne/oily skin you may feel hesitant about this step, but we promise you, your older self will thank you in years to come.

Ideal Evening Skincare Routine For Teens

1. Double Cleanse 

No matter what your age is, you should be double cleansing - this is a therapist term for cleansing twice, one after the other. The first should be to remove makeup using a balm cleanser, the second can be with a gel, cream or mud cleanser - depending on your age. In this case, for teens to their early 20s, we would suggest a cream cleanser for cleansing one. These are the ones that look milky, a mix of water and oils creating an emulsion. 

The second cleanse ensures the face is properly clean. Our advice is a clay cleanser like the Proverb Cleanse & Shave Mud. The kaolin and hectorite clays are deep cleansing, really calming to red skin or any dry spots too. Both should be done with a clean muslin cloth, washed and changed each day. The cloth will act as a gentle exfoliant and ensure the skin is really clean.

2. Toner

As we mentioned, an acid-based toner (Salicylic or Lactic) should only be used at night. On the nights you are not using a salicylic based toner you should be using a hydrating toner with hyaluronic acid or glycerine, and swap these two every other night. We love a spray toner and suggest at night using a reusable cotton pad.

3. Moisturise

Use your moisturiser of choice at night time as well and tuck yourself in for an early night. Did you know that the amount of sleep you get also affects skin ageing?

best skincare routine

Skincare From 20s to mid-30s

Next up in our skincare by age guide: your 20s! These are the years to start stepping up your skincare game, it will save you a lot of fine lines in the future. It should go without saying that the good habits you picked up as a teen should be carried forward in double cleansing, applying daily SPF and moisturising. But now we are adding a few other products to the mix…

20s to early 30s Morning Skincare Routine Steps

1. Cleanse (cream, clay mud)

First up, cleansing, this is the same game as when you were a teen. Cleanse once in the morning with a cream or clay mud.

2. Hydrating Toner

Don’t skip out on the hydrating toner, and remember to leave the acid for nighttime.

3. Eye cream

A good eye cream should come next, however, this is only if your budget allows it. That being said, if you are in a profession where your skin is regularly in contact with the sun, we would strongly suggest investing in an eye cream. If you suffer from puffy eyes in the morning, ice cubes or cold rose quartz crystals are better than any other product: use the crystals to massage around your eyes and the power of ice to reduce the swelling.

4. Antioxidant Serum

Time for a good anti-oxidant serum. In real organic and natural skincare where cold-pressed ingredients are used, you will find anti-oxidants in abundance from ingredients such as pomegranate, acai, baobab, buriti, and seabuckthorn. There is a long list and you will find these in large quantities in both Proverb moisturisers and our skin serum.  

We’re now onto the big question of a Vitamin A/Retinol product. Most mainstream skincare bloggers and magazines will start talking about these at this point but they are complicated. There are so many different levels, grades and versions and most can’t be used in the day with sunshine. Before using retinol, our years of experience leads us to this advice: use the right cleansers, have a dedicated skincare routine and high-level anti-oxidant skincare, don’t drink alcohol, take high-level EPA and DPA fish oils and eat green and clean before going to retinol.

5. Moisturise and SPF

Moisturisers up next, making sure it suited to your skin type. Followed on by SPF, same game as before.

Young Adult Night Skincare Steps

1. Double Cleanse

Cleanse twice in the evening, first with a balm and a muslin cloth to remove makeup, then with a cream/mud to ensure all of the dirt and grime built up over the day has gone.

2. Acid and Hydrating Toner

We are bringing back our acid toners from the teens, however, this time you can start to introduce a Glycolic acid instead of a Salicylic or Lactic - but if these work for you then do continue to use them. Make sure to only ever use one of these at a time, you don’t want to overload your skin. Again, combine these with a Hydrating Toner too.

3. Eye product 

Avoid gels, normally focused on dark bags and puffiness and go for a cream focused on reducing fine lines.

4. Hyaluronic Acid Serum

As you are nearing or entering your 30s, your skin will start to find it more challenging to retain oil and water. Hyaluronic Acid should become your new best friend - try and find toner, serums and moisturisers with this in.

5. Moisturise

Skincare Regimen From Late 30s To Early 40s

By now if you’re like us, you should be well on your way to self-appointing yourself as a certified dermatologist with your bathroom cabinet resembling your local Boots. Now things get a little more intense with the creams and serums. 

Morning Skincare For Late 30s

1. Cleanse 

You know the drill: go for a balm, or cream or clay mud.

2. Hyaluronic-based facial mist

As you age, your skin finds it harder and harder to retain moisture - spraying a facial mist that is calming on the skin will add some of this moisture back in. 

3. Eye Cream and Antioxidant Serum

An eye product is essential at this age, you will notice fine lines more often - going for cream is your best bet. It is time to get some Vitamin A into your skincare routine.

4. Moisturise and SPF

Lastly, your trusted moisturiser and SPF duo.

Late 30s to early 40s Evening Skincare Steps 

1. Double Cleansing 

A must at any age: cleanse to remove makeup first with a balm and a muslin cloth or face flannel and then do your second cleanse. 

2. Acid 

By now you should have become familiar with a range of acids: Salicylic, Lactic, Glycolic, and understanding which ones suit your skin best. You can now start to introduce PHA acids at this stage, depending on the needs of your skin.

3. Hyaluronic-based facial mist

Remember: always combine acids with a hyaluronic-based facial toner mist.

4. Eye Cream

5. Facial Oil

This brings us onto facial oil, your new best friend and regularly dubbed as “botox in a bottle”... can we get 100 litres of the stuff, please?!

6. Serum and Moisturise

When it comes to serums and moisturisers, now is the time to start investing in good-quality products. In your late 30s and late 40s, you are more likely to experience trans-epidermal water loss, so you will benefit from a daily dose of hyaluronic acid. 

Skincare After 40

Last on our guide to skincare by age, comes your 40s. At this stage instead of prevention, the main aim is to help solve the problems that you may have caused from when you were younger. 

40s Morning Skincare Regime 

1. Cleanse 

You may prefer thicker cleansers at this point, and an oil cleanser may be something to consider, as opposed to your regular cream or mud.

2. Hyaluronic-based facial mist

Make sure your facial mist contains Hyaluronic acid to truly hydrate the skin.

3. Eye product

Next up… eye cream! You may be at the stage where you feel as though you want to drown yourself in the stuff, however, this is a common mistake people make as they get older. However, if your eye cream is too rich you can worsen the puffy bags under the eyes or cause more milia (white pearls that won’t pop) around the eye area.

4. Serum

Serums are up next, and while we have spoken so highly of antioxidant serums throughout all ages of your skincare routine, it may not be hitting the spot as you get older. Instead, we would suggest you should spend your money on a good quality serum with ingredients that are going to “correct” issues that you may encounter, like pigmentation and anti-ageing. 

5. Moisturise and SPF 

Lastly, we can’t forget a good quality moisturiser - this is where you may want to spend a little more at this age and thicker night cream is a must. Then, SPF is a must at any age.

Night Skincare Routine Steps After 40

1. Double Cleanse 

 Like always, you should be double cleansing, first with a balm cleanser and soft face flannel to help remove dirt and makeup build up on the skin, as well as a second cleanse with a nourishing cream cleanser, balm cleaner or oil. If you suffer from rosacea or redness then keep your calming clay cleanser.

2. Acid and Hyaluronic-based facial mist

Similarly, with your early 40s, acids are great for older skins - Glycolic, Lactic and PHAs will be your best friend and help to reveal more youthful-looking skin. But if you are suffering from very broken capillaries or redness you may not opt for these. After this, you should continue to use your facial mist to replace lost moisture in the skin.

3. Eye product

Remember that richer and thicker eye creams are not always favourable, you still want a comfortable cream that absorbs well.

4. Facial Oil

After 40 you may start to notice that the youthful glow is starting to diminish and that your skin may look dull - don’t worry, this is a natural process of your skin ageing. Facial oils come into play here, they will literally replace the glow on an older face. 

5. Serum and Moisturise

Our experience has shown that if you haven’t already this is a good time to consider real organic skincare. Certified organic brands formulate with plant and seed oils and butters as opposed to cheaper mineral oils and petroleum so generally speaking all of their products tend to be more nourishing and you will find more balm based products.

Skincare brands tend to focus on just their bottles but at Proverb we know what you do internally is just as important to ensure your skin is in peak condition, if not more important. What you drink, eat and the supplements you take all play a huge role in how your skin changes as you age. 

There you have it, the ideal skincare routine for any age. Want to learn more about the ideal skincare according to your skin type? These are all our hints and tips we have collected over all our time in spas, salons and skincare!