At what age should women start worrying about wrinkles?
According to new research released today many women start to worry about wrinkles from the age of 24, and the onset of fine lines is something that has been been troubling most for a few years, because we actually start buying anti-ageing products from the age of 21.
The UK-based study of 2,000 women carried out by CACI Microlift has got us to thinking; should we be worrying about wrinkles at such a young age, and should we be putting up the expensive anti-ageing fight from 21 years of age? The answer from the experts is a resounding yes, within reason.
"It is never too early or too late to start thinking about skin protection, skin renewal and maintenance," says consultant dermatologist Dr Nick Lowe.
This is a consensus amongst cosmetic doctors as Dr.Sebagh explains, "anatomically from the age of 20 we start ageing. That's just a fact."
However, the message is that in your twenties it's about damage limitation, not age reversal. "Prevent damage, don't fight it," cosmetic doctor Michael Prager goes on to say. He, like Sebagh, thinks twenty-somethings should arm themselves firstly with anti-oxidants, "while limiting the damage done by cutting back on typical twenty-something habits including sun, sugar, sleepless nights, smoking and alcohol."
Sebagh adds that while twenty-somethings don't need the help of "major" anti-ageing products, it is right that the ageing process should be carefully contemplated. "Education is key," he says, "because while your skin fibres may not have started breaking down yet, and your cell energy doesn't need boosting - making active skincare ingredients redundant - you do need protection, particularly against photo-ageing." That starts, of course, with sunscreen.
"Our message at the British Association of Dermatologists is that the best way to avoid wrinkles is to keep out of the sun and to use a sun cream or a moisturiser with sunblock in it, preferably everyday," says Dr Tabi Leslie, consultant dermatologist and spokesperson for The British Association of Dermatologists. "And if you start that in your twenties you can actually make a huge difference. I'm actually quite impressed by these results. If we can't get young women to use sunscreen by fear of skin cancer, we might now be able to get them to use it for fear of wrinkles, so it's a good step."
Leslie also points out that on top of sun protection a good moisturiser is also "very important," while avoiding "faddy diets, sugar and smoking," will undoubtedly help.
Simplicity also seems to be key to ageing gracefully in our twenties; "you don't actually need that many products when you're younger," says Prager. While added anti-ageing actives won't necessarily damage your skin, they will damage your bank balance, and unneccessarily so. Plus, as Prager explains: "use too many products on young skin, and you can cause sensitivity. Over a lifetime, a lot of those ingredients can become irritating."
Dr Leslie also adds, "we still don't know what 20 years of using hi-tech ingredients like vitamin A derived retinoids would do to someone's skin down the line," while Dr Sebagh advises that skincare simplicity coupled with "sunscreen, good cleansing and exfoliation," is the best approach.
"Start thinking about skincare, especially sun protection, as early as you can. Choose well-formulated sunscreens and a good cleansing routine as well as a healthy diet and you will see the benefits for many years ahead. Ignoring these factors will make you age faster," says Lowe.