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The First Signs Of Ageing and What I’m Doing About It

The twenty-to-thirty skincare breakdown

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I’m at the point in my life that when I need to input my date of birth into an online form, there’s a fair amount of scrolling that has to happen in order to locate my birth year. You scroll, scroll and scroll some more. Ah 1989. That’s me. There’s also a point in your life where you realise that there’s now just a permanent crease in your forehead that’s there whether you smile, frown or are straining your eyes because your vision is packing in too. If you’re lucky your best mate will develop the exact some crease in the exact same spot and you can lament it’s appearance together.

This September I turn 30 (which you may already know because I don’t seem to stop banging on about it), and let me tell you – the ageing is real people. Now I’m hoping that I’ve still got a good amount of years left on my clock and that 30 certainly doesn’t constitute me being a Grandma, but my skin has done some serious shifting in recent years. Fine lines? Sure. Dehydration to the max? Yep. A forehead that people like to message me about and tell me that I’d be the perfect candidate for Botox? Sadly, yes.

That’s the thing with the early signs of ageing, it just sort of creeps up on you. One day your skin is bouncy and dewy and crease-free and the next you’re at a Dermatologist appointment as they are telling you that you’re in one of the highest percentiles for sun damage and that your skin is extremely thin. GREAT. If only 17 year old me would have basked in my youth and not caked it in Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse, eh? The good thing with skin is that there are always changes to be made that can improve your texture, hydration and just its general appearance and although I know that certain things will happen whatever skincare routine you’ve got in place; at least I can attempt to make myself look as glowy as hell to distract from my forehead line party and try to keep the DM-ers at bay. Here’s my five step plan:

MY FIVE STEP TWENTY-TO-THIRTY SKINCARE ACTION PLAN:

H-Y-D-R-A-T-E. I know I say this every bloody time and you’ve probably already clicked off the post when you saw that this was my first tip, but I cannot stress how important chugging back water is, not only your general wellbeing, but the appearance of your complexion. My primary forehead wrinkle is a really good indicator of whether I’m hydrated enough or not. If I’ve been lazy with my water consumption then it’s pronounced and the area around it looks dry. However, if I’m on top of my water intake then it fills out more, doesn’t look as deep and I usually spend about five minutes staring at it in a mirror and marvelling at the fact that I can barely see it. WATER IS THE TRUE SKIN BAE.

Masks are life. Whenever I feel like my skin is giving sandpaper a run for it’s money in the texture department, or I just appear a wonderful shade of grey, I realise that it’s been way too long than I’d wish to disclose since I’ve done a face mask. Quite honestly, face masks are life. They brighten, they smooth, the create a base that’s in better condition than it was 15 minutes prior and there aren’t many skincare products that can do that. I’ve done a post all about my favourites here, but in a bid to protect my skin and care for it with the highest level of compassion I vow to amp up my mask usage to twice a week at least. Over the Christmas holidays I did a mask every single day and I swear that my skin has never looked better. T.L.C pays off; both in the short-term and long-term.

SPF. I have to admit that I was pretty gutted after doing one of those freaking looking skin scans that make you look like an alien, to find out that that I score pretty high on the sun-damage spectrum. I’ve always thought that I was good with my sun protection, but I’m guessing that my dumb teenage years desperately trying to get a tan in Ayia Napa played a role in my high score. WELL DONE EIGHTEEN YEAR OLD ANNA. I’ve worn SPF everyday for the past five years, but I’ve been applying more than ever and making sure that I bring it all the way down my neck; come rain or shine all-year round. Since I’ve been away I’ve been dousing myself in the stuff, making sure that I reapply frequently and wear massive sunglasses for extra protection around my eyes.

Sticking to Routine. Back in the day I’d test out new skincare products as frequently as the samples arrived. Another day, another cleanser to try? Acids? Sprays? SPF? Let me give ’em a go. Unsurpsinglyu my skin was mostly red, sensitive and pissed off at me for throwing new stuff at it all the time. Skin loves routine, it likes to know what it’s up against, so these days I stick to my favourites that I know my dermis digs and I introduce new products in a controlled environment (on it’s own and keeping everything else the same as a control). The same goes for when I travel. Instead of using up random travel miniatures that I have, I decant my favourites so that my skin isn’t thrown out of whack like everything else gets, whenever I go away. I have my favourites and I know that they work, so I don’t rock the boat too much unless my skin is telling me that it needs it. Experiment with makeup, stick with your skincare.

Dipping into Retinols. Retinols confuse the hell out of me, but I know that they are good and I know that they are a product to add in to your routine in your late-twenties, early-thirties when ageing starts to sidle up. I highly recommend binging on Caroline’s 760-part retinol series, where she does a deep dive into ingredients, formulas and recommendations at different strengths, which I found SO HELPFUL. I’m currently using A313 Pommade*, twice a week (applied after cleanser once my face is completely dry and with nothing else layered underneath or over the top), and although I like how it feels and applies I’ll be buying one of Caroline’s suggested products once it’s finished. If it’s Hirons-approved then it’s good enough for me. Fingers crossed that it use can stall the development of my forehead friendship wrinkle.

Photos by Emma Croman

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