What’s the best age to start on anti-aging skincare?

How old should I start on anti-aging skincare?  Am I too young to begin using anti-aging treatment products?  I often get this type of questions posed by younger readers who want to know if they should start on an anti-aging skincare regime. So I thought it’s about time I address this question as a post, and find out if there is an ideal age when one should start using anti-aging skincare products.

Aging starts from mid 20s
Although the general consensus seems to be that anti-aging should begin when one hits 30, visible aging of the skin actually starts at about age 25 based on various books and online information I’ve come across. Apparently, this is because the natural regenerative process begins to slow and there is a generally slower skin cell turnover. According to Dr Howard Murad in his book “The Water Secret: The Cellular Breakthrough to Look and Feel 10 Years Younger”, at about age 25, the skin begins to show signs of intrinsic aging and these subtle skin changes include:

  • Reduction in skin firmness as collagen fibers begin to lose their resiliency and become thicker and brittle because collagen fibers decrease by about 1 percent each year starting at this age.
  • Reduction in skin elasticity as elastin fibers become loose and break easily; there are also fewer of them.
  • Reduction in the water-holding molecules surrounding the collagen and elastin that keeps them pliable and moist.

According to an article on Daily Mail, your skin starts to age naturally in your mid-20s.

According to Dr Andrew Wright, a consultant dermatologist with Bradford NHS Trust, as we get older production of collagen – the protein which acts as scaffolding to the skin – slows, and elastin, the substance that enables skin to snap back into place, has less spring and can even break. Dead skin cells don’t shed as quickly and turnover of new skin cells may decrease slightly. This causes fine wrinkles and thin, transparent skin – even if the first signs may not appear until our mid-30s (unless accelerated by smoking or sun damage).

Skin produce 1% less collagen each year
Interestingly, another article on Daily Mail suggest that intrinsic aging starts even earlier from age 20, “when you produce about one per cent less collagen each year – collagen is the protein mainly responsible for keeping skin tone tight and plump. The degradation of collagen and its partner elastin (think elastic), plus, later on, the reduction in the hormone oestrogen due to menopause, are the big villains that make skin thinner, drier, droopier and more fragile”.

Intrinsic aging is natural
Intrinsic aging, for those interested to know, is the natural aging process. Dr Howard Murad defines intrinsic aging as the type of aging that occurs whether or not you were exposed to sun, pollution, stress, alcohol or other aging elements. So even if you were to live in a cave or an enclosed environment, your skin and your cells will still experience intrinsic aging, and genetics has a big part to play in this.

Skincare tips for those in this age group
Well, if you’re 25 or about to hit 25, you don’t have to go crazy about developing an anti-aging skincare regime. Personally, I would think that your lifestyle is more important than you think. Sleeping earlier, having sufficient rest, eating well, and not smoking are probably more important than slathering anti-aging creams. I would say sun protection is key and you may want to start on that even earlier.  Other than that, keep your skincare regime simple, but start looking beyond moisturizers to use serums containing cell renewal ingredients that can encourage collagen production and help prevent fine lines such as vitamin C.  And very importantly, make sure you cleanse your face well and you exfoliate your skin regularly like once or twice a week.

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    • Sesame says

      Well, let’s say it’s better late than never. I also started on proper sun protection in my mid 30s.

  1. says

    I’m 27 this year and I’ve been taking care of my skin seriously for 2 years now. I guess it’s also because I noticed those “changes” you mentioned in your post when I turned 25 and realized it was time to do something. During my younger days, I abused my skin and health quite a bit and all the damages started showing when I turned 25.
    EcoBeauty last post is: Win a Trip for Two to South Africa plus $1000 pocket money!

    • Sesame says

      My skin really changed when I hit the 30s. It was still good in the 20s and I started a more intense routine in my late 20s. However, I didn’t use proper sun protection and that was a mistake!

  2. says

    Yup, I also think that if you’ve never taken good care of your skin, you should start the anti-ageing care earlier or when the first signs show up, rather than going by a rule of thumb of 25 or 30 :) For example, my sis’ started having these fine lines at her eyes, like crows feet, when she hit 20 and they got progressively deeper. I already passed her simple eye gels and eye creams back then but she didn’t bother with them. Now that she’s in her mid 20s, she’s rueing not using them earlier. If you’re younger, I suppose the anti-ageing regime can be targeted at specific areas, and expanded to other or general areas when the 3-0 draws nigh or when the first signs start appearing.

    Having said that, a lot depends on genetics, environment and lifestyle. Best to keep a healthy perspective on anti-ageing too and be happy with one’s lines and looks :)
    Audris last post is: Talk About Taupes Part III

    • Sesame says

      Lines at 20? Hmm…maybe your sis smiled or laughed too much. 😛 But you’re right, it’s good to start on proper skincare earlier than late. I think it’s not an issue to use anti-aging products on problem areas earlier if there are signs of aging already.

  3. says

    I tend to use anti-aging products for problem areas, like eye serums and spot whitening cream.
    Jyoan last post is: Review: Hada Labo Skincare

  4. Mandy says

    i’m about to hit 25 and i think olay regenerist serum is doing something good for my cheeks (i don’t apply it to my oily t-zone), judging from the comments i get :)

    • Sesame says

      Well, I did read very good reviews on Olay. In fact, I used Olay when I was much younger cos my mom used the brand. Back then it was called Ulan.

  5. HKLights says

    Great topic and article Sesame!

    I remember one British study, where they tried to find over-the-counter products that would mimic the unparalleled skin anti-aging results of Retin-A cream (prescription only in most of the world).

    In the study, they found one cream (Boots No7 Protect and Perfect) to be almost as effective, and that was widely reported (causing empty shelves of the product in UK Boots stores!).

    But if you read the research team’s entire report, they also had a second recommended product, a high SPF sunscreen.

    And sun damage to the skin starts accumulating from the day we are born.

    • Sesame says

      Oh Boots No.7 Protect and Perfect? I did read some good reviews on this product but I just can’t find the interest to pick it up. But I believe a number of drugstore brands like Olay, are actually effectively. And sun damage accumulating since birth? Definitely makes sense but it’s so :(.

  6. Jasmine says

    I have a theory about how our skin seems to be ageing faster. In Singaporeans aged 20+ in particular. This generation of ladies are the ones who have air-conditioning all day since a young age. Walking in and out of air-conditioning into the hot humid Singaporean climate gives the skin a lot of weather shock too. I had air-conditioned classrooms since I was in primary school … little wonder now some of my peers already have fine lines under their eyes!

    • Sesame says

      Hmm…very interesting theory and it does make sense. I’ve been thinking of writing about skin care under aircon environment for awhile…maybe I should.

  7. says

    I think that around 25 is correct time to start anti-aging just like you said!!! but, sun protection should be started in the teens itself or may be before!!!

    btw, Sesame, I wanted to ask you how much suncreen do you apply?? do you follow the teaspoon rule?? for both MVO and chemical sunscreens?
    Swati last post is: Dark and Dull Skin in summers {Reader’s Query}

    • Sesame says

      I try to use about 1/4 but not strictly. I use sun protection oil and then the sunscreen so I get some peace of mind there. If I were to go out for outdoor activities, I would apply more though.

  8. says

    Anti-ageing creams may help, but I really do agree with you Sesame. Lifestyle really affects the way our skin looks especially as we reach the age 25. I try as much as possible to avoid commercially prepared creams as they offer side effects in the long run. Natural skin care facial masks is what I usually use and it works wonders.
    Cassandra last post is: Skin Care Recipes Information They Don’t Want You To Know About

  9. says

    My skin degenerated something around 25, but it was when I was at 29 that I really felt the pinch. I didn’t use sunscreen diligently and I didn’t take care of my skin in a good way until around 1.5 years ago. Now, I feel my skin is drier and less plump. I’m starting to use vitamin c and incorporate supplements in my daily life. Hope that will help.

    By the way, Sesame, what supplement do you think may work to increase collagen in the skin? I read that collagen may not work, so I’m thinking about amino acid.
    Amanda last post is: 3 Unsightly Moments That Can Ruin Your Skin

    • Sesame says

      I find the AFC Japan Collagen Beauty to work well for me. A few of my readers have also said the same. I stopped taking it for a few months and I can see a subtle difference. Here’s the review if you’ve missed it.


      I know some ladies swear by Meji stuff and Fancl but again, as with other supplements, you have to be careful in the sense that some can cause allergies. Unfortunately, we don’t always know till we’ve tried.

      • says

        Thanks so much, Semame. Sure will do some research first :)
        Amanda last post is: 3 Unsightly Moments That Can Ruin Your Skin

  10. Annie says

    I’m 22 and have already begun using AHAs on my skin (I use the alpha hydrox enhanced lotion), as well as broad-spectrum SPF in my day cream and lip balm every day, on top of eating lots of fruit and veg, sleeping alot and not drinking or smoking. However, this was originally nothing to do with aging, but as part of controlling my acne. Then I started reading about the anti-aging benefits of these things, and now I guess you could say I’m a little obsessed with my skincare, but I’m not convinced that any age is too young to begin thinking about the future of our skin. Perhaps collagen production slows for most from the mid-20s, but when people say the visible signs of aging begin at age 25, I think that’s far too much of a generalisation, and not the case for almost everyone I know. I’ve seen children of ten years old with visible wrinkles from making expressions, and I’ve already got very faint lines around my eyes which have been there for many years. What’s more, almost everyone I know of around my age has lines somewhere on their face, some of which are very prominent (especially with men, who don’t pay as much attention to their skin as women). Plenty of acquaintances who are not 25 yet have very visible forehead wrinkles. On the other hand, I’m also a proponent of aging without botox or other surgical interventions if you can possibly help it, and don’t really believe the claims of any miracle cream that says it can ‘stimulate collagen production’ or ‘firm the skin’ or any of that stuff. The best we can do, I think, is to do what everyone has already said, and take care of ourselves from the inside out with lifestyle choices and proper sun protection, so we will prevent *premature* aging but not aging itself, which is inevitable.

    • Sesame says

      You’re definitely right that there are exceptions and it depends on the individual’s lifestyle and how well they take care of their skin. However, I’m kind of surprised that 10-year-olds have wrinkles.

      • Annie says

        Me too! It’s always a strange sight, but I saw it only last week at the train station, and the boy in question on this occasion was definitely not older than 10-12. He was making animated facial expressions even then, so I guess he just had a very active forehead, perhaps…? :) In the same way that some people always notice a person’s eyes when they’re talking to them, I always notice a person’s skin, and in my experience, almost everyone over the age of 18 has fine lines. Then again, I come from the UK, so maybe people here are more neglectful of their skin! From what I read on beauty blogs, it seems that women in Asian countries in particular take very good care of their skin, far more than Europeans. Perhaps it comes from the ironic fact that people in colder countries think they don’t need sunscreen, so they will not use it as much as those in places where it tends to be sunny, and so those in colder climates will maybe not age as well… but that’s just a guess.

        • Sesame says

          Ah I see…I think I know what you mean. I’ve seen some young girls with crow’s feet too. I think some of them don’t take proper care of their skin and probably if they use the right products, their skin will become better.

  11. akshey says

    hi there, i used to take shower with hot water much since 3 -4 years. Im 25 at age and on my cheeks ,the pores looks visible .so please find solution for me.thanks

    • Sesame says

      First off, stop taking hot water shower. Try to use a mask, like a mud clay mask weekly. Use products with vitamin C on your face.

  12. says

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article!
    It’s the little changes that will make the most important changes. Thanks for sharing!
    Voetbalonline.org last post is: Voetbalonline.org

    • Sesame says

      Argan is pure while Moroccan is mixed with synthetic silicones and fragance. You can use Argan on your face and hair.

  13. Jennifer says

    If you’re in your 20s, this is the healthiest decade for your skin. While there may be sun damage, but it will not start to show. You actually don’t need microdermabrasion or anti-wrinkle creams yet. However, the way you care for your skin now will determine how it will look like for many years to come. Then again, if you’re really worried about wrinkles, you can take preventative measures to treat fine lines. Use an anti-aging moisturizer containing a higher SPF. In the evening, wash your face with a mild facial wash and apply a moisturizer with hydration boost to reduce the chance of forming wrinkles.

  14. says

    I completely agree with you, those in mid twenties do not have to get crazy about anti-aging but its always better to start early. Preventing the signs of aging is much easier than reversing them.
    Anchal Bhatia last post is: Anti aging: How to grow old the young way

  15. says

    I’m scared to use antiaging I’m 36 and I don’t know what to do I have no wrinkles on yet is it okay for me to start using antiaging before they start coming out or what product can I use for my face

    • Sesame says

      Sure. You can start but you don’t need to go for fancy products. Just use those to help prevent.

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