Although the internet would have you believe that millennials are only obsessed with buying plants and artisan coffees, we are (mostly) all grown up. It’ll come as no surprise, then, that when it comes to the beauty products we’re regularly purchasing, millennials are certainly “maturing.” Plenty of trend reports say we’re much more focused on skincare than makeup, opting to invest in products that aim to enhance what’s underneath. (Though, I certainly still enjoy both.) Between lengthy Korean skincare routines and new fancy gadgets, the fashion girls I spoke to are certainly upping their skincare game of late.
Yet anti-ageing is still something many are unsure about. When exactly should we start an anti-ageing routine? Most importantly, do these products even work? Skin experts are certainly not united on all of these concerns, yet the majority of dermatologists I’ve spoken to have all suggested that “prevention is better than cure.” I’m also of the mindset that care is better than cure. You’re not necessarily “anti-ageing.” Rather, you’re embracing ageing—just at the speed you prefer.
Your 30s are generally considered the time to start being more proactive about anti-ageing skincare, and some experts suggest starting as young as 25. The most championed anti-ageing ingredients include retinols, collagens, ceramides, acids, and sun creams, all of which are said to help improve skin elasticity, keep skin hydrated, and promote general youthfulness. Retinol can be an intimidating ingredient to include in your routine. It is a derivative of vitamin A, and the most powerful have to be prescribed by your GP. A not-so-scary intro is The Ordinary’s Retinol in Squalane (£5). Jonathan Paton, a thirty-something who works in magazine publishing, has yet to venture onto retinols but recommends trying acids. “I think that acid exfoliating is more important for anti-ageing than any claims a cream can make,” he says. “My favourites are Alpha-H Liquid Gold (£34) and Paula’s Choice’s salicylic acid.”
Fashion blogger Lauren Cokjuler says she’s been using anti-ageing products since she was 27 years old. “I’ve been using Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream (£87) for about two years, and I’m obsessed with the smell,” she tells me. She’s now 32 and uses it close to every day. It’s a very popular product, and the daily moisturiser boasts that it can boost skin firmness and elasticity in two weeks. Admittedly, I was very low-key about anti-ageing throughout my 20s, mainly relying on genetics and a good moisturiser. Yet in recent times, I’ve been more consistently using sun cream, which, of course, helps prevent the onset of wrinkles via sun damage. My favourite is the unrivaled La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Invisible Fluid Sun Cream (£18). It’s hydrating and is undetectable under makeup. I also absolutely love Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Oil (£40). (I was sad when I finished the bottle.) I’m very big on moisture when it comes to achieving a younger and fresher face, and this product achieves it. You wake up to skin that looks as if you have had significantly more sleep than you actually have. Keep scrolling for the best anti-ageing products for when you’re in your 30s.