Why You’re Not Too Young to Build Good Skincare Habits
Whether you’re a teen searching for ways to get rid of that first bump or a mom looking to nurture good skincare habits in your teen, know that you’re not alone and it’s not too early to develop good skincare habits for a lifetime of good skin.
It’s never too late to quit smoking, find love, or pursue your passions. But for some things in life — well, it’s never quite too early. Habits like wholesome eating and regular exercise, as well as healthy relationships with friends and family, are smart lifestyle choices to establish early on, setting you up for an age of success later in life.
Skincare is no different, and bonus tip: When it’s coupled with that good-for-you diet and an intentional zeal for life, you’ve got a sure-fire recipe for the coveted lit-from-within glow. So if you’re at the cusp of adulthood, here’s a friendly reminder why you’re not too young to start investing in your skin.
The sooner, the better
Why deal with wrinkles, sunspots, and other signs of aging when you have the power to prevent them? Skincare products — particularly the anti-aging variety — carry a wide range of perks, from brightening dull complexions to maintaining the skin’s elasticity for less fine lines and wrinkles. Plus, learning the nuances of your unique skin type (oily, dry, combination, or anywhere in between) at a young age will better prepare you for the future, equipping you with the know-how to modify your skincare regimen when facing changing climates and with a knowledge base to avoid common misconceptions that many skincare beginners have when diagnosing their skin.
If there’s one person we can trust on skincare, it’s the talented actress and anti-aging advocate Song Hye Kyo. She began experimenting early on with youth-saving skincare products at her mother’s recommendation — and we all know: Moms know best.
“My mother told me it’s better to start using anti-aging, even at a young age,” the K-drama veteran told Malay Mail Online. “Especially since I’m an actress, and I’m constantly under stage lights or exposed to a lot of sunlight. … I think using anti-aging products really helps; the (sooner), the better, you know?”
With one glance at Song Hye Kyo’s baby-faced complexion, you might find it hard to believe that the hit drama Descendants of the Sun star is in her mid-30s. The official face of Korean cosmetic company Laneige, Song explains that “skin aging originates from dry skin.” She swears by the brand’s ultra-hydrating Perfect Renew Regenerator or the Water Bank Essence, a lightweight formula with unmistakable moisture.
Ward off the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays
Speaking of SPF, one of the single most important skincare products you could add to your skincare routine (if you haven’t already) is sunscreen. (And unfortunately, a BB cream with SPF doesn’t suffice.) Among the various factors that can contribute to aging of the skin — loss of collagen, which forms wrinkles, or exposure to different irritants and pollution that can cause damage to the skin — the sun’s UVA and UVB rays have the most potent and harmful effect not only to your skin’s appearance, but more importantly, on your health. Even a round of doctors on a forum focusing on anti-aging all adamantly agree that a broad-spectrum sunscreen with high levels of SPF (at least 40) is crucial in combatting aging. We simply can’t stress enough the importance of applying (and reapplying, if needed) sunscreen daily to protect your skin from the harmful exposure.
“By damaging the skin’s cellular DNA, excessive UV radiation produces genetic mutations that can lead to skin cancer,” warns the Skin Cancer Foundation. UVB (ultraviolet short-wave) rays penetrate the outermost layer of the skin, causing superficial (but equally injurious) damage to the skin’s epidermal layers. Think redness and sunburns. On the other hand, the wrinkle-forming UVA (ultraviolet long-wave) rays infiltrate even deeper and have “relatively equal intensity during all daylight hours throughout the year,” penetrating through clouds and glass.
And if you’re a beach lover who loves to get her tan on, think twice before hitting the sand. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “A tan results from injury to the skin’s DNA; the skin darkens in an imperfect attempt to prevent further DNA damage. These imperfections, or mutations, can lead to skin cancer.”
Although you’ve likely heard it all before, we’ll say it again for good measure: Avoid sun tanning (both directly in the sun and inside a UVA ray-emitting tanning booth) and always wear sunscreen, even on the most gloomy, overcast, dark, and dreary days.
Because the real value of skincare is (almost) priceless
To put it simply, you can’t quite put a price on your health, and if it comes with the added benefits of clearer, brighter, and more youthful skin at a low cost, then sign us up. The cherry on top of the sundae that is Korean beauty and skincare is that it’s incredibly affordable to start your collection, and nearly every brand, whether it be lower-priced or high-end, has incredibly effective products to offer. So don’t worry: You don’t have to buy Song Hye Kyo’s mid-tier priced night serum or Chriselle’s pricey choice for a moisturizing cleansing balm to achieve baby-soft skin. With countless Korean brands to choose from, you’ll have a diverse spectrum of within-budget, skin-boosting products that will strengthen and fortify your skin’s barrier.
“Healthy and functioning skin barrier is [an] important protector against dehydration, penetration of various microorganisms, allergens, irritants, reactive oxygen species and radiation,” a recent study on skin anti-aging strategies states. “For this reason daily skin care may increase skin regeneration, elasticity, smoothness, and thus temporarily change the skin condition.”
Don’t know where to begin? Start with the affordable skincare line from the cult-favorite collection from Etude House that puts collagen in the spotlight, in the form of emulsions and nighttime moisturizers to collagen-infused eye patches and sheet masks. Or try products with vitamin C, a proven antioxidant that decreases the effect of the sun’s rays.
For more easy-to-follow routines and recommendations, check out:
As you build your skincare cabinet, add in products like exfoliators to unclog grime and dirt from pores, and invest in eye creams to give special treatment to the most sensitive parts of your face. With gradual and consistent use of your revamped daytime and nighttime routine, we’re sure that you’ll see a lifetime of a difference for your skin.
What good skincare habits did you develop early in your beauty journey? And what was the first beauty product you used?