The Grooming Journal
Want To Stay Younger-Looking For Longer?… Prevention Is Always Better Than Cure
We explain the benefit of kickstarting your anti-ageing skincare regime sooner rather than later. After all, prevention is always better than cure!
Dec 18, 2022
About Adrian Clark
Adrian Clark is a contributor for The Grooming Journal by Humanery and British GQ. He is also a contributor for the Telegraph, where he has a weekly column, and has previously written for the Guardian, The Sunday Times, the Face and Arena, specialising in men’s fashion, watches and, of course, grooming.
One of man's most annoying faults is his inability to pre-empt and take action for his future benefit. I'm not talking about situations beyond our control or unpredictable ones. I draw attention to those circumstances that can be planned for in advance and are sooner or later inevitable.
For example, why do we wait until the temperature suddenly takes a deep dive south before we consider buying a new coat that will keep us snug? We wait until the very last minute and end up picking through the leftovers in stores.
Men have (historically) taken a similar "I'll deal with that when the time comes" easy-going approach to defending our skin from the unavoidable and predestined deterioration caused by the ageing process (although we are seemingly getting better). We wait until we see visible signs, like dull complexions, dark spots and the formation of fine lines and wrinkles, before we take steps to do anything about it.
While you could always buy a shiny new phone or ipad, protecting the integrity of youthful-looking skin isn’t as easily fixable. It can’t be exchanged or replaced and merely relies upon the lifestyle and grooming choices you make in your younger years; essentially, it depends entirely on how well you have looked after it.
You've heard it before: prevention is always better than cure!
Prevention is always better than cure, and at no time more so than in the case of anti-ageing grooming regimens. You are never too young to consider how best to future-proof your looks. I think you should be taking action from the point your skin health is performing at its peak, which in most men is from the mid-twenties onwards. The truth is, regardless of the dubious claims from lotions and potions that will "turn back time", there are only three strong lines of defence:
1. to forestall the tell-tale appearances of decline,
2. preserve what you have, and,
3. protect from further (sometimes slowed-down) deterioration.
There is no turning the clock back, just the potential to slow it down a bit; My tips in this journal, if started early doors, will help you beat onset premature-ageing to the finish line.
1. Make sure you wear SPF every day. Rain or shine, regardless of the weather.
Clinical studies have proven that exposure to UVA/UVB rays significantly accelerates the skin's ageing process.
Responsible for dark spots, discolouration and uneven texture, I would recommend that you cover up and shield your complexion with a broad-spectrum SPF. You can either switch to a moisturiser with an SPF built-in or layering a dedicated veil of SPF protection over your hydrator of choice.
My advice is to aim high with a factor of 50; gone are the days when a high SPF factor product would leave a chalky white residue, today’s more advanced formulations have evolved to be both transparent and easily absorbed.
You're welcome to explore the expertly curated selection of SPF and sun protection skincare for men at Humanery or cut to the chase by buying The Grey's SPF 50 Daily Face Protect Moisturiser.
2. Pick eye serums over eye creams or gel-based solutions.
Always choose an eye serum over an eye cream or gel, as these are specifically formulated to offer long-term benefits.
Creams and gels (with exceptions) are beneficial in adding some pep to tired peepers with an instantly-gratifying soothing or awakening effect.
Eye serums tend to have active ingredients that penetrate deeper into the dermis and encourage effective and accumulative anti-ageing results.
On that subject, any products that you would categorise as quick fixes will probably have little (if any) further-reaching or longer-term gains. Don't get me wrong, quick fixes are helpful, especially the morning after a heavy night out, but don't expect them to lay the foundations for keeping premature ageing at bay. I would recommend that you try the ES1 Eye Serum by cult men's grooming brand Patricks, which has an ultra concentrated formula of actives to help you with fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes.
3. Hydration is key.
Hydration is key to keeping a youthful complexion looking healthy, dewy and fit. Opt for moisturisers that flood the skin with potent anti-ageing actives, such as hyaluronic acid, niacinamide (alternatively known as vitamin B3) and antioxidant-rich vitamin C. While most dedicated anti-ageing moisturisers - targeting mature skin needing TLC - are rich and dense in texture, gels, balms and creme/gel formulations are lighter and better suited to younger skin.
4. Get face cleansing right!
Cleansing, as with any grooming ritual, is integral to future-proofing your skin. Overzealous cleansing can dry the skin out, speeding up the degenerative ageing process; low-foam and gentle face washes, or preferably cleansing face balms, oils or lotions, will help you realise the best outcome without compromise or irritation.
5. Make exfoliators your skin's pal.
To help cellular regeneration and turnaround you should be using a resurfacing product once or twice a week.
Exfoliators that offer a chemical rather than physical scrub-like peel are both kinder to your complexion (overuse of face scrubs can lead to broken veins later in life) and offer longer-term anti-ageing benefits; those that feature AHAs and BHAs are your best bet.
A dedicated grooming routine for nighttime is also a savvy route to take. You can use richer and more nourishing formulations as part of your bedtime ritual - the kind of products you can't use during the day as they tend to sit on the skin more and leave an oily residue - and explore more powerful ingredients, such as retinol, that are too potent to use when exposed to daylight.
My parting words of wisdom...
And finally, it goes without saying that the lifestyle choices you make when you are young will significantly determine if you get sagging skin, fine-lines and wrinkles, dullness and hyperpigmentation, later in life. Drink more water, get plenty of sleep, eat well and try to burn the candle from just one end.
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