There’s a reason why the fountain of youth continues to elude us—it’s a myth. Humans are biologically designed to age, yet we’re constantly inundated by society to maintain our youthfulness, even when we’re clearly past it. Cosmetic procedures come in when anti-ageing products fail to zap those wrinkles away magically. Women are berated when they don’t do enough to continue looking young, yet are criticised when it becomes too much. It’s time to stop chasing youth preservation. You are now entering your gentle ageing era.
The concept of gentle ageing
You heard it here first. Gentle ageing borrows philosophies from trending TikTok keywords like “soft life” and “gentle parenting”. As your skin matures, you should gently ease it into its age and celebrate any wrinkle that comes your way. There’s no need to forcefully maintain the tautness of your skin, as though jowls are a horrendous issue. The beauty ideal of constantly looking young can be tiring to keep up with as you grow older. Why let it get in the way of you living your best life?
Don’t despair at the changes that appear with age. With gentle ageing, all you have to do is continue caring for your skin, feeding it the skincare it needs—not what you want. You don’t have to shun cosmetic procedures entirely, either. You just need to take on what your skin needs to thrive instead of chasing an ideal look that will be impossible to upkeep.
Beginning a gentle ageing skincare routine
Starting a skincare routine for gentle ageing isn’t difficult. In fact, you won’t even need to overhaul your existing routine. You likely already have a basic skincare routine down pat for your skin type, whether it’s dry, combination, normal or oily. Now, you should go deeper and identify common problems you often find with your skin. Here are some examples of questions to ask yourself:
Do I have redness in certain parts of my face?
If you tend to have redness, you’re likely going through a spate of skin inflammation due to external stressors or using too-harsh products. Picking a product that contains anti-inflammatory ingredients such as Centella Asiatica (also known as cica) will help soothe your skin. Dr. Jart+’s Cicapair Serum is a great step to add to your day and night skincare routine—simply layer it with any of your existing serums before sealing it with a moisturiser like La Roche Posay’s Cicaplast Baume B5+ Soothing Multi-Purpose Balm. Want something more decadent to last you through the night? Try Laneige’s Cica Sleeping Mask.
Are there dry patches on my skin?
Changes in weather, eczema, and psoriasis are just among the many causes of dry patches on your skin. It may make you uncomfortable and tempted to overmoisturise, but you must resist. Try hydrating your skin (not moisturising!) with a hyaluronic serum such as the Herbivore Botanicals Cloud Jelly Plumping Hydration Serum or Tatcha’s The Dewy Serum to boost moisture from within your skin cells. Follow with a moisturiser suited to your skin type, and seal all the hydration with a facial oil. We can’t get enough of La Mer’s The Renewal Oil and Drunk Elephant’s Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil.
Does my skin look normal but lack a certain vitality?
Sometimes, it might feel like you have your skincare routine down to a T, yet something needs to be added. Your skin is neither too dry nor too oily, and you have no acne, yet it’s missing a touch of vitality. The answer to this? Vitamin C. Like our bodies, your skin can also benefit from topical Vitamin C to give it a healthy glow. It doesn’t hurt that a good Vitamin C serum can also heal your blemishes, encourage new collagen production, and reduce hyperpigmentation. Tried-and-tested serums that work include Sunday Riley’s C.E.O. 15% Vitamin-C Brightening Serum, Ole Henriksen’s Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum, and Dr. Dennis Gross’ 15% Vitamin C Firm & Bright Serum. Always follow up with a sunscreen product after, as Vitamin C is photosensitive.
Gentle ageing as a lifestyle
No skin is perfect—and texture is entirely normal. Wrinkles and sagging are all part of our body going through the ageing process, and there is no shame in allowing them to do their job. In your gentle ageing era, celebrate growing older and thank your skin and body for protecting you. You have come a long way, and these wrinkles are just proof that your life is one that is well-lived.
This article was first published in the print edition of Grazia Malaysia March 2023 issue.