From the time we’re born, our skin (and our entire bodies, really) starts to age. This is an indisputable fact that drives this wild experience of being human. For those of us blessed with the opportunity to taste the sweet and sour realities of age beyond our 20s, that steady coming of age starts to show up on our faces a bit more aggressively than it did in years prior. From uneven texture to lack of radiance and maybe even a few deep lines that linger long after we’re done emoting, the physical manifestations of aging are unrelenting and mostly boil down to a gradual loss of tightness in our skin.
“Fine lines, wrinkles, sagging, laxity, hollowness, and general loss of elasticity within the skin are all signs of less-than-tight skin,” says skin expert and celebrity facialist Melanie Grant. “Once we hit our 30s, we tend to lose collagen at a rate of roughly 1% per year.” This news might be a little alarming, but don’t fret! We asked Grant, the guru our girl Victoria Beckham trusts to keep her famous mug fresh as a daisy, for her top tips for keeping our skin tight and lifted as we dance into our 30s, 40s, and beyond.
Aside from collagen loss, Grant says there are other naturally occurring compounds in the skin that also start to slow down once we hit our 30s and beyond. “Functional elastin also declines, and the production of hyaluronic acid slows down, too,” she told us. “Fine lines and wrinkles are much more likely to start appearing after this age and will continue to increase over time. Vices such as too much sun, smoking, and stress will really start to show.”
Grant says her philosophy for maintaining tightness in the skin comes down to a prevention-first mindset. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to skincare, as each and every complexion is different. I like to stick to an approach that is focused on prevention and then correction,” she explains. “The key is to promote collagen synthesis. I would recommend starting with a vitamin C serum, a retinol, and of course sunscreen to protect the collagen that you already have.”
And just like every other aspect of beauty, Grant says that healthy, tight skin starts on the inside. “Inner beauty is just as important as topical skincare, so take care of yourself from the inside out. This means maintaining a healthy diet, eating fresh and wholesome produce and a wide variety of healthy foods, drinking lots of water, regular sleeping patterns, minimal stress, and no smoking.”
If you’re so inclined to seek in-office treatments to tighten the skin, Grant says that there are options there as well. “Treatment modalities that utilize technology such as radiofrequency and ultrasound are great for firming and tightening. I also love light therapy and laser for firming and toning.” But ultimately, Grant believes that you can take your skin health into your own hands at home with great results, as long as you commit to consistency with your regimen. “By the time you reach your late 40s and early 50s, your investment in your skin will start to pay off.”
Ahead, check out the curated skincare routine Grant prescribed just for us, and see if you’re doing all you can to preserve your skin’s healthiest, most youthful appearance.