Two experts weigh in on the one practice that will protect your skin, and it's not very glamorous.

It’s the age-old question (ha) – when is the right time to start using anti-ageing products?

According to the experts, the answer might not be as straight forward as a simple number.

“The expression ‘anti-ageing’ can encompass so many different elements,” says Melbourne-based dermal therapist James Vivian.

skincare cabinet
Image: iStock

"When I'm doing consultations I break those words down to work out area of face client is concerned with. There's no blanket rule for everyone, it's not like you reach 30 and *boom* the signs of ageing appear on your face."

Rochelle Jacobs, Director of the June Jacobs skincare range is of a similar view.

"I don't necessarily think that the word anti-ageing "treating wrinkles'. We previously came out with products [with skincare line Peter Thomas Roth] which were wrinkle preventers but it didn't sell at all, meaning that a 20 year old person either isn't interested or they think they already have wrinkles and are already using anti-ageing products," she says.

Vivian says the best attitude to take is "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of a cure".

Listen: Another extremely helpful fashion study about age appropriateness. Not. Post continues after audio.

"It's far easier and less expensive to prevent damage rather than retract it," he says, preferring the term "age management".

"If your lifestyle is outdoors and in the sun and hitting bar and nightclub hard, you would be more in need of age management compared to someone who is in more indoors," he says.


"Or even just have a lighter skin tone rather than darker which has more UV protection, then you should look to age management younger."

Although he says to wait for signs to show themselves so you know what to use.

"What could be anti ageing for one person could be useless for another. Take preventative botox in the forehead for example. For a lot of people you just won't develop lines in the forehead, you may not get them at all. If you do get them and you don't like them then that's fine, but how do you know if they don't develop?"

Jacobs believes it always at least partly comes down to genetics - and there's a way to see what you can expect.

"You can tell by looking at the women in your family how their skin is ageing which will give you an idea of what your future problems will be," she says. (Post continues after gallery.)


Once you've identified areas you want to improve, a popular option recommended by experts is cosmeceutical skincare, which has higher anti-oxidant properties.

It's also generally more expensive - a 25 year old is not always in a position to buy a $300 serum.

However the most important anti-ageing product? Sun protection. That you should start as young as you can.

Decidedly less glamorous, Vivian says there is "nothing more important" than ensuring your protecting your skin from sun damage, as its effects will always make you look older.

In addition to SPF, Jacobs says based on her first-hand experience, the difference between younger and older looking skin is hydration.

"I believe that dehydrated skin becomes prunier faster. If your skin is hydrated, it looks healthier. So that precaution can start as young as in your teens."

How has your skincare regimen changes as you've got older?

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