20s, 30s, 40s, and Beyond: When to Start Anti-Aging Treatments


We hear it time and time again: ”It’s almost like one day I looked in the mirror and wondered where all these wrinkles and brown spots came from!” That’s typically the moment most people decide to come in to discuss treatment options and skincare.

Thankfully, there are a lot of great products and procedures that can really rejuvenate ones appearance. But just like maintaining anything else of value, prevention is key. So when is the best time to start anti-aging treatments? The answer is... yesterday. Ignorance can be bliss, but only until you wake up one morning looking much older on the outside than you feel on the inside.

Bottom line: The best time to start a good skincare regimen is as soon as possible! I wish I could go back and lather my old teenage self with sunscreen daily to prevent the sunspots that crept up in my mid-20s. It’s important to at least use a quality sunscreen containing zinc and titanium oxide of SPF 30 or higher in combination with a potent antioxidant, such as a vitamin C serum.

By your mid-20s, when studies show collagen and elastin begin to decrease, you should be using retinol at night to stimulate the production of new skin cells and reduce the bodies natural enzymes that are to blame for the breakdown of collagen. Retinol also helps reduce hyperpigmentation and discoloration in the skin. The skin around the eyes is especially skin and prone to a phenomenon called solar elastosis, which essentially is the breakdown of collagen and elasticity. The under eyes are one of the most popular areas patients ask about at a later age, so it’s best to start using an eye cream as early as your mid-20s and to be diligent in applying morning and night.

A series of chemical peels to exfoliate the skin and further enhance collagen and elastin production is great at any age, though patients with more advanced signs of aging will get better results with stronger skin-resurfacing treatments such as micro-needling with PRP or a fractional CO2 laser treatment. But chemical peels in your 20s, 30s, or 40s will help brighten the skin, reduce pigmentation and fine lines, and even out skin tone. To keep up the results you achieve from your chemical peel treatments, it’s important to exfoliate with an exfoliating cleanser and/or an oscillating brush like the Clarisonic a few times per week to keep dead skin cells from accumulating on the surface of the skin.

Injectables, such as Botox and fillers, can also be used as preventative treatments. Botox is the best injectable to start with to address the first sign of wrinkles in the forehead, between the brows, or around the eyes. Starting in your 20s or 30s, before any wrinkles have begun to form in the skin, will prevent them from ever doing so if you are consistent with treatment. Many dermal fillers, such as Juvederm, can be used in the folds around the mouth or under the eyes to soften lines and keep them from becoming permanently etched into the skin. With consistent use, injectable treatments can eventually be spaced further apart as muscles weaken over time with Botox and dermal fillers stimulate new collagen production.

This one is a personal decision that you can evaluate the need for after consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon, facial plastic surgeon, or dermatologic surgeon. Preventative skincare and injectable treatments typically prolong the need for surgery but gravity, genetics, and other factors may eventually leave you with a level of facial and neck laxity that you are not happy with. Having been consistent with an anti-aging regimen in the past will ensure the best possible outcome following any surgical procedure.

Article by
Salt Lake City Facial Plastic Surgeon