We’ll paint you a picture. You’ve just gotten engaged. You’re young, happy, in love—you know, all the good stuff. This morning, you woke up to a line you’ve never seen before, forming around the corner of your mouth. Good news? This sneaky little crease is presumably the result of ear-to-ear grinning the last few months at engagement soirées. Bad news? You’ve just found your first wrinkle. Quelle horreur!
Before you make a mad dash to the nearest store, you should find this helpful: Tons of well-known brands are now formulating products specifically for millennials! Research shows that such products are necessary because this generation, more than ever, is completely aware of how a stressful, hectic lifestyle makes skin pay the price. We’re fully prepared to battle aging in a preventative measure rather than as an afterthought.
But why can’t you just grab any serum off the drugstore shelf and call it a day? You can, but we’re inclined to say that some products deserve a nudge for literally designing their formulas with this age range in mind. They were created with a concentration on how to combat very specific factors, like pollution, lack of sleep, urban life, and other things us millennials are doing that wreak havoc on the skin.
We spoke to Clarins’s global scientific communications director, Marie-Helene Lair, to get you all the information on how to gently ease into your new skin regimen and what to pick up in the months leading up to your wedding.
If you’re not already, make sure you’re cleansing every night before the big day to remove pollution particles and eliminate impurities. Nothing crazy—something simple like Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser ($26, clarinsusa.com) is enough to get the job done. We also like the Shiseido Ibuki Gentle Cleanser ($30, shiseido.com), which has a PhytoResist complex that enhances skin’s natural moisture factors.
Add a serum to deliver ingredients directly into your skin. There are so many on the market, and it could be an overload of information, but Lair suggests starting off with a hydrating one if you’ve never used serums before. We like Dr. Brandt Skincare Power Dose Vitamin C ($69, drbrandtskincare.com), which contains the highest concentration of stabilized vitamin C your skin can absorb.
Try retinol. We know it sounds scary, but there are alternatives to some of the harsher products on the market. Resurface by Shani Darden Retinol Reform ($95, shanidarden.com) is a gentler example that’s still effective. It reduces lines and boosts collagen to keep the skin looking tighter and younger.
The number-one thing you should amp up immediately is hydration—but this doesn’t mean to just slather on whatever you find. “For young women, it’s just not necessary yet to grab a heavy moisturizer meant for older skin, since the physiological skin concerns differ,” says Lair. She recommends Clarins Multi-Active Day ($54, clarinsusa.com), which uses an encapsulated teasel extract that targets the key youth cell of the skin (called a fibroblast). This activity prevents and corrects premature aging.
To treat yourself further, spend a night in with Youth to the People Age Prevention Superfood Mask ($44, sephora.com); this mask is formulated with spirulina, bioactive microalgae, and hyaluronic acid (plus kale and spinach!)—the best superfoods on earth!
Dab on a little bit of eye cream. The Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future Powered by Ceramide Eye Gel ($40, elizabetharden.com) stops the very first signs of aging (which may not even be visible to the naked eye yet!) with a very protective protein complex and skin brighteners.
Daily SPF is a must. Get into the habit of this now. “Many millennial women live in highly polluted cities, so choose a daily sunscreen to apply after your moisturizer,” she says. We recommend Clarins UV Plus Anti-Pollution Broad Spectrum SPF 50 ($43, clarinsusa.com), a super-light and quick-absorbing choice.