Every day, countless Gen-Z beauty enthusiasts and skincare aficionados head to TikTok to share their tips and to learn more about anti-aging skincare routines. Whether they’re encouraging people to lather up on sunscreen every day (regardless of the season) or advising viewers to finally give a specific serum a shot, we’ve noticed that twenty-somethings on the app all tend to include the following steps in their nightly routines. Firstly, practically all encourage washing makeup off and cleansing in general every night, then using a hyaluronic serum directly after, and lastly moisturizing the face, neck and chest after that before climbing into bed. Morning steps usually include cleansing, using a Vitamin C serum and then applying sunscreen or moisturizer with SPF.
Toner and retinol are often up for debate among young users as various skin types (dry, oily or combination) can handle products like these at different levels. We spoke with Dr. Emmanuel Loucas, board-certified dermatologist and director of SINY and Water’s Edge Dermatology and Ksenia Sobchak, London-based dermatologist and nutritionist to break down the most common tips young people on social media always give and why they might be onto something when it comes to anti-aging skincare.
Since you probably already know the importance of sun protection products and daily moisturizing in general, read on for (less commonly known) things to keep in mind regarding cleansing your face, the 2 serums dermatologists swear by and a general tip for starting retinol if you haven’t already.
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Tip #1— Use A *Gentle* Cleanser/ Face Wash
As we age, our skin loses its elasticity and becomes noticeably more delicate and thin over time. A good and ubiquitous tip from beauty gurus on social media is to use a mild or specifically gentle cleanser.
This refers to one that is specially formulated for hydration and dry and sensitive skin relief. Using this with aging skin is done in order to preserve its youthful essence as much as possible.
Loucas explains that this advice from young internet users is vital regardless of your age or skin type, but it especially rings true for aging beauties. “The thing to remember, is as we mature, our skin often loses some of its barrier protection, and can dry out very easily when stronger anti-aging products are used,” Loucas says.
“The other thing to remember is an effective skincare routine is all about quality and consistency, not quantity and non-compliance.”
Tip #2: Morning Vitamin C Serum & Evening Hyaluronic Acid
If you take a scroll through TikTok videos depicting skincare routines, you’re bound to encounter these two serums and users highly suggesting them.
Many people use a vitamin C serum in the mornings after cleansing to keep their youthful glow all day long, and to ultimately stimulate collagen production in the skin, fight fine lines, and brighten the complexion.
Hyaluronic acid serums are all the rage as a nightly step, since they have the power to hydrate and retain moisture, which all of us need to do as we age and support our natural skin oils.
Sobchak agrees with this widely-shared-on-TikTok tip, as using these serums can “prevent dry skin conditions” and gives the face a more “radiant appearance” if used consistently. Although these serums are popular among many, Loucas still suggests testing out what works for you slowly and steadily as your skin may have different needs that these serums don’t specifically target.
“Always take it slow, be methodical, and add products after you see that you are tolerating the ones you are currently using,” Loucas says. This approach leads us to retinol, the highly acclaimed product that also often comes with harsh side effects. Read on to learn what it could mean for your skin.
Lastly, How Should You Use Retinol?
Retinol is undeniably one of the most-talked-about skincare topics on TikTok and beyond. With so many people raving about its potential to smooth fine lines and prevent the formation of wrinkles in certain areas, you might be wondering if it’s worth a shot and how its effects could differ on aging vs. young skin.
“With mature patients, their skin is often more dry and more likely to get irritated with many anti-aging products,” Loucas says. “Retinols and retinoids are two commonly used ingredients in an anti-aging regimen. Starting with a retinol makes more sense as this is often times weaker and better tolerated.”
Loucas adds that if your skin tolerates retinols, then you can graduate to retinoids. The same goes for products containing hydroxy acids. “You should start slow, meaning in small amounts and several times a week, not daily,” Loucas notes.
“Always moisturize over these products,” he continues, and stresses remembering that less is more. “Having a consult with a board-certified dermatologist is always a good way to start your journey,” he concludes, and we agree. Since TikTok beauty trends can come and go, personailzed advice from your doctor is the utmost important. The tips discussed here, however, are relatively general and dermatologist-aapproved, and can suit many skin types in the meantime.