What happens to your skin as you age?

What happens to your skin as you age?
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As we age, our skin ages with us. This is an unavoidable reality, and embracing this fact can make the ageing process easier to accept. Over time, there are different ways your skin will change, and therefore different ways to treat your skin to ensure you are always looking your best.

In this article, we will look at the different stages of skin ageing, what you can expect depending on your age, and some great treatment options you might like to consider. These observations are for both male and female skin – no one misses out on the ageing process! 

Birth – 10-year-old skin


It has often been observed that children, especially babies, have extremely smooth skin. In the case of babies, they come out of the womb having been protected by something known as the vernix coating, which “protects the epidermis from water exposure and creates a drier condition”, according to Visscher et al.

But babies aren’t just protected from moisture while in the womb. Their skin is also ready for the world if they are full-term. Visscher et al. explain that a “well-developed epidermal barrier is fully competent to execute its primary functions of preventing water loss”.

So the youngest amongst us generally start out with flawless skin, which generally continues through early childhood and is very smooth before adolescence.

11- 20-year-old skin

teenager with acneBroadly speaking, adolescence is the first time we are presented with any skin issues. During puberty, the body goes through a lot of changes, and these have an impact on the skin.

During puberty, acne often appears on the back neck, and, most prominently, the face, as this area has more pores than the rest of our body. This is when the first major skin care appears in our lives. Sometimes that can be simply by resisting the urge to squeeze a pimple or to scrub your face too hard.

For more extreme acne, it is important to wash, but gently. You don’t want to use irritating scrubs but a soft cloth and gentle cleanser. There are also medical treatments that can help with extreme acne. At ENRICH, we see many acne and acne scar patients. 

21-30-year-old skin

This is the period you need to start preparing your skin for long-term ageing. During this period, especially toward the back end of people’s twenties, your skin starts to show the first signs of aging or skin damage.

This is due to many different factors, such as a lack of sleep or stress. The reality of ageing is the extra responsibility we take on, and most of us have more adult responsibilities, such as families, by this age. Additionally, by this time, sun damage may have built up over time to the point it is beginning to show.

magnifying glass showing skin on cheek up close

For this reason, this is the age you want to develop a good skincare routine. This includes using sunscreen on those bad UV days (not just when the temperature is high), exfoliating and moisturising regularly.

This also might be the time that you start to explore laser treatments or glycolic peels to add to your skincare routine. Our no-downtime treatments give your skin the perfect clean and pep-up.

The good news is that at this age, your skin is in a strong “collagen-producing” phase so it renews and rebuilds almost constantly.

Starting your skin routine early, in the habit of taking care of your skin, can be an investment for the future. Good skin health is just as important as all the other tasks you undertake for your general well-being. We have several great skin care products in our ENRICH Clinic Shop.

31-40-year-old skin

As you approach middle age, managing your skin becomes more of a focus. As your skin moves into a more mature phase, there is usually a need for a more structured approach to skin care.

woman and close ups of her eye and smile lines

Generally speaking, your thirties are when you start to see some fine lines appearing around your eyes and a loss of volume in your cheeks. It’s usually not too dramatic unless you have spent too many days sunning yourself, however, it is something to keep an eye on. 

Why does this happen? Your skin can no longer repair itself as well as it once did, which often means it can lack the once super youthful look. Decreases in collagen mean your skin is not as plump as it once was. We also start to produce less collagen as we age, so there is some sense in promoting collagen production by treatment means. This is also the age when dermatology treatments start to become more necessary. It’s even worth looking at the more cosmetic side of skincare, such as dermal fillers & anti-wrinkle injections. The longer you leave wrinkles to form on your skin, the longer it takes for them to decrease. 

41-50-year-old skin

Throughout your forties, your skin starts to lose firmness. A loss of elasticity and volume can lead to a lack of volume, skin starts to lose its laxity and wrinkles become clearer.

woman checking her skin in a mirror

At this point, you want to have a strong skincare process and routine. In addition to your daily routine, however, you might consider other treatment options, such as Facial Rejuvenation.

These days skin treatments, especially with lasers have become a lot more common, so there is no need to feel like you’re the only one. Lasers can be extremely beneficial for the production of collagen and to help promote skin tightening. We have a broad range of laser and other face treatments at ENRICH clinic that can benefit maturing skin. 

51-60-year-old skin

For women, this is generally the menopausal to post-menopausal age, and declining estrogen levels can significantly impact the skin. It becomes thinner and drier, and there is a loss of volume as natural collagen production reduces again. Menopause can even lead to acne, which may not have appeared since adolescence. 

mature woman with hand on face

This is also often the time those “cute freckles” are now realised as age or sun spots.  Looking and feeling good is key at this age to both self-esteem and well-being. Spending time on your skin’s health is not vanity; it’s a health necessity, and all of these issues can have some relief. 

For men, whilst not subjected to menopause, male skin too loses volume and skin wrinkling increases. Male skin is often subjected to elements, especially prone to sun damage and age spots. Skin checks at this age are also key as pre-skin cancers and basal cells tend to crop up around this time. 

While many people start their filler journey earlier, fillers can help at this age as they plump the skin and add volume where it is often lost. Using anti-wrinkle injections to help reduce those wrinkles is certainly quick, a feel-good fix and refreshing. Collagen also needs a boost, and at ENRICH, we have a number of these treatments, including some of the more hard-core skin resurfacing treatments.  Investing in a  regular treatment plan is also a bonus. We strongly encourage you to talk to an expert before making any commitments. You can call us on 03 9500 9500 to speak to our friendly team.

61-70-year-old skin

By this point, all the markers of ageing simply can get more extreme. Wrinkles become more pronounced, scars appear more easily, the skin becomes even drier and collagen production lessens even more.

It’s not all bad news. If you have started your skin journey early in life, much of this “natural”  ageing may have been circumvented to an extent. If you have worn 50+ sunscreen every day for most of your life–the best anti-aging cream–according to Dr Rich, your skin will certainly be reaping the benefits of this now. And very likely, your skin will look much better than those of your contemporaries who haven’t. 

mature woman smilingWe have several Skin Tightening treatments to help you retain that skin laxity.  These treatments include laser and skin needling, which also impact collagen production. It’s important to know that no one treatment or skin topical can give you back the 20-year-old skin. Managing your own expectations is very important in this process. 

By this age, it is a good idea to have a regular 6 monthly appointment with your dermatologist, which includes a regular skin check every year and a skin health plan in place. Investing in a skin treatment plan that sees you having regular no-downtime laser treatments ( depending on your needs) &/or skin peels is also incredibly helpful to skin health. Ultimately, we want to find you the best option to tighten, clear and care for your skin and have you comfortable with your own very unique and beautiful look. 

Our clinic is located at 872-874 High Street, Armadale, VIC, or you can contact us by filling out a form. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Please Note:

*With all surgeries or procedures, there are risks. Consult your physician (GP) before undertaking any surgical or cosmetic procedure. Please read the consent forms carefully and be informed about every aspect of your treatment. Surgeries such as liposuction have a mandatory seven-day cooling-off period to give patients adequate time to be sure of their surgery choice. Results may also vary from person to person due to many factors, including the individual’s genetics, diet and exercise. Before and after photos are only relevant to the patient in the photo and do not necessarily reflect the results other patients may experience. Ask questions. Our team of dermatologists, doctors and nurses are here to help you with any of your queries. This page is not advice and is intended to be informational only. We endeavour to keep all our information up to date; however, this site is intended as a guide and not a definitive information portal or in any way constitutes medical advice.

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Have you tried our ENRICH skin care range?

Combining Dr Rich’s dermatological skill with his knowledge of restorative skin regimes and treatments, the ENRICH range is formulated to help maintain and complement your skin. Our signature Vitamin C Day & Night creams are now joined by a Vit A, B,&C Serum and a B5 Hyaluronic Gel, both with hydration properties and much, much more. 

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