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Time travel for your face

26 September 2011

Q: Every other skincare product I come across seems to be about anti-ageing. I’m 29 and my face is still in tact as far as I can see. When am I supposed to upgrade to an anti-ageing product and do they actually work?

Lucian, Manchester

Our expert Ahmed Zambarakji answers your questions below:

Men generally don’t show signs of ageing quite as quickly as women, so it’s not surprising that you’ve almost made it to 30 without gravity kicking in. The biophysical structure of a guy’s skin is naturally designed to fight the ageing process – it’s 20 per cent thicker than women’s skin with around 22 per cent more collagen, which makes it pretty damn resilient and therefore less prone to premature drooping and wrinkling. It’s also a veritable playground for cellular activity, repairing itself with relative ease after late nights, boozing and general debauchery. But there’s a ‘but’.

All our genetic blessings don’t mean we get off completely scott free. When the ageing process does kick in, it’s a quick and slippery slope to looking like a messier version of your dad. The ageing process actually begins in our mid-twenties, scarily enough. Even though you might not be exhibiting visible signs of age just yet that doesn’t mean the process hasn’t already begun ‘under the hood’. From about 25, cell renewal slows down dramatically and the production of collagen and elastin fibres – effectively the scaffolding that holds your face up – starts to slacken.

Throw in the cumulative effects of daily shaving and little in the way of damage control (we were too busy having a good time…), and you can look forward to the sudden appearance of a droopy jawline, deepening furrows, enlarged pores and the appearance of age spots.

The point I’m trying to make is that the best offence is a good defence. If you invest in a good anti-ageing regimen early enough then you’ll be less shell-shocked when the inevitable happens. You don't have to wait until you're in your forties. Yes, it’s hard to gauge if an anti-ageing product is working when there’s nothing visible for it to ‘reverse’ but stick with it regardless. After all, preventing a problem in the first place is a lot easier than trying to correct it later down the line.

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(Image: Getty)