Forever Young, Getty

According to new data, youthful looks peak at 24. Rapidly approaching that sell-by date, Samantha Hamilton-Rushforth wonders if her skin sins will betray her before her beauty routine does…

Let’s get the clichés out of the way first shall we? Age ain’t nothing but a number, you’re only as old as you feel, beauty is skin deep, etcetera, etcetera. Yeah, right. Try telling that to a woman who’s just found out she’s only got a few months left of staring at a wrinkle-free reflection.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news ladies, but according to a study by Caci – a British beauty brand that specialises in new cosmetic technologies – women reach the peak of their facial beauty at a mere 24. As if that wasn’t horrifying enough, the Centre for Advanced Dermatologic Investigation believes that the initial signs of facial ageing actually appear in our early twenties, the time when collagen levels start to deplete and the elastin in our skin starts to give way to the nasty side-effects brought on by gravity.

It’s a bleak and fairly surprising outlook, especially for a generation that’s more clued up than ever on protecting their youthful looks. We’re also fully armed with an arsenal of the latest time-halting lotions and potions that the science community has to offer. So where did it all go wrong?

Step one in preserving your skin’s perceived expiration date is to identify the main youth-zapping enemies. If you spend a serious amount of time microwaving yourself on a sunbed, or are partial to a cigarette, three sugars in your tea, or a night spent on the tiles instead of under the covers, your skin will age quicker than you can say, “Hello, Botox!”

“Environment, diet and genetics all contribute to a faster aesthetic ageing process,” says Rebecca Treston, a skin expert at EuroMed clinic. “Lifestyle choices will play a significant role in how long you keep your youthful looks.”

Personally guilty of all the above (sorry mum), I recruited the experts at beauty brand SK-II and their ‘Magic Ring’ (a high-tech facial scan that measures the real age of your face) to give me their verdict. Taking into account the five key attributes of a younger appearance, (radiance, texture, firmness, wrinkle resilience and dark spot control), the whizz-bang scan reported that I have the skin of a twenty year old – four years younger than my current age. (Take that, Caci.)

Despite committing all manner of skin transgressions, does my glowing review mean there’s hope after 24? “A resounding yes,” says Susan Gorman, founder of beauty distribution brand Sarum. “You don’t have to be older to be wiser when it comes to your skin. Protection against the environment, renewal of skin cells through exfoliation and constant hydration are your three weapons in preservation, whether you’re 24 or not.”

With that in mind, if you need me, I’ll be stocking up on sun cream.


SK-II Magic Ring available at Paris Gallery, The Dubai Mall., Rebecca Treston Aesthetics at EuroMed Clinic., Susan Gorman.

Image: Getty

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