by Lotte Tisenkopfa-Iltnere

How do you look two decades younger? The answer is: MOISTURISE!

At the photoshoot for the L’Officiel magazine, we were laughing with the stylist that these vintage-like clip earrings made me look like I was 16 years old. Thrilled to take on the 20-year challenge, I searched my bookshelf to find a picture from the times when there were very few mobile phones, and none of them had a camera.

Well, honestly, I would never want to go back to my sweet sixteen. Firstly, because of the way I used to dress (omg). Secondly, because of so many cool things that have happened to me since, including my 3 children. And also, because my skin feels and looks much better now (yes, I had the regular teenage stuff to deal with). And (pssst!)… Because of my bad habits (sunburn, smoking, junk food – yes, yes, I did all of that) back then.

Lotte Tisenkopfa-Iltnere, MADARA Cosmetics founder

Lotte for L'Officiel Latvia, 2019

Style: Dace Bahmane-Krieviņa

So, how do you look better than you did on your sweet (bad) sixteen? You will be surprised by how simple the answer is. There are three fundamentals that make the magic happen:

a good moisturiser
a good mineral sunscreen
a collection of good sunglasses

Tried and true. Then come all the other extras – a fashionable hat to enhance sun protection, serums for more intense skincare, healthy sleep, biohacking tricks and intelligent skin cleansing, which is actually a science of its own.

20 years old, sunburned, with junk food and pimples in Okinava

Moisture is the fountain of youth. Do you moisturise your skin daily? If you don’t, you should. A cold or hot climate, indoor heating and air conditioning, exposure to the elements, harsh cleansing – these conditions contribute to stripping your skin of its natural moisture. Regardless of your age and skin type, moisture is your skin’s No. 1 necessity.

I love to think of a moisturiser and a mineral sunscreen as two different skincare products, not only because I’m a layering freak, but also because they use two quite different formulation technologies. A moisturising face cream is basically a water-loving emulsion that drives powerful hydrating and rejuvenating ingredients and locks them inside the skin. A mineral sunscreen is usually a heavier, sun-protection-filter loaded emulsion that is formulated to sit on top of our skin to battle off the evil UVA/UVB rays that age us. It’s like your shampoo and conditioner – they tend to function better when applied separately, rather than as 2-in-1.

While with sunscreens it’s quite easy – just pick a mineral sunscreen that delivers medium to high protection, according to the level of sun exposure, – the wide variety of face moisturisers may seem overwhelming. How do I know which will be the right one for me? It might seem like a million dollar question, but let me tell you my secrets.

The texture

First thing to consider – the texture. In other words, you need the right mix of water and oil. If you have a combination of problem-prone skin, opt for lighter textures like gels or fluids, as they are non-clogging.

If your skin is dry, you need more occlusive, moisture-locking creams. As we age, the skin gradually becomes drier – the oil glands slow the production of sebum. So, the general rule of thumb is to explore richer textures after your 30th birthday. Finding the richest texture that your skin can tolerate without starting to break out; this is my secret age-defying hack.

The key ingredients

The second thing to consider – the key active ingredients. A wisely formulated moisturiser has at least 4 key ingredients to keep skin of every type supple and radiant:

1 Natural plant oils contain Omega fatty acids and create a protective layer to reinforce the barrier function of the skin. This helps to reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and increases water reserves in the skin.

2 Water-binding molecules (hyaluronic acid, hydrating sugars) increase the water content in the top layers of the skin, keeping the skin’s surface smooth and radiant.

3 Antioxidants fight environmental stress and pollutants, reducing the signs of ageing.

4 Conditioning plant extracts work to regulate skin-type-related issues, delivering balance, comfort and a radiant appearance.

To make your choice easier, here’s my little cheat sheet.
Happy new twenties!

TIPS

Choose lighter textures or opt for oil-free moisturiser if you are battling acne.

KEY INGREDIENTS

Skin conditioning and oil-controlling actives

YOUR SKIN MIGHT ADORE

DAY: Deep Moisture Gel (oily, problem-prone skin) or Fluid (normal, combinaton skin)

A THING TO TRY: Sun Flower or Moon Flower Tinted Moisturiser

NEVER WITHOUT: SPF30 Face Sunscreen or City CC Cream SPF15

TIPS

Teen troubles left behind and wrinkles still far away – your skin is most likely in its best shape right now. Choose a moisturiser according to your skin type. Invest in your night routine.

KEY INGREDIENTS

Antioxidants, moisturising Hyaluronic Acid

YOUR SKIN MIGHT ADORE

DAY: Deep Moisture Gel (oily, problem-prone skin), Fluid (normal, combination skin) or Cream (dry skin)

NIGHT: Deep Moisture Night Cream

EYE CONTOUR: Deep Moisture Eye Cream

NEVER WITHOUT: SPF30 Face Sunscreen or City CC Cream SPF15

TIPS

Late 20s and early 30s is the time when most of us notice the first visible signs of fatigue and ageing. Start exploring moisturisers that deliver age preventing benefits. Focus on your eye contour skin, too.

KEY INGREDIENTS

Antioxidants, caffeine, Vitamins C and E, moisturising and plumping Hyaluronic Acid

YOUR SKIN MIGHT ADORE

DAY: SMART Urban Moisture Fluid (normal, combination skin) or Cream (dry skin), SOS Hydra Recharge Cream (dehydrated, stressed, persistently dry skin)

NIGHT: Deep Moisture Night Cream or TIME MIRACLE Total Renewal Night Cream

EYE CONTOUR: SMART Eye Rescue Cream

NEVER WITHOUT: SPF30 Face Sunscreen or City CC Cream SPF15

TIPS

Work, kids, parties, lack of sleep. Your skin needs an active collagen support and intense rehydration. Your skin produces less oil and becomes dryer (pretty good news for problem-prone skin!).

KEY INGREDIENTS

Omega fatty acids, collagen-protecting Antioxidants, collagen-stimulating amino acids and other actives, Vitamins C and E, moisturising and plumping Hyaluronic Acid

YOUR SKIN MIGHT ADORE

DAY: SMART Urban Moisture Cream, TIME MIRACLE Age Defence Day Cream, SOS Hydra Recharge Cream (dehydrated, stressed, persistently dry skin)

NIGHT: TIME MIRACLE Total Renewal Night Cream

EYE CONTOUR: TIME MIRACLE Eye Cream or SMART Eye Rescue Cream (dark circles, fatigue, puffiness)

NEVER WITHOUT: SPF30 Face Sunscreen or City CC Cream SPF15

TIPS

If you don’t have targeted moisturisers for day, night and eye contour skin yet, it’s time to start using them!

KEY INGREDIENTS

Stimulating ingredients (e.g. birch water) for skin cell recovery. Intensely hydrating and moisture-locking ingredients.

YOUR SKIN MIGHT ADORE

DAY: TIME MIRACLE Age Defence Day Cream, SOS Hydra Recharge Cream (dehydrated, stressed, persistently dry skin)

NIGHT: TIME MIRACLE Total Renewal Night Cream

EYE CONTOUR: TIME MIRACLE Eye Cream

NEVER WITHOUT: SPF30 Face Sunscreen or City CC Cream SPF15

TIPS

Your skin is craving rich textures and rejuvenating, stimulating actives that work at the cellular level.

KEY INGREDIENTS

Plant estrogens (hormone-like collagen-stimulating actives), e.g. extract of Red Clover. Intensely hydrating and moisture-locking ingredients.

YOUR SKIN MIGHT ADORE

DAY: TIME MIRACLE Age Defence Day Cream, SOS Hydra Recharge Cream (dehydrated, stressed, persistently dry skin)

NIGHT: TIME MIRACLE Total Renewal Night Cream

EYE CONTOUR: TIME MIRACLE Eye Cream

NEVER WITHOUT: SPF30 Face Sunscreen or City CC Cream SPF15

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below – I’ll reply!