Prejuvenation. Honestly, the term makes me cringe a little bit because I’m usually not a fan of smushing words together portmanteaus-style, and I wouldn’t say it exactly rolls off the tongue. It’s meant to be a combination of the words “prevention” and “rejuvenation,” and the internet tells me this is apparently a very popular trend in the millennial age group that I belong to.
Considering that the youngest of us are starting to move into our 30s, I would say that makes a lot of sense. The late 20s to early 30s age group is generally when you start noticing more visible signs of aging in the skin, and any of your earlier bad habits will start making more of a pronounced appearance on your face. Fine lines, hyperpigmentation from sun exposure, loss of firmness, overall dullness—basically, the works.
This is true of most things in life, and definitely one of the few hard and fast rules when it comes to skin care. But preventing something from happening yields much better results than trying to reverse something that’s already happened. In comes the “prejuvenation” concept—it’s an umbrella term that encompasses different techniques and tools used to help prevent said “issues” from happening in the first place rather than dealing with them after they’re already arrived.
In prejuvenation, preventing fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and loss of firmness in the first place yields much better results than trying to reverse them.
I put “issues” in quotes because what each person wants to tackle with their skin care is highly personal. And when it comes down to it, things like wrinkles or loss of firmness is not going to harm you in any way despite some people or brands getting you to think it’s the end of the world. It’s not.
From the Outside In
In prejuvenation, there’s a strong focus on topical products, and the options we have available to us as consumers have come a long way in the last decade or two. There’s an abundance of preventative skin care products for us to choose from, and each deserves a discussion of their pros and cons.
Some of the MVPs in this category include retinoids, sunscreen, vitamin C, and chemical exfoliants, glycolic acid in particular. They all have their own way of helping to keep the skin healthy, glowy, and fresh longer than our skin naturally could on its own, and thankfully there is good synergy among them all, so you don’t have to necessarily pick and choose between them.
I’ll definitely break things down further in separate discussions because I’d basically be writing a book if I try to discuss everything at once, but my one rule regarding all these potentially amazing ingredients is that you should not use them all at once, especially if you’re new to them. Sunscreen is the absolute, undisputed superstar of them all, so work on finding a good sunscreen that you can comfortably wear every time you leave your house, even if it’s just a grocery store run, and you’ll have a solid foundation for preventative care.
Consistency Is Key
The idea of consistency with your product usage is extremely important with prejuvenation. If you’re trying to achieve a certain skin goal, a lack of consistency may mean that you’re going to take longer to arrive at the destination that you would like. But in this case, time is going to keep moving forward, so it’s more about keeping up with the ticking clock.
This means that you cannot do your skin care routine only half the week or only sometimes remember to wear your sunscreen and expect to see the changes—or lack of change since we’re trying to keep things looking the same—that you’re wanting from your skin care. We’re all human, and there’s going to be the odd occasion where you might forget your sunscreen for a weekend trip or end up heading straight to bed after a night out, but you should do everything you can to ensure these are outliers that only occur a few times a year at most.
Injectables Are Not the Norm
I won’t get on too big of a soapbox here because I think the topic of cosmetic procedures is one that’s highly personal, and I don’t have a problem with people doing what they want with their time and money if it’s not negatively impacting anyone. However, I think that procedures like Botox and fillers must be handled with a lot of care and consideration, and should not be something done casually. You’re injecting substances into your face y’all; this isn’t something you should be doing randomly because you found a Groupon.
According to this article from Dermatology Times, facial plastic surgeons have seen a noticeable increase in patients under 30 having procedures done, including those in the injectables category. The idea is that if you fill or freeze areas of concern where wrinkles may be starting to form, you can slow down or even prevent them from appearing in the first place.
Personally, while I understand the science behind that, my gut reaction is “absolutely not.” We live in an age of Instagram filters and Photoshop, and while some of us think we’re aware of how much retouching we’re seeing in the media, I promise you, it’s probably much more pervasive and extreme than we realize. I’ve met people in the industry who are as young as 21 going in for Botox to prevent aging, and I think that’s entirely too much and should not be your first line of defense in prejuvenation.
Again, everyone is allowed to do as they see fit with their time, money, and bodies when it’s not endangering another person. But I would firmly slate injectables at the very bottom of the list of things to consider when it comes to preventative care. Aging is a privilege that not everyone gets, so I say do what you can to make you feel like you’re caring for yourself, don’t expect miracles to happen, and do not think that getting needles stuck in your face is a casual thing to run to as your first step in caring for your skin over time.