As I mentioned in my very first post, my obsession with skincare is genetic. My grandmother, to this day, loves a skin cream, yet even way back when was skeptical of companies' claims.
My grandfather was a very prudish man, and fathered prudish children, so my mother was shocked when in her twenties, Bábi told her, "All those fragrances and advertising they do, it's just to make the cream sexy."
I fell over when Ma told me that one. I didn't even know Bábi had heard the word before. But she was right to be suspicious; in the end only a few ingredients have been proven to reverse damage (more on that later).
In any case, I emulated Ma when it came to a skin routine. Her counter was always littered with jars and bottles. She washes off her Face at night (although she usually lets mascara and eyeshadow accumulate). She applies RoC every evening. My sister who was never as interested in skincare has now observed, "Ma, you don't have wrinkles!" (Pooh pooh)
But surprisingly enough, it would seem that once I was the learner, now I am the master. Ma is always happy to hear something new, and thanks to my internet research and keeping my ears open I am able to explain to her in what sequence products should be applied, which anti-aging ingredient is better than another, what she should use for her dry skin compared to my combination.
My nighttime routine takes longer than hers. She is certainly happy about that, although she can't believe I'm so diligent.
Elizabeth Dosoretz observed how her young boy was excited to go to Grandma's house because her skin is soft and she smells good. Apparently her mother has begged her for years to take up a skin routine, but she has never bothered.
While I am still in my 20s, I can say starting a skin routine now will certainly pay off later on. Damage can accumulate, and suddenly one day you will look in the mirror and see it, whereas now it is below the surface. Protection and maintenance will do wonders down the road; plastic surgery rarely looks natural, so please don't rely on it.
The biggest rule? SPF. Every. Single. Day. You don't have to wear makeup, but many cosmetics has SPF built in. Sun is the primary cause of skin damage, and shielding skin will prevent that. (Just make sure that oxybenzone isn't an ingredient; there's been some chatter that it can be carcinogenic.)
Regarding anti-aging, only two ingredients matter: AHA and retinol. It doesn't have to be insanely expensive, or come in great packaging, or be recommended by a celebrity. Only those two ingredients have been proven to actually work. Apply them at night, since they can make skin sensitive, and retinol, unless formulated otherwise, will degrade in sunlight.
Along with washing your face daily, you should be good to go.
Take the long view, and check out your mother's skin. Either you want yours to look the same, or not.