For many, the days of acne, oily skin and enlarged pores came along with teen years, as hormones changed and often flew out of wack as your body began to go through some serious changes. You may remember those years vividly; popping pimples, scrubbing your face with cleansers and creams and everything in between and feeling frustrated. You may have looked on to your 20s and assumed things would get better and your skin would be perfect by then. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. For many, acne doesn’t form until their 20s. In others, skin may be dry, sensitive or a combination of everything. If you’re in your 20s and you haven’t established a skincare routine, it may be time for you to finally take a look at your skin and look into what you can do to take care of it. Although being in your 20s is still considered fairly young in the aging department, it’s never too early to add in anti-aging elements to your skincare routine.
Your skincare routine in your 20s (or at any age) doesn’t have to be 15 steps. On a daily basis, it’s important to go through the basics of your skincare routine, like cleansing, in order to maintain a consistent regimen. If you’re looking for a simple daily routine, you may want to save those special self-care days for a more extended skincare routine with additional but not daily needed steps. Below, you’ll see an outline of what a skincare routine should look like in your 20s, along with additional steps to add for extra treatment if you choose.
Cleanser: This step is one of the most important ones of your routine. It should rarely, if ever, be skipped or forgotten. Cleansers take off the day from your skin and provide a base to add other products specifically targeted for your skincare concerns. Many of us may live or work in busy cities, which leads to higher pollution that can affect our skin. When you cleanse, you’re detoxifying your skin of excess oil, dirt, dead skin, pollution and makeup. For a gentle cleanser that works on all skin types, try the PCA Skin Facial Wash with Aloe Vera and lactic acid that gently cleanses away makeup, oil and dirt. If your skin is on the dry or sensitive side, the SkinMedica Sensitive Skin Cleanser is gentle and cleanses the skin while keeping it hydrated. Another great option for all skin types, including acne prone skin is the iS Clinical Cleansing Complex. This is a is a clear, lightweight cleansing gel that’s powerful, yet gentle enough for hypersensitive skin.
Treatment/Serum: While in your 20s, you may face a number of different concerns with your skin, sometimes all on the same day. You may be excessively dry, suffer from hyperpigmentation, acne or a variety of other things. Depending on the concern, this step may be saved for a weekly exfoliation or nightly serum. In case you haven’t heard of serums before, they’re products designed to deliver high concentrations of active ingredients for specific concerns to the skin. For an effective anti-aging serum, the Sente Bio Complete Serum contains retinoids and patented HAS for firmer and smoother skin without irritation. If you’re in need of some extra hydration, Revision Skincare’s Hydrating Serum has two forms of hyaluronic, antioxidants and peptides to moisturize skin without making you feel greasy.
Moisturizer: Your skin needs moisture to provide multiple essential functions. To start, keeping your skin moisturized helps to avoid dryness and cracks in the skin, and helps to protect the skin’s natural barrier. Your skin also needs moisturizer to turn over dead skin cells in order to let fresh, new ones surface. According to the UT Medical Center, “Moisturizing every day can reduce the chance of developing extreme dryness or oiliness. Both extremes are harmful for skin and cause common skin conditions like acne.” Depending on your skin type, the type of moisturizer that will work best can vary. If you have overly oily skin, you may want to look into a lighter formula in order to avoid excess oil. For a moisturizer with multiple benefits, try Jan Marini’s Transformation Face Cream. It combines hyaluronic acid, peptides, Vitamins C and E, antioxidants, Aloe Vera and more for a powerful moisturizer treatment. For a more gentle formula for sensitive and dry skin, Avene’s XeraCalm A.D Lipid Replenishing Cream is a great option.
Eye Cream: This is a step that many people often overlook. The skin around your eyes is some of the most delicate of all of your skin, and they need special care. They tend to dry out easier than the rest of your face and are often one of the first signs of aging. While you may not be noticing lines and wrinkles around your eyes in your 20’s, you can never start taking care of this delicate area too early. The most important focus should be keeping this area hydrated, however, if your skin can handle it without irritation, your eye cream can also use active ingredients to address concerns or anti-aging. For a great hydrating eye cream, try the ClarityRx Easy on the Eyes. This formula contains an active complex of soy and rice peptides, yeast protein, hyaluronic acid; a powerful combination designed to target fine lines, bags and circles, while providing superior protection against UV damage. Another great option is the Glytone Age-Defying Antioxidant Eye Cream, an anti-aging eye cream to fight free radical skin damage and decrease dark circles under the eyes.
Sunscreen: By far, sunscreen is the most important step in your skin care routine. If you can only use one product daily, sunscreen should be it. 90% of skin aging comes from the sun, so using SPF every day isn’t just a step to take in the summer. It helps protect your skin every day from the sun’s harsh rays that cause skin cancer, hyperpigmentation and aging. There are sunscreens specifically formulated for use on your face, and they should be used every day whether it’s cloudy or sunny. You can’t go wrong when choosing an EltaMD sunscreen for your skin, for example, the UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46, with niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and lactic acid for acne-prone skin. Another great option with high SPF coverage is the Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Face Shield SPF 50, with antioxidants and niacinamide for strong protection that also hydrates your skin.
If you’re looking for additional steps for a little TLC, try adding in a mask. Masks can be great treatments for dry, acne-prone, dehydrated skin and more. They’re usually not to be used every day but can be a helpful step in add-in once every week or two. For example, the Neova Pure Copper Mask is a hydrating face mask infused with copper peptides. This luxury gel formula with nutrient support maintains skin’s healthy barrier function so skin looks and feels refreshed and renewed. I also love the Allies of Skin 1A Retinal + Peptides Overnight Mask, which hydrates and brightens stressed-out skin, as it repairs all signs of premature aging.
In your 20s, there can be a lot of things going on in your life. No matter how busy things get, be sure to try and incorporate some sort of skincare routine in your life-your future self will thank you.