Hello there 🙂
When I'm on the brink of my 30s (nearing the last month of my 20s), I am completely thoughtful. Cliche? May be. But it's something about approaching the end of a decade that got you out of your teenage years and propelled you into adulthood that feels monumental. There were many basic learning curves along the way (including accepting a job at a bank that really wasn't the right career move for me, or this squash definitely isn't a suitable mixer for any mind) but for today I'll be focusing on that , what I am.I learned about skin.
My complexion has never been flawless, porous, or perfect (or any other adjective the beauty industry might crave you for). I experienced my first attack of hormonal acne as a teenager, suppressed it for as long as possible with a strong contraceptive pill, and over the past few years learned about skin health and the products you should have in your arsenal to treat scarring and pigmentation and adult acne.
This list of products is by no means exhaustive, but for me it is a basic toolkit that anyone in their twenties can use to keep their skin as happy and healthy as possible. Your 20s are often a time of intense change, and there is no doubt that my skin is most susceptible to blemishes when I am under stress. In these cases, I would recommend sticking to a simple routine of cleaning, treating, moisturizing – and not being too harsh on yourself.
I still have spots today, but I'm learning what triggers them and how to calm them down when they appear do appear. I've found products that have worked wonders in reducing acne scars and I'm starting to introduce formulas to help me with what my skin should look like in the future. Most importantly, when I look in the mirror, I'm pretty happy with the skin I'm in. This comes with time, not products, but I hope these recommendations help you on your way.
Keep scrolling for the five skin care products and their associated routine you'll need in your 20s and seek advice from top skin care experts.
When I got into my 20s, I was really kind of a face wiping girl. However, towards the end of this decade, cleansing is my favorite part of my skincare routine (not only due to the improvement of my skin from a good double clean, but also because of the ritual).
"For women over the age of 20, a good cleaning agent is essential," says Tiina Meder, dermatologist and founder of Meder Beauty Science. In fact, it goes so far as to say it's the most important skin care product of the decade. So if you are just buying a skin care product, you are making it a cleanser.
As I've personally seen, many women in their twenties live in heavily polluted cities with hectic lifestyles and skin that produces excess sebum. "It is therefore important that make-up, dirt, dead skin cells, excess oil and other pollutants are removed from the skin," says Meder. "The cleanser of choice must be gentle and effective while helping to restore the skin's natural barrier and have a calming effect."
Skin care expert Susanne Kaufmann also confirms that although other skin care needs vary depending on skin type, "gentle cleansing in the morning and at night is always very important".
The second step in good skin care used to be a toner. Nowadays – and especially in your 20s – it's all about identifying your specific skin problems and giving your skin what it needs. I used to go straight from detergent to moisturizer, but since experimenting with chemical peels, serums, and masks, I've really noticed improvements in my skin.
"Women over the age of 20 should have targeted skin care treatments weekly to keep their skin healthy and glowing," advises Meder. "Exfoliating once or twice a week deeply cleanses the skin, while face masks give the skin a boost."
Personally, I've spent much of my 20s experimenting with products and routines to see what works for me. Now I use an antioxidant lightening serum (usually a vitamin C-based product) every morning and a salicylic acid-based treatment every night to treat any breakouts. I will use a chemical peel like lactic acid or glycolic acid two or three times a week to remove dead skin cells (more and my skin becomes irritated). I will also use a cleansing clay mask or nourishing sheet mask a couple of times a week.
"A moisturizing mask is ideal for people with normal or dry skin," says Meder. "A mattifying or detoxifying mask is perfect for those with oily or acne-prone skin, and a soothing mask works wonders for those with sensitive skin."
Along with the detergent, a moisturizer is probably a matter of course for most people. However, in your 20s, it's important to add light moisture to your skin. For years I have mistakenly believed that using a moisturizer would make my acne-prone skin worse, but this is important all Skin types keep their complexions hydrated and healthy. When you dehydrate your skin, it can cause sebum to be overproduced to make up for it.
David Colbert, Founder and Chief Medical Officer of the New York Dermatology Group, tells me that "daily use of a light moisturizer and daily use of a sun protection factor is essential". Similarly, Annee de Mamiel, skin care expert and founder of De Mamiel, believes that light oils are ideal for use in your twenties because they are both moisturizing and balancing – just what you need in a hectic decade.
From 20 to 29, a lot changes not only in your life, but also in your skin. "From your teens through your 20s, your skin loses some subcutaneous oil and collagen production goes down," says Colbert. In other words, the juicy, moist skin that you naturally enjoyed at 21 may not be as plump at 28.
In a similar way, Susanne Kaufmann advised: "You should work preventively against premature aging in your mid to late twenties." This can mean looking for ingredients like collagen in your cleansers and moisturizers, or introducing retinol into your treatment phase to prevent fine lines and wrinkles. "Often underestimated, but immensely important is the correct and regular use of eye cream," says Kaufmann.
To counteract these early signs of aging and fatigue, the French pharmacy brand Nuxe has developed a new range of products specially tailored to the thousand-year-old age group. The new Crème Prodigieuse Boost is designed to "combat the external and environmental factors that contribute to the first signs of aging, including stress, pollution, dehydration and signs of fatigue," a representative from Nuxe told me.
Our eyes are often the first place to see signs of stress and fatigue due to puffy eyes, dark circles, and fine lines. Hence, introducing an eye cream into your routine early as a preventive measure can work wonders.
If there's one thing that all dermatologists can agree on – and that I've completely switched to – it's using SPF on a daily basis. This is non-negotiable because by lathering in your twenties you are not only protecting your skin from sinister damage like skin cancer, but also doing the best possible job preventing wrinkles, dark spots and pigmentation, and fine lines. "Fine lines and sunspots can be combated preventively by using a sun protection factor on a daily basis," advises Colbert. Meder also emphasizes that, along with detergent, SPF is one of the most important products for your 20s: "A good SPF that offers both UVA and UVB protection is needed on a daily basis," she says.
This post originally appeared on Who What Wear UK.
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