A lot of youngsters, especially those who have just stepped into their twenties take skincare for granted, unless they have a serious dermal problem. Can’t blame them; they are high on life and there is always so much to do. Plus, your skin already looks too good to be true, so what can go wrong? Looks can be deceptive my dearies!
By your mid-twenties, your skin will start a slow downward spiral. For the first few years, you won’t notice a thing but by the time you are about to blow 30 candles on your birthday cake, you will regret not taking better care of your skin when you had the time.
Take it from somebody who has been there and done that, twenties skincare is simple yet absolutely CRUCIAL! So, start today with these routines.
Morning Skincare For The 20’s
Get all twenty something with your cleanser: If you have been making do with a soap bar, it is time to move to a creamy or normal skin cleanser, depending on your skin type. Believe me your skin will thank you for this consideration in the years to come.
Those who are prone to intense and frequent acne eruptions will have to continue using a salicylic acid cleanser but experiment with the number of uses per week.
For example, if you have been using your anti-acne cleanser everyday or even twice a day, work towards limiting application to just once a day or even every alternate day. If you are a no fuss type of person, simply pick the first foaming, hydrating cleanser that you can get your hands on.
Typically, most 20 years old, save for those who have a problem with acne, have skin that is flawless enough to talk about and why not. Estrogen is fueling the luminescence of your skin. But, the hormone driven high will only last till your mid-twenties. In fact, how you treat your skin in the twenties will set the pace for skin aging in the decades to come.
So, limit the use of ingredients that dry the skin or use them with the right degree of moisturizing protection; that is coming up a bit later.
For some ladies the decrease in estrogen levels close to their period, leads to adult acne. The one thing to understand about zits that pop up in the week before menstruation is that these are cystic acne, which start deeper in the skin. So, the use of benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid may not help as much as it did with pubescent acne.
If your breakouts are serious, talk to a doctor about using prescription birth control medication that can level out the hormones.
For topical intervention, use products that contain sulphur and niacinamide that control acne, infection and inflammation. If you only have occasional and mild breakouts or want to hold on to the flawlessness of your skin, try a cleanser with natural alpha hydroxy acids AKA fruit acids.
Now is the time to start using a serum/moisturizer: For most people in their early twenties, serums and moisturizers are an alien concept.
After all, your skin shows no signs of lacking moisture or oil, so why bother? Because what you do today will serve you in the future! So, even if you have neither the time nor the mental bandwidth for a two-step serum + moisture regimen, start using a lipid based serum that contains antioxidants and humectants that will keep your skin cells healthy and thriving and your dermal layers protected.
As far as a moisturizer is concerned, pick a light lotion or oil-free cream that will give you that dewy look without a greasy feel.
One of the reasons to use a moisturizer is that it is the perfect primer for your foundation and compact. In fact, all makeup products look extra fabulous when worn on top of a moisturizer because they get a healthy and flawless canvas to start on.
You really do need to use sunscreen: Frolicking in the sun bare skinned may have been the norm in your teens and the insistence of your parents to wear a sunscreen may have seemed like too much caution, but believe me nothing can do your skin the kind of damage that sun exposure can.
So, make your sunscreen your one true BFF. Skincare products will come and go and your routine to care for your face will change over time but sunscreen will be with you every step of the way.
You can use a moisturizer with SPF-20 or higher and layer your favorite foundation or BB/CC cream on it. Finish with a dusting of mineral powder that also doubles up as sunscreen and you will be set from morning till noon.
If you are going to spend a couple of hours working on your sun kissed look or just running errands outside, you will need to reapply your sunscreen every 2-3 hours.
Midday Skincare Routine
Keeping in mind that you will spend half the day outdoors and the other half indoors, I am going with the assumption that your skin will be exposed to both the heat of the sun and the cold of the air conditioner, plus the allergens and oxidants they bring along.
Also, I bet you would hate to have runny makeup and a shiny nose in the middle of the day. So, here is a 5 minute mid-day skincare routine that will keep your face flawlessly matte.
Carry some rose hydrosol along or a replenishing toner. Spray on some cotton wool or some tissue paper and dab all over your face. Yes, that goes right on top of your makeup.
For excess oiliness, use a blotting paper first on the T-zone and then go for toner application. After a minute pat dry the remaining toner/hydrosol from your face.
For oily skin, dab just your powder compact/sunscreen on your face and you will be done. For dry skin, press some moisturizer on your skin. Warm the lotion by rubbing it in between your palms and then press your palms on your skin. That is it!
Night Skincare Routine
Cleaning: If there is anything that comes close to being as damaging for your skin as sun exposure, it is sleeping with the gunk that you accumulated on your face all through the day.
I know you have done it; we all have in fact. But the fact is that it is the fastest way to end up with a face full of blackheads and zits.
So, get off your backside and use your foaming/hydrating or creamy cleanser to get it all off. Alternatively, use sweet almond oil all over your face. Simply massage it into the skin and wipe off with a face cloth. This will take care of both makeup removal and cleansing.
Start feeding your skin the good stuff: Your skin heals and repairs itself at night and with all the stress and environmental factors that you subject it to through the day, this is the time to show your face how much you care.
Also, your twenties are a great time to start using potent ingredients like vitamin C that will protect and nourish your skin.
If you can find a preparation that includes both vitamin C and E along with other healing botanical even better. Apply as you would any skin cream and you will be ready for bed.
One thing to remember is to always pick a richer cream (unless you have oily skin) for night use than the lotion that you reserve for day time wear.
Before you chime, who has the time? Let me ask you this question, for how many years of your life do you want to look so fabulous that the compliments just won’t stop pouring in?
If you answered in double digits, make the time! Plus, it is only 15-20 minutes twice a week, sure you can do that much to enjoy being the cynosure of all eyes.
You will need to exfoliate twice a week. Now, a lot of people out there recommend daily exfoliation but there is such a thing as overdoing exfoliation.
After all, a face that has been scrubbed red and raw is hardly attractive! So, go for one round of chemical exfoliation per week, which can be done with a face mask or exfoliator that contains alpha hydroxy acids and fruit enzymes.
Give your face a day to recover from the treatment and then use a mechanical exfoliator. This can be your cleanser with jojoba beads, a wash cloth, a botanical powder or an exfoliating facial brush. The day you are done with the mechanical exfoliation, use a hydrating and replenishing face mask.
Adjusting For Weather
As far as seasonal skincare changes go, remember that you can never skip your sunscreen; not when heading out in the morning, not even on cloudy days. Use your sunscreen every day and all the time if you intend to spend any more than 5-10 minutes outdoors, except when you are out and about in the evening hours.
The second tip is to keep your moisturizer light for summer but increase the occlusive factor in winter. If all those terms are too confusing, think of it this way…
In summer, you won’t be able to stand the icky greasiness, hence pick a light weight product that gets absorbed easily without leaving an oily film on your skin.
But in winter, you know how lip balms become a must? Well, you will need a product that offers the same degree of protection to your skin.
So, when the mercury begins to take a dive, pick a skin cream or balm that does leave a fine film (not like Vaseline) on your face and you will be done.
A Few More Tips For Great Skin In Your Twenties!
Put your shades on because your future and the sun both are bright. The thin and delicate skin around the eyes is exceptionally susceptible to sun damage, and it will suffer at one quarter the exposure time that it takes for the skin on the rest of your face to get affected.
Although it is hard, keep late nights, alcohol use and stress to the minimum, young adulthood is the best time to wean yourself off bad habits and inculcate good ones, and if they are also great for your skin, all the better!
What your put into your mouth shows not just in your health but also on your face. So, make it a point to include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet and make H2O your staple beverage instead of colas.
Gen Y or are we on gen Z already. Kidding! Yes, you are living in the age of mobile hyper connectivity and although you cannot do much about the perpetual slouching all that neck bending causes, at least wipe your phone with a disinfectant once a day. The screen of your cell phone can get as mucky as the seat of a public toilet. Do, you really want that against your face?
Once you are past your 25th birthday, increase your exfoliation measures to 3 times a week and gently introduce your skin to collagen and elastin boosting skin care products.
If you have been lighting up in your youth, the closer you get to your 30th, the harder you need to consider quitting.
Exercise does more than just help you to keep your svelte figure. It will also help you to retain that youthful glow on your skin. So, whatever gets your juices flowing, get up and start working on it.
The Final Word
Most of all, and I really don’t want to sound like a nagging mom or worst yet an indolent grand mom here, go ahead and enjoy this phase of your life. You are only going to live this life once and youth is a very short phase of that life.
Plus, whatever gets thrown your way at this time and regardless of how terrible it seems, I assure you, things get harder in the future. So, make the most of what you got today!