Essential Skin Care Tips for your 20’s


Your twenties are the golden years of skincare. You made it out of the awkward teenage years that are notorious for acne breakouts and you’re still years away (hopefully) from seeing the typical signs of aging, such as wrinkles, brown spots, and skin laxity. But the golden years of skincare is no time for you procrastinate following a healthy skin care routine, nor take a lackadaisical attitude to maintaining the health and longevity of your skin.

As Phoebe Waller, our favorite beauty and style columnist at Bustle Magazine explains in her article 8 Skin Care Habits To Get Into By The Time You’re 29 According To The Experts, “if you’re someone who wants to keep their skin in tip-top condition for as long as possible, your twenties are the time to lay down the groundwork.”

To provide Bustle readers with the best skin care tips for men and women in their twenties, Waller interviews renowned NYC dermatologists and other skin care professionals for “skin care habits to get into by the time you’re 29,” which many millennials “might have overlooked.”

Related Article: Stages of Aging: Skin Care in Your 20’s & 30’s >>

Prevention is the Key to life-long beautiful, healthy skin

Since it is far easier to prevent wrinkles than it is to get rid of them once they appear, it is especially important that men and women in their 20’s know the #1 cause of premature aging, or the reason you may be seeing wrinkles or fine lines, skin laxity, brown spots or uneven skin tone, while you are still relatively young; SUN DAMAGE. Also known as photo aging,  the Canadian Dermatology Association defines it as the “…premature aging of the skin caused by repeated exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) primarily from the sun, but also from artificial UV sources” such as tanning beds.”

The signs and symptoms of photo aging vary by person, but typically, accelerated skin aging caused by UV radiation is manifested through:

  • Fine lines or wrinkles that accumulate around mouth and eyes, like crow’s feet, smile/frown lines, and forehead wrinkles.
  • Pigment spots, such as freckles or solar lentigo, comonly known as age spots, sun spots, or brown spots.
  • Discoloration
  • Loss of skin tone
  • Spider Veins, or telangiectasias: those tiny clusters of dilated or broken blood vessels that can be red, purple, or blue, and form close to the surface of the skin around the nose, cheeks and neck.
  • Weathered skin or leather-like skin
  • Loose, lax, or sagging skin, known as Elastosis
  • Tensed, taut lips that lose their plumpness and coloration (Check out how cosmetic fillers can restore volume and definition to your lips.)
  • Red, scaly spots, called actinic keratosis. These should be checked by a dermatologist to ensure they are not pre-cancerous.

Many of the anti-aging skin care tips for young adults, as suggested by the experts, centers around the prevention or treatment of photo aging, but there are also skin care tips and techniques that fortify the skin, protect it from environmental pollutants, and address bad skin care practices you may be unknowingly harming your skin with.

  1. Protect Your Skin With Daily SPF

Of all of the skin care tips offered by Bustle, this one is a no brainer, but the experts can’t seem to stress it enough: Wear sun block! And protect exposed skin from sun exposure. According to the Bustle expert, “As women approach the age of 30, they begin to see the effects of sun damage. Uneven skin tone, age spots, and hyperpigmentation become visible on the surface of the skin.” It is important to note that not all photo aging associated symptoms are caused by sun damage. Sometimes there are other “culprits like hormone imbalances, birth control pills, and the over-use of exfoliation products.”

Use the right Sun Block

Not all sun block is created equal. When millennials are choosing a sunscreen, one Bustle expert explains “the most important ingredient women in their twenties need to use though is a mineral based sunscreen containing zinc oxide or titanium oxide.” Also “using a broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen is the best way to prevent wrinkles before they start.”

Put it on. Daily.

Bustle emphasizes this point with a statement from Dr. Hadley King, who says daily applications of SPF sun block “is the most important skin care habit to get into and the younger the better because sun damage is cumulative and adds up over time. It is much easier to prevent than to repair.” Bustle then underlines the grand daddy of skin care tips by citing yet another skin doctor, who repeats Dr. Hadley King’s imploration: “As a dermatologist who removes skin cancers and provides a multitude of cosmetic procedures, I cannot stress enough how important proper sun protection is.”

Related Article: Does SPF Makeup Effectively Protect Against Photo Aging?

  1. Keep it simple, while you’re young

When you are in your twenties, you don’t need an extensive skin care regime full of intensive, clinical grade acids, strong exfoliates or creams infused with high concentrations of vitamins or other active ingredients. Instead, one skin care expert recomends “a gentle cleanser and a light moisturizer with antioxidants” to “help prevent free radical damage.”

Related Article: Skin Care: The Secrets Behind Exceptional Agers >>

  1. Prevent Adult Acne

Even though acne is associated with the teen years, the majority of adults will struggle with, and want to know how to get rid of adult acne at some point in their life. For professional advice on treating or getting rid of adult acne, Bustle sought out the opinion of NYC Dermatologist, Dr. Hadley King of SKINNEY Medspa. Dr. Hadley King says prevention is crucial in skin care tips for treating adult acne. She tells Bustle “You should make sure you have a good skincare regimen that not only controls but prevents acne — especially adult acne that could creep up on you.” Dr. King suggest young adults use “Aczone Gel 7.5% because it’s non irritating and you use [it] once daily. It’s an anti-inflammatory and great to use daily to control and prevent acne.” For adults already struggling with adult acne, professional acne treatments utilizing a specifically designed regime of facials and laser skin treatments may be ideal.

Learn more about professional acne treatment >>

  1. Stop Tanning

A natural follow up skin care tip after protecting your skin from UV radiation is to forego tanning. A Bustle dermatologist makes it clear: “If women in their twenties want to prevent wrinkles before they start, they need to stop tanning. Photodamage, AKA tanning, is the main cause of premature aging.”

  1. Always Remove Your Makeup At Night

When you are fast asleep, your skin is still hard at work. Bustle explains “our skin takes longer to repair itself as we age. No longer can we drop into bed without removing our makeup and not expect our skin to look dehydrated. Our skin does most of its internal repair while we sleep, so… Always remove your makeup at night.” Check out these Natural Makeup Remover and Other Skincare Recipes. >>

  1. Use the Correct Vitamin A Cream For Your Skin Type

If you are using Vitamin A enriched skin care products, such as Laser Resurfacing in a Bottle make sure you are using the correct creams for your skin type and skin condition. There are three types of Vitamin A creams and serums:

  1. Retin A or tretinoin creams
  2. Retinol creams
  3. Retinyl palmitate creams.

Retinyl Palmitate: For the typical twenties-something man or woman with normal or sometimes dry skin, a retinyl palmitate cream is ideal and “great for sensitive skin which means you can use it every day year-round,” explains Bustle’s skin care tips expert.

Retinol Cream: For men or women in their twenties with oily skin, “they should bump it up to a retinol cream,” suggests Bustle. Retinol is stronger than retinyl palmitate. It does a good job at helping with oily skin, but it can also cause irritation and will most likely dry your skin out if you do not have oily skin.

Retin A / Tretinoin: Retin A or tretinoin is the strongest of the vitamin A skin care products. Retin A is prescribed for the treatment of deep wrinkles, or as a solution for getting rid of acne when less aggressive treatments don’t work. Most men and women in their 20’s do not need Retin A, and using it can lead to dry skin and irritation. Remember, as effective as Vitamin A skin care products may be “retinols are really best for people with naturally oily skin, and even then only in moderation” says Bustle skin care expert.

Great Skin Care Products Under $20 >>

  1. Keep skin moisturized with Hyaluronic Acid Skin Care Creams

Hyaluronic acid is a natural acid produced by your skin to enable the absorption of moisture. This supplies your skin’s suppleness and helps your skin protect itself from environmental pollutants.  “Use serums containing Hyaluronic Acid under your moisturizer” explains a skin care expert for Bustle.

  1. Utilize Mini Skin Care Treatments from Skin and Medical Spas

While young men and women in their 20’s typically don’t require aggressive skin treatments from skin and medical spas (unless “they already have photodamaged skin or still have acne,”) there are “mini procedures” that can fortify young skin and slow the process of aging. “Mild chemical peels and laser treatments can help” explains Bustle.  One popular skin care treatment for millennials is Laser Skin Resurfacing with Clear + Brilliant.

  1. Use A Vitamin C Cream Before Bed

Skin care products infused with Vitamin C is a great addition for your bedtime skin routine. As one Bustle skin care tips expert explains “Vitamin C is needed by the skin for cell repair, capillary strength, and is a co-factor in the making of your skin’s collagen.” To maintain skin health and stave off the signs of aging “apply a good Vitamin C Cream at night, at least four times a week.”

What about men and women who have graduated out of their twenties? “Don’t panic” says Bustle. These skincare tips can benefit most men and women, regardless of age. So if you are not practicing one of the above skin care tips, start now. Your skin will thank you when you’re older.

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