YOUR 20S ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THE BEST SKIN YEARS OF YOUR LIFE.
Yet here I am, 22 and still dealing with the breakouts I’ve suffered with since my early teens, while at the same time trying to take preventative action against premature ageing. Couple this with late night partying, work stress and a constant quest for the deepest tan possible, and my skin certainly isn’t looking as radiant and youthful as my 20s first promised!
It’s never too early to start taking care of your skin. I’ve been a big advocate of this for as long as I can remember, and while I could literally talk about skincare forever, I’m just going to highlight my top five age-appropriate skin tips that I think everyone should be doing in their 20s to stay looking fresh-faced and fabulous for years to come! Some of these are really obvious I know, but they’re realistic, easy to achieve, and are things I genuinely do every day in my skincare routine.
- Invest in your skincare
I don’t necessarily mean in a monetary way, but really taking the time to educate yourself about skincare products, and your skin’s changing needs, is absolutely essential to finding a routine that works best for you.
In my teens, I used to pile on products targeted at oily and acne prone skin which, in hindsight, only irritated my face and caused even more breakouts! I finally realised that it makes absolutely no sense to strip the skin during the cleansing process, and then apply heavy (and potentially pore-clogging) moisturisers to replace what was just taken out. In recent years, I’ve found that simplifying my skincare routine to a consistent 3-step cleanse, tone and moisturise is much more effective for me. I’ve also learnt through a lot of experimentation, that my sensitive skin responds best to products that are as light, gentle and natural as possible. Liz Earle, Clarins, and Origins are amongst my favourite skincare brands, but if you are on a tight budget there are loads of other purse-friendly options these days. I love Yes To for affordable skincare; I find their products work wonderfully with my skin, and most items retail for under £10!
Ultimately, what’s important is that you take the time to understand your skin, what it likes and what it doesn’t like, and consistently stick to a simple yet thorough routine every morning and evening.
- Take your makeup off the half-arsed way
I cannot stress enough how disgusting sleeping with makeup on is for your skin. Not only does it clog up your pores and cause spots, but cosmetics can also trap loads of skin-damaging free radicals that lead to premature ageing. So long story short: don’t do it, no matter how busy/tired/drunk you are!
I’ve never been a fan of face wipes for taking my makeup off on those rare occasions where I simply cannot be bothered to properly cleanse my face. Instead, I like to soak a few cotton pads in some Garnier Micellar Water and take my makeup off that way. It’s a lot more hydrating and gentler on the skin than most face wipes, and is super efficient at lifting away dirt and makeup with no rubbing or rinsing required!
- Look after your eyes
For me, applying eye cream is a lot like drinking more water: I know very well I should be doing it, but most of the time I don’t. However, this is something I’m striving to be better at now I’m in my 20s. The skin around your eyes is so thin and delicate that often this is where you start to see the very first signs of ageing, and I’m already starting to notice dark circles and puffiness around my eyes if I have a few sleepless nights! I currently use the Clarins Eye Contour Gel, which I think is perfect for those in their early 20s, as its really hydrating and cooling on the eye area without being too heavy or creamy.
- Find a balance
Your skin’s natural oils are a delicate balancing act, especially in your 20s when your hormone cycle can lead to greasiness, blocked pores and breakouts around that time of the month. Gentle exfoliating is key to sloughing away dead skin cells, and glycolic acid in particular, is one of the most effective exfoliators because it penetrates deeply to reveal clearer, brighter skin without disturbing the skin’s pH levels too much. However, I personally find that using an acid toner every day is just too harsh, and so I use something like Alpha-H Liquid Gold once or twice a week to prevent my skin from getting too congested and dull-looking, without completely stripping all my skins natural oils.
- Learn to love SPF
While we all love frolicking around on the beach sunscreen-free without a care in the world, skin damage is cumulative, and so while you may not notice any effects now you certainly will in a few years time! Excess exposure to UV rays can lead to endless issues like wrinkles, rough texture, loss of elasticity, broken capillaries and dark spots to name a few, so it goes without saying that you need to be using a broad-spectrum sunscreen on your face when you’re on holiday – no matter what your skin type. But SPF is just as important in the UK. Think about using a base that has SPF in it, like the Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturiser with SPF 20, so you’re protected every day. It feels great to get a compliment on a good tan at 20, but it will feel even better to get a compliment on how youthful you look later on in life, so think ahead and you can thank yourself for it later!
What are your best skincare tips?