Taking care of my skin seemed to be so easy when I was a teenager. Aside from worrying about breakouts, it was basically as easy as "wash and go." But when I entered my 20s, skin care mistakes were happening because my routine got complicated real fast. There's still hormonal, adult acne to worry about, but throw in the whole anti-aging routine thing (combined with a serious overabundance of new products coming out everyday) and skincare turns into, like, a science experiment. With something that complicated, it's definitely easy to make some blunders, and you might be making some big skin mistakes without even knowing it. Yikes...
It's practically drilled into our brains that the best way to fight aging is to start early and take care of your skin. What you do (or don't do) for your skin in your 20s could have a beneficial or detrimental effect on your skin later in life, so it's definitely important to take the right precautions to prevent more harm later on. But sometimes, when you think you're helping your skin, you're actually hurting it. It could be that you just don't know exactly what it is you need to do, so you might be skipping some seriously crucial steps. But don't stress — I'll break down some of the biggest skin care mistakes we make in our 20s so you can alter your routine for the better with plenty of time to spare.
1. Not Wearing Sunscreen
You might think you don't need sunscreen if you aren't actually laying out in the sun, but unless it's dark outside, you still need it. Even if there's clouds. Even if you're just out running errands. Always put on sunscreen — it will protect against wrinkles as well as skin cancer.
2. Not Drinking Enough Water
It's hard to remember to drink water when you're busy out there adulting, but make it a priority. The more hydrated your skin is, the less breakouts you'll have, and the less fine lines and wrinkles will appear.
3. Not Moisturizing
4. Going Full Force With "Anti-Aging" Products
If you're like me, when you hit your 20s, you thought it was time to start applying anti-aging creams, but if you start too soon, they could cause damage. Many of these products cause cell turnover and repair collagen breakdown, but in your 20s, your skin is still capable of repairing itself, so applying these products can irritate your skin and make it more sensitive.
5. Not Taking Off Your Makeup Every Night
6. Popping Pimples
We're all guilty of it, and while it may have been fine in high school, your skin thins as you age, and thinner skin definitely scars more easily. Keep your hands OFF your face!
7. Not Doing Anything For Aging
While you don't want to go hard with anti-aging creams, you do want to add in something to your routine. A safe bet is a serum with ingredients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, green tea, niacinamide, and alpha lipoic acid, which can help mitigate damage caused from stress, the sun, and pollution.
Images: Isla Murray; Mario Badescu; Nordstrom; Amazon