As someone in their late twenties, I must admit I've tested out a fair few skin care routines from my adolescence to now. However, according to the experts, there are some skin care habits to get into by the time you're 29, that you might have overlooked.
Although it's tempting to believe your skin will stay exactly as it is now, it will likely show signs of aging soon, if it hasn't begun to already. Of course, there's nothing wrong with wrinkles and all of the other tell-tale signs you've lived your life to the full, but 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.
Board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Janet Prystowsky, tells me over email, "Women in their twenties are in the sweet spot of skincare. They’re past their acne-filled teenage years and have years to go before the negative signs of photoaging start kicking in." Although you may presently be suffering with acne, there are many ways to fight adult acne and chances are, you may not suffer with it forever.
According to the Canadian Dermatology Association, photoaging is defined as, "...premature aging of the skin caused by repeated exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) primarily from the sun, but also from artificial UV sources." Thus, photoaging can affect anyone. So here are some skin care habits to adopt ASAP, preferably before you hit 30.
1. Adopt A Simple Skin Care Routine
“A simple skincare routine is all a woman in her twenties needs. For a gentle cleanser I recommend Dove to my patients and I’m also doing a little work with the brand at the moment so I am very familiar with it. For moisturizing, a light moisturizer with antioxidants will help prevent free radical damage.” Dr. Prystowsky explains.
Dr. Hadley King, dermatologist at NYC's SKINNEY Medspa, tells me over email, “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." She adds, "I like to recommend 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.”
2. Protect Your Skin With Daily SPF
Kim Lee, Corporate Sales Educator at Pevonia and a Master Herbalist with a Naturopath Degree, tells me via email, “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. While the sun can be a factor, so are culprits like hormone imbalances, birth control pills, and the over-use of exfoliation products.”
Dr. King recommends using daily SPF, “This 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.”
When it comes to what type of sunscreen to use, Dr. Prystowsky has it covered, “The most important ingredient women in their twenties need to use though is a mineral based sunscreen containing zinc oxide or titanium oxide. Sunscreen can help prevent the signs of photoaging like wrinkles, age spots, and crow’s feet. They should also start using anti-aging ingredients. If their skin is oily or breaks out, a product with Vitamin A can help.”
She adds, “Using a broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen is the best way to prevent wrinkles before they start. As a dermatologist who removes skin cancers and provides a multitude of cosmetic procedures, I cannot stress enough how important proper sun protection is.” It sounds like prevention is better than cure when it comes to skin care!
3. Stop Tanning
“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.” Says Dr. Prystowsky. So it might be time to quite your regular trip to the tanning salon, or limit your time in direct sunlight.
4. Always Remove Your Makeup At Night
Hydrating Cleanser, $33.50, pevonia.com
“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." Says Lee.
"Make your cleansing process easy by choosing an easy-to-use pump bottle and hygienic cotton pads for easy removal. Try Pevonia® Hydrating Cleanser in [an] easy to use pump bottle with marine collagen for de-aging skin benefits.” Lee elaborates.
5. Use The Correct Vitamin A Cream For Your Skin Type
Livad Cream, $90, livadskincare.com
“Vitamin A creams are great to maintain your youthful appearance as long as possible." Says Dr. Prystowsky. She explains, "There are three ‘grades’ of Vitamin A creams. There are retinyl palmitate creams, retinol creams, and tretinoin (Retin-A) creams. The average woman with normal, combination, or dry skin should use a retinyl palmitate cream. It is great for sensitive skin which means you can use it every day year-round."
"For women with oily skin, they should bump it up to a retinol cream. Retinol is a little stronger than retinyl palmitate, which means it’s more likely to irritate and dry out your skin. This shouldn’t be a problem for women with oily skin types, but if they do notice irritation they should switch to or alternate use with a retinyl palmitate product." Dr. Prystowsky informs me.
"For women with persistent acne, they should consider using tretinoin (Retin-A). It’s much stronger than retinol and retinyl palmitate, but it will help with their acne and their wrinkle concerns. Tretinoin is just too strong for the average woman to use as a cosmetic treatment and using it comes with a slew of dermatologist appointments.” Dr. Prystowsky explains.
When it comes to Vitamin A skin care products, Dr. Prystowsky knows what's best, “As you may know, tretinoin is only by prescription so you won’t see it in any drugstores. As far as retinol products are concerned, I haven’t noticed much of a difference between brands. I’ve had many patients come in using a wide variety of retinols, and they ended up with dry skin and irritation. As useful as they may be, retinols are really best for people with naturally oily skin, and even then only in moderation."
"I actually created my own retinyl palmitate product, just because I saw so many people becoming irritated from retinol products. It’s called Livad and I’ve been selling it very well in my office and online for the past 8 years. We’re going to relaunch the brand in retail stores with an Anti Aging Cream, Complexion Cream, After Sun Cream, and Cuticle Cream soon, but if you’d like to take a look at the Livad Skin Care website you can learn a little more about it.” Dr. Prystowsky says.
6. Begin Using A Serum Containing Hyaluronic Acid
“Use serums containing Hyaluronic Acid under your moisturizer." Lee instructs. "Your skin produces Hyaluronic Acid to give skin its water absorption ability and gives skin its suppleness. Apply a Hyaluronic Acid product under your day cream to prevent trans-epidermal water loss and to help protect your skin from daily pollutants.” Lee says.
7. Chemical Peels & Laser Treatments Can Help Photodamaged Skin Or Acne
“As far [as] mini procedures are concerned, mild chemical peels and laser treatments can help. Generally, I wouldn’t recommend procedures to young women unless they already have photodamaged skin or still have acne. These treatments are usually more about repair of sun damage than about prevention.” Says Dr. Prystowsky. So these are great options for adult acne sufferers or those who have photodamaged skin.
8. Use A Vitamin C Cream Before Bed
Lumablanc Cream, $80, pevonia.com
“Apply a good Vitamin C Cream at night, at least four times a week." Lee instructs. "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. Also, the best natural skin brightener, Pevonia®s Lumablanc Cream, contains a powerhouse of natural plant Vitamin C’s for dramatic effects while you sleep.” Says Lee.
Don't panic if you're already on the other side of 30, these skin care habits will likely benefit any younger women. But, if you're still in your twenties, put these habits into practice to give your skin the best chance of staying in great condition as you get older!