|Photo from We Heart It; Graphic Design by Taylor Sullivan|
Your 20's are quite possibly the most important years within the anti-aging process – it's a decade marked by late nights, plenty of sunshine, and how you dote on your dewy skin now will determine the quality of your complexion for the rest of your life. Right now, it's imperative you take the right measures to preserve your youthful appearance.
Damage prevention is key during this period; whether it's simply applying sunblock in the morning or moisturizing, it's much easier to avoid damage rather than reverse it.
CLEANSER: When it comes to facial cleansing in your twenties, you want to stick with a mild version – milky consistencies work great for dry skin while gel-like solutions are tailored for oily skin. However, there's really no need to cleanse your face more than once or twice a day. Unless you have a special skin condition or persistent acne, over-drying your skin is often counterproductive as your pores will overproduce oil, causing breakouts.
MOISTURIZER: This is key. You never want to allow your skin to become too dry. Not only is it uncomfortable and unsightly, but also it makes you more prone to fine lines such as crow's feet. Make sure to grab a water based brand with a strong SPF. Apply to your face and neck to minimize sun damage.
SERUM: Choose products rich in antioxidants – vitamin C and vitamin E are good options. When applied topically, vitamin C proves to slow the rate of free-radical damage. Free radicals, the unstable molecules that damage collagen, cause skin dryness, fine lines, and wrinkles. Recent findings suggest that ascorbic acid 2-phosphate, a component found in vitamin C, not only offsets free radicals but also reverses DNA damage.
AND, WHILE YOU SLEEP: Although optional, your twenties are the appropriate time to start applying vitamin A-derivitive prescription retinoids. You can try top shelf brands like Retin-A and Tazorac or over-the-counter retinols like RoC Deep Wrinkle Night Cream ($21). Before bed, apply a dime sized amount all over your face, concentrating right under your eyes.
Equally as important as in your twenties, it's critical to maintain all of the above guidelines, this time with some minor modifications. Even if you've taken excellent care of your skin, women in their thirties will likely start noticing fine lines, often concentrating near the eyes and mouth. During this decade, skin becomes increasingly thinner and finer while collagen and cell reproduction levels have slowed greatly. Because your skin is wearing thin, it's vital to avoid harsh scrubs.
MODIFICATIONS: In your daily moisturizer, be sure not only that it contains a high SPF, but also it's extremely helpful to choose a brand packed in antioxidants. Like I mentioned before, try to incorporate vitamin C. Other great ingredients include green tea and pomegranate. It's also necessary to start wearing eye cream. For extra moisture, try one with hyaluronic acid as an ingredient.
CLEANSER: In the morning, choose a cleanser with alpha hydroxy acids, an ingredient which encourages exfoliation. In the evening, go for a more soothing cleanser with a creamy base.
MOISTURIZER: Eye cream...wear it!
WHILE YOU SLEEP: Retinoids and retinols are no longer optional in your thirties. Thank me later.
During this time, accumulation of sun damage and poor skin treatment will dramatically show. Not only are you losing collagen and skin elasticity, but also your skin's moisture retention is far from adequate.
Further damage prevention is crucial during this time period as your skin becomes increasingly more delicate. With some key adjustments, you can preserve your youthful glow for years to come.
CLEANSER: Using creamy cleanser is now in both your morning and night routine. Gels are now too harsh for your precious face.
MOISTURIZER: Now is the time to stock your cabinet full of lotions, creams, and serums. If your skin is looking thin, try a formula with peptides, which is a solution proven to strengthen collagen. If your skin is looking parched, reach for a moisturizing agent full of hyaluronic acid, petrolatum, butters, and oils.
WHILE YOU SLEEP: While retinols are a bit harsh, skip to retinoids during this decade. If it's still to harsh for your delicate skin, wear the solution every other night.