When it comes to skincare, your 20s is the time to seriously nurture that asset. This decade gives you time to rethink and re-consider your routine and allows you to give it a serious overhaul. But, where do you even start right?
In this day and age where everyone has an opinion on skincare, finding facts can be time-consuming and frustrating, to say the least. But the first rule of Skincare 101 – there is no one size fits all. What works for you, may not work for someone else and vice versa. This brings me to THE most important word we should be using when we talk about skincare and that is “patch test”. Always, patch test new products on the side of your neck before slathering it on your face to avoid serious allergic breakouts.
There are so many products in the market today, but the one catching everyone’s attention is the anti-aging stuff, which many experts say is important to start in your 20’s. “Women should be proactive about anti-aging in their 20s. Research shows that as early as at 25, our skin’s two structural proteins – collagen (which keeps the skin firm, resilient, and taut) and elastin (which gives skin its flexibility, enabling it to stretch and then snap back into place) – decrease”, says Dennis Gross, a board certified dermatologist and founder of Dr. Dennis Gross Dermatology in NYC.
Read on to learn more about how to take care of our skin in your prime, in your 20s –
1. No matter the season, Sunscreen is always a reason!
- Never underestimate the power of SPF, whether it’s a blizzard or perpetual avalanche!
“UV rays are always around, even on a cloudy day, when you’re inside working near a window, or driving your car,” says Elizabeth Hale, MD, clinical associate professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center. “UV rays can actually be reflected off of a variety of surfaces like concrete, sand, water and snow. Reflected UV radiation is just as damaging as direct exposure.”
Sun is the number one factor contributing to external skin aging. We tend to overlook the effects of sun exposure since it’s not always thought about on a daily basis. It’s essential to apply sunblock because incidental sun exposure is always present, regardless of the season, and backs premature skin aging. This is why the key to a healthy, radiant skin regimen is using a daily SPF year round.
2. Don’t skimp on exfoliation
- The collagen and elastin fibres become thinner and looser as we age, which means our skin progressively becomes less elastic, eventually causing sagging and wrinkles. In our 20s, the skin’s ability to exfoliate itself decreases by 20-30% which means if you are 25, your skin takes an average of 25 days to renew itself.
To continue that collagen renewal, it is imperative that we exfoliate bi-weekly at the very least. Chemical exfoliants like AHA’s (alpha hydroxyl acid) and BHA’s (beta hydroxyl acid) can help speed the process. They dissolve the links holding skin cells together. Once these bonds are broken, dead skin cells still clinging to your skin’s top layers can break off and be washed away. This process exposes healthy skin underneath and also allows other skincare products to penetrate deeper into the skin.
Best exfoliating ingredients according to skin type –
- Dry, Sensitive skin – Lactic Acid
- Oily, Acne-Prone skin – Salicylic Acid
- Combination Skin – Glycolic Acid
3. What you put inside, is what shows on the outside.
As cliché and repetitive as this may sound, there is a reason we all chase the “glow from within”. In the pursuit of clear, glowing skin, eating clean and having a balanced diet is essential. A Mediterranean style diet that is colourful and rich in fruits and veggies, whole grains, legumes and healthy fats is high in nutrients that are good for your skin no matter what your age.
- Add colours to your diet – Colourful Fruits and Veggies, don’t ditch the greens!
- Limit processed Foods and Sugars
- Include Omega 3 and healthy fats like MUFA & PUFA
- Include ABC juice (Apple, Beet, Carrot), trust me it’s miracle!
4. Follow the CTM regime
A CTM routine stands for cleansing, toning and moisturising. This is a simplified yet extremely trusted everyday beauty regime. Following this routine in the correct order, like the name suggests can make or break your skin health.
Starting off with a gentle, non-stripping cleanser to get rid of any dirt and impurities is the first and most important step in this routine. It’s then followed by toning to recuperate the natural pH levels of your skin and finally topped with a hydrating moisturiser to seal the deal. Make sure to use a sunscreen instead or along with a moisturiser in the mornings. And, ALWAYS, wash and treat your skin before bed! Having a CTM routine twice a day is indispensable; never sleep with makeup on – seriously. We’re all guilty of sleeping with our makeup from time to time, but hey it happens, as long as you don’t make it a habit.
5. Retinol & treating adult acne gently
Not only is retinol a great anti-ager, it also helps keep acne at bay which makes the star ingredient a cult favourite. The use of a conservative application of both retinol/retinoids and peels (chemical exfoliants) will dramatically slow down the aging process AND treat acne. But make sure you don’t over-dry your skin with the usual over-the-counter treatments for acne. Let your skin breathe, follow the routine alternative nights if need be, and most importantly LISTEN to your skin.
Also read: Malvika Sitlani On What Her Cannes Debut Means For Indian Creators