Your 20s are the prime time for getting to know yourself better. It’s your decade to be experimental – to explore fashion trends, travel to exciting places and try new things.
Your 20s are also the perfect decade to start to get to know your skin and understand what it needs. Taking note of what makes your skin look fresh, glowing and gorgeous, and what dulls its sparkle, is a good place to start. Does it look puffy after a big weekend? Sallow towards the end of a long week at work? Throw a hormonal hissy fit of blemishes and oil the week before your period?
Think of it like a friendship, the more you understand about what your skin likes and dislikes, as well as what makes it tick, the better you’ll get along.
We know, we know, taking your makeup off is the last thing you’re thinking about when you get in from an evening out. But, unfortunately, your skin isn’t quite so understanding. Leaving a layer of built-up daily grime and makeup on your skin can clog and congest your complexion, leaving it lacking in radiance and brimming with breakouts. Ideally you want to double cleanse. First with a balm cleanser to melt away makeup and muck, and then with a gel cleanser to give your pores a proper clear out. Keep your cleanser next to your toothbrush as a reminder.
Practice makes perfect, so the sooner you start to get into your skincare routine groove the better. As a bare minimum, make sure you are cleansing your skin properly both evening and night (makeup wipes don't count) and wearing an SPF every day.
You might also want to consider incorporating a liquid exfoliant into your routine to whisk away dead skin cells from the surface. Poly-hydroxy acids are best for beginners, beta-hydroxy acids are best suited to oily skin and alpha-hydroxy acids are best for experienced acid users. You could also use a serum to target any specific skin concerns. Vitamin C is great for brightening, hyaluronic acid for hydration and niacinamide to reduce oil in the skin. Top with a moisturiser to lock in moisture and keep your skin smooth and soft.
Don’t put yourself under pressure to keep up a multi-step routine if, realistically, you’re not going to commit to it long term. It's better to spend your money on a couple of really good, efficacious products than an entire routine that will gather dust on your dressing table. Start with mastering the basics, like good cleansing, and slowly incorporate more products as you gain confidence.
And remember, you don’t need to wait until you’re ready to face-plant into bed before you run through your skincare routine. Get into the habit of cleansing your skin and applying your products as soon as you ’re home instead.
Trust us when we say that wearing a daily SPF is one of the best things you can possibly do for your skin. It’s so simple, but so very effective. The signs of sun-induced ageing might not yet be showing on your complexion, but unfortunately they will rear their heads in years to come. And of course, in the short term, a shiny red face from accidental sunburn is never a good (or comfortable) look.