With the stuff you are thinking about in your 20s, anti-aging usually isn’t at the top of the list. Even though that may be the case, you should consider what kind of prevention you start including. Are you aware that the production of collagen (firmness) and elastin (stretchiness, bounce back) decreases as soon as age 25?
So, you will want to be proactive and start incorporating anti-aging products into your skincare routine.
Not only will your skin care need a serious overhaul, but you may also change some aspects of your lifestyle. That is, of course, if you want to keep those premature signs of aging at bay.
If you have been wondering about the early signs of aging, the causes, when to use products, or what to use, then you have come to the right place. Keep reading to find your answers to these questions and more.
Signs of Premature Aging- Causes of Premature Aging
1. Sun spots and blotchiness 1. Smoking
2. Dryness 2. Sun/ environmental pollution
3. Dullness 3. Stress
4. Tiny, little fine lines 4. Sleep deprivation
5. Crow’s feet 5. Too much alcohol or drug use
6. Dark circles, puffiness under eyes 6. Lack of exercise
7. Visible pores 7. Unhealthy diet
How to prevent premature aging
Looking at the list above, I will start with obvious ways first.
Don’t smoke. It reduces blood flow to the skin, introduces toxins into the bloodstream, and repeated facial expressions will create those lines around the mouth.
Incorporate antioxidants and SPF into your skincare. Using products with vitamin C will provide antioxidant protection to fight free radicals in the environment. Applying an SPF of 30 or higher, used with vitamin C, will protect your skin from the number one aging factor, the sun.
Try meditation. If you would block off at least 15 mins. a day of just sitting and shutting your thoughts down, your stress level would decrease dramatically.
Get enough sleep. Sleep at least 7-8 hrs every night. This is when your skin does its repairing and renewing.
Limit consumption of alcohol/drug use. Honestly, I wouldn’t use any kind of drug at all. Alcohol causes puffiness if overdone, so limit your intake.
Exercise. At least 30 mins. of brisk walking every day can provide the circulatory benefits your skin needs.
Eat Healthily. Limit your intake of sugar and salt. A Mediterranean diet, in my opinion, seems to be the most beneficial for anti-aging.
When to use anti-aging products
As stated earlier, you want to take preventative measures with anti-aging. You don’t want to wait until you see any dark spots or fine lines appearing.
Therefore, the earlier you start an anti-aging routine, the less damage will be done. So, in your early 20s would be the best time to start.
SPF is the one exception, though. This should be done ASAP! If you don’t protect your skin from the sun now, it will show later.
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Wash with a gentle cleanser 2x daily
Even though you may notice the changes, your sweat and oil glands will start to shrink and produce less. That means the harsh cleansers and astringents you used as a teenager are probably going to be too over-drying. Using a cleanser like CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is going to wash away dead skin cells, pollutants, and bacteria without stripping your skin and damaging your skin barrier.
Don’t sleep in your makeup. I know after a long night out you may tempt to skimp out on your nightly routine, but do you really want all those dead skin cells, oil, pollutants, and whatever else may have accumulated on your skin to stay under the layer of makeup?
The cleansing clothes are only for taking off your makeup. They don’t count as washing your face.
Start using products with antioxidants
This is why you see so many products with vitamin C added. Adding a vitamin C serum after cleansing will help prevent the oxidative damage brought on by environmental pollution and UV exposure.
Vitamin C is also great for brightening up your complexion and fading any dark spots you may have.
Product to try: TruSkin Vitamin C Serum
Even if you have been afraid of using moisturizers because of oily skin, as stated before, your skin is changing so it’s going to need the added hydration. That doesn’t mean you have to switch to an ultra-heavy moisturizer, though.
A lightweight, oil-free, humectant (draws water vapor into your skin) moisturizer, like Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Moisturizer, would make the perfect fit into your routine. It contains hyaluronic acid and hydrates your skin with no oily residue.
If you prefer your moisture and SPF together, then consider Neutrogena Hydro Boost SPF 50.
In case I haven’t emphasized it enough, SPF is very important to include in your routine. Any damage to occur now will show up later! So, don’t, don’t, don’t skip this step!
You also need to remember it isn’t just a summer thing. Sunscreen needs to be worn year-round, even on cloudy days, and even if you are staying inside.
If you wear makeup, you will use your SPF first even if your makeup has SPF as well. The best one I have found made to wear under makeup is Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum. It has an SPF of 30.
If you just want some tint, then Peter Thomas Roth Max Mineral Tinted Sunscreen with SPF 45 is what you are looking for.
For a day out in the sun or just without makeup, there’s Supergoop! Play with Sunflower Extract and SPF 50.
The skin around your eyes is the most delicate and will be the first to show signs of aging. That makes the answer a resounding YES!
Also, let’s look at your lifestyle right now. Probably working long, odd hours, eating on the go, or late nights out with the girls. Do dark circles and puffiness seem familiar? Out of all the eye creams to choose from, which one should you use?
Honestly, it may be a little trial and error to find what works for you. Lucky for you, I have narrowed the list down a bit to address any of the concerns you may have.
1. Moisturize, reduce dark circles and puffiness and look more awake with Black Tea Age-Delay Eye Cream.
3. If you want an eye cream that does it all, including the reduction of any fine lines or wrinkles, then Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Eye Cream Intense is what you are looking for.
4. For an eye cream to use at night that is recommended in so many customer reviews, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Supercharged Complex Synchronized Recovery, wow, what a mouthful, is the one to give a shot.
A little tip is to put a couple of spoons in the freezer and press them under your eyes for puffiness.
Also, when using eye cream, you want to pat it in under your eyes, not rub. You can also use it on the tops of your eyes, especially if it is a lifting eye cream.
You have learned that your collagen and elastin will decrease as you get older but so will the rate at which your skin cells turnover. So, to help these processes out, you will need to exfoliate and start using retinol.
Right now I am going to explain the exfoliation process, then below I will tell you about retinol.
First, you’ll need to choose which acid you want to use. You have probably seen salicylic acid in tons of acne products, but there is also glycolic acid and lactic acid.
Salicylic acid- Exfoliates, clears the pores and reduces acne. Safe for pigmentation-prone dark skin and also anti-inflammatory.
Glycolic acid- Most effective at actually getting into your skin. Exfoliates, reduce fine lines, fights acne, fades dark spots, even out skin tone and texture, and increases the thickness of the skin. Will increase sensitivity to the sun.
Lactic acid – More gentle and hydrating acid. Exfoliates, will smooth skin texture, and lighten pigmentation that is uneven.
It is recommended that you exfoliate 2 to 3 times a week. If you have sensitive skin, you may need to keep it to 1 to 2 times a week to keep your skin from getting irritated. The acids also come in different strengths, so start with a lower concentration to prevent irritation.
Product to try: QRx Labs Glycolic Acid 20% Resurfacing Pads
Begin Using Retinol
For anti-aging, retinol is the “Holy Grail”. Derivative of vitamin A, retinol can boost collagen production, promote skin renewal, reduce acne, brighten skin tone, and reduce brown spots, lines, wrinkles, and large pores.
You can introduce retinol into your skincare routine as early as age 20 and I wish I had known this when I was twenty! However, you need to be a little cautious when first beginning to use retinol.
Do a patch test behind your ear first using a low concentration of retinol (0.1%-0.3%). If the patch test comes out alright, with no irritation, then start using the retinol 1 to 2 times a week, at night.
Retinol is used at night because sunlight decreases efficacy and it also makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight. So, it is very important for you to make sure you always use SPF 30 or above.
Another good rule of thumb, especially if you have sensitive skin, is not to exfoliate and use retinol on the same day. If it’s the day you are going to exfoliate, skip the retinol so you don’t over-irritate your skin.
Be extra careful if you have sensitive skin!
Product to try for beginners and those with sensitive skin: RoC Retinol Correxion Anti-Aging Sensitive Skin Night Cream
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For those who are ready to step up their retinol routine, there’s Dermatica. They will prescribe a custom formula tailored to your skin’s needs.
Do you need a night cream?
During the day, your skincare needs to focus on protecting your skin, at night is a little different. Your skin does the heavy lifting at night by restoring and repairing. So, you will want a night cream that is going to work with your skin.
Ingredients to look for in a night cream would be ceramides, peptides, glycerin, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide. Retinol is also a good one if you’re not a newbie.
Well, I have searched the internet to find the most recommended night creams for 20-somethings. Have a look at the list below to find one to work for you.
1. Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Dream Night Cream– Revives, nourishes, and strengthens the skin barrier along with fighting free radicals with Super Lotus, a highly potent antioxidant. Will also smooth away any fine lines that may have shown up.
2. Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Cream– This night cream is best if you are still dealing with oily skin or have combination or sensitive skin. The key ingredients are collagen, elastin, hyaluronic acid, seaweed extracts, and bladderwrack.
3. CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream– This one made just about every list. It’s one I use often and am pleased with the results. With niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and peptide complex, who wouldn’t be pleased with the way your skin feels the next morning.
4. Olay Rengerist Night Recovery Cream- Another one that makes all the lists for night creams. It addresses the 3 R’s for night, Regeneration, Repair, and Recovery.
5. Dermalogica Sound Sleep Cocoon– This night gel cream will promote deep restful sleep with the scents of french lavender and sandalwood. This night cream will also have your skin glowing by morning through the combination of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and moisturizing ingredients.
If you are in your 20s and you follow the steps above, then you will prolong the signs of aging for years. Just remember to focus mainly on prevention and change your products to the needs of your skin.
To know the order to perform the day and night routines, refer to the steps below:
Daytime 1. Wash ( or Exfoliate 2-3 x week )
2. Toner (optional)
3. Vitamin C Serum or other antioxidant
5. Eye Cream
Nighttime 1. Wash (or Exfoliate 2-3 x week)
2. Toner (optional)
3. Retinol (or other night serum)
4. Night Cream
5. Eye Cream ( you can use the same one you use during the day or pick out one specifically for night use, which will be a future post).
Led would also make a great addition to your skincare routine. Read my review to learn more.
Any comments, questions, or suggestions are welcome!!