The Ideal Skincare Routine for Your 20s and 30s

Here’s the skinny: great skin in your 20’s and 30’s requires more than a sheet mask, but less than a 10-step routine. 

Here’s the real tea, the fountain of youth exists — you just have to take a closer look in your bathroom (and if it’s not there…make an appointment with your aesthetician 😉 ). 

What are we talking about? Your skincare routine! It can’t get any simpler. However, many women in their 20’s and 30’s are getting their daily routine wrong because there are so many skincare products on the market that make a simple skincare regime seem daunting. According to a recent survey, nine in 10 women don’t know what skin care products to use. What’s a girl to do?! 

What The Experts Say

We teamed up with our in-house skin care guru, and Facial Aesthetics Founder, Pam Hill-Grossman, RN, CANS, who is an author, educator, and both nationally and internationally recognized in the skin care industry. She understands products and their ingredients after meticulously crafting two skin care product lines in her past, and she knows skin, especially Denver skin. Here’s her best and simplest advice for how you should care for your skin in these critical years. 

It’s vital for the longevity and health of your skin to begin a proper skincare routine in your 20s and adapt it as you age into your 30s. Don’t believe that you don’t need to care about your skin just because you’re young, it’s an urban legend that your skill will bounce back! Our skin always needs a little TLC and every year we age counts.  

The aging process begins the day we are born, and there’s no rewind button to bring back that beautiful baby skin glow. Therefore, it’s important to make skincare a habit, especially for women in their early 20s. “If you have done a lot of damage from the sun, or if genetically you’re predisposed to large pores, rough texture and other factors that age your skin quickly, you’ll have to use some kind of therapeutic product in order to encourage the skin to bounce back,” says Pamela Hill, RN, CANS.  

Skin bounces back through the process of cellular turnover, meaning out dead skin cells shed and are replaced with younger skin cells. “On average, cell turnover takes 30-35 days and as we get older is about 45 days,” says Pamela.  

The cellular turnover process is very much like exercising for your body. For example, when you lift weights, you are encouraging your muscles to grow stronger. Similarly, when you take care of your skin with the proper products, you are also encouraging younger skin cells to grow at a faster rate and for your skin to look healthier.  

Think of it this way, a results-driven weightlifting routine requires weights that are not too light or too heavy for you, just like how a proper skincare routine requires products that are personalized for your needs (not too harsh, not too gentle). Without a regular skincare routine that is customized for your unique needs, you won’t see results.  

Must have skincare ingredients

The Must-Have Skin Care Ingredients

When it comes to developing your skin care routine, you need to look for ingredients that will help boost cell turnover. In other words, the ingredients are your weights, and using these ingredients regularly will get your skin into the best shape possible! 

At any age, you should include these three ingredients in your skincare routine — retinol or Retin-A, vitamin C, and sunscreen.  

Retinol 

Retinol is more commonly known as Vitamin A. It’s one of the top ingredients that can make a transformative impact on the way our skin looks. Retinol is vital in every skincare routine because it encourages collagen growth, which keeps our skin looking youthful and plump.  

“Collagen are the fibers that give our skin strength, and there are 23 different kinds of collagen, ” says Pamela. However, as we age, our bodies produce less collagen, which reveals wrinkles and fine lines. Not only can we encourage collagen growth with retinol/Retin-A, but this ingredient is also excellent for treating acne. Retinol is truly an all-in-one ingredient!  

With adult acne being more commonplace for individuals in their 20s and 30s, trying a lot of products is not the best answer. In fact, your skin is at risk of a freak out. Pamela recommends seeking the help of a medical aesthetician or dermatologist (in some cases) if you have adult acne, but if your acne is associated with your monthly cycle, give retinol a try. 

Although retinol is a holy grail skincare ingredient, it should be used cautiously. If you’re noticing seasonal changes in your skin, adjust how much retinol you use. “Use a heavier moisturizer and cut back on retinol that can be drying, that alone will make a big difference,” says Pamela. Typically, retinol is more tolerable in the spring and summer than it is during the winter, but be sure to wear SPF during the summer, as retinol can make your skin a bit more sensitive in the sun. Wear your SPF every day, no excuses!  

Vitamin C 

Vitamin C is a free radical fighter and like retinol, it’s a powerful ingredient that combats signs of aging, fades acne scars and boosts collagen production. It’s an antioxidant that should be used from your 20s into your 30s and onto forever. 

And you don’t even have to use a lot of Vitamin C to get results. Just a little dab, worked over the face will help protect your skin from free radicals and aging.  

However, you need to be weary of how your Vitamin C is packaged or bottled. “Vitamin C destabilizes when it comes into contact with the air”, says Pamela. “So be sure to buy Vitamin C products that are only packaged in opaque bottles or containers and is airtight, preferably with a pump to dispense it. You wouldn’t want to waste any bit of this amazing ingredient.” 

Moisturizer 

This is a given. So is a cleanser for the record – but the truth is when you’re young, finding a good moisturizer for YOUR skin type is so important. We talked about acne above. If your moisturizer is too heavy, you could be clogging your pores and adding to the problem. If your skin is dry, you could be using too light of a moisturizer where the chances of seeing any hydration on the skin will be hard to come by. “This one is really important to get right for your skin type. If you want to skip the trial-and-error period of finding a moisturizer that’s “the one”, come visit us.” Pamela shares. 

SPF 

It’s a well-known fact that the sun isn’t our best friend when it comes to avoiding wrinkles and dark spots. And while we do need our daily dose of Vitamin D at any age, it’s still important to apply SPF every day to not only keep our skin looking its best but also avoid increasing our risks of skin cancer.  

We know, we’re preaching to the choir with this one. But it’s important to recognize that we age in two ways, intrinsically and extrinsically. Intrinsically, we age based on genetics. That is out of our control. We can’t change our genetics. Extrinsically, we age from external forces that hit our skin, like the sun and pollution. That is totally in our control, and we can make changes to protect ourselves from these harmful elements that we call free radicals.  

“Anything we can do to limit extrinsic aging from free radicals is really important and that starts with SPF”, says Pamela. She recommends looking for products with SPF 30 or 45, at a minimum. “Don’t rely solely on makeup products that claim to have sun protection in them. We don’t apply makeup the same way we do our skin care products, so it’s important to find a lightweight sunscreen, that you can apply daily after moisturizer, just as you would your moisturizer, so you ensure that protection from the sun.” 

To finally put the fountain of youth myths to rest: retinol, vitamin C, moisturizer and SPF are the vital ingredients you need to make your daily skin care routine effective at any age.  

Start. Your future self with thank you. 

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