20-somethings, rejoice. Your skin is in it’s prime at this stage in life (except maybe when you were a baby and pores weren’t even a thing). By this point, your acne has calmed down (hopefully), wrinkles haven’t set in yet, and your complexion is at its healthiest, most radiant stage. Hence, you’ve got to be sure that you’re taking the best of care of it at this very moment.
Trust us—we know how tempting it is to want to collapse onto your bed after a long night of dancing and partying with a full face of makeup on, or to indulge in some seriously greasy food three, five, or seven days a week. The thing is, though, you’re doing your skin a huge disservice by being, well, lazy, and not taking care to keep it in it’s best condition. While doing a full-fledged skin routine every morning and night may sound like a project, trust us when we say that you’ll be thanking us later when you’re mistaken for your 20’s when you’re actually in your 30’s.
While skin care can be super expensive, we’ve put together a manageable and inexpensive routine to help make your skin look flawless day in and day out:
1. Cleanse, Cleanse, Cleanse: No, we’re not talking about a quick swish of a face wipe, but an actual, full-on cleanse of makeup, dirt, and oil. The key here is to choose something that will cleanse deeply, but that’s not too harsh. Some cleansers can actually strip your face of it’s essential oils, drying out and irritating your precious complexion. For a gentle, yet effective cleanser, we recommend Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Face Wash or L’Oreal Go 360 Clean Anti Breakout Facial Cleanser. Be sure to use warm, not hot water to wash your face each morning and night to reduce the risk of drying out your skin.
2. Try a Toner: Do this: After you wash your face, apply a small amount of toner to a cotton ball, wipe your face with it, and take a look at the cotton ball. See all that gunk? That’s the stuff that your face wash missed. Even the most careful of face-washers can still leave a bit of makeup residue on their face, which is why toner is the perfect product to swoop in and save the day. We like Burt’s Bees Brightening Refining Tonic, which evens skin tone, brightens dull complexions, and wipes away dirt, makeup, and oil.
3. Moisturize: Aside from cleansing, moisturizing is one of the most important things you can do to help your skin look it’s best. Dry skin leads to fine lines and wrinkles (eek!), and also causes skin to loose that firm, bouncy elasticity that many women pine for. To help restore moisture, use an oil-free moisturizer like Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer or Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer (hey, if it’s good enough for Jen Aniston, it’s good enough for us).
4. Prevent Sun Damage: Both moisturizers mentioned previously have SPF, which is important to add into your routine every day, whether it’s in your foundation or your moisturizer. Especially if you live in a warm, sunny area, protecting your skin from harmful rays is key to beautiful, youthful skin.
5. Exfoliate: Once or twice a week, throw an exfoliating cleanser into the mix to slough away dry skin and dirt. You want to be sure not to exfoliate every day, as that can cause irritation and rough patches. While it’s a bit of a splurge, try Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser. You only need to use a little bit each week, so the tube should last you a good, long time.
6. Protect Your Eyes: The skin under your eyes is so thin that it’s easily susceptible to damage and fine lines. For starters, wear sunglasses to prevent squint-induced lines, then try Olay Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum for a serious eye lift, sans nips and tucks.