Ahh. You 20-something girls. Oh, how I envy you. Your smooth creamy skin, your lack of wrinkles, and your ability to stay up all night and still be able to function the next day…
I miss those days. Well, not so much those days as that skin.
I’ve learned a lot over the years, about life and about skincare. My college friends will tell you that even at 18 years old, I was a stickler about removing makeup before bed. I started using eye cream when I was 20 and anti-aging products when I was in my late 20s. I think skincare is a gift you give yourself now that will pay off for years to come.
Listen up, ladies. I’m about to bestow some knowledge upon you. I am about to turn 34 years old, and (hopefully!) thanks to these tips and tricks I will look 40 when I’m 50, God willing.
Do not tan.
This is a biggie, and it is one I know you’ve heard before. Since I’m no hypocrite, I will tell you that I tanned when I was in my teens and very early 20s. We had a pool in our backyard and there were several summers I played the “how tan can I get?” game. I also used tanning beds. My family prescribed to the school of thought that “fat looks better when you’re tan.”
You know what doesn’t look better, tan or no? Wrinkles.
As much as I love my mom and I think she is beautiful, I can see where tanning has added lines and wrinkles to her face and body. I hope my brief attempt to become Snooki didn’t damage me years down the road. Because it will. There’s just no way around it. Not only does tanning damage your skin, you put yourself at risk of skin cancer. Is being tan really worth it? If you said yes, get back to me in 20 years and let me know if you still feel the same way.
Take Off Your Makeup Every Night
My college roommate is probably reading this and having flashbacks, but it is true! Leaving on your makeup overnight will just clog up your pores. If you’re too tired to deal with a nighttime routine, keep a stash of makeup removers or baby wipes in your nightstand. One swipe and you’re done! I swear by Yes To Cucumbers Facial Towelettes.
Start a skincare regime.
You don’t need to get crazy here. Find a good face wash and a basic moisturizer. I have sworn by Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar for more than 8 years. It’s no frills but it works. I also recommend Philosophy Purity and Philosophy Hope in a Jar as a great basic makeup remover and moisturizer. A good exfoliant will finish out your routine. My friends know I use and love the Clarisonic system, but in a pinch you can add baking soda to your face wash. The Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash Daily Scrub is good if you battle breakouts.
Find An Eye Cream
Most 20-somethings don’t have to deal with undereye circles or puffy eyes… yet. If that’s the case, a basic moisturizing eye cream will work for you. My holy grail eye cream is MAC Fast Response Eye Cream. It is just a basic, super moisturizing eye cream. That’s all your eyes need – moisture to keep the area around your eyes soft and supple.
Treat Only Your Problem Areas
I know some will disagree with me, but I personally don’t see any need for a 24 year old to be on Retin A unless you have severe skincare issues and it is at the recommendation of your dermatologist. I see so many young girls taking extremely harsh prescription treatments for skin concerns that could be solved by something less risky. Save the harsh treatments for when they are truly needed! I don’t diss Retin A and the like, but those medications come with a host of side effects that you really don’t want to mess with unless you have to. /hops off soapbox
In my mid-20s I went through a stage where I thought I needed to torture my skin with every product out there. The higher the price tag, the better! I spent so much money and honestly? Looking back, those days were the worst my skin has ever looked. I had few skincare concerns and instead of bombarding my skin with serum after acid after treatment, I should have just realized less is more.
We all have such individual concerns that it is impossible to recommend specific products in this section. Just to give you an idea, I suffer from blackheads, hyperpigmentation, and combination skin. Someone else might have cystic acne and puffy eyes. However – if you want to leave me a comment, I’d be happy to give you one on one advice!
Be Kind To Your Eyes
This is the area that we begin to see wrinkles first. Be kind to your eyes! Don’t pull or tug more than you need to. (Contact lens wearers like me – we’re sort of screwed.) When applying eyeliner, don’t yank your skin to the side. Don’t rub and rub to remove eye makeup or mascara. Be as gentle as possible!
20-somethings, I hope you found this helpful. Tell me – what’s your beauty advice for this age? For us older girls, what do you wish you had known about skincare?
I’d love to hear from you!
Andrea House is a Southern bell and a self-titled beauty maven that deals with her toddler’s frequent meltdowns by seeking peace in the aisles of Sephora and Ulta. By day she is a social worker, while at night she manages her household while reading story books in her best Elmo voice. Andrea blogs at My Chihuahua Bites, where her blog philosophy is “keepin’ it real.” You can read more from Andrea on her blog, My Chihuahua Bites.