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The Ultimate Guide: Taking Care of Your Skin in Your 20s

Sep 8th 2021

The Ultimate Guide: Taking Care of Your Skin in Your 20s

Skincare is so important no matter how old you are. When you’re in your 20s, however, establishing a healthy skincare routine is even more critical. The routine you establish now is the foundation of a routine you’ll follow for decades to come.

With so many products out there, determining which you should use can be confusing. There’s no need to stress about it, as we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to taking care of your skin in your 20s. Let’s get started!


When caring for your 20-something-skin, exfoliating is essential. The benefits of exfoliating are numerous:

  • Remove dead skin cells
  • Scrub off dirt
  • Unclog pores
  • Smooth out and brighten
  • Encourage collagen renewal

The experts are at odds with how much you should exfoliate in your 20s. Some say that you should exfoliate every day, while others say you should exfoliate once or twice a week. Since there is no clear answer, the best thing you can do is follow your skin’s needs. If your skin is continually rough and oily, exfoliating more often is your best bet. If your skin tends to be sensitive and on the drier side, you should exfoliate less. You’ll know you’re exfoliating too much if your skin is red, inflamed, scratched up, or overly dry.


While many think sunscreen is only necessary when intentionally spending time in the sun, the reality is that sunscreen is important all year around. The sun is always emitting harmful UV rays, and these UV rays are always coming into contact with you – even if it’s cloudy, even if you’re inside next to a window, and even if you’re commuting in your car. UV rays can be even stronger when reflected off concrete, water, sand, and snow. This reflected UV radiation can age and harm your skin just as much as it would if you were in the sun directly.

To protect your skin, use a lotion and makeup products with an SPF of 30 or higher every day. Products such as Elta MD facial sunscreen is an excellent option. Not only will you keep your skin moisturized and fresh-looking, but you will also prevent premature aging.

Eat Well and Exercise

Nutrition and exercise play a major role in proper skincare. Eat the right foods including fresh fruits, veggies, and fiber while avoiding too much dairy and sugar. Taking a vitamin D3 supplement is also helpful for maintaining healthy skin. Exercising will help you feel better overall, in addition to helping you flush out toxins from your skin.


Your skin’s needs change as you age through your 20s. For example, you don’t require the cleansers and anti-acne products you used back in high school. These products were made for oily teenage skin, while your maturing skin needs products that are a bit more gentle and targeted. You’ll know if your cleansing products are too harsh if your skin is quite literally squeaky clean. This means your skin is stripped from all oils and can lead to irritation and more acne. There are a variety of other facial cleansing mistakes you should avoid, too.

For optimal cleanliness, you’ll want to cleanse your face in the morning and at night. Cleansing your face before bed is a great idea, as you never want to sleep with makeup on. Sleeping with makeup on clogs and stretches out pores, transfers makeup to your pillowcase, and leads to bacteria buildups.

Cleansing your face in the morning – even though you washed your face before bed – clears your skin from the dead skin cells and dust mites that attach to your face overnight.

Boost Repairs With Retinol

As you grow through your 20s, your skin loses its ability to repair itself. Because of this, your 20s are the perfect time to start an anti-aging skincare routine. You don’t have to go heavy on the anti-aging products, as a small amount of product with retinol or glycolic acid will do the trick.

Note: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should not use products with retinol.


Hydration is a major proponent in our guide to taking care of your skin in your 20s. Not only will your skin glow more, appear brighter, and feel softer, but your body and mind will also feel better and clearer. Drinking plenty of water helps your skin by strengthening the skin barrier, which prevents inflammation, dryness, and irritation. Hydrated skin also nourishes epidermal cells, while thirsty cells cause the skin to look wrinkled and dehydrated.

In addition to drinking plenty of water, it is important to moisturize twice per day, or after every cleanse. It is important to consider the different types of lotions when choosing a moisturizer for your skincare routine, so choose carefully. You don’t want a heavy lotion if your skin is naturally oily, and a light moisturizer won’t help as much as a thicker formula would if your skin is naturally dry.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C isn’t only good for your immune system, but it’s also great for your skin. This powerful vitamin is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals that come from the sun. As a result, your skin will age slower and will have much-needed support in preventing skin cancer. In addition, vitamin C helps your skin by encouraging collagen formation. As a result, you’ll notice brighter and healthier-looking skin.

Care for Your Hands

Many people are so focused on their faces that they forget about their hands. Hands bear the brunt of the day, from frequent handwashing to exposure to UV rays to handling rough objects. Because hands often age faster in appearance than other parts of the body, it is important to pay special attention to them in your 20s.

You can care for your hands by exfoliating them to reduce dead skin cells. Slather extra sunscreen on your hands after you apply SPF in the morning. Also, try to moisturize your hands every time you wash them and throughout the day as you notice them drying out.

Reduce Stress

Stress doesn’t only impact your mind, but also your organs. Since skin is the largest organ in the body, it performs at its peak when it is nourished, rested, and not stressed. Take the time for your mental health and your skin’s well-being. Whether it’s soaking in the tub, spending time outdoors, playing with your pets, or talking with a therapist, stress reduction techniques play a major role in improving the health and appearance of the skin. For a night of ultimate relaxation, you can even create your own at home spa for some much needed "me time".

The Ultimate Guide: Taking Care of Your Skin in Your 20s