I believe that prevention is the key to having a healthy, young-looking skin, and the best way to achieve that is by building healthy skin-habits. And I know what you're thinking, I don't have time or money for a lengthy, 10-step skincare routine, but taking care of your complexion doesn't have to be complicated. Committing to these 10 healthy skin habits in your 20s will keep you looking forever young. You can thank me later when you're still getting carded at the bar long after age 35.
1. Wash your face instead of using makeup wipes.
If you don’t wash and exfoliate, then all of the other stuff you’re doing to help your skin is not going to penetrate in. It’s going to sit on there like a layer of dust.
2. Wear sunscreen every day. Seriously!
I'm beginning to sound like a broken record with the whole sunscreen thing. But really, is the most important step in a skincare routine. 90 percent of the signs of aging come from unprotected UV exposure. Spending time in the sun unprotected also increases your risk for skin cancer. One easy way to work in daily SPF 30 is to find a makeup product with sunscreen built into it.
3. Apply an antioxidant serum every morning.
Like all antioxidants, vitamin C can help fight free radicals from all environmental aggressors, like pollution and sun damage.
4. Invest in retinol.
A vitamin A derivative (a.k.a. retinol) is my favorite for fighting the signs of aging. Using one every night can increase collagen production and decrease collagen breakdown. Retinoids teach aging cells how to behave like younger, healthier cells by encouraging them to turnover more rapidly. This makes way for new cell growth.
5. Learn to resist the urge to pop every pimple.
Popping pimples could lead to long-lasting dark spots. Instead, apply cortisone cream and Visine (yes, the same liquid you use on your eyes) to help minimize redness and pain. Then, use a acne spot treatment like Differin gel.
6. Attempt to get 7 hours of sleep every night.
Sleep is something we could all use more of, and seven to eight hours a night will help you achieve clear skin—among other amazing benefits. If you don’t sleep, your cortisol levels can go up, and when your cortisol levels go up that promotes inflammation in your skin.
7. Eat with your skin on mind.
Your diet can affect the appearance of your skin; packing your diet with foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (wild-caught salmon), vitamin E (seeds and nuts), and zinc (oysters) can help keep your face clear and glowing.
8. Acknowledge that your face is not the only area that needs attention. Your hands and neck deserve love too!
Make sure to extend all your serums, creams, masks, and sunscreen down past your throat. It's also important to pay attention to the skin on your hands, especially when you're applying sunscreen.
9. Exfoliate on a regular basis.
Exfoliation doesn’t have to be a laborious skincare step. You can use something as simple as a microfiber towel to get rid of dead skin cells. Chemical exfoaliants with ingredients like glycolic and lactic acid can also brighten the complexion; they remove the top layers of the skin by weakening the lipids that bond them together, thus removing dull and dead skin cells and revealing healthy skin cells.
10. Use a product with hyaluronic acid to soothe tired eyes.
Hyaluronic acid has the ability to hold water. It’s a great hydrator for the skin, so it’s definitely going to give superficial plumping to help with fine lines. So when your eyes are looking a little tired after a long night working (or partying), dab on an eye cream with this powerful ingredient.