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When you’re young, it seems like your skin can take care of itself. Even after the roughest nights, you wake up looking fresh-faced and glowing. It’s tempting to skip skincare when you can’t see the damage, but your 20’s are the perfect time for preventive work that can ensure your skin looks youthful for a long, long time to come.
Anti-aging skincare for your 20’s? Absolutely. Here are some simple tips to take care of your skin now: 50-Year-Old-You will thank you.
Easily the best thing you can do to keep your skin from aging prematurely is to protect it from the sun. More specifically, damaging UV rays.
The sun’s constant UV rays over decades of life lead to fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and worse. Those who tan frequently and don't regularly use sun protectant – or let themselves cook when they are out in the sun – face premature, saggy skin.
Furthermore, all those blissful rays can lead to early skin cancer, which is now the leading cancer in the U.S. One sobering statistic? Experiencing 5 or more sunburns doubles your risk for melanoma, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
Any time you head out, wear sunscreen, and if you’re going to be in direct sunlight at home, you might want to put it on there, too. We’re not talking about slathered-on headed-to-the-beach, but adding a light non-comedogenic SPF protectant as part of beauty routine puts you light-years ahead of most Americans.
“If I could tell every young person in America to do one thing for their skin, it would be regular SPF,” says dermatologist Dr. Lilliana Ramírez García. “It’s so fast and so simple, and it makes such a difference in the long run for anti-aging.”
Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen, meaning it can block both UVA and UVB rays, with an SPF of at least 30 according to the CDC. You may need to reapply every few hours or any time your skin gets wet.
Then, make smart choices about the time you spend in the sun. Wide-brim hats are back, baby, and a creative variety of styles can help shade your face and neck with ease.
Finally, though sun-browned skin can be attractive, avoid tanning beds at all costs. In addition to making your skin age more quickly, sunbeds can rapidly contribute to skin cancer.
These simple steps can go a long way in ensuring your skin stays healthy and youthful for as long as possible.
There are countless reasons not to smoke. Need another? Smoking does significant damage to your skin.
Nicotine reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that get to the skin, which can cause fine lines and wrinkles and give the skin an uneven or gray appearance. The repetitive movements of smoking, including sucking, contribute to smoker-specific lines around the mouth and eyes, too.
Some drinking is fine, but excessive alcohol use has been connected to premature aging as well. Damage to the liver damages the organ’s ability to detox the body, and alcohol can dehydrate the skin. Both of these factors contribute to the skin appearing older than it should. Long-term abuse exacerbates the issue.
Getting into good skincare habits in your 20’s sets you up for a lifetime of great skin. Commit to following a daily skincare routine that integrates anti-aging products or practices and stick with it.
Determine your skin type so you can choose products that work with your skin and not against it. With the exception of sensitive skin, skin type is largely determined by the amount of sebum you produce. Sebum is an oily substance your skin produces to moisturize and protect its surface… but it’s also the root cause of blackheads, white heads, and acne for many individuals.
Typical skin classifications include:
Dry skin may feel tight and experience flaking or itching. It may even feel rough or have a dull or ashy appearance.
Those with dry skin should favor gentle products with moisturizing properties, as dry skin is associated with age. Avoid products that may dry out the skin further such as alcohol and alpha-hydroxy acids.
A shiny appearance can be a sign of oily skin, as can a feeling of greasiness. The skin may have noticeable pores and frequent blemishes.
Oily skin types should avoid products that add more oils to the skin, favoring ones that can reduce oil such as those with kaolin and dimethicone.
Combination skin is just that: a combination of oily and dry skin that varies between areas of the face. The nose might be oily while the cheeks have dry patches.
For those with combination skin, gentle products without oils may be ideal, with moisturizing products applied specifically to the areas that experience significant dryness.
Normal skin is simply skin that isn’t noticeably dry, oily or sensitive. The skin is relatively consistent throughout the face without significant greasiness or dryness.
Those with dry, oily or combination skin may also have sensitive skin. Prone to instances of itching or stinging when products are applied, sensitive skin may experience reactions such as hives and bumps when interacting with a substance it doesn’t like. It may also be related to certain skin conditions like eczema.
As sensitive skin types vary greatly, those with skin sensitivities must be aware of substances that cause negative reactions and avoid them. Many sensitive skin products on the market are free of added fragrances and other irritating ingredients. These specialized items can benefit sensitive skin while avoiding issues from use.
Regardless of skin type, a good skincare routine remains basically the same, including both a morning routine and a night routine.
Your morning routine should focus on preparing your skin for the day, giving it protection from UV and pollutants. A typical morning skincare routine might include a gentle cleanser, moisturizer, and some SPF prior to or with makeup application.
With a nighttime routine, you have the opportunity to heal your skin both with necessary rest and quality products. Because you and your skin are still most of the time you sleep, with little to no interaction with sunlight or harsh chemicals, it’s the perfect opportunity to use anti-aging creams containing prescription ingredients designed for healing and longevity.
Since the skin can rest after application, the period before going to bed is an excellent time for skincare that’s not an everyday event, too, such as a periodic exfoliation or a detoxifying face mask.
For millennials and anyone wondering whether it’s necessary to establish anti-aging skincare during their 20’s, the answer is a resounding yes. It’s a whole lot easier to fight the look of aging proactively and preventively rather than after those wrinkles have set in.
The dermatologists behind Nava MD can help, with custom prescription solutions tailored to your condition and situation, if appropriate. Ingredients like tretinoin can aid in skin cell turnover for scar and blemish healing, for example. With Nava MD, this tried-and-true prescription ingredient is available from the comfort of home, if prescribed. Get started with a free online visit.
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