Dermatologist Tips: Skin Care In Your 20’s
Many twenty somethings face numerous skin challenges like acne or uneven skin tones. While a good skin care regimen should address these issues, the early to mid-twenties is also the perfect time to begin focusing on preventing future aging symptoms, something I like to call “prejuvenation.” Preventative efforts during this period will help the skin respond better to the eventual aging process that will occur later in life. More bluntly: being proactive in your 20’s will lower your chances of developing severe aging symptoms in your 40’s. As they say “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
The perfect skin care regimen should focus on protecting the skin from stressors while simultaneously addressing any currently occurring skin issues. The following skin care tips are ideal for people in their 20’s and will ensure that your skin will look and feel its best, both now and in the future.
Skin Care Tips For Twenty-Somethings
Minimize Skin Harm
Any damage done to your skin in your 20’s will be magnified in your 40’s and 50’s. Two of the easiest ways to shield the skin from unnecessary harm is to avoid smoking cigarettes and drinking high amounts of alcohol. Smoking is highly harmful to the skin as the 4,000+ toxins found in cigarettes both induce premature aging and lead to the development of long-term skin disorders. Alcohol is a similar offender as excessive drinking results in dehydration, blood vessel dilation, skin texture issues, and aggravate chronic skin conditions like rosacea or psoriasis.
Another major skin damage contributor in your 20’s is UV exposure, both naturally from the sun or synthetically from tanning beds or booths. Overexposure to UV rays from any source can damage the skin (i.e. sunburn), resulting in early onset aging, and increasing your chances of developing skin cancer. All twenty somethings should practice safe sun care. This includes wearing a high SPF broad spectrum sunscreen (even during cloudy days), avoiding sun exposure during peak UV hours, and wearing UV protectant apparel including a wide brim hat when outdoors.
Cleanse & Cleanse
Making a habit of properly washing your face twice daily (day and night) may be one of the most important aspects of an optimal 20’s skin care regimen. Cleansing is especially important at night, where removing your makeup before bedtime is critical. Ideally you should be doing a double cleanse every time you wash your face. Start by doing an initial cleanse with an oil-based cleanser. Follow that up with a second cleanse via a gentle foaming cleanser. This double cleanse strategy will remove all the dirt, debris, and makeup from the face. And trust us, the second cleanse is totally worth it.
Exfoliation is a necessary part of maintaining healthy skin. The key to exfoliation is balance as over exfoliation can lead to irritation and inflammation. The proper amount of exfoliation provides immediate benefits in improved skin tone and texture, as well as future benefits in the form of a healthy cellular turnover rate. Most twenty somethings should focus on doing a weekly exfoliation treatment using an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) containing product.
While acne is often thought to be a “teenage problem”, many people continue to have acne related issues in their 20’s. Individuals with light to moderate acne can control breakouts by using mild acne products with lower concentrations of active ingredients. Products containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide are particularly effective. Severe and recurring acne may require the help of a board dermatologist, who can prescribe medication or perform in-office laser treatments.
Your 20’s are a great time to begin incorporating anti-aging products into your routine. However, a slow approach is always best. It’s always best to look for starter products, which have lower concentrations of active ingredients. If you have doubts, seek your dermatologist out!
A nightly eye cream is one of the best products to start as the skin around the eyes is very delicate and prone to exhibiting the signs of aging early on. Look for a product with proven anti-aging ingredients like peptides. Skin care products containing retinol (or other forms of vitamin A) are also a great choice as their use is proven to prevent wrinkles and boost collagen production. Finally, antioxidant-rich serums can be used to shield the skin from daily environmental hazards like pollution and other free radicals.
Preventative In-Office Treatments
Good in-office treatments ideal for younger skin include injectables such as neuromodulators (Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin) and fillers (Juvederm, Vobella, etc.) Both of these options are great for maintain a plump and supple youthful appearance while minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. Chemical peels are a great option for young patients that have minor sun damage and/or hyperpigmentation but do not require a more aggressive laser treatment. Chemical peels can really help to freshen up one’s appearance and improve their texture and skin surface. If one wants to target acne scars, large pores, fine lines and wrinkles, or just tighten up their skin then microneedling is a great option with minimal downtime. With microneedling, small injury zones are created in the skin to stimulate new collagen and elastin for an overall rejuvenated and healthy glow. Lastly, very light laser or IPL treatments are quick in office treatment’s that can really improve skin tone and texture and help to eliminate sun spots.
Botox or “pretox” (which coincides with “prejuvenation” as mentioned above) is a great treatment option for young patients. What we know as dermatologists is that starting in your 20’s you start to lose collagen which can present as fine lines and/or wrinkles around your eyes and on your forehead. With Botox being one of the most common treatments provided in dermatology offices that helps to relax facial muscles that cause wrinkles and creases, it is an in-office treatment that is recommended for patients, even those in their 20’s. For younger patients we usually recommend lower doses that serve more as prevention rather than correction of the fine lines/wrinkles because they usually are not that severe at a young age. These lower doses can be maintained 2-3 times per year with long term beneficial results.
After years of sun exposure plus a combination of genetics, patients may start to notice that their skin is not as plump or as vibrant as it was in their teenage years. This volume loss can result in a “saggy” appearance to the cheeks or “hollowness” around the eyes. Fillers are a great in office treatment that have little downtime but can make a significant improvement in one’s overall appearance. The early use of fillers in small appropriate amounts can really make a difference and delay any need for more invasive treatments like a facelift later in life. And for those younger patients wanting a fuller pout, filler is a great option to give your lips a little bit of an extra pop.
Microneedling is a procedure is which tiny needles are used to penetrate the skin and make small injury zones. Once the injury zones are created the skin responds by generating new collagen for tighter, smoother, and more evenly toned skin. This procedure is great for young patients that want to target fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, large pores, an uneven skin tone, or for those who want ta non-invasive way to tighten the skin. For an added bonus, some microneedling devices can be combined with energy -based treatment modalities such as radiofrequency, for an extra “bang for your buck” when it comes to skin tightening.