Your 20s are the glory days where you can get away with doing as little as possible and still look pretty good. But now’s the time to prep for your real golden years ahead. I’ve done a little research and found some beauty tips that women in their 30s, 40s, and 50s would give to their younger selves. Read on for 15 beauty habits to start implementing in your 20s!
1. Wear Sunscreen Every Single Day
This is the number one golden rule of all skincare and beauty. You should always wear SPF. UV damage is the number one cause of premature aging and skin cancer. If you want to look good in your 50s, make sure you wear your sunscreen in your 20s! You can read more about the importance of sun protection and have a look at some product recommendations here.
2. Wash your face before bed
Washing your face is paramount to maintaining healthy skin. So please. Wash. Your. Face. I know it can be a hassle, but just do it. The sooner you make a habit of washing your face every night, the better. Throughout the day, your makeup can trap dirt and environmental pollutants in the skin which can result in the degradation of collagen and premature aging. More than that, makeup, sunscreen, sweat, and bacteria can all clog the pores that lead to breakouts and uneven skin texture.
As a lazy girl myself, I understand the effort it takes to wash your face every night. There are just some nights when you can’t bring yourself to go through a whole skincare routine. But any kind of cleansing is better than none – on those nights, just a quick make-up removal and a warm towel can be good enough. Just get into the habit of washing your face before bed.
3. Your routine is always evolving
You can’t do the same things you used to and expect the same results forever. Your skin, like the rest of your body, is growing and evolving over time. Each year will bring about new issues that never used to exist. Hangovers get worse (it’s very unfortunate, I know), your skin ages more, hair texture may change, and so on. You won’t be able to get away with the same old tricks and yield the same results. The best thing to do is to listen to your body. Find products and foods that work well for you as time goes on. Don’t be afraid of change.
4. Sometimes, it’s worth it to invest in high quality products
We all love a good deal. There’s nothing better than finding budget-friendly alternatives to expensive beauty products that work just as well. With that being said, there are certain things that you should be willing to invest in, good quality skincare being one of them. That doesn’t mean you need to break your bank account and buy expensive products left, right and center. But do your research and spend your money on formulas with good, clean ingredients and science-backed results. Good skincare early on is a preventative measure; it’s far easier to spend a little extra now than to try to make up for it later in life. Invest in yourself girl!
5. Active ingredients in your skincare are important
Actives are ingredients in your skincare that work to make your skin smoother, brighter, and healthier. These include ingredients like retinol, vitamin C, and exfoliating acids. Making sure you do your research on different active ingredients is important, so that you’re able to find products that best solve your skin concerns. For instance, someone with dry, sensitive skin might opt for active ingredients that hydrate and combat dry patches (such as hyaluronic acid and PHAs). Check out my skincare ingredient directory for the full rundown on some important active ingredients.
6. Drink that water!
Follow the age-old beauty tip and drink lots of water. Drinking enough water is one of the best ways to ensure your body is operating optimally. It helps to remove toxins and waste from your body fast, prevent dehydrated skin, and help you to maintain your glow. Find ways to motivate yourself to drink water by downloading an app or getting yourself a cute new water bottle that you can lug around with you all day. Remember people: hydration is the key to a healthy body and to healthy skin.
7. You will never be “one-size-fits-all”
Your skin, hair, and body are all unique to you. While the beauty industry is evolving, there has been a lack of diversity in what has been deemed the ‘beauty ideal’. Trying to fit into this one singular beauty standard will never be feasible – we all look different and that is amazing. Beauty products and treatments are a great way to make yourself feel good in your own skin but take note of how each one affects you. If it’s not serving you specifically, it’s not worth your time and money. That includes clothes, makeup, food, skincare, haircare, and all of it. Drop what doesn’t bring out the best in you.
8. Start early with your anti-aging
Prevention is much easier than finding a cure. If you take care of your skin early, you can age more gracefully into the decades to come. It has been found that we are starting to age faster than before. From a younger age, we are being exposed to external factors such as pollution, visible light, and environmental irritants which can cause collagen breakdown. This can then result in signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles and sagging of the skin. There’s no harm in starting your anti-aging regime in your 20s!
9. Lack of sleep won’t do you any good
Beauty sleep is real! The quality and length of sleep you get every night affects your skin’s overall health. When we sleep, our bodies recharge. Sleep helps us to heal, restore, and eliminate toxins from our skin. When sleep is compromised, so is the skin’s ability to carry out these functions. A good night’s sleep is the best anti-aging treatment you can give yourself every night!
10. Air Drying is good for your hair
Air drying is the best way to go. This is because: 1. Towel drying is not good for your hair; and 2. Blow drying is no good either.
It’s best not to rub your hair with an abrasive towel when trying to dry wet hair. Aggressive rubbing can rough the cuticles of the hair and damage the hair. Instead, twist your hair and blot with a towel then let it air dry. Better yet, get yourself a microfibre hair towel that is gentle on the hair and helps to reduce frizz.
Blow drying can deplete your hair of moisture quickly, causing dry, brittle hair. Concentrated heat can also lead to breakage. That’s why it’s best to allow your hair to air dry, as it retains moisture and prevents heat damage. If you must use a hairdryer, try investing in a heat-shielding product to protect your hair from heat damage.
11. Don’t forget that hand cream
Your hands are always at the forefront of battling against dryness and roughness. Especially with all the COVID-19 health measures in place, frequent hand washing can cause damage to your skin. To keep your skin moisturised and healthy, always keep your hand cream handy. Our hands are also one of the first places to show signs of aging (along with your necks). So remember, any products that go on your face should go on the back of your hands too!
12. Beware of over-exfoliating
In your 20s, you can exfoliate sparingly. The skin has more elasticity and renews itself better in your 20s than later in life. Exfoliating a few times a week is a great anti-aging preventative measure, and is great for flushing out clogged pores and prepping the skin. Check out my ultimate beginner’s guide to exfoliating for more info on how often you should be exfoliating!
13. Washing your hair every day is unnecessary (and not good for your hair)
Our hair naturally produces oils to keep it silky, shiny and strong. Washing your hair on a daily basis can strip your hair of these natural oils. Ideally, you should be washing your hair at a maximum of 3 times a week. If your hair is feeling a little greasy or dirty, run it under some warm water instead and let it air dry after. Dry shampoo or baby powder is a great way to combat greasiness in between washes too!
14. Don’t stop at the face
Any product that you use on your face, you should be using on your neck, hands, and décolletage area. Take care of those parts of your body now so that you don’t have to worry about covering it all up later. Remember, skin health doesn’t stop at the face! Your neck, chest, and hands are just as susceptible to sun exposure and damage, as well as the effects of aging, so be sure to take care of those areas now.
15. Be patient
The last and potentially the most important beauty lesson to learn is to have patience and trust the process. Your beauty routine will take time to yield results. Learning to live your life in a satisfying, healthy way that best suits your needs might take longer than you expect. Try new things and pivot to something else if it doesn’t work. Be kind to yourself and understand that the things you’re doing will take time and effort. You’ll get there!
Check out my blog post on skincare in your 20s for a general outline on what your skincare routine should look like!