I'm 25 years old. I don't smoke. I wear SPF. I remove all my makeup before bed. I cleanse my face morning and night. And I do all of this every single day. So how worried should I really be about my skin aging? Turns out, the answer is very.
Sure, I may appear younger in age than I am, and I have oily skin, which — according to my esthetician — helps keep the wrinkles at bay for a little while longer. But just because I'm not seeing any wrinkles yet, doesn't mean I shouldn't be worried about other visible signs of aging. Problems like noticeable pores, sun spots, hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, and loss of moisture can all develop for women in their 20s. And as I recently learned, it's never too early to start taking preventive measures, especially considering that the steps you take now will determine the type of damage — or lack thereof — you'll experience in your 30s and 40s.
So with this in mind, I set out to rework my skincare regimen in an effort to introduce more proactive measures and concentrated ingredients into my day-to-day. In addition to the steps I was already taking, like double cleansing and using an exfoliating toner daily, I introduced a handful of new ones into my routine. Keep reading to see everything I'm doing now, and why I think every 20-something should consider them too. It's time to get serious about skincare.
If you're like me and thought that splashing water on your face was good enough for product penetration, you're wrong. Facial steaming, or enveloping your face in hot steam, has so many skin benefits: it cleanses your pores by loosening dirt and debris, detoxifies your skin, enhances circulation, and facilitates absorption of any potent ingredients you apply afterwards. Plus, it's a much gentler way of wetting your face than in the shower or at the sink, where the wrong water temperature or pressure can damage your skin.
I now steam once a week, after removing makeup and before cleansing, which leads me to my next step . . .
2. Using a facial cleansing brush
While I've heard about all the amazing things that can happen from using a sonic brush, I never bit the bullet . . . until now. Ever since I added a brush to my cleansing routine, I finally understand why the hype is real — my skin has never felt so smooth. The gentle setting is good enough for daily use and really helps to slough off dead skin and clean your pores, visibly minimizing the size of them.
3. Using a brightening serum
Once my skin is properly cleansed and exfoliated, I pat on an antioxidant serum. The highly concentrated formula of antioxidants and vitamin C work to combat fine lines, visible pores, and uneven texture. With a product like this, the longer you use it, the more anti-aging benefits you'll start to see over time.
4. Using a hydrating cream
Once the serum absorbs, I follow up with an oil-free hydrating cream to restore moisture. As someone with oily skin, I always thought this step was unnecessary, but now I realize just how crucial it really is. Just because I have above-average oil production doesn't mean I don't need to hydrate. In fact, soft, supple, and properly hydrated skin is the key to preventing wrinkles — the longer you can keep it that way through your 20s, the less you have to worry about fine lines appearing in your 30s.
5. Drinking turmeric tonic
Turmeric is all the rage right now, and for good reason — its health benefits alone are pretty impressive, not to mention what it can do for your skin. Aside from detoxifying your liver, the spice is packed with antioxidants that can boost collagen production, lighten pigmentation, reduce inflammation, and fight damage from free radicals. I mix the powder in with water, ginger, and cayenne for an elixir that packs a serious punch.
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