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6 Tips for Creating a Skin Care Routine for Your 20s

Once you enter adulthood, you’ll want to change up your skin care routine.
December 15, 2023

When it comes to skin care, it’s best to take a preventative approach, rather than treat skin issues after they arise. So, don't think you're too young to take charge of your skin care concerns. No matter how much life experience you’ve gained thus far, it’s never a bad time to check up on how you’re taking care of your complexion. Plus, as you age, your skin care priorities should also evolve — which means it may be time for an update. Here, learn how to create a skin care routine for your 20s with tips and product recommendations for you to personalize your regimen


What Age Is Too Late to Start Skin Care?

It’s never too late to start caring for your skin. While you can’t reverse the signs of aging or some skin scarring, you can create a preventative regimen that takes into consideration your skin care concerns. In general, you don’t have to be an expert to care for your skin in the most basic way.  


What’s a Basic Skin Care Routine for Your 20s?

Skin care routines have gotten very involved over the years with multiple steps and — seemingly — endless time spent in the bathroom scrutinizing your complexion. How you care for your skin doesn’t have to be complicated. If you’re looking to create a skin care routine for your 20s, start with the basics and work your way up from there. All basic skin care routines (regardless of age) should include a cleanser, moisturizer and broad-spectrum SPF. Keep reading for more details. 


6 Tips for Creating a Skin Care Routine for Your 20s

Everyone is different and has different skin care needs, which means there isn’t a one-size-fits-all model for skin care in your 20s. You should always stick to at least a basic routine (as discussed above), but you can still add more products and skin care habits that will benefit your skin in the long run. Below, learn six tips for making a skin care routine for your 20s that is personalized to you.  


1. Always Wash Your Face

Washing your face in the morning and at night is the first step in any skin care routine (basic or advanced) to help get rid of oil, makeup and sweat that has built up on the surface of your skin throughout the day. Your 20s can get pretty busy, between building a career and maintaining those post-college relationships — but that’s no excuse to cut out cleansing. Reach for a gentle facial cleanser like L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Radiant Smoothing Cream Cleanser which removes all traces of impurities that may be clogging your pores or leaving your skin looking dull. This cleanser gently exfoliates for a brighter complexion, without drying out your skin. 


2. Use Exfoliating Ingredients

Dead skin cells can accumulate on your skin’s surface and cause skin to look dry and dull. The pile-up of dead cells can also mix with sweat, oil and makeup and potentially clog your pores, which can lead to blemishes. Regular exfoliation helps buff away surface build-up so that skin looks brighter, fresher, and younger. You don’t need to add a separate exfoliating product to your routine if you prefer a simplified routine. Instead, pick up a cleanser (like L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 3.5 Percent Glycolic Acid Cleanser) or a facial toner (like L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Revitalift Derm Intensives 5 % Glycolic Acid Peeling Toner) made with exfoliating ingredients like glycolic acid. 


3. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

Moisturizer is a must for people of all ages and skin types — no exceptions. Twice a day, after cleansing, you’ll want to smooth on a moisturizer to your entire face. For an extra measure, you can spread your facial cream down your neck to hydrate your décolletage area. While everyone’s skin is suited to some kind of moisturizer, the specific kind of moisturizer will vary depending on your age and skin type. While you’re in your 20s, use a fast-absorbing, water-based moisturizer that hydrates without clogging your pores.


Try L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Micro Hyaluronic Acid + Ceramides Line-Plumping Water Cream plumps skin and reduces fine lines for a strengthened skin barrier. This nourishing facial cream can be used in your nighttime and daytime routine to provide deep hydration without leaving behind a greasy texture.

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4. Take Control of Adult Acne

We hate to break it to you, but acne isn’t just a teenager thing. It’s a common skin concern that affects all skin types and people of all ages. Use skin care with ingredients that help with active acne and acne-scarring like salicylic acid and niacinamide. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends incorporating these ingredients into your regimen and using the products for at least six to eight weeks to see the effect. 

Don’t pick at your skin, especially if you’re dealing with active acne in the form of pimples or other types of blemishes. Picking can result in dark spots like post-acne scarring that become harder to fade with age. Add a niacinamide serum like L’Oréal Paris Bright Reveal 12% [Niacinamide + Amino Sulfonic + Ferulic Acid] Dark Spot Serum to your routine to help fade dark spots. The gentle and effective formula reduces the appearance of post-acne marks by gently exfoliating the skin without any irritation, leaving behind a bright luminous complexion. 

5. Start Preventative Care Now

With every birthday and year that passes by the skin begins to show more and more signs of aging. It’s a normal part of growing up, however, you can still reduce signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines with nourishing skin care that targets the areas (like the under-eyes) that begin to age faster. 

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), when you enter your mid-20s your skin will start to lose some elasticity as it’s no longer producing as much collagen. That’s why you’ll want to use hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides in your skin care routine for your 20s.  

If you’re not already using an eye cream, now is the time to start. Apply a hydrating eye cream, such as L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Cell Renewal Anti-Aging Eye Cream Treatment, both morning and night to minimize dark circles, crow’s feet and under-eye bags.

If fine lines and wrinkles are of particular concern to you, add retinol to your routine with a concentrated serum like L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Night Serum, 0.3% Pure Retinol. This serum gently resurfaces skin texture for a smoother and more refined complexion while the added glycerin and hyaluronic acid soothe skin and provide moisture.
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6. Never Skip Out on Sunscreen

If protecting your skin from the sun has never been a priority, that should change in your 20s. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen (with an SPFof at least 30) like L'Oréal Paris Bright Reveal Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Daily UV Lotion, daily as directed — and don’t stop there. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends reapplying your sunscreen every two hours (or more regularly if you sweat it away) and covering up exposed areas in long sleeves, pants, a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses for maximum protection.

Next: The Best Skin Care Routine for Your 30s, According to an Expert

Photographer: Stephanie Price, Photo Assistant: Evan Mann, Digi Tech: Sergio Colon, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Creative Producers: Becca Solovay and Hannah Lee, Content Director: Shalwah Evans, Visual Designer: Sarah Duvivier, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Daniel Lutz, Wardrobe Stylist: Rika Watanabe, Wardrobe Assistant: Serena Orlando, Model: Dara Woo

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