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Once you’ve been alive for 20+ years, you’ve likely got a lot of things figured out. You can (hopefully) do your own laundry, cook at least a few basic meals, and make your own doctor’s appointments. But is your skin care routine really one of the things you have a lock on? Sure, you know you’re supposed to use a facial cleanser and to follow it with moisturizer—but there’s a bit more to it. And don’t assume you can hold off on doing more than the bare minimum until you’re older—the truth of the matter is, when it comes to skin care, it’s best to take a preventative approach, rather than handle your skin care concerns after they arise. Regardless, 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. So, without further ado, let’s get to it! And by it, we mean creating the perfect skin care routine for your 20s. Below, we’re sharing all our best tips for doing just that.
Unless you’re totally skin care adverse, cleansing is most likely already a part of your routine, and it is still—and always will be—a fundamental skin care step you shouldn’t skip. Washing your face in the morning and at night can help rid the surface of your skin of oil, makeup, and sweat that has built up 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. You can keep it quick and convenient by using a micellar water. Since they don’t require water or rinsing, you can use one virtually anywhere. Pretty neat, right?
You’ll want to choose a facial cleanser that best suits your skin type. Have your pick from one of the following three: The L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser – Normal to Dry Skin hydrates and soothes, L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser – Normal to Oily Skin purifies and mattifies, and L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof – All Skin Types intensely purifies. And whatever you choose, always remember the golden rule of skin care: Never, ever sleep with your makeup on! Saturate a cotton pad with micellar water, then swipe across your eyes and over your entire complexion for easy makeup removal before bed—or any time of day.
Editor’s note: Can’t drag yourself from the warm embrace of your bed? Keep a packet of makeup removing towelettes in your bedside table for times when you’re just too exhausted to get up. Try the L'Oréal Paris Ideal Clean All Skin Types Makeup Removing Towelettes. Just a few swipes and you’ll be all set to get your beauty sleep.
Do you truly need to exfoliate? In short, the answer is yes—we can’t help you get out of this one. To provide a little more detail, 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 slough away surface build up so that skin looks brighter, fresher, and younger.
Three times a week, reach for a face scrub from the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar line, choosing whichever one best suits your skin.
If you have dry skin…try the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Nourish & Soften Cocoa Scrub, which is formulated with cocoa.
If you have fatigued skin…try the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Resurface & Energize Kona Coffee Scrub, which is formulated with coffee grounds.
If you have clogged pores…try the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Purify & Unclog Kiwi Scrub, which contains real kiwi seeds.
If you have dull-looking skin…try the L'Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Smooth & Glow Grapeseed Scrub, which is formulated with grapeseed oil.
Read about almost any skin care routine, and you’re likely to find they have at least one thing in common: Moisturizer. And trust us, there’s a good reason why this tip is so often reiterated. It’s because 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. (Bonus tip: Go ahead and apply your face cream or lotion while your skin is still damp to help lock in more moisture!)
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. Try the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Normal/Dry Skin, L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Normal/Oily Skin, or L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Extra Dry Skin, all of which are formulated with hyaluronic acid.
Don’t make face masks a once in a while treat—use them a few times a week! Not only will your skin thank you for it, but it’s also a great way to unwind and practice some much-needed self-care. Using a face mask formulated with clay is a great option and can treat a variety of different skin issues and concerns.
Reach for a mask from our Pure-Clay line, which includes the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Clarify & Smooth Face Mask, L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Clear & Comfort Face Mask, L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Detox & Brighten Face Mask, L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Purify & Mattify Face Mask, and L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Exfoliate & Refining Face Mask. Apply an even layer of your face mask of choice to clean, dry skin, leave it on for 10-15 minutes, then rinse off with lukewarm water and pat dry.
Editor’s note: For all the details on these clay masks, including how to choose the right one for your skin, read our article How to Find the Right Clay Mask for Your Skin Type.
If protecting your skin from the sun has never been a priority, that should change in your 20s. Spending time in the sun sans protection? That’s a major skin care no-no! Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen (with an SPF value of at least 15) or a moisturizer with SPF, like the L’Oréal Paris Bright Reveal Brightening Day Moisturizer SPF 30, daily as directed—and don’t stop there. Make sure to limit your amount of time in the sun (especially between 10 AM and 2 PM, which are peak hours), seek shade, and cover up exposed areas in long sleeves, pants, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.
If you’re not already using an eye cream, now is the time to start. Apply a hydrating eye cream, such as the L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Eye Renewal Eye Cream, both morning and night. If puffiness plagues you in the mornings, try an eye gel, like the L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Manuka Honey Eye Gel. The rollerball wand ensures gentle application and also helps to de-puff the undereye area.
Of course, we’d argue that it’s also never too early to take preventative, anti-aging measures in your skin care routine. If fine lines and wrinkles around the eye area, such as crow’s feet, are of particular concern to you, use an eye cream that helps skin feel more firm, like the L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Anti-Wrinkle + Firming Eye Cream.
When you apply your facial moisturizer to clean skin every morning and night, don’t stop at your jawline—your neck and décolletage need moisturizer too! (Don’t believe us? Read our article, Why You Should Pay Attention to Your Neck, for all the details).
Even if your neck and chest area don’t feel dry, a little extra hydration can go a long way in creating a more youthful-looking, healthy glow. Find a moisturizer that’s formulated for the skin on your neck and chest, such as the L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Manuka Honey All Over Balm – Face/Neck/Chest/Hands, and apply every morning and evening post-cleansing. Trust us, your future self with thank you!
Ready to start preparing for your 30s? Here’s The Best Skin Care Routine for Your 30s.