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A skin care regime for 20-somethings

Is a Solution for:
Rosacea, Dull Skin, Oily Skin
March 30, 2009 Reviewed by Marta 16 Comments

Here at TIA, we are getting more and more mail asking for age-specific advice ("I am 33 and fancy that at a certain angle I can see my first wrinkle, but I have acne and a job that requires me to where theatrical make up.... so what should I do?"). We can't really provide personal consultations, but we will start to offer more decade-directed regimes and condition-related product reviews. Please suggest ideas and make requests so that we can improve TIA and make it more useful for you.

In the meantime, I thought I'd pull together some ideas for a regime for 20-somethings. I should be leaving this to TIA's resident 20-something, Copley (who, I hope, will weigh in with many more ideas), but it did strike me that the distance of years can provide some honest perspective. After all, when I look back I must admit that I wasn't very well behaved in my twenties. I smoked, drank (at lunchtime!!!) and regarded make up remover as an item of skin care. Breakouts were the bane of my life and were mostly self-induced by late nights and a crappy diet. At some point, a friend introduced me to Clinique's three-step thing and, at the very least, I started washing my face thoroughly.

Which brings me to the best piece of advice I can muster for a 20-something just starting to think about skin care: ditch the bar of soap. A decent cleanser is probably the best investment you can make (although, of course, its never too soon to start using sunscreen). If you are flush, look no further than Tracie Martyn's Amla ($65). This has anti-aging ingredients, so you'll be getting a head start and it will calm the most irritable of skins. Added bonus: it removes make up. In our recent Five Best facial cleanser round up, we also gave a call out to Suki's Lemongrass Exfoliating Cleanser ($29.95), which isn't necessary for everyday use but will do wonders for party-jaded complexions.

A once-a-week skin-cleansing makeover (and let's face it, you are not yet at the age when a monthly facial at a salon is an absolute necessity) will work wonders for maintaining an under-30 glow. For a great product at an even better price, look no further than Yes To Carrrots C Is For Clean Facial Mud Peeling Mask ($17.50 for a two-pack). You will be nourished by botanicals and squeaky clean.

In an ideal world, I'd be recommending a moisturizer/sunscreen combo to save you time and effort (after all, it's all too often that you ignore the alarm and end up making a mad dash to the office). Unfortunately, you may no longer have teenage acne, but you are still in the era of the zit and there's nothing like a chemical sunscreen and an indifferent moisturizer for setting you off. You could try Devita's Solar Protect with a zinc oxide sunscreen that's won't irritate and soothing aloe vera. It does contain vegetable oil, so if you do break out this could be the culprit. If you want high protection that never causes any skin issues, try Fallene Solar Protection, SPF 65. However, if you are in the market for a step-skipping product, you could try Abella's Colorshade tinted sunscreen, recently given an enthusiastic recommendation by Kate.

As far as a moisturizer is concerned, it's probably best to opt for oil free. Juice Beauty does a good, well priced one that is made for blemishy, oily or combo skins. Juice Beauty Oil Free Moisturizer ($24) has the brand's signature apple juice as a base plus white grape, pomegranate and aloe vera. Jurlique's botanical-rich Biodynamic Beauty Refining Treatment ($35) would also be a good call and Stem Organics Hydrating Fluid ($47) has only good things for dry skin.

See also:

A skin care regime for 30-somethings
A skin care regime for 40-somethings (part one: treatments)
A skin care regime for 40-somethings (part two: potions & lotions)
A skin care regime for 50-somethings

  • September 5, 2009

    by Michelle

    Okay,

    So I contacted Yes To Carrots (they're main headquarters is actually based in Israel, which might explain the dead sea mud that's included in their products), and the rep told me that they changed the name of the Yes To Carrots C is for Clean Facial Mud Peeling Mask to Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser "to better describe its function." Amazon sent me a second shipment of the same product after I called inquiring about the first one. I thought they mixed up the order again so I wanted to make sure. Just thought I'd clear that up for anyone else who might be confused. =D

  • September 3, 2009

    by Michelle

    Hi Marta,

    I have a question regarding the Yes to CarrotsYes To Carrrots C Is For Clean Facial Mud Peeling Mask. I clicked on the link on this post, and ordered the two-pack from Amazon. However, I think they shipped me the incorrect product because the two pack I received says it's the Yes to Carrots C is For Clean Exfoliating Facial Cleanser. I read the directions on how to use it, and it seems like it's just a cleanser, not a mask. I was wondering if it's the same product, or if they misshipped my order. Even the picture/name of the product on the Amazon link is different than the product I received. I wanted to check with you to see if I'm right. The one recommended is actually a mask that you have to leave on and use like a mask, correct? It's not just something you rub onto your face for a minute, then rinse with water? Thank you again!

  • April 8, 2009

    by marta

    Hi Michelle
    Try Stem's Cleanser, the best lower cost alternative I've found. http://www.truthinaging.com/2008/04/reviewed-and-recommended-stem-organics-gentle-cleansing-milk.html.
    The Suki Lemongrass will banish large pores.

  • April 8, 2009

    by Michelle

    Hi Marta,

    You said the Lemongrass Exfoliating cleanser shouldn't be used daily (is it because it's more of a scrub?); what would you recommend for a daily facial cleanser that we can use both in the morning and at night, <i>everyday</i>, as a regular cleanser? Anything more afforable than the Amla? Also, do you have any recommendations for tightening, or reducing pore size? I think smaller pores renders a better complexion. Thank you!

  • March 31, 2009

    by dmpond25

    Wonderful Marta! Thanks for doing a 30 something suggestion on products. I'm excited to see what makes the list.

    thanks again for all you 'guys' do at TIA!

  • March 31, 2009

    by ella

    Thanks marta.. very reassuring!

  • March 31, 2009

    by marta

    Ella,
    Your sunscreen looks good. These are the ingredients: Purified water, Safflower oil, Cetearyl glucoside (plant), Arachidyl and behenyl alcohol (plant alcohol), Sea algae extract, Squalane, Glycerin, Shea butter, Tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), Retinyl palmitate (Vit A), Ascorbyl palmitate (vitamin C), Zinc Oxide (botanical sunblock), Titanium dioxide (Botanical sun block), Aloe vera gel, Lemon oil, Caprylol glycine & sodium hydroxymethylglycinate (vegetable preservative), Potassium sorbate (plant).
    Nothing not to like!

  • March 31, 2009

    by marta

    Ha Ly,

    For blackheads, I would recommend Japanese charcoal cleanser (perhaps just a few times a week) and the Clarisonic brush.
    http://www.truthinaging.com/2008/01/found-a-japanese-charcoal-cleanser-in-the-us.html
    http://www.truthinaging.com/2008/05/clarisonic-brush-charcoal-and-a-cure-for-chest-breakouts.html
    If you have blackheads then a monthly deep cleansing facial is a must.
    I'll be posting on acne products and regimes very soon so watch this space.

  • March 31, 2009

    by ella

    Regarding moisturiser + sunscreen products... I am a twenty-something and currently use Kimberly Sayer Ultra Light Facial Moisturizer with SPF 25. It ticks most boxes for me, albeit with my limited scientific knowledge of skincare! It includes a mineral sunscreen (Titanium dioxide, Zinc oxide) and uses certified organic ingredients. It smells lovely and at £23 for 150ml with a shelf life of 12 months is economically friendly too. Well the proof is in the pudding, and whilst I have used marginally better products without the spf this works very well with my skin and has never caused me any trouble or break outs. I use this happily. Although perhaps if someone with a more informed grounding in ingredients were to find something not to like I may think twice...

  • March 31, 2009

    by ha ly

    I LOVEEE this article. I'm 22, and I found your website maybe about a year or less ago. I started thinking about taking care of my skin early and have tried to warn my friends. I'm glad I have, because I see some of my friends getting "crow feet" already.

    My biggest problem now is acne once a month. I don't know how to get rid of it...Also, I have a lot of black heads. What can I do about those?

    I use Suki and put on sunscreen every day. I was thinking about monthly facials now...is that a good idea to just start early? If so, what type of facials should I be looking for?

    Ahh, thank you so much!

  • March 30, 2009

    by marta

    Hi everyone,

    I'll be coming back with more decade-specific posts. Look out for 30-somethings next week. (I'll try to make it a regular Monday thing).

    Asya - I'll come back to you on blemishes.

    Also, I've started a thread in the message boards to ask for suggestions on how to improve how we cover and organize our product reviews. Do send any suggestions in. http://www.truthinaging.com/message-boards?wpforumaction=viewtopic&t=284.0#postid-369

  • March 30, 2009

    by JulieK

    Indeed, this will please your 'younger' audience. And is on target, as well, I believe. My best friend is 17 years younger than me (early 40s, opposed to my ever nearing 60) and I keep telling her the things I use on my face aren't necessarily right for the needs of her skin. In fact, I have this sneaking hunch, correct me if I'm way off base (Please!), our skin can become rather immune to cosmetic actives if used too young and in high volume before they're actually needed. The approach I suggest for her is *lighter* than mine, but I'm still looking for a stable level of confidence when recommending.

    As you, Marta, I wish I'd known then what I know now... regards skin care. The question remains- would we do anything differently? ~jk

  • March 30, 2009

    by Asya

    Dear Marta,

    now that's a promise well kept :-) Thanks for the post - concise and practical as always! We are waiting for the next age bracket :-)

    As you touch on the whole "blemishes and how we get them" issue, I was wondering if you could share your experience on most common culprits for break outs. I know mineral oils can clog pores. But I thought most botanical ones were safe, until I bought Nuxe Bio Beauté Hydrating Oil - it boasts everything from argane, olive and safflower to watermelon and hazelnut oil. It all sounded fine and smelled great, but the result on my face was nothing worth of it. Although I used a couple of drops only, it left a greasy film that never got absorbed and, worse of all, the next day I woke with pimples and clogged pores.
    I spend some time on the internet looking for oils and their pore clogging probability - information is scarce and not very helpful. Apart from cocoa, coconut and wheat germ oil, charted as highly comedogenic, there's not much out there to help people discern possible problematic ingredients...
    Just an idea for a future post maybe...

  • March 30, 2009

    by Junko

    Marta, wanted to add this to my last post...I love the Best 5's! I think we all do. Looking forward to them and going back to review the products when I'm wanting to shop for a product. I've noticed that you've added more categories recently which is nice. Perhaps additional categories like Best 5's for 20's, 30's, 40's & 50's would help particularly in the face category. Maybe even narrowing it down to dry/combo/oily skin types as well?

  • March 30, 2009

    by Junko

    Ditto! Marta, how about 40-somethings & 50 somethings since I'm almost there! I have a higher interest in posts written by you and Kate, believing you both to be closer to my age. I also read Claire, tho younger, her break-out concerns, are a concern for me as well. Age group/skin type round-up summaries from time to time would really help!

  • March 30, 2009

    by Dana Pond

    This is great Marta! How about a nice little list of suggestions for 30-somethings? I'd be interested in the combo/oily skin with acne. :)

    Thanks!
    dana

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