I am lucky enough to be young during a time when skincare awareness is the norm. I grew up learning about the importance of sunscreen, the danger of tanning beds, why washing your face each night is so important, and that removing makeup before bed is a necessity. The only excuse I have to not use the knowledge I’ve attained over the years (a plethora of which I’ve gained here at Truth In Aging) is laziness – and that’s not really an excuse. Preventative measures are probably the best way to stand up against the aging process; all too often, people have the chance to defeat wrinkles and such simply by not getting them in the first place.

My everyday beauty routine is fairly simple and pretty new – but I’ve been doing it long enough and have altered it enough times over the past few months so that I am satisfied with it. The most important aspects involve preventative measures, but a lot of it is just being conscious of ingredients and effectiveness.

I’m not quite sure how I did it, but during college I lived off of about 4 hours of sleep a night (less on weekends) and napped my heart out during the day. Now, I make sure to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night; it’s an easy way to jump start good habits in a beauty routine. When I wake up, I splash luke warm water on my face (hot water dries out skin and cold water can cause broken capillaries). During the summer months, I find that Suntegrity’s sunscreen ($45 in the TIA shop) is moisturizing enough without a separate cream. Suntegrity is absolutely the only sunscreen that I feel safe about wearing; its smooth texture and safe zinc oxide formulation make me actually want to put it on everyday, which is really saying something since I’ve never been a proponent of any sunscreen.

If I wear makeup (which definitely isn’t an everyday thing for me), I’ll use a mixture of theBalm timeBalm concealer ($18) and  Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer ($10). Both are keenly priced (something often important to us 20 somethings!), easily accessible (at Sephora and Target, respectively) and have pretty decent ingredients. I kid you not – I’ve tried every concealer under the sun. Bobbi Brown worked best for me, but I couldn’t get over the company’s ingredients (or lack of full disclosure of ingredients). 100% Pure makes the most natural concealer I’ve come across, but it simply didn’t come close to covering my dark circles. However, I am a fan of 100% Pure Ultra Lengthening Fruit Pigmented Mascara in Black Tea ($18). That product truly has ingredients good enough to eat (but please don’t); I use it as my everyday mascara. I finish off my daytime look with Dagny & Lane’s Ionic Mineral Lip Balm ($4.50), which I am convinced is so penetratingly hydrating because its first couple of ingredients are oils as opposed to beeswax.

For my nighttime/weekend look, I stick with the same two concealers but I’ll swipe a layer of Alima Pure Finishing Powder ($17) over it. I’m also a big fan of Alima Pure Satin Matte Eyeliner in black ($11), which I use to line the top of my eye. As much as I love Alima because it is truly pure mineral makeup, I can’t use the company’s eyeliner on the inside rim of my eye, or the waterline. For that, I go back to 100% Pure; their Creamstick Eyeliner in Blackberry ($15) is the only product I trust so close to my sensitive eyes. As for the rest of my face, I recently wrote about how much I love Mineral Fusion Blush in Trace ($20) and Bare Minerals All-Over Face Cover in Faux Tan ($18). Both work surprisingly well in conjunction. I round off my look with a product made famous thanks to Angelina Jolie using it in public: Chantecaille Brilliant Gloss in the company’s “Love” shade ($28). I have to admit, the ingredients aren’t stellar, but they’re definitely not horrifying, either. I justify it by using the gloss no more than twice a week.

Marta imparted some words of wisdom on me recently; the most important product for a 20 something to use is a good cleanser. That’s why after using olive oil to wipe away the days dirt, grime and makeup, I wash my face each night with Creo Super Antioxidant Foaming Facial Wash ($13). Simple and effective best describe Creo, and that’s exactly what I’m looking for in a cleanser.  Since I don’t need any heavy hitters yet in terms of a night cream, I stick with Andalou Naturals Fruit Stem Cell Night Repair Cream ($24.95). It is technically marketed as an anti aging cream, and it does contain peptides and resveratrol, but I use it because it is wonderfully hydrating and feels great on my skin right before bed. It doesn’t hurt that I can’t find one bad ingredient in the cream and it is “made naturally without sulfates, GMO, petrochemicals, phthalates, parabens, synthetic fragrance, colors or preservatives." It is also "pH Balanced & Hypo-Allergenic, Vegetarian & Cruelty Free.” The final parts of my beauty regimen are once a week routines. First, I exfoliate with Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive. I’m not big into exfoliating, but this peel is making me change my mind. It makes my skin absolutely glow after using it! Second, I use Vatika Coconut Hair Oil ($5), which softens my hair, makes it shiny, and relieves my scalp of any dryness or dandruff.

Two things I have to mention that aren't directly related to beauty but that I am certain contribute to the health of my skin are things that are important at any age, not just in your 20s. I practice Bikram yoga at least 3 days each week; not only do I feel great afterward, but I also get a ton of compliments on my skin. Of course, any form of exercise or physical activity is great; it improves circulation, cell renewal, eliminates toxins - not to mention stress, which wreaks havoc on skin. I also drink at least one but usually two cups of green tea (a well known antioxidant) each day.