Your 20s – they are the golden age of humanity. There’s partying, eating late night takeaway food and staying out in the sun, yet you bounce back and still manage to get back into uni for that 10am lecture on very little sleep.
Eternal youth doesn’t last forever and women in their 20s soon have to deal with the signs of ageing taking its toll on their skin. However it doesn’t have to be this way if you take care of it. Women in their 20s can safeguard their skin for decades if they take the right precautions now. Yes, it’s hard work, but you need to be proactive to reap the rewards further down the line. With that in mind, here are seven skincare lessons every woman in her 20s should know like the back of her hand.
JAIL THE FREE RADICALS
Free radicals are the unseen nasties that come back to bite you when you start getting older. The trouble is, often you can’t see the effect that they’re having on your skin until you’re reaching middle age, which is why it’s essential to take away their freedom.
Essentially, they are single molecules that need a partner, and, to get one, they’ll break up another couple because they have zero morals. When this happens, your skin cells mutate and lead to unnecessary issues. Sometimes, free radicals are the cause of skin cancer as they change the setup of your skin’s makeup. To stop them, it’s vital that you introduce antioxidants into your diet.
You can find them naturally in fruits and vegetables, or you can get them from supplements. Anything high in vitamins C and D tends to be chock-a-block. By fighting free radicals, antioxidants promote tighter and firmer skin and tackle puffiness and enlarged pores.
It’s not a secret that water is the Holy Grail of liquids that will make your skin look moist and glistening and fight against dryness. The problem is the taste – it’s boring. Sure, six to eight glasses a day is a good idea, yet it’s difficult when you’re bloated and can’t take any more. If only there were a way to make it more appealing.
There is! Adding fruit to standard tap water is an excellent way to add another taste and make it more palatable. All you need to do is chop up limes, lemons or oranges and stick a piece in a jug full of H2O. After a couple of minutes, they will infuse and create a new drink. Another good tip is to use cucumber because it’s full of antioxidants, so it kills two birds with one stone.
The key is to cut down on beer and fizzy drinks as sugar and alcohol are terrible for your skin. If need be, try and drink more diluted, sugar-free juices and swap tap water for the bottled stuff. There isn’t as much fluoride in spring water.
NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE SUN
Everyone is guilty of this crime. You look out the window, spot the clouds, and think “there’s no need for sun cream today.” Then, you go about your life as usual as the UV rays break through the cover and pierce your skin. Remember that it isn’t about sunlight – it’s about daylight. During the day, the sun still gets through the atmosphere regardless of the conditions. Yes, it’s more intense during the summer, but it doesn’t mean the sun isn’t a danger in the winter too so it’s really important that you wear sun cream for the sake of your skin.
There’s an easy way to prevent sun damage regardless of the season: by an all-purpose moisturiser. An anti-ageing cream should already be part of your routine, so this isn’t too much of an ask. All you need to do is check the packaging for one that includes a high SPF factor. Ideally you want to be wearing a separate SPF too. It’s better to be safe rather than sorry by picking a factor 50 rather than a 15 or 30.
The factor should depend on the part of the body you’re applying it to. For instance, the SPF for face purposes is different than the body. Especially if you want to avoid premature wrinkles in your 20s. So use a high factor that reflects the sun ray strength of each season.
It’s not just the winter that’s a problem because you can make the same mistake in the summer. Cloudy, less temperature days still require you to wear sun cream for the sake of your skin.
LACE-UP YOUR TRAINERS
When you’re in your early 20s, especially if you’re at uni, you’ll often have a lot to do, from meeting up with a Tinder date to going out and sneaking in revision. Girl, your schedule is full and might not have time for going to the gym or pounding the pavement for forty-five minutes. We’ve all been there, but, speaking from experience, it’s a smart idea to try and work out more because its great for your mind, body and spirit and that includes your skin! Exercise promotes blood flow, and blood carries more oxygen. When your skin gets a steady hit of O2, it glows and blood carries away the toxins that you need to eradicate if you’re to fight the signs of ageing. Plus it’s great for helping you to destress and we all need that; stress plays havoc with the appearence of our skin.
CONSIDER PREVENTATIVE TREATMENTS
Nobody likes the idea of cosmetic treatments and we’ve all seen the horror botched jobs on TV and online. Its pretty alarming that the American Surgery of Plastic Surgeons has recorded a 28% increase in surgeries for 20-year-olds. Women who aren’t yet 30 are trying Botox and other preventive measures because there is no other option. Some people, and you might be one of them, have naturally thin skin and it can result in lines and creases from an early age.
The right amount of injectables can relax the muscle and make it less likely for the flaws to show. Doctor A is an excellent source if you want to find out more because they offer a range of treatments including fillers, peels and anti-scarring. But, this method comes with a health warning as it’s not an exact science at the moment. There is a fine line between the perfect amount of potion and too much, as many women can attest.
Always think long and hard about the decision and speak to your doctor before opting for cosmetic surgery. You might find that a change in diet is all you need to tighten up your skin and fight wrinkles, lines and crow’s feet.
DON’T LISTEN TO FAT HORROR STORIES
With diet groups being promoted left, right and centre, we’ve spent years hearing how fat is bad for us to consume. It’s all a load of rubbish as the majority of the time, low fat foods means more sugar which takes the item away from being the healthy alternative that it was marketed as. There are good fats out there such as nuts, avocado and fish plus there is olive oil can which can be drizzled over salad, and these are important to consume as not only can they help your skin but your hair too. When I discovered I cannot eat dairy, the nurse told me to up my fat intake from other sources as without enough fat in your diet you can start to lose your hair and all sorts of other effects!
It’s called beauty sleep for a reason, and you don’t need it spelling out! Sleep is the skin’s only chance to rest and to try and reverse the side-effects of your lifestyle. Women that don’t get enough Z’s run the risk of their skin looking as tired and fatigued as they feel.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, girls. It’s all about getting a good seven to nine hours every night. Also, try and make your room as sleep-inducing as possible. Remove the electronics to stop the radiation from messing with your body, and put up blackout curtains. If you’re a light sleeper, wear a mask and use earplugs to prevent external factors from waking you up throughout the night.
Your 20s are the best time to play, but you need to work hard at your skin too. It’s about getting the right balance, and it starts with the simple tips above.