An Expert Just Revealed The Best Skincare Routine For Your 20s

Skincare is a science and sometimes it really feels like a science lesson. Getting your head around skincare routine dos and don’ts can be a little tricky, add anti-ageing and what to do at what stage and what age, and now we’re talking advanced science lessons. You’ve probably heard these common skincare rules; incorporating a retinol at 25, adding eye cream to your routine as soon as possible, and of course wearing sunscreen everyday.


(Image credit: @erica_davies)

As soon as you hit your twenties, it’s constantly drilled into us that prevention is key. As we age, our skin develops and your skincare needs will also change and while not a bad thing, it’s always a good idea to stay on top of things, because you know your future self will be thanking you later. Anti-ageing is a huge buzzword in the beauty industry, but what does it actually mean? Anti-ageing skincare refers to skincare that specifically targets the signs of ageing, from fine lines to reduction in collagen levels.

It can be overwhelming, with so much information and the rise of social media skin experts, how do we know what's the correct way to go about skincare routines in our twenties? Do you really start using retinol in your twenties? What does an anti-ageing skincare look like? And when is the best time to start using eye cream? 

If you’re in your twenties and you want to get clued up on the best anti-ageing practice for your skin but don’t know where to start, we’ve got it covered. We spoke to the experts to find out everything you need to know about an anti-ageing skincare routine, to make it that much easier to navigate because you have a lot of things to be getting on with in your twenties. 


1. Sun protection: 

One of the common and major causes of ageing and how it manifests visibly on the skin is sun damage. Here, the idea of prevention plays a significant role, sunscreen is key in protecting and essentially preventing the skin against UVA and UVB damage. The higher the SPF, the more protection it offers, experts recommend using a minimum of SPF 30 depending on how hot it is. The main cause of premature ageing is the sun’s UVA rays and thus you want to always go for a broad spectrum SPF, as it offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Research has shown that SPF can indeed help with the signs of ageing and work to reduce them. While you may not see the impact of sun damage on the skin right away, it will show up in your 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond. So, make sure you are applying and reapplying that sunscreen daily.


(Image credit: @bettinalooney)

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2. Eye Cream:

There is a lot of noise around whether eye cream actually does anything for the skin and whether it's any different from a regular moisturiser. The skin around your eyes is the thinnest skin and usually the first area where you can spot signs of ageing. Eye creams are specifically designed to cater to that skin structure, eye creams work as a preventative, hydrating and boosting collagen production to slow down the process. "To target eye issues such as the appearance of puffiness, darkness, and fine lines look for eye creams that contain anti-inflammatory and tightening fighting ingredients like red tea, arnica and peptides’’ advises dermatologist Dr Goldfaden of Goldfaden MD.


(Image credit: @lucywilliams02)

3. Retinol:

I’ll admit, I find retinoids slightly intimidating. Retinol is often referred to as the gold standard of anti-ageing products in the industry, research has proven over and over again that retinol actually delivers. "Retinoids are an absolute powerhouse when it comes to skin skincare and the overall benefits they have when it comes to skin health. They are by far the most effective ingredient when it comes to treating skin ageing by targeting fine lines and wrinkles, and pigmentation and skin texture," says Dr Malvina Cunningham, consultant dermatologist for Skin + Me. Retinol works as an exfoliate and works to increase the production of collagen, for that plump and fresh glowing skin.

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(Image credit: @_jessicaskye)

4. Vitamin C

"Add an antioxidant, like a vitamin C serum to prevent damage caused by oxidative stress such as pollution, and the sun," suggests Dr. Charakida, dermatologist at EF Medispa. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, which occurs naturally in our bodies, however depletes as we age. As well as acting as a powerful antioxidant protection, vitamin C also works to stimulate collagen production to help plump and smooth the skin, increases the efficacy of SPF, reduces inflammation and fights sun damage and pigmentation.

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(Image credit: @emmahoareau)

5. Cleanser

Taking it back to basics, cleansing is integral to a good skincare routine. ''Thorough cleansing and the daily use of SPF (even when it’s cloudy) are the pillars of a good skin care routine,'' says Dr. Charakida, dermatologist at EF Medispa. You want to look for a cleanser that works with your skin and that doesn't disrupt your skin barrier. Stay away from drying and stripping cleansers and opt for gentle and hydrating ones that cleanse the skin, leaving a clean canvas for your products to perform more efficiently.

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Freelance Beauty Journalist

Zeynab Mohamed is a London-based freelance beauty journalist, covering beauty, wellness, lifestyle and identity-related content. Her background in psychology and her identity as a Black woman has influenced a lot of her writing and has become a driving force to create engaging content that touches on a perspective that is often neglected and speaks to other Black women who love beauty as much as she does. She is inspired by how individuals engage with beauty and how beauty can make you feel but also how beauty holds the power to connect individuals across the globe to form communities. She began her career in beauty journalism with the British Vogue team, where she discovered that beauty isn’t just frivolous but can be a tool to empower individuals and give them a voice which they were not afforded.

Zeynab is currently a beauty contributor to Who What Wear. She has also written for Stylist, Elle, Refinery29 and Byrdie, building on her freelance portfolio and expanding on the type of content she creates in the hope of reaching diverse communities. When Zeynab is not writing and hunting down her next story, you can find her travelling the globe and tucked away with a good book.