There are quite a few skincare lessons that I learned in my twenties (some even a little too late) – from feeding skin what it really craves, to minimizing everything from damage to breakouts. Today, I wanted to share some of my personal skincare experiences, along with a few habits that I find are key to keeping skin looking healthy and youthful.
1) Always be gentle with your skin.
Our skin sadly becomes more sensitive, delicate, and less ‘resilient’ and able to repair itself, versus when you’re younger. That’s why as we age, it becomes increasingly important to take extra care and stick to those basic rules that say ‘don’t pull, rub, or scrub‘. In other words, be gentle with your skin – whether you are applying or removing makeup, or cleansing your skin – as one wrong move could cause some real damage. I learned that lesson the hard way one day when I scrubbed my nose too hard trying to remove dry skin. I was left with broken capillaries on the side of my nose that I now spend every morning covering up with concealer. Sometimes I wish I had a time machine… 😉
2) Keep fighting blemishes, pimples, and monthly breakouts with a good skincare regimen.
I don’t know who or where I got the notion that by the time I hit 25, my pimples problems would just magically go away. As I read more and more beauty and skincare blogs, talk to more women past the age of 25…33…40+, and experience my own skincare issues, I realize that I was completely wrong. Those pesky hormonal changes will keep those pimples and monthly breakouts coming. For me personally, even at 28, I’ll get the usual 2-3 blemishes once a month, which I hear is pretty typical for women over the age of 25. That means it’s just as important as it was when we were 16 to maintain a good skincare regimen in order to help prevent these little skin demons from popping up during our most stressful times.
3) Be conscience of the ingredients in your skincare and makeup.
After reading about the harsh and irritating ingredients that some skincare and cosmetic companies put into their products, not to mention more harmful and toxic chemicals that can actually be absorbed through the skin and cause internal damage, I recently made it a habit to research the ingredients in my skincare and makeup products before making a purchase. Fortunately, there are a lot of great sites out there that make it easy to do a quick look-up, like Paula’s Choice and EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. So the next time you’re at a drugstore or even a high-end makeup place – grab your phone and check the rating on those products/ingredients. It will help you determine if they are good for your skin or doing harm. Another great thing about these ingredients databases is that they can help you make better decisions when it comes to your skincare and makeup purchases (especially when you’re about to splurge on something pricey), by answering questions like ‘is there anything unique about what’s in this product?, and ‘are the ingredients in this worth the price?’.
4) Great skin starts from within.
By your late twenties, you’ve likely tried a multitude of skincare products with amazing claims and benefits. But how often do you actually see a dramatic improvement in your skin? Now, take a week to exercise and eat healthy, and then tell me if you see results – I’m pretty sure you will! I bet you even other people will notice and maybe throw you some compliments like ‘Oh, you have such a glow about you!’. My point here is that skincare isn’t everything. Diet and exercise (i.e. making sure your inner workings are happy) count just as much, or arguably more, than what you put on your skin.
5) Hydration is key!
This is sort of an extension of number 5, but I felt it was important enough to make it’s own point. As we age, our skin starts to lose the amount of moisture it once had in its youth due to sun damage and/or other factors, which can cause fine lines around the eyes, mouth, and forehead – all of which I started to notice when I hit 24-25. One way to prevent this is by staying hydrated – both inside and out. That means drinking the recommended eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day (I personally like to get my eight cups by brewing tea, or even infusing it with fruits overnight!). At the same time, we need to hydrate our skin from the outside to help lock in moisturize and prevent wrinkles. According to UW Health’s website, this can be accomplished by:
- Applying moisturizer within 2 minutes of leaving the bath or shower when the skin is still porous to allow for better absorption. Better yet, apply your moisturizer while the skin is still slightly wet/damp.
- Applying a product that contains hyaluronic acid just before your moisturizer. Hyaluronic acid has the ability to retain moisture – in fact, one gram of hyaluronic acid is able to hold up to six liters of water! As a result, it can improve your skin’s moisture content and strengthen the skin’s barrier to help skin look softer, smoother, and plumper (1).
What are some skincare lessons that you’ve learned over the years?