About ten years ago my skin care collection consisted of a cleansing lotion, toner, moisturiser and some face wipes. Although I’ve always religiously taken my makeup off (while sober,) the dedication to my skin kind of stopped there. Even in my teenage years I was lucky enough not to have to worry too much about breakouts or serious acne issues, just suffering from the odd pimple here and there that a bucket of Clearasil would soon sort out. However, as I approached my thirties I became a lot more interested in what I was putting on my skin, and more importantly what I was using to take off dirt and grime from the surface. If I could go back in time and tell myself a few things about skin care, who knows what positive effect they could have had in the long term. Here’s what I wish I’d known about skin care in my twenties.
1. Face Wipes Are The Devil
When face wipes were first launched we all shouted ‘hallelujah’ and spent the best part of a year stocking up everywhere we could. I can remember them being a premium product that set you back nearly a tenner, promising to revolutionise your skincare and give you glowing skin. It was all lies! I’ve spoken about my hatred of face wipes many times before, but I wish I could’ve had a time machine to rid my bathroom of these useless pieces of wet tissue. They cause more issues than they solve, by removing only the visible dirt and leaving all the other gunk residing in your pores.
2. Cleansing Balms Will Revolutionise Your Routine
Although cleansing balms and creams have been a staple within the premium beauty world for decades, it’s only in the last five years that they’ve started to become as prevalent on the high street. Before I was introduced to the wonder of balms, I stuck with regular cleansers and eye makeup removers which never quite did the job as effectively as I’d like. However, as soon as I started using creamy formulas that literally melted away my makeup I realised what a trick I’d been missing. There’s really nothing comparable to a great cleansing balm used at the end of the day to remove all traces of makeup, dirt and impurities.
3. Moisturise Morning & Night
Because I’ve never suffered from dry or flaky skin, I assumed I didn’t need to focus on moisturising. In my 20’s I barely used a moisturiser at all, let alone moisturising as part of a regular routine. The cheap moisturisers available in my local Boots were thick and greasy, leaving my skin feeling uncomfortable and my makeup slipping after a few hours. However, I later discovered light and effective formulas and my skin has never been more radiant. I now use an eye and face cream religiously before I apply my makeup, as well as applying a night cream before bed.
4. Serums Are Your Friend
When you’re 22, you assume face serums and oils are simply targeted solutions for those starting to suffer from fine lines and wrinkles. However, prevention is so much easier than cure and face serums can help to provide the answer. Using a great serum every day underneath makeup will help add essential nutrients, protect against sun damage and free radicals, whilst providing a boost of moisture. They don’t have to be heavy or greasy, nor do they have to take an age to apply (something I couldn’t be faffed about a decade ago.) Applying serum in your 20’s can really help to prevent problem areas in the years to come.
5. Use A Blooming Eye Cream
Although I spent a fortune on concealers and an age applying them (in an attempt to cover my dark eye circles and discolouration,) I never ever thought about applying an eye cream. There’s so much technology within eye creams that they can really help target the issues bothering you, removing or reducing the need for reliance upon makeup. I now use an eye cream every morning without fail, believing it helps to minimise fine lines and keep the area hydrated, and it’s the one product I’m really prepared to pay for.
6. Invest In Your Skin
That moves us swiftly on to investing in your skin. Like anything in life, you get out what you put in. Looking after your skin and investing in great products will really pay off in the long term – and is much cheaper than botox, fillers or face lifts! If you happily spend £50 on a dress every week, then spending the same amount on a great face cream or cleansing routine shouldn’t be a sticking point. If you lust after designer handbags and spent more money on your wallet then you have in it, treat your skin as if it’s the Chloe bag that will grow in value over time. Re-prioritising will help you realise the value of your face; look after it, because it’s the only one you’ve got.
7. Always Take Off Your Makeup
I can’t tell you how many times I used to stumble home in the early hours, too lazy or intoxicated to remove my makeup. Every time you sleep in the days grime your face has a little weep. It’s really not cool to make your skin stay in a full face of slap longer than necessary, no matter how knackered or inebriated you are. I wish I had the power to slap my 20 year old self around the face and hand her a pot of cleansing balm, helping to reduce spots and imperfections in the process. In my 30’s I couldn’t even consider sleeping in my makeup on a daily basis, forcing myself to wash away the grime with a warm flannel before allowing the bed to beckon.
8. Establish A Routine
Getting into a routine makes everything achievable. Knowing what to expect and how much time to set aside ensures you’re more likley to actually get cracking and get on with it, rather than whining that eight minutes of cleansing and moisturising is just too much at this time in the morning. Once you’ve established a routine everything will become second nature, taking seconds rather than minutes, and gradually become less of a chore and more of a pleasure. I wish I told my younger self to start as I meant to go on, esablishing and morning and evening routine that would help me in the years to come.
What do you wish you’d known about skincare in your 20’s? Are you in your 20’s and wish someone would help you with a little advice now and again?