What I Wish I’d Known In My 20’s: Skin Care

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?



  1. Heather Alexander
    May 4, 2014 / 4:02 pm

    I'm twenty five and have struggled with acne/ uneven skin tone for a long time. I guess the biggest problem I have is known HOW to use various products. Serums? Do they go on before or after moisturiser? If I use a caffeine undereye roll on should that be before or after an eye cream? Just confused with layering and how to get the most out of the stuff I'm putting on my face!

    • Anonymous
      May 12, 2014 / 7:48 pm

      Serums always underneath moisturiser! Their particles are much smaller and penetrate deeper into the skin, making them super effective! Moisturiser will protect and seal the skin so nothing gets into it and the serum can do its job underneath. I'd say the caffeine roll on should be used on its own in the morning, and then eye cream at night. The roll on will be a form of eye cream, just different formula. Hope that helps. x

  2. Em @ Mascara Warrior
    May 4, 2014 / 4:14 pm

    This is all really good advice to keep in mind. I'm almost 22 and have been in an awful habit of falling asleep with my makeup on, something I haven't done in years. I know it's awful, but the last few weeks have been crazy with exams, research papers, and my senior recital. Definitely have to step my game back up!

  3. fullafizzy
    May 4, 2014 / 4:27 pm

    so true!

  4. Anonymous
    May 4, 2014 / 5:17 pm

    These are all great tips! Thanks for the great post!makeupbyjesswhitbread.blogspot.com

  5. Alexandra M
    May 4, 2014 / 6:07 pm

    Love this! I thankfully have discovered the wonders of hot cloth cleansing and the evils of face wipes in the last few years (I'm in my early 20s) and cannot believe I didn't have a proper cleansing routine before. I'm working on the taking makeup off after a night out step, now I keep a little bottle of Bioderma handy as I figure it's better than nothing and definitely better than face wipes!! XA Blonde Moment

  6. Chloe and her notes
    May 4, 2014 / 6:29 pm

    I've always had combination skin and used a harsh foaming cleanser, once I stopped using them (after reading Caroline Hirons blog) my skin transformed and I now hardly ever get blemishes. There's so much conflicting information in the media, it's so hard to know what to do for the best when you're young. Ps LOVING the Dr. PAWPAW that's in your pic at the moment. Fab multitasker 🙂 Chloe x http://www.chloeandhernotes.com

  7. Tiffany Callan
    May 4, 2014 / 7:58 pm

    The layers confuse me, if i'm using an oil based cleanser to stop the over creation of extra oil around my T zone and then i use a toner afterwards aren't i just stripping the oil anyway??Like Heather i'm never sure what order to put my creams and potions on in.

  8. Helen Davis
    May 4, 2014 / 8:37 pm

    Unfortunately for me, I've tried the majority of these and my skin is still playing up. So if my thirty year old self could travel back from the future and tell me which products would save my skin then that would be great haha. Great post though – lots of people expect perfect skin with no effort at all, and for most people that doesn't happen.Helen x // Beautiful Curiosities

  9. Rinica Warner
    May 4, 2014 / 8:39 pm

    Skincare will always leave me baffled I found this post so helpful though, it's hard to know what works best for your skin I've personally found a simple approach to skincare has done my skin wonders before I would slather on serums or oils daily whereas now I've taken them back to a once a week treatment my skins never looked better xhttp://rinicawrites.blogspot.co.uk

  10. Baljeet Samra
    May 4, 2014 / 9:12 pm

    I just got the Caudalie Elixir and it's amazing.. I just feel like I'm getting through it too quick though. I do carried away using though because it does feel good on the skin! xxhttp://processbeauty.co.uk/

  11. Ciara Pollock
    May 4, 2014 / 9:15 pm

    wow, it's crazy that some face wipes were once a tenner?! I can't stand them either – they do more harm than good. I'm not quite 20 yet (turning 19 soon!), but I'll definitely be taking these tips on board in the future!http://ciarapocket.blogspot.ie x

  12. Linderella
    May 4, 2014 / 9:38 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this, I invest a lot of time into my skincare regime because I think it's such an important part of looking after yourself.I still haven't properly ventured into eye creams yet. I'm so worried about putting something on the delicate eye area, especially as my skin is so sensitive. Do you have any eye cream product recommendations?IAmLinderella.blogspot.co.uk

  13. Aerie Berrie
    May 5, 2014 / 8:59 am

    I cant live without pawpaw ointment! xBerrieBlogs| {beauty blog}

  14. www.thelondonturtle.com
    May 5, 2014 / 11:09 am

    Thanks for these tips! I really need to start taking better care of my skin, you're so right – it's better to prevent than to cure!

  15. Katy English
    May 5, 2014 / 12:24 pm

    I'm in my early twenties and have always moaned about my skin not being as radiant or blemish-free as I'd like. It's only since I started reading blogs a few months ago that I got savvy, established a routine and invested in a Clarisonic and good skincare products that I've really seen a difference. So thank you so much to you and all the other amazing bloggers for what you do! 🙂 xKaty | Little Miss Katy

  16. Marine T.
    May 5, 2014 / 12:35 pm

    I am still in my 20s' and I discovered that the key is to keep the whole process very simple and natural. Using natural products has changed my skin !http://pinupjet.blogspot.fr

  17. Fashion Ganache
    May 5, 2014 / 8:10 pm

    This is a perfect post! Prevention is better than a cure and I'm definitely starting now to make sure I take care of my skin! Thanks for an amazing post!Tsui. Fashion Ganache.

  18. Lisa Robb
    May 5, 2014 / 10:14 pm

    Great post L xHttp://workingmumy.blogspot.com

  19. Faith Castle
    May 8, 2014 / 12:20 pm

    Yes! I would also go back and slap those face wipes outta my hands!Now I'm heading to mid-30s it astounds me what crap I used to use on my skin, without a thought.Now I'm much more interested in skincare ingredients and benefits, and I definitely have better skin for it.It made me laugh when you mentioned the £10 face wipes – am sure I used to routinely buy some that were £7/8 back in my early 20's. Bloody hell!For those lasses asking about layering & order of application, I'd definitely point you to Caroline Hirons blog as it has great routine advice (or even, ahem, my own…can i say that!?). Usually it's serum-oil-moisturiser. In eye area I'd use any light gel product first, followed by cream if needed. 🙂 Faith xwww.musicandeyeliner.co.uk

  20. Lucy Dorling
    May 14, 2014 / 3:45 pm

    I wish I had known about a good SPF for the face, I turned 34 in March and have got a brown patch on my forehead and a couple of brown spots on my cheek which I now feel could have been prevented! Also not trying to mattify my skin all the time, it's normal to have a bit of shine so I am much more relaxed about my oily skin. Thanks to beauty blogs and also QVC where I have learned about so many good ingredients, products and brands xx

  21. Nicki Lowe
    December 8, 2014 / 9:59 pm

    This is such a good post, thanks for writing. I'm loving looking back through your posts! This def made me write a list of all the beauty products I need to stock up on again too Nic xxwww.takingthenicki.co.uk

  22. Anonymous
    July 16, 2015 / 5:57 am

    I love the way you wrote this article, it gives us a positive thought. I am regular user of Sakare's skincare serums.It helps to reduce dark spots, fine lines, large pores and radiance.

  23. Emily Kristina
    April 15, 2016 / 7:48 am

    One of the top skincare routines and habits you should get into is all about not sleeping in your makeup.Its very harmful.Also I am using anti aging moisturizer serum at night in my daily routine and its amazing for my skin.

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