Experts Say These Are the Best Anti-Aging Products to Use in Your 20s

Updated 09/20/18

Graphic by Cristina Cianci

Knowledge drop: In your 20s, your skin cell turnover decreases by as much as 28%. (Cell turnover is a key component in keeping your skin youthful.) You know what else slows down? Your collagen production. As someone now entering their late 20s who's borderline obsessive about their skincare routine, I am hyper-aware of this statistic. But the anti-aging routine for someone in their 20s isn't going to be the same as for someone in their 30s.

Should you want to prevent fine lines and wrinkles, there are a few things you can do in your 20s that will help with that. After all, the best offense is a good defense. We spoke to celebrity esthetician Joshua Ross of SkinLab and Audrey Kunin, dermatologist and founder of Dermadoctor, to see the best anti-aging products for your 20s.


"We all know that the sun is the number one cause of skin aging and starting the prevention in your 20s is very important," Ross says. "The majority of your sun damage won't start to appear until you're in your 30s, so don't wait until you see it surface or you'll be behind the curve. Stay ahead of it with a good-quality zinc-based sunscreen worn daily."

Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30
Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 $34

A non-greasy sunscreen with 20% zinc oxide, plus botanical extracts that protect skin with tons of antioxidants. Bonus: It's cruelty-free.

Face Sunscreen 30 With Zinc Oxide Broad Spectrum SPF 30
CeraVe Face Sunscreen 30 With Zinc Oxide Broad Spectrum SPF 30 $15

This physical sunscreen is also packed with hydrating ceramides and, once blended into the skin, doesn't leave a ghostly cast.

Vitamin C Serum

"A great introduction to anti-aging is to start with a vitamin C serum in your morning skincare routine," Ross says. "It's a powerful antioxidant that will neutralize free radicals and brighten the skin." He adds that it's a great way to counteract the effects of the sun's harmful rays, which, as previously mentioned, are among the biggest causes of premature aging.

Waterbright Illuminating Serum
H2O Plus Waterbright Illuminating Serum $56

A lightweight serum that gives skin a glow by combining the brightening powers of vitamin C with nourishing allantoin and aloe. 

C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum 1 oz/ 30 mL
Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum $85

This potent serum is jam-packed with vitamin C (15%, to be exact), which means it's a superstar at both brightening skin and dousing it in antioxidants.


"Peptides are an excellent entry point for supporting collagen," says Kunin. She recommends looking for face and eye treatments that contain these collagen-boosting powerhouses.

Magic Eye Rescue Rejuvenates
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Eye Rescue Rejuvenates $60

This super-emollient eye cream has a base of coconut oil and shea butter (read—it's incredibly hydrating). Botanicals plus peptides help reduce dark circles and boost collagen, respectively.

Advanced Peptides & Collagen Moisturizer
Derma E Advanced Peptides & Collagen Moisturizer $21

Get you a face cream that does both. You get potent collagen-boosting peptides and antioxidant-rich vitamin C in this creamy moisturizer.

At-Home Peel Pads

Remember that skin cell turnover fiasco we talked about earlier? One way to help support it is by exfoliation. "Exfoliation is important to help keep skin fresh and luminous," Kunin says. She recommends using at home peel pads as an easy and effective way to exfoliate.

Kakadu C Intensive Vitamin C Peel Pad with Ferulic Acid & Vitamin E
Dermadoctor Kakadu C Intensive Vitamin C Peel Pad With Ferulic Acid & Vitamin E $78

A few swipes of this powerful peel pad will leave your skin glowing and smooth, thanks to the seven (yes, seven) types of chemical exfoliants. It also contains vitamin C via Kakadu plum extract for added brightening and antioxidant protection.

Alpha Beta(R) Universal Daily Peel 30 Treatments + 5 Bonus
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel 30 Treatments + 5 Bonus $88

These are the gold standard of peel pads, with a cult following and over 600 five-star reviews on Sephora. They're easy to use and contain a blend of anti-aging, exfoliating acids.

Emollient Night Cream

"In your 20s, you need to start upping the hydration in your skincare routine. You may have been cautious of over moisturizing because of acne in your teens, but as you enter your 20s your skin transitions and becomes drier," Ross says. "I recommend an emollient night cream added into your evening skincare regimen."

Creme Ancienne(R) 3.5 oz/ 100 g
Fresh Creme Ancienne $290

An ultra-luxurious moisturizer that's hand-blended in a monastery and packs a serious hydration punch. The rich formula contains meadowfoam seed oil, which sinks into the skin and doesn't leave a greasy residue.

Skin Renewing Night Cream
CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream $17

What do you get when you combine the moisturizing powers of ceramides and hyaluronic acid? This noncomedogenic night cream that leaves skin soft and glowy.

Opening Image: @emmahoareau

Related Stories