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 Joshua Ross and Audrey Kunin to see the best anti-aging products for your 20s.
Meet the Expert
"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."
An invisible sunscreen with SPF 30, plus botanical extracts that protect skin with tons of antioxidants. Bonus: It's clean, and totally fine to use under makeup.
Although we recommend you use your SPF and moisturizer separately, we also understand moments where you don't have time or energy for that extra step. For those times, this bareMinerals moisturizer is a great thing to have on hand.
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.
A lightweight serum that gives skin a glow by combining the brightening powers of vitamin C with ferulic acid, l-ascorbic acid, and vitamin E. The included sodium hyaluronate replaces any hydration lost, so you won't have to deal with any irritation.
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.
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.
Get you a face cream that does both. You get potent collagen-boosting peptides and pycnogenol, 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 plum extract is sourced from the Kakadu plum, a fruit grown in northern Australia. It restores the skin's natural barrier, increases collagen production, and soothes irritation.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Next up, one Byrdie editor shares the six anti-aging moisturizers that let her delay her Botox appointments.