The most important things you can do to take care of your skin in your 20s

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Whether from our own expectations or those pesky, forever young societal ones, as women age we’re under a lot of pressure to keep our skin looking the absolute best that it can. While you may have thought that you wouldn’t have to start worrying about that and making intentional steps to do so until you were in your 30s or even 40s, there are many, many things that you can start to do in your 20s that’ll allow you to take good care of your skin and protect it in the long-run.

Here’s what the experts I spoke with said you need to know in order to care for your skin as best you can to have healthy, glowing skin in your 20s and beyond.

Wear sunscreen

You certainly know by now that you’re supposed to wear a high-quality sunscreen whenever you hit the beach, the pool, or the hiking trails, but one of the best things you can do for your skin is to wear sunscreen whenever you’re going to spend any time outside.

“I like to tell patients there’s two main types of sunscreens: there’s physical blockers and chemical blockers and most sunscreens use combinations of them to make them broad-spectrum, but zinc in and of itself is broad-spectrum, so we like, especially for the face, to recommend zinc sunscreens,” said Dr. Matthew Elias, a board-certified dermatologist. “A lot of people will complain that [zinc sunscreens] are white, but now they are micronized or transparent, so you rub them in and you can’t tell that you’re wearing actually zinc, or they’re tinted. So broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen, SPF higher than 30, and then, obviously, apply it and reapply religiously if you’re going to be out in the sun.”

If you live in an urban area (or you’re visiting one for a while), you may also want to select a sunscreen that protects against infrared and environmental pollutants as well to make sure that you protect your skin from anything that can cause it harm.

Wear sunglasses

Sunglasses are more than just the finishing accessory to your outdoors-all-day outfit, they protect not only your eyes, but your skin as well.

“The first signs of aging you can see is usually around your eyes, [where] skin is thinner and more delicate,” said Licensed Esthetician Jennifer McElroy. “I recommend wearing sunglasses with wider sides to protect the eye area from all angles of the sun.”

Make sure you choose a pair that will protect your eyesight, which can be damaged by the sun, as well as keep that delicate skin wrinkle-free from having to strain to see clearly.

Treat acne (and don’t pick at it)

It can be so tempting to pick at blemishes on your face, but, as Elias told me, it’s far better to take the initiative to treat it instead. “Treating acne is important, you don’t want to scar,” said Elias. “Scarring is much more difficult to treat as opposed to acne. It’s easier to treat when it doesn’t scar, so you want to start clearing your acne earlier, don’t wait until you start getting cystic lesions that you’re picking at. Don’t pick at lesions, girls love picking at stuff, so don’t pick.”

Elias said that the best line of defense is a retinoid like recently-approved for over-the-counter-use Differin, which can take a couple of months to work. And if you can’t clear up your acne with cleansers and over-the-counter treatments, see your dermatologist for something with a little more oomph to it.

Don’t wear too much makeup

Wearing too much makeup can take a toll on your skin. McElroy told me that women in their 20s likely don’t need to overdo it. Keeping it simple can also make it easier for you to get out the door in the morning.

“In your 20s, stick to light face make up: BB creams (beauty balms) and lightweight concealers to cover blemishes and discolorations,” McElroy said. For special occasions, sure, do a little more, but you don’t have to cake it all on to go to the office or run a few errands. Your skin will be thankful for the break.


Read More: http://www.thelist.com/82199/important-things-can-take-care-skin-20s/

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