Skincare in Your 20s

With the booming cosmetic industry, it’s very often that we see new products being launched and sold. Image source:  @Beawuty

With the booming cosmetic industry, it’s very often that we see new products being launched and sold. Image source: @Beawuty

Skincare in Your 20s

With the booming cosmetic industry, it’s very often that we see new products being launched and sold, particularly since Singapore is quite the hub for beauty brands from the east and west. At times it can be overwhelming, and sometimes brands don’t make it easy to understand a product, or how it can used. That also makes buying products difficult, and for someone new to skincare, this can be the one gate stopping them from ever caring for their skin.

But this can be rectified by understanding the most basic function of a skincare product, before taking the plunge and spending hard earned money on products. You can take a look at these past entries on my blog if you’re interested in what each step of a product is for.


For reference, a simple skincare routine can look like this:

  1. Cleanser

  2. Exfoliator

  3. Toner/Essence

  4. Serum

  5. Moisturiser

  6. SPF (Daytime)

In my personal opinion, your twenties are the time that you should at least begin to be invested in your skin’s health. It isn’t just about preserving your beauty, but the skin is just as important an organ as everything else in your body. It’s not about heading out the door and not needing makeup, hell, I love makeup just as much as I love skincare. Skincare is loving your face enough to give it what it needs.


Cleanser

Opt for a low pH cleanser to clean your face from grime and dirt. If you wear makeup, opt for the double cleansing method: you start with an oil based cleanser to clean off the makeup, and follow up with a foaming or gel cleanser to rid your skin off remaining dirt.

  • COSRX Low pH First Cleansing Milk Gel

  • COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

Exfoliator

Exfoliation is key step in maintaining your skin’s youth: this step will clear your face of dead skin cells, and accelerate cell turnover rate to heal your skin faster. The results are always satisfying: you get a subtle glow, combined with smoother skin. Careful not to overdo this step: if you exfoliate more than you need to, you risk damaging your skin barrier, and hurting your skin in the process.

  • COSRX Two in One Poreless Liquid (can be used daily, BHA, I want to say this is suitable for sensitive skin but ultimately it's your skin your call)

  • By Wishtrend Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water

Toner/Essence

Typically I would say that this particular step is unnecessary if you already have a low pH cleanser. That’s what toners do: they regulate the pH level of your skin (the skin is naturally acidic), and maintain the health of your skin barrier. If you do decide to have one, using a cotton pad can help to remove any remaining dirt from your skin. If you decide to skip it, there are plenty of essences that you can opt for to give your skin some extra hydration for that soft and supple complexion. If, like me, you are hella extra, having both never hurt anyone but your wallet.

  • Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner

  • Acwell pH 5.5 Licorice Toner

Serum

This is my favourite step. Serums come in many different textures, but they are packed with active ingredients to directly target any specific skin concerns you might have. In our twenties, we have common concerns like hyperpigmentation, breakouts, dehydration and inflammation. Typically these can be rectified by looking at the actives they contain: niacinamide, vitamin C and whatnot. But here’s the deal: what we forget while we are constantly trying to get rid of these concerns is that as we age, our skin loses elasticity and produces wrinkles.

To slow that down, it’ll be good to invest in anti-aging actives as well. You may have heard of Retinols or Retinoids, but in my personal opinion, these are unnecessary in your twenties, and may be sensitising if you aren’t experienced or well-read. Opt for peptides or botanical extracts for anti-aging benefits instead. Peptides allow your skin to generate more collagen. Botanical extracts like ginseng or rice have long been used for the skin by East Asians as anti-aging powerhouse ingredients, while rose and aloe are more accepted worldwide to keep the skin supple and hydrated. There’s also fermented ingredients like those in First Treatment Essences, but those are another post for another day.

  • The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (reduce oil production, brighten skin)

  • Goodal Green Tangerine Vit C serum

  • Klairs Midnight Blue Youth Activating Drop (peptides)

Moisturiser

Moisturisers seal everything you’ve applied as a penultimate step (unless you’re wearing a sleeping mask or facial oil). If you are lazy or need to rush off in the day, you should at least manage this step, as it prevents Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL; losing water from your skin) and keeps whatever good things you have in your skin.

An additional product you can consider alongside this step is eye cream. The skin around the eyes is a lot thinner than every where else, and must be treated wity delicate care. Eye creams are formulated with that in mind. Find one you like (and doesn't give you millia seeds), and use it regularly to keep off the panda eyes and eye bags.

  • Pyukang Yul Balancing cream (combi skin)

  • Pyunkang Yul Nutrition Cream (dry skin)

  • COSRX Oil Free Ultra Moisturising Lotion (oily skin)

  • MIZON Snail Repair Eye Cream

Sunscreen

This step. You must absolutely not skip SPF if you are heading outside, ever. The biggest cause for aging skin is the damage that sunrays cause. UVA rays are longer and affect the deepest level of your skin (the dermis), causing wrinkles and sagging skin. UVB rays are shorter, and affect the top most layer of your skin. UVB rays are also the main culprit for melanoma, or skin cancer. In order to maintain the health of your skin, it’s best to reapply every 2 hours if you are outdoors.  There are plenty of options for sunscreen: physical and chemical sunscreens come in many different textures that can work for different skin types.

  • Krave Beauty Beet The Sun (dry/sensitive skin)

  • Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence (dry/sensitive skin)

  • Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Milk (oily skin) (there is a version for sensitive skin)

  • Biore UV Face Milk (white bottle, oily skin)

Your twenties are a prime place to start with skincare, especially if you wear makeup regularly, or went through a rough time in your younger days with pubescent acne, or spent years neglecting sun damage. It’s true that your skin is the healthiest when you’re young, but these days are numbered. For most women, the skin’s ability to repair itself slows down after turning 25. It’s important have a skincare routine that caters to your skin’s needs to ensure well-aging. I don’t know about you, but I’d love to still look 29 when I turn 30.


Aqilah — Beauty Contributing Writer

Aqilah’s greatest goal is to look 29 at the age of 30. In her spare time, she rants about the bourgeoisie, beauty writing by SPH, and every new release by Urban Decay.

Follow her on Instagram @Pewpewpowah

Read all her articles here