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Ignored Skincare In My 20s & Paid a Price: Lessons By a 30-Something

It is important to take good care of your skin and have a healthy skincare routine, especially in your 20s and 30s.

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"I don't use any products" – This was my go-to phrase, which I said with immense pride, when I was younger. All I can say is that it didn't age well.

It is important to take good care of your skin and have a healthy skincare routine, especially in your 20s and 30s. It helps in strengthening and preparing your skin for its ageing journey down the road.

The collagen and elastic production during that age is really strong – but not forever.

From being a "I don't need anything for my skin" to becoming this "I cannot live without my sunscreen and night cream" – that was some intense skincare journey that happened.

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'I Don't Need Sunscreen' –  Think Again

The simplest skincare routine that one can have is using a sunscreen daily. It goes without saying that sunscreen is a must-have in all your skin care routines, whether they are focused on pigmentation, acne, or just a basic routine.

I used to find it really annoying when my mother would make me apply sunscreen every time I went out for my cricket practice. However, today, when I get complimented for a good quality skin, there's no question about who I need to thank.

"Sunscreen delays ageing of the skin, and also prevents conditions like tanning, dark spots, melasma and sunlight induced allergic reactions. Although sunscreen use is safe as early as 6 months of age, it is not advisable upto the age of four years unless the baby has inflammatory reactions to sunlight exposure."
Dr Chaitanya Singh, MD, Dermatologist, Senior Resident, DCBH, New Delhi.

For school-going kids, morning sunscreen application is sufficient, in addition to use while going out on picnics and trips. Sunscreen use thereafter becomes highly essential after the age of 18.

The 20s & Must-Have's

When in your 20s, what does one need other than a moisturiser, right?

Wrong.

I was naive enough to believe that, but being raised by a mother with some serious skincare routine, it was practically impossible for me to not feel curious enough to delve into the world products.

The must-have’s in the first place have to be topicals that treat any ongoing skin condition that you might be having. This includes acne and pigmentation as it is quite common during this age.

"If your skin is free of those, your skincare routine should contain active agents that prevent excessive oil secretion, comedone formation and dark spots, while simultaneously not causing skin sensitivity or xerosis (dryness)."
Dr Chaitanya Singh, MD, Dermatologist, Senior Resident, DCBH, New Delhi.

At 25, you may feel like you are at the peak of youthful skin, and it only goes downwards from here. So adding anti-aging ingredients like retinol derivatives would be a good decision.

According to Dr Soumya Jagadeesan, Associate Professor, Dermatology, Amrita Hospital, Kochi:

“Ageing is a continuous process and there is no cut-off age where it all starts. But we know that around the mid-20s your skin starts producing less collagen, which results in visible signs of aging."

The skin starts losing its elasticity, cumulative effects of pollution, chemical exposure, etc – which is why it is important to start taking care of your skin more in your mid-twenties.

The Changing Skincare Routine

From the day we're born to as we grow older, the skin undergoes a lot of changes, and so does the skin mantle that protects our skin. Hence, should also be different at ages of childhood, adolescent, and as adults.

Before puberty, skincare should focus on conditions like atopic dermatitis and allergies.

Oil-based moisturisers are a good choice in your 20s.

Dr Chaitanya says: "Skincare at this age should comprise of non-comedogenic sunscreens, anti-acne topicals, water-based moisturisers and AHA-based cleansers. The adult age group needs anti-aging solutions like retinol derivatives and peeling agents apart from the religious use of sunscreen."

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