24th December 2021

8 Preventative Skincare Habits You Need to Start in Your 20s

Last Modified: July 30, 2022

While it's important everyone has an anti-ageing skincare routine, it's particularly pertinent for those approaching their third decade. By age 30, the production of ceramide (skin's natural moisturizer) drops by 40 percent, and you'll lose about 1 per cent of your collagen every year. Also, most of us have accumulated enough sun or environmental damage to trigger visible signs of ageing.

The adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." couldn't be truer. How you take care of your skin in your mid and late 20s will set the stage for how well you age in your 30s, 40s, and 50s. It's a cumulative effect; overlook your skincare, and that will come back to haunt you.

From fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation to skin laxity, the more you protect and pre-treat your skin with proper ingredients and formulas, the better equipped you are to combat signs of ageing. 

Below are 8 products and in-office treatments that should become a permanent part of your routine for preventative skincare in your 20s.

Vitamin C serum

Using Vitamin C serum in your 20s and 30s is the one thing you need to keep fine lines and wrinkles at bay. Vitamin C serum is packed with antioxidants that act as armour against pollution and other free radicals that prematurely age the skin. It also offers an added layer of sun protection. While some sunscreens claim to have antioxidants in them, the exact amount and impact are debatable, so it's better to use them separately.

Also, even if you wear sunscreen, some UV rays do still penetrate. Applying Vitamin C underneath the SPF will neutralise any free radicals that get released. It has the added benefit of stimulating collagen production. It will also boost skin's luminosity and smooth skin tone – a true skincare hero that everyone needs regardless of their age.

Check out Vitamin Rich Smoother (C&E) which offers the perfect combination of Vitamin C and Vitamin E to leave your skin silky smooth.


Retinol treatment

Retinoids are still the gold standard. They stimulate cell turnover to replace the dead, dull cells on the surface of your skin for a reinvigorated, healthy glow. They have also been proven to stimulate collagen production and also reverse photoaging.

We are know how bad the sun is for our skin!Pick a mild, over-the-counter retinoid to start in your late 20s and slowly work yourself up to prescription-strength retinol by your late 30s or 40s.Make sure to get on that is not irritating or too exfoliating. If you have sensitive skin, you can mix a little moisturiser with the retinol to make it more tolerable and use it every other night.

Daily Sunscreen

Using sunscreen on a daily basis is non-negotiable. Make sure to pick a broad-spectrum sunscreen that's SPF 30 or higher. Ingredients to look out for are naturally occurring minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These will reflect harmful UVA and UVB rays without irritating sensitive skin.

If you're out and active, you should reapply your SPF every one to two hours. Apply sunscreen no matter what type of day it is. Overcast days can cause more damage due to the concentration of UV rays under the cloud.

On a sunny day, pair your SPF with a good pair of protective sunglasses for additional protection of your eye area from UV damage.

Our #1 recommended sunscreen is Sheer Hydration Broad Spectrum SPF 40. If you have acne-prone skin, you can opt for Clear Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 42.


When done properly by a qualified skin care professional, microneedling can produce fantastic results. Starting micro-needling in your 20s can help you get ahead of many premature skin ageing concerns and improve your skin's health.

Microneedling helps tighten, plump and rejuvenate the skin, ultimately reducing any visible signs of facial wrinkles. It also encourages collagen production. Generally speaking, the less collagen your skin produces, the more wrinkles and lines you'll likely form.

At Dr Aesthetica, we use SkinPen, the first FDA-cleared microneedling device. SkinPen offers unsurpassed safety and precision targeting for great natural results for all skin tones and types. Talk to our professional SkinPen provider about your individual skincare needs and let them customise a procedure specific to you. 

Eye cream

As we grow older, a few fine lines and wrinkles begin to form under our eyes. For some, this starts in their late 20s. The skin around our eyes is the thinnest skin on our body and one of the first spots to show your age. This is why adopting an eye cream routine early is one of the top preventative skincare hacks for people in their 20s

Eye creams hydrate the skin under the eyes to plump it, so the wrinkles show less when you're older. Get one with all the excellent wrinkle-fighting ingredients like retinol, hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, vitamin C, and peptides.

Our Top recommendation is, AluminEye, a deeply moisturising cream that will significantly improve the appearance of dark circles, fine lines and puffiness on all skin types.


Skin Peels

Exfoliating regularly is essential at any age but can be especially useful in your 20s and 30s when wrinkles are first showing up. Chemical peels are an excellent in-office treatment for a wide array of skin issues, including acne, large pores, oily skin, scarring, fine lines and wrinkles.

It works by removing the upper layer of dead skin cells from your face, encouraging your body's natural healing mechanisms to regenerate new skin.

While chemical peels aren't dangerous, you definitely want to make sure that you are being treated by a skilled aesthetician. After all, you want all the deep exfoliation and rejuvenation skin peels have to offer without any unnecessary risks.

Related: What are Chemical Peels (Types, Risks, Costs, Benefits)

Dermal Fillers

After years of sun exposure, negligent skincare and sometimes genetics, people in their 20s may start to notice that their skin is not as plump or as vibrant as it was in their teenage years. This volume loss can result in a saggy appearance to the cheeks or hollowness around the eyes.

 Hyaluronic acid fillers are a great in-office treatment that has no downtime but can make a significant improvement in one's overall appearance. Studies have shown that early use of dermal fillers in small amounts can really make a difference and delay any need for more invasive treatments like a facelift later in life. 

Also, for those younger patients wanting a fuller pout, lip filler is a great option to give your lips a little bit of extra pop.


Neck Cream

Sagging or wrinkly neck skin is pretty much the furthest thing from the mind of most young people in their 20s. But it's this exact reason that makes it one of the first telltale signs of ageing. Make sure to extend all your serums, creams, masks, and sunscreen down past your chin. Invest in a quality moisturising neck cream. Your neck deserves love too.

But we're not talking about the overhyped neck firming creams. If you are concerned about loose skin on your neck, you'll get better and more long-term results for treatments like radiofrequency skin tightening.

 Related: Neck Wrinkles Appearing in Your 20s? Here's What You Need to Know.

Avoid Smoking and Minimise Alcohol Intake

Not necessarily a treatment, but our list won't be complete without this recommendation. Honesty and transparency is part of our ethos at Dr Aesthetica. That's why we don't shy away from pointing out how smoking can undermine your filler or anti-wrinkle treatment results. Smoking is highly harmful to the skin as the 4,000+ toxins found in a cigarette make it of the largest culprits behind premature ageing. 

Alcohol is a similar offender as excessive alcohol consumption has been proved to result in dehydration, blood vessel dilation and aggravate chronic skin conditions like rosacea or psoriasis. None of these are good for your skin health in the long run.

Post Reviewed by: Dr Baldeep Farmah
Medically Reviewed on: 24th December 2021
Dr Baldeep Farmah is the Medical Director and lead Doctor of Dr Aesthetica, a Medical Aesthetic Clinic.

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