If you are in your twenties, you have a huge advantage over women who are older than you when it comes to your skin. You may be thinking, “Of course, I’m younger and I look younger” which is true. However, the advantage you have is that your twenties is the time to really start taking good care of your skin, so it will look fresh and glowing into your forties and on. If you decide to take better care of your skin when it begins to show signs of aging, it’s already too late to reverse some of the damage from poor care and the sun.

No matter your age, good skin care starts by protecting it from potential damaging elements, especially the sun. By being proactive and establishing a basic daily routine for your skin type, you can help minimize the damage from your lifestyle, the environment, and climate.

Your skin changes significantly in the years between your twenties and your forties. The cell turnover rate slows down considerably as you age. In your twenties, your skin cells turn over about once every week, but as you get older, it slows to about once every three weeks. This slowdown may give you your first glimpse of fine lines developing around your eyes and mouth. Also, something called photo-aging begins to become apparent. Photo-aging is damage from the sun that causes freckles, wrinkles, brown spots, and even broken blood vessels.

Your twenties is a perfect time to add a mild mechanical exfoliating agent to your skin care regime. A light sugar scrub or toning oatmeal scrub will not only promote gentle cell turnover but it will also encourage better circulation in your face, giving you a healthy glow. In addition, a light exfoliation allows for the next product you apply to be better absorbed by your skin, and it will give your skin a smoother surface for make up application.

If you use a chemical exfoliation agent such as an alpha-hydroxy acid or a beta-hydroxy acid, be very gentle not to strip your skin of its natural barrier. Avoid using harsh soaps, alcohol-based toners and other drying agents.

Picking the right products for your skin is a must for the best results. This is especially true of your moisturizer—do you have oily skin, dry skin or a combination? Determining your skin type helps ensure that you choose the right moisturizer for you. If your skin needs a little more nourishment, try antioxidants, such as Vitamin C or E, pomegranate extract for anti aging, peptides for tightening, or hyaluronic acid for hydration.

A basic twenty-something skin care regime includes:

• Appropriate cleanser both morning and evening
• Exfoliation two to three times a week
• Gentle toner appropriate for your skin type
• Moisturizer appropriate for your skin type both morning and evening
• Nourish as needed
• Always wear sun protection, applied in the morning and reapplied frequently during the day, especially if you’re going to be outdoors.