If you are using a cleanser that has salicylic acid in it: STOP. That stuff is probably too harsh for everyday use in your late 20s. You want a nice, normal, gentle cleanser. One of our editors swears by this product from Origins.
This is great for two reasons. If you find your cleanser is drying you out, using this to cleanse a couple times a week will add moisture back into your skin, as well as brighten it. It’s also a top aid for removing makeup — a habit you should really, REALLY start getting into. (And, like, not saying you “always” do. Not one more late-night-slept-in-makeup.)
This hard-to-find Korean product will also help encourage good bedtime/makeup removal habits. You sleep in it, so skin has to be clean before application. Also from the description: “Apply before bedtime, preferably between 10pm and 2am, when skin rejuvenation is most active.” Seeing as we’re in our late 20s, anything after 10 p.m. is fair for a bedtime. And certainly not after 2 a.m. Sheesh. Who goes to bed that late? 23-year-olds? (Yeah.)
The MOST IMPORTANT PRODUCT YOU CAN BE USING IS SUNSCREEN. Everyday. And not just once a day. Most sunscreens are only effective for a couple hours or so, so get into the habit of keeping an extra bottle at work — apply 20 minutes before leaving. Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer is what a dermatologist will tell you to use.
Of course, if you’re becoming wary of chemicals in your beauty products (and sunscreen is full of them), you should then find a brand of all-natural sunscreen to make part of your daily routine. Nine Naturals’s is 100 percent natural.
Another product to consider if you’re trying to cut chemicals out of your life — Soapwalla’s natural deodorant cream. NOW is the time to stop using antiperspirant.
For some faster results in the brightening area, Sephora’s rose mask is gentle and soothing and luxurious, making your skin feel super refreshed.
Ooh, the wonders of vitamin C. This little serum provides anti-aging help but by the end of the bottle (it’ll last for a while), you’ll notice your skin looking tighter, healthier, and cleaner.
Tea tree oil — but not for your face! Nope, for your scalp. If you’re starting to notice your hair thinning (which it might as you turn 30), tea tree can be helpful in stimulating your scalp for hair growth. Mix a couple drops into coconut oil or mashed avocado and massage into your scalp for a DIY treatment every now and then.
Let’s talk anti-aging. You’ll find a lot of eye creams to either be completely ineffective or WAY too harsh. (Seriously, how is it helping when your eyes start getting flaky and kind of itchy?) This is an area you’ll want to start pre-treating with preventative, gentle care. First Aid Beauty’s formula is meant to support collagen production while providing long-term benefits like decreased puffiness and fine lines.
Something a bit more involved for anti-aging: This may have a high price tag, but a little bit goes a long way and it’ll last you for months. It’s a perfect combo for your late 20s: You’re still having occasional breakouts that you want to prevent, and it simultaneously helps soften wrinkles. Use it a few nights a week for a couple months and you’ll see generally clearer, brighter skin.
Stop dark spots overnight, before they get any worse. This handy drugstore buy will save you from further dark-spot-sadness later on.
Last, do not underestimate the power of H2O. You need to keep your skin hydrated constantly — as an unbreakable habit — to keep it healthy. Your late 30s skin will thank you for chugging the eau now.