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4 Skin Care Essentials You Should Start Using in Your 20s

by Jessica Quinn

From your personal life to your skin care routine, your 20s can be a strange and challenging time. That said, creating a skin care routine that works with a stubborn, ever-changing complexion is actually easier than it may seem. And, get this: It doesn’t require a ton of products, either.

Curious to know more? We tapped a top dermatologist to find out the skin care must-have for your 20s, ahead.

1. Cleanser

“Skin care typically starts with puberty, as sex hormones increase our oil production, contributing to acne and shiny skin,” says Dr. Heather Rogers, board-certified dermatologist and fellowship-trained dermatologic surgeon. “As soon as you get your period, start to wash your face before bed to get the day’s grime of oil, makeup, pollution and dirt off [and] decrease the risk of clogged pores and acne,” she adds. “It’s also the first step in helping your skin cells in their efforts to reverse the day’s wear and tear.”

Try: Obagi Nu-Derm Foaming Gel

2. Acne Treatment

When it comes to your 20s, pimples will occur. And regardless of whether they happen all the time, or every once in a while, Dr. Rogers suggests keeping an acne treatment in your arsenal. “No matter [how] well you take care of your skin in your 20s, everyone gets pimples. So, have a treatment—either acne wash or lotion—that will help make pimples disappear,” says Dr. Rogers. Another bonus? Having an acne treatment on deck “will keep you from picking or squeezing, [which] can cause more harm than good.”

Try: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Action Acne Treatment

3. Oil-Free Moisturizer

Whether you have acne-prone skin in your 20s or not, everyone needs a moisturizer in their skin care regimen. “Despite the common myth, face creams do not cause pimples,” says Dr. Rogers. “If you have oily skin and are worried, pick a product that is oil-free. If you have acne or redness, pick one with niacinamide (vitamin B3) to combat redness.”

Try: SkinMedica Ultra Sheer Moisturizer

4. Oil-Free Sunscreen

“All skin care regimens must include broad-spectrum sunscreen [and] should be worn year-round,” says Dr. Rogers. “Protecting yourself from the sun decreases your risk of getting skin cancer and slows the signs of aging,” she adds. “Studies show that the sun’s UV radiation causes 90% of skin aging, [so] it’s never too early to start protecting your skin and [it’s] a great habit to start young.”

Try: EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

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