The Best Skincare Routine for Your 20’s

The Best Skincare Routine for Your 20’s

If you’re under 30, you may be asking yourself if it’s really necessary to spend a fortune to take care of your skin and keep your face looking young and fresh. It’s easy to think you may need that long list of anti-aging serums and creams that cost hundreds of dollars, especially if you’ve been watching some popular social media influencers recently. One of those videos is exactly what prompted me to cover this topic. I assure you that you don’t need a mansion in LA and a pink Ferrari to achieve great skin or afford quality skincare products for your under-30 skin. Some of the recommendations I’ve seen lately are mind-blowing. It’s important to remember that many influencers making those recommendations may be excellent at applying makeup, but they don’t have expertise in skincare.

A proper skincare routine is very important no matter what your age is, whether you’re in your teens, 20’s, 30’s or older. Preventative skincare is very important, although it’s NEVER too late to start caring for your skin. You certainly don’t have to spend a fortune on prestige skincare brands to look great. You can find excellent skincare products at drugstore prices that are just as effective, if not more, than the department store options. You just need to know what to look for!

If you’re under 30 and don’t have any serious skin issues, such as hormonal or cystic acne or other issues, then all you need is a few core products and a very basic routine.  (If you have skin issues and concerns, please be sure to contact a dermatologist or other treatment provider for a routine that best addresses your skin’s issues.)  All you need is 5 minutes or less every morning and night!  To accommodate a variety of budgets, I’ll provide recommendations at different price points:


It’s important to cleanse your face morning and evening with an appropriate cleanser that is PH balanced and safe for your delicate face. Many cleansers today are multi-purpose, meaning they’re great at removing your makeup, cleansing your skin, and are even self-toning. Your skin is your largest body organ, and it’s important to care for it properly. Don’t use harsh cleansers, never use regular bar soap, and stay away from “foaming” cleansers as much as possible. In your twenties, it’s important to transition into creamy or milky-based cleansers. If your face feels tight and dry within a few minutes after washing your face, you’re probably using the wrong cleanser. Foaming cleansers strip your skin of the natural oils it needs to stay properly balanced and hydrated. This applies even if you have “oily” or “acne-prone” skin, so resist the temptation to strip your skin of every ounce of hydration and natural oils.  Here are some of my favorites:

  • Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser CREAMY Formula. Affordable and gentle. Doesn’t strip your skin and leave it feeling dry and cracked.
  • CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser – This is very affordable and can be found online at Ulta or in your local drugstores/grocery stores. It’s an excellent option because it contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides and won’t strip your skin. Be sure to get this exact formula though and not the foaming formula by the same brand.
  • Aquation Gentle Moisturizing Cleanser. For all skin types. Contains Ceramides and Hyaluronic acid. Dermatologist recommended. Affordable. Found at Walmart.
  • Serious Skin Care Vitamin A or Glycolic Cleanser – Found at HSN. This is the brand and product line I started with in my later teens and 20’s. I give this brand total credit for keeping my skin young. All Serious Skin Care cleansers are self-toning and a great 1-step option to remove makeup and cleanse your skin flawlessly.
  • First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser – This is great for all skin types, especially if you have acne-prone skin or other skin issues and need something gentle but effective. It’s very affordable at around $20 for a tube that will last a few months.

Basic Anti-Aging Serum

You honestly don’t need much here. Don’t spend a fortune or waste your time applying 6 different serums if you’re under 30. It’s a total waste and isn’t needed unless you’re already showing premature signs of aging such as fine lines, crows feet, or hyper-pigmentation.  Find a basic serum with some of the key ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, peptides, and antioxidants.

  • The Ordinary The Buffet – Very affordable and contains everything you need to keep your skin young. Contains hyaluronic acid and a cocktail of peptides, probiotics, amino acids, and other advanced anti-aging technology and ingredients. It’s under $15 at Beautylish.
  • No 7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum. This contains the basics that most people under 30 need at an affordable price.


It’s important to apply a simple moisturizer to give your skin the boost of hydration it needs throughout the day and keep the hydration you already have from evaporating. Even those with oily skin can find lightweight options that won’t make your skin a greasy mess. Depending on how dry your skin is, you may find that a combination moisturizer/sunscreen will provide you with all the moisture you need, while allowing you to skip an extra step in your routine.  If you have really dry skin, you’ll want a separate moisturizer to give your skin the hydration it needs to last throughout the day. At night, be sure to use a moisturizer that doesn’t contain sunscreen.  Here are some options with and without sunscreen combined:

  • Lancôme Bienfait Multi-Vital SPF 30 Lotion Day Cream – This is a light-weight moisturizer that includes sunscreen. It’s not heavy or greasy. For normal skin, it’s a great option in the morning and you won’t need 2 separate products for sunscreen and a moisturizer. For super dry skin, this may not be enough.Belif Moisturizing Bomb
  • Belif Moisturizing Bomb – A great Korean brand moisturizer that can be used morning and night. Great for those with dry skin! If you have skin that falls on the more “normal” side and don’t need something this hydrating, the next option may work better for you…
  • Belif Aqua Bomb – This is a great option for people with normal to dry skin, who want something more light-weight to wear under makeup (or any time!).
  • IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream – A great moisturizer for day or night use that has anti-aging ingredients built in.
  • Neutrogena Moisturizers – Neutrogena is the top drugstore brand for great skincare options such as moisturizers and sunscreen. Most of their line is oil-free and won’t cause skin issues such as irritation. Browse the isle and basically anything you see from this brand is worth checking out. They have multiple moisturizers with and without sunscreen.


Sunscreen is the most critical, preventative anti-aging product you should use every morning. Never leave the inside of your house without it. Contrary to popular belief, sunscreen doesn’t have to be thick and greasy. There are fabulous options available that can be worn under your makeup without messing up your makeup wear or making your face look like an oil slick. Don’t rely on the sunscreen Sunscreenalready in your foundation ingredient list to keep you protected all day, as that will only keep you protected a few hours at most.

Special Treatments (Optional but Recommended)

I included this category last because it’s not something that is needed daily, but it should be incorporated into your routine at least once a week. This category includes face scrubs, peels, and micro-dermabrasion products! It’s also a good idea to add a mask to your routine every now and then to target any special needs you may have at that time such as moisture or pores, but that’s an entirely different topic that I don’t have room to cover here.  A lot of products in this category can get pricey, but you can find some alternatives in the beauty isle at the drugstore.  Products like this will help remove the dead skin cells that clog pores and make your skin appear dull. Here’s a few products that I personally use and recommend in this category. Unfortunately these don’t fall in the drugstore category, but some are still affordable if you catch them on sale.

  • Peter Thomas Roth FIRMx Peeling Gel – This is a great product for those days when you have dry, flaky skin. You rub this product in circles on your face, and the dry skin will literally ball up and come off. It leaves the face baby soft and glowing.
  • GlamGlow YouthMud Tinglexfoliate – This is a great overall treatment for getting the dead skin off your face and keeping you looking young and great! Leaves your skin smooth and exfoliated. For all skin types (except really sensitive).
  • GlamGlow FlashMud Brightening Treatment – For dull skin, this treatment works wonders! I love using this to brighten my skin. It also exfoliates really well with little microdermabrasion particles.
  • GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment – If you have large pores or acne issues, this is a must-have product! It will clear your face up so quick and pull the oil right out of your skin. Be careful not to over-do it though or you could dry your skin out too much and cause more problems.
  • Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment – This is known as the “2 minute Hollywood facial” and it really works! It is filled with lactic acid and fruit enzymes to deliver results that will leave your skin soft, smooth, and bright. Love this!
  • Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion – This product contains very fine particles to give you a more gentle microdermabrasion treatment, but is still very effective to remove dead skin cells while keeping your pores clean and your face glowing!
  • First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads – This is a quick and easy way to apply acids and keep your skin glowing. This can be used daily as part of your skincare routine.
  • Peter Thomas Roth UnWrinkle Pads – Another quick and easy option for keeping your skin healthy and glowing. This peel can be used several times a week, but it must be rinsed off after a few minutes.
  • Sunday Riley Good Genes – This is a leave-on treatment with lactic acid that you use daily, preferably at night so it doesn’t interfere with your makeup.

Thats it! That’s honestly all you need for your under-30 skin unless you have specific skincare issues that require additional products from a dermatologist.

What products do you love for your under-30 skin? Comment below or head over to my Instagram page, and let’s chat! 



1 Comment

  1. September 13, 2018 / 8:15 am

    Cindy! I want to follow your skincare routine. Why ? Because the benefits on your face are very maximum. I like your content. Thank you for sharing your experience.

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