Beat the 3 biggest skin problems of your 20s

Common concerns for those post-teen years and how to look after your skin

marie claire Contributor / April 11 2016

In your twenties, skin is supple, springy and glows with youth, and the key to keeping it that way well into your thirties and beyond is to start coddling your complexion with a good skin care routine.

Here’s the solution for three of the most common skin concerns you'll be facing in this decade.



Dehydration is either situational (e.g. cold air) or due to your skin type. “It’s not so much about visibility, but more a feeling – a tight sensation, like the skin is too small for the face,” explains Edouard Mauvais- Jarvis, Dior’s scientific communications director.

What to do:

Stay hydrated. “Use a soap-free cleanser, and moisturise twice a day with a formula suited to your level of dryness,” advises Dr Shobhan Manoharan, laser and cosmetic dermatologist at Brisbane Skin and Westside Dermatology.

Try: Natio Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser

Natio Gentle Foaming Cleanser


Uneven texture

Unevenness at this age usually means acne “like comedones [black/white heads] and open pores,” says Dr Manoharan.

What to do:

Dr Manoharan recommends cleansing twice a day with a soap-free wash containing a low concentration of salicylic acid, “using a vitamin A cream a few nights per week, and fortnightly dermatologist prescribed chemical peels, like a beta hydroxy acid”. Cut back on spicy foods and sugar, which can increase oil production, and use sun protection every day, adds Mauvais-Jarvis.

Try: Paula’s Choice Clear Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution with 2% Salicylic Acid

Paula's Choice Clear Anti-redness exfoliating solution



Any inflammation experienced in your teens – acne, blotchiness and redness – may still be present, and may be due to a number of factors. These include oily skin, “hormones, overactive sebaceous glands, bacteria or abnormal skin formation”, explains Dr Manoharan.

What to do:

Start with soap-free, oil-free/non-comedogenic products. “For persistent acne, there are a number of things that may work – certain contraceptive pills [some may exacerbate acne, so check with your doctor], oral and topical antibiotics, vitamin A and benzoyl peroxide creams, or a prescription oral retinoid,” says Dr Manoharan.

Try: Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser

Dermalogica ultracalming cleanser

Main image credit: Getty

A beauty editor and vitamin C fanatic who has worked across a range of print and digital publications, including Stellar, marie claire, Gritty Pretty and Badlands Journal.