Skin Through Your Ages III: The Twenties

Skin in the Third Decade

DrLindaHonet_HeadShotDid you know that you’re never in the same skin twice in any given month? Whether it’s the weather, “that time” of the month, a nasty cold that is challenging your immune system, or the stress you’re under at work, your skin takes a beating and truly reflects what’s going on inside and outside your body. And these constant challenges can cause a myriad of changes like wrinkles, sagging, and dryness, which are never attractive qualities, if you’re trying to look the best you can be. In fact, cell turnover in the skin occurs on the average every 30 days, plus or minus, depending on your age. So literally, you are never in your same skin twice, at least every 30 days. But this rapid turnover of cells is also an opportunity to renew and rejuvenate your skin every month, like having a do-over, which is an incredibly golden opportunity. How often are we able to truly improve the health of an organ in our body every month, especially because it is so very accessible and open to improvement? You can literally change the quality and health of your skin every day of every month, with help of course. So let’s look at how skin changes over time. Let’s look at each decade in the life of your skin.


This installment is the third in my series “Skin Through Your Ages,” where we will focus on the third decade of life of your skin. 


Often women my age look back at their twenties wistfully and fondly, not only because it is the time when life is so unpredictable, exciting, and inspiring, but it is also a time when one grows into being one’s more-adult self. It is a time when jobs, careers, relationships, marriages, children, and life happen. It is a true beginning and the anticipation of what is to come is wholly energizing and liberating. Plus, it is a time where youth, vitality, and beauty are still on our side, where no matter what we do to neglect, abuse, and ignore our skin and health, the power of youth always wins and gets us back on track. Let’s talk about the skin in the twenties.

Even though the third decade or the twenties are a period of time when the skin is transitioning from the pimply teenager to the young adult, the skin is still full of the power of boundless youthful vitality. The cell turnover rate is chugging away at about 28-30 days, so the skin is able to retain an amazing amount of resilience and glow. However, poor lifestyle choices can happen during this time, like tanning booths, smoking, and bad skin habits, and the cumulative effects begin to show their damage and may linger with long-lasting effects of premature aging. In women, fluctuations of hormones with the menstrual cycle are also reflected in the skin with flares of acne, oil build-up, melasma, pigmentation, and susceptibilty to photodamage. If the abuse to the skin is marked or extreme, such as what happens with heavy smoking or persistent use of tanning booths, wrinkles and even skin cancer can start to make their frightening presence known. So it is not surprising that this is also a time when young women seek professional help with their skin.

Today’s women in their twenties feel the social pressure to constantly alter their look and improve their skin and outward appearance. Often, it is not uncommon for this generation to regularly seek the help of a make-up artist, manicurist, stylist, aesthetician, dermatologist, and plastic surgeon on a consistent basis as standard upkeep and grooming. This is also a time when many women will delve into cosmetic office treatments like Botox® injections, dermal fillers like Juvederm®, or plastic surgery. This generation of women and men has been so heavily influenced by their peers and their ideals so strongly shaped by social media, that they view these cosmetic treatments as basic prevention and maintenance. They are more than willing to spend a chunk of their hard-earned income and endure injections and the scalpel to perfect their outward appearance. However, keep in mind that this is still a time of beautiful, resilient, healthy skin if the skin is protected and cared for. If the healthy habits of daily cleansing, protecting the skin, and nourishing the skin with much needed nutrients and anti-aging treatments are maintained and continued, skin during this age can reap the benefits completely and efficiently. If a patient of this age is interested, I often recommend a very basic anti-aging regimen, including a hydrating eye cream, a hydrating face cream with antioxidants, a serum that exfoliates and rejuvenates, and possibly a retinoid if the sun damage is already moderate to severe. The twenties are a time when the damage that is already incurred can still be actually effectively reversed and the rejuvenative benefits reaped, maximized, and continued to last a lifetime. The third decade is an ideal time to start caring for the skin for these reasons.

Your third decade or the twenties is a time when maximum results can be achieved with minimal investment of time and commitment because the skin is so resilient during this period. The reserve and reparative capacity are tremendous because the power of youth is on one’s side. Even though this is a time when conditions like acne can persist beyond the teenage years, treatment of it can be as easy as applying topical prescription products twice a day. One can easily achieve remarkably clear skin with beautiful anti-aging benefits by maintaining a very simple and straightforward regimen. I often recommend my favorite Restorsea® line of products because of its versatility, its ability to help all different skin types and skin conditions, its gentle properties, and its ease of use.

Powered by the revolutionary and proprietary Vibransea™ complex, Restorsea® is a naturally-derived, clinically-proven skincare regimen, which provides a groundbreaking alternative to harsh exfoliants. Its gentle, proprietary, and effective exfoliant effects allow the skin to transform and become more luminous with less fine wrinkling, less pigmentary unevenness, and less inflammation. Also remarkably, it is safe for even the most sensitive skin types. It contains no parabens, phthalates, PEGs, or mineral oil. I recommend the basic regimen of the Reviving Cleanser, Renormalizing Serum, Revitalizing Eye Cream, and Rejuvenating Day Cream twice a day, which is easy to do. If sun damage is a major component, then I will add Citrix® Vitamin C Pro-Collagen Brightening Serum as the first layer in the morning and a retinoid like SkinBetter® AlphaRet® as the first layer at bedtime in the regimen. The third decade is the perfect time to start making good skincare choices and establishing effective anti-aging skincare routines.

Finally, let’s not forget that sunscreen is an essential element in any healthy skincare regimen.  I recommend an SPF of 30-45 on a daily basis. And remember that according to the Melanoma Research Foundation, due to tanning booths, “Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for young people 15-29 years old.” It has placed tanning booths in the highest cancer risk category, establishing that tanning booths are simply straight-out carcinogenic to humans. These are very frightening statistics for the twenties, where health and vitality should be the hallmarks of this decade, rather than skin cancer and melanoma. Young, beautiful skin is unfortunately very vulnerable skin, and the damage done by tanning booths today will be remembered by the skin years later. Read more here, where Senada blogs in HDC’s “The Skin-ny” about the dangers of tanning booths and melanoma.

Next month’s installment for “Skin Through Your Ages” will be about the fourth decade of life, the established adult years, when those darned wrinkles, sagging, and bagging, and the telltale signs of sun damage move in to stay.

So until then, “Happy, Healthy Skin!”

— Dr. H


Read  more about your skin in each decade:

Skin Through Your Ages I: Childhood

Skin Through your Ages II: The Teens

Skin Through Your Ages III: The Twenties