he days of worrying about acne have passed and our skin is no longer changing daily. We have left our teens behind and now we’re faced with a new task. In our early 20s, we may not have needed to adjust our skincare products. A lot of us were in college, traveling the world, or finding ourselves. What we used on our skin was not our first priority. We bought products that were in our budget and we hoped they would work. Transitioning your skincare as you age may be a daunting task. We grow and change without noticing sometimes, which causes things like our skincare regimen to fall behind. 

We have grown and trends have changed, which means we have put makeup on without a primer before, we’ve fallen asleep after a night out or after a long shift with makeup still on our faces. These are things that affect our skincare but we may not have considered them at the time. When you are in your 20s the world is moving so fast and we have so little time to adjust. Everyone around you is at different stages of life and our skincare regiments are no different. 

By the time we enter our late 20s, there are a few tips that are universal for everyone. In this article, we’ll cover: 

  1. How to know what type of skin type you have
  2. What types of products to use for your specific skin type
  3. What you should be doing in your routine 

Evaluate your Skin Type 

When shopping for skin products you’ll notice that the products are meant to be used on a certain type of skin. In general, there are five skin types.

  1. Oily
  2. Dry
  3. Normal
  4. Combination
  5. Sensitive 

Having a basic understanding of what these skin types are and what products work best is the first place you want to start when revamping your skin care in your late 20s. Another type of skin you could have is acne-prone skin. However, acne-prone skin tends to be in combination with one of the five types listed above (oily, dry, normal, combination, or sensitive). 

A Black girl smiling while washing her face. 
How you wash your face is just as important as what you use to wash your face.

You may be wondering why you want to understand your skin type in your late 20s. You may even be saying, “Surely my skin type is the same as it has always been.” When we discuss skin type we are referring to the amount of oil that is naturally produced by your skin throughout the day. There are several factors that contribute to a skin's oiliness. Stress, genetics, hormones, environment, aging, and medication can influence your skin type. Therefore, by the time you’ve entered your late 20s several of those factors may have changed, causing a change in your skin type without you realizing.  

When testing for what skin type you have I recommend picking 30 minutes to an hour to wear no makeup and see what happens. If you have oily skin you’ll see the oil building up your face. You can also use a blotting sheet which is a faster process. 

If you still aren’t sure there are a few common characteristics of each type. 

Oily Skin 

If you have Oily skin you’ll produce an excessive amount of oil (Sebrum). Typically you’ll appear shiny on your forehead, nose, and chin. You’ll also have larger pores that are more noticeable on your face. Larger pores increase your chances of getting acne and your pores becoming clogged. 

Dry Skin  

If you have dry skin you may appear flaky or have tough skin. Your skin is tighter so smile lines and wrinkles are more apparent. If you feel itchiness or irritation often that is also an indication of dry skin. 

Normal, Combination, and Sensitive Skin

Normal skin is the balance of Oily and dry skin. It is balanced in terms of pore size and oil production. If you have normal skin you are less prone to breakouts and less prone to sensitivity. Combination skin would be having oily skin on your forehead and nose but dry skin on your checks. If you have normal skin you are neither oily nor dry but if you have combination skin you are both oily and dry. 

Sensitive skin can also be oily or dry but certain fragrances or ingredients may cause breakouts on skin. If you have sensitive skin or aren’t sure, pay attention to what happens to your skin when you use certain products. Experiencing a lot of acne after using a face cleaner could mean you have sensitive skin. 

What Products Work Best for Your Skin Type?

A misconception regarding oily skin is that because the skin is oily it doesn’t need to be moisturized. Unfortunately, oil skin as well as all skin types needs to be moisturized. When picking products for oily skin, you want something lightweight. We suggest looking for a foaming cleaner that is for oily skin. It will remove the oils and dirt without irritating the skin. You’ll also want to pick up a gentle, oil-free moisturizer. 

A man putting forming cleaner on his hand before applying it to his face. 
Make sure you are applying product to your skin with clean hands. 

If you're experiencing dry skin you want to buy products that have these three ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, Cermides, and Niacinamide. You’ll want to make sure you have a hydrating cleanser, a hydrating serum, and a facial moisturizing lotion. A key tip for us girls with dry skin avoid long hot showers because they contribute to drying out the skin. I also recommend moisturizing throughout the day if you can.

When looking for products that work on normal skin the goal is to find products that lock in moisture. Most products for Normal Skin are labeled Normal to Dry or Normal to Oily. If you want to be more hydrated then go for Oily to Dry, but if you want to maintain the amount of hydration you naturally produce go for Normal to Oily.  

If you have Combination you’ll still want to look for products that are for dry and oily skin. However, you’ll want to use the corroborating product in the correct area. I also recommend using products designed for Normal skin to cut down on cost. Products for Normal skin are naturally going to hydrate the skin which would help the dry area. 

Sensitive skin products usually lack fragrance and have a thin consistency. They make products for dry and oily skin that are tailored for sensitive skin. Look into products that have Niacinamide because it calms the skin. 

Skin Care Routine Tips

The most important thing to remember when establishing a skincare routine in your late 20s is that your routine is YOUR routine. As long as the products you use work for you and you like how your skin feels then that’s all that matters. 

Establish Consistency 

The first thing you want to do is establish consistency. Having a skincare routine that you only do once a week will not yield the same results as a routine that you implement daily. However, If you know that your lifestyle cannot accommodate a morning skincare routine and a nighttime routine do whatever works for your current situation. 

At a minimum, I recommend rinsing your face in the morning and applying sunscreen. Then, have a more detailed night routine that cleanses and hydrates the skin. Try sleeping on silk pillowcases instead of cotton to lock in the moisture on your skin.  

When establishing a routine allow for it to change to suit your needs. The goal is to eventually have a consistent routine, but life is always changing. The products in your routine may change, but the time of day you do the routine remains consistent. Try to keep some room for flexibility while on this late 20s skincare journey.

Use the Right Products 

No matter what skin type you have, make sure you are using at the bare minimum one cleaner and one moisturizer a day. Make sure these products are tailored to your skin type. You not only want to hydrate and cleanse the skin but you also want to protect it. We protect our skin by using sunscreen and checking the chemicals in self-tanning products, glow serums, etc. Research the products you want to buy before going to the store to ensure there isn’t anything harmful or damaging to the skin inside. Once again confirm if these products are compatible with your skin type. 

A woman in a white towel looking at a skin care product. 
If you have dry skin, doing your skincare routine out of the shower with warm to cold water could help prevent drying.Alt-text: A woman in a towel looking at a skin care product. 

Be Cautious 

Some products will never work for your skin. Other people will swear by them, and have the same type of skin as you but it will not work. Skincare trends will fade in and out but do not fall victim to all of them. Some trends are better left to people in their early 20s to try. As we enter our late 20s, our skin becomes more sensitive, and trying out a new exfoliator on the market could be a huge mistake.

If you find a product and your skin starts glowing I recommend sticking with that product for at least a month. It gives your skin time to adjust and for you to figure out if you really like it. 

Skincare is an investment because it can be pricey depending on the brand and product. Start with two products and buy more as your routine develops. Don’t feel guilty if you buy a product and it doesn’t work because it's the risk you take.

Seven different skin care products are displayed on a towel.
Sometimes the products you buy will work wonderfully on their own but won't work well with products you already own and that's okay!

That’s it for tips and tricks regarding skincare in your late 20s!

Most people in their late 20s don’t have their skincare figured out. It's okay to not have a solid routine. Everyone’s path is going to be different so why would our skin care routines be the same?

Take a breath, allow yourself a moment, and find the right products for you one product at a time.

Sep 22, 2023