The twenties are likely to see your skin at its best, thanks to plenty of collagen and elastin. You probably survived the agony of acne and your skin is clear, your pores invisible, and your complexion even and taut.
But if your skin has persistent blemishes or is prone to flare-ups, consider seeing a dermatologist.
If you are being treated for acne and you fall pregnant or plan to fall pregnant, you need to consider the dangerous effects of some drugs on the foetus. Consult both your dermatologist and your gynaecologist for advice. Your doctor may decide to change your treatment plan.
Using a light moisturizer and some gentle exfoliating treatments will help ward off the ravages of pollution and time. Read our article on skincare for further details.
If you have acne, you may be tempted to lie in the sun to make your skin look better. Unfortunately, suntanning has no lasting effect on acne and it’s vital that you apply proper sun protection to prevent wrinkling, discoloration and skin cancer. If you’re younger than 18 and you haven’t yet been burned red as a lobster by the sun, now’s the time to save your skin.
Take these steps:
- Wear a hat with a wide brim;
- Use a broad-spectrum (make sure it protects against UV A and UV B) sunblock with a minimum SPF15. If you have a light skin or are at risk of skin cancer, make that SPF30. Make sure that protects against UVA and UVB sunblock. Not all the brands on the market do that;
- Apply your sunscreen 20 minutes before going into the sun;
- Stay out of the sun between 10am and 4pm, when it’s at its most powerful. Wear a hat, slap on sunscreen and remember that any sun damage sustained now will show up a few years from now.
Revision date: June 21, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD