brunette woman wearing bohemian pants in a red chair
Image: Patrons of Peace

Whoever said your 20s are for sleeping in your makeup after a late night out and ordering fast food during your lunch break was wrong. The best time to protect yourself from premature aging is during your 20s. With the proper beauty habits during your 20s, you’ll guarantee youthful skin, a firm and toned body, and soft and slick hair in your older years. Lose the “YOLO” attitude and take these preventative steps for your best self!

  1. Wash your makeup off every night and exfoliate your face regularly. It’s tempting to collapse on your bed after a long night, but don’t ever forget to cleanse your face. Just one night of skipping your makeup remover could lead to an unwanted breakout. Use an exfoliating wash or toner to soften and brighten your skin.
  2. Use under-eye cream and skin toner. Because the skin under your eyes is the thinnest, it is the first to get wrinkly. Find an eye cream that will restore moisture to this area to prevent crow’s feet. Make eye cream a part of your nightly routine, as well as skin toner, which will even out your skin tone, giving you a flawless glow.
  3. Scrub your feet. As you get older, your feet need more attention. Soften calluses and cracked feet by using a foot scrub several days a week while in the shower. For even better results, use a pumice stone to immediately eliminate calluses.
  4. Book regular massages. Sigh, I know they can be pricey, but think of massages as a monthly expense for your health. Regular deep tissue massages will release chronic muscle tension that comes from stress and sitting all day. A deep tissue massage will reverse the consequences of building up too much stress in your life.
  5. Exercise at least 4 days a week, and make sure this includes weight lifting. You don’t have to go the gym and bench press necessarily, but get involved in something that builds muscle like yoga, kickboxing, or kayaking. After age 30, you can lose as much as 3-5% of your muscle mass per decade if you don’t weight train.
  6. Apply sunscreen, even in winter. All those years of carefree suntanning are over. Going without sunscreen is the fastest way to dry, cracked, and wrinkly skin. Make sure to apply sunscreen on your face and under your eyes, as well as wear sunglasses.
  7. Use anti-aging cream on your hands and neck, along with your face. Have you ever seen a youthful face with an old-looking neck? It is just as important to apply an anti-aging cream to your neck and hands.
  8. Don’t drink from a straw. Sounds weird, right? But drinking from a straw, like smiling and frowning, will speed up the arrival of wrinkles around your mouth. At least you can go without a straw, but there’s no need to stop smiling!
  9. But, drink plenty of water. Skip the straw, but drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. Water keeps your skin healthy and hydrated and keeps your energy levels up.
  10. Load up on antioxidants by eating clean. Anti-aging products are chock-full of antioxidants, which is what battles premature aging. Clean foods with lots of antioxidants include grapes, berries, nuts, dark and leafy greens, sweet potatoes, tea, beans, and fish.
  11. Quit smoking. Find other ways to be rebellious in your 20s. Smoking prevents the blood supply to your skin, making aging more noticeable. And just like the straw, smoking will cause more wrinkles around your lips.
  12. Be satisfied with lukewarm showers. As wonderful as hot showers feel, they also dry out your skin and zap the moisture from your hair. As you get older your hair thins, which means you need all the moisture you can get.
  13. Take magnesium. If there’s one supplement we recommend it’s magnesium. Magnesium leads to muscle relaxation, heart health, a regular nervous system, strong bones and teeth, boost metabolism, regulates cholesterol, and assists in energy production.
  14. Floss! And while you’re at it, use whitening strips. Dentists have a little saying, “floss the teeth you want to keep.” Flossing is essential to keeping your gums young and healthy for a flawless smile. If you drink coffee, tea, or red wine, then you’ll definitely want to get in the whitening strips habit.
  15. Lessen the chemical damage done to your hair. One preventative measure is to say no to the heat lamp and let your color develop naturally. The heat intensifies the chemicals being put in your hair. You can also find a salon that uses all-natural coloring methods.

Kate Wilke is a 200-RYT yoga instructor, meditation teacher, and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She teaches and works with clients in Nashville, TN. She believes in self-care in the form of colorful, healthy cooking, daily walks with her dog, and a glass of red wine. Follow her on Instagram — @meditatekate