Skincare Ingredients to Start Using in Your 20s + Recommendations

Skincare ingredients to include in your 20s
Skincare ingredients to include in your 20s

Because taking care of your skin from the beginning is major key, and you should start a skincare routine in your 20s.

Skincare ingredients to include in your 20s for anti aging

Skincare ingredients to include in your 20s for anti aging

Skincare ingredients to include in your 20s for anti aging

Skincare in your 20s

Skincare Ingredients to Start Using in Your 20s

Gather a group of early to mid 20 year old girls and the topic of skincare is bound to come up. We’re growing up, our skin is beginning to change, it’s starting to lack its luster, smile lines are beginning to creep in, we’re still dealing with blemishes and scarring, and the excess amounts of alcohol, coffee, and lack of sleep we experienced in college is beginning to show. Have I depressed you enough yet? 

As I’ve fallen down the skincare rabbit hole, I’ve learned one major thing– prevention is key. It’s so much easier to prevent wrinkles than to fix them once they’ve settled in. By adding these ingredients to your skincare routine, you’ll clear up your complexion, and keep your skin looking youthful for longer. Wrinkles, come again another day… far in the future.

Hyaluronic Acid

Dry skin tends to wrinkle faster, which is why it’s time to up the hydration. Drink lots of water, obviously *Snape voice*, but incorporate hyaluronic acid because it’s a super hydrator and will leave your skin looking juicy and plump– it’s a good thing.
TRY: The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5


If you’re trying to clear up raging pimples, and the scars they leave behind, then MSM is the way to go. It’s an organic form of sulfur, which is great at clearing and evening up the skin, and it’s deeply hydrating. Again, major key for preventing wrinkles and fine lines.
TRY: Complex Beauty Afterglow complexion mist


Get friendly with antioxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Green Tea, and Vitamin A just to name a few. Being the homebody that I am now, I like to make myself a cup of green tea at night. Ingesting antioxidants will give your skin a boost from the inside, but slathering them on top of your skin will also help keep wrinkles at bay and clear up your overall complexion.
TRY: Complex Beauty Smooth Operator antioxidant mask; Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base


It’s a pure form of Vitamin A, an antioxidant, and it’s a big buzz word in the skincare community at the moment, but it’s not just a fad because they’ve been proven to work. Retinols prevent free radicals like pollution from damaging your skin, help overturn the damage caused by them, and boost collagen production, which decreases as we get older. Seriously though, they make getting older sound like a death sentence, don’t they?
TRY: Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil; The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2% 


Collagen, remember, it’s that pesky protein that decreases as we get older, and causes our skin to age. Peptides help boost collagen production so your skin stays peppy, fresher and youthful for longer.
TRY: The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HA; Algenist POWER Advanced Wrinkle Fighter Serum


Alpha hydroxy acids, aka AHAs, like glycolic acid and lactic acid, which are derived from fruits and milk, dissolve the dead skin that dull and age our skin. Using an AHA will allow your younger, fresher skin cells to grow faster, it’ll even out your complexion for smooth, clear skin, and fade fine lines/wrinkles.
TRY: Sunday Riley Good Genes; Pixi Glow Tonic; The Ordinary Lactic Acid + HA Serum; Algenist Retinol Firming & Lifting Serum


It’s a form of Vitamin B3, and another ingredient that fights wrinkles and even helps smooth out fine lines so it’s perfect for those little smile lines that are beginning to show up. It’s also great if you’re trying to get rid of any pesky spots that pop up, stay around way past their welcome (well, they’re not welcome in the first place), and leave behind a “present,” which in this case is hyperpigmentation and scarring.
TRY: Glossier Super Pure; The Ordinary Niacinamide + Zinc Serum; Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence Mist

Of course, like with anything, consistency and regular use is very important if you want to see a difference in your skin, and to prevent wrinkles/other signs of aging. Ingredient lists can be confusing and tricky, but knowing which ingredients to look out for and to start including in your routine makes things a bit easier.

Skincare ingredients to include in your 20s for anti aging

Skincare ingredients to include in your 20s for anti aging

Any ingredients I left out? What are your favorites? Let me know in the comments below!

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  • Thanks for sharing this! I’m so new to the skincare scene and this helped a whole lot. Def going to start looking out for these ingredients! :)

    Nicole | The Glam Surge

  • Gigi

    Awesome article! *Added to favorites* thanks for sharing!

  • Zaire Q

    Thank you for this post! I know i’ve heard of some of these ingredients in passing but other than AHAs I didnt know anything about them. I’m going to go and look into some of these products now!

  • Vitamin C is so helpful!
    Aleeha xXx

  • Really need to add more of these ingredients into my skincare routine! Now I am extremely tempted to try out products from the The Ordinary as well. Thanks for sharing!

    Sarah // Beautybyrah

    • Haha I included so many products from them. I hope you add them to your routine :)

  • I love all the simple packaging of these products! They sound great, I should give some a try :)

  • What a helpful post for skincare addicts like me. Absolutely love Pixi Glow Tonic and I always tell everyone to start using retinol at a early age too. I use a prescribed one and it does wonders for my skin. Can’t live without it! Great post Nida :)

  • I couldn’t agree more: your skin changes a lot during those years and, at the same time, that’s the first time we are actually able to take care of it, to, perhaps, introduce more expensive skincare to it! Really enjoyed this post and your recommendations as well, I’ve yet to introduce retinol to my skin (a little bit scared to do so) but otherwise I’m quite glad to see that I currently use all of the ingredients above.

    • Retinol is great, but you definitely should be careful if you have sensitive skin. So awesome that you use all of the ingredients already :)

      Nida | Caked To The Nines

  • Lisa O’Sullivan

    Have started using the Ordinary products the last 4-6 weeks and I cannot describe the difference in my skin…they are brilliant at such a reasonable price. Have been recommending to family and friends. Absolutely love!

  • Such an informative post! I’m obsessed with the good genes and just ran out of my second bottle, I’m going to purchase another soon.

    Perfect Shade of Mauve

  • Love all of those ingredients and so many of these are my favorite products, too! Such a great post! Years ago I tried a super cheap MSM cream I found on Amazon and I swear it made my deep rolling scars more smooth!

    Thirteen Thoughts

  • I needed this guide ten years ago!! Haha! I think people tend to forget the importance of looking out for the right ingredients. The more wised up you are about them the less likely you are to waste your money on those that contain ingredients that aren’t right for you.
    On another note, your photography skills make me so happy!!! Beautiful! xx

  • This was such a good post! I’m huge fan of Hyaluronic acid and AHAs. I’ve not tried anything containing MSM. I have dehydrated skin thats prone to breakouts so I’m definitely going to check them ou xx

  • Love the clean packaging! Great post :)

  • Such a brilliant post! Hyaluronic acid is definitely my best friend and I try to use it as much as I can. I also really want to try retinol, or more specifically Luna. Everyone’s raving about it! xx

    • Hyaluronic Acid is amazing :). I had to pick up Luna after hearing all the ravings haha

  • great post. i always look for skincare which has hyaluronic acid in because it really makes a huge difference with my skin!
    jen | velvet spring

  • Really great ingredients! I am personally waiting until my 30’s to start the retinol, because my skin is pretty decent and it’s not necessary for me right now. But I am all over the rest! Especially my AHAs! ;)


  • I’ve really been into skincare over the past few months and have been trying to be more aware of the ingredients in my products. I’m totally all about AHAs and Niacinamide :) Both have really helped with my skin’s texture and scarring issues. I haven’t heard of MSM before but now I’m curious ;) Thanks for all the info!

    Mili | Sharmtoaster

    • I’m glad you found it helpful :). Definitely look into MSM if you’re trying to get rid of scars.

  • I definitely agree that prevention is key and people used to laugh when I started using anti-aging products at a young age. Lets hope it is all worth it in the end and these products keep the wrinkles at bay until they discover a youth potion! x

  • Samileen

    Such a fantastic post Nida, I have been so into skincare lately. Definitely book marking this post :)

    Saman || Beautydetour

  • Bernadette

    All these ingredients sound exactly like what i need for my skin! I definitely want to try retinol, peptides and antioxidants. And definitely try more hyluronic acid as i have quite dehydrated skin.

    • Hyaluronic Acid will be a great addition if you have dehydrated skin!

  • Ahh definitely have to start looking for these chemicals!

  • This post is so insightful, thank you Nida! I need some more retinol in my routine it seems, I live in highly-poluted area and is exposed to cars almost 2/3 in a day.

    Selene Addicted

    • Yes! Antioxidants are really good too if you live in a highly polluted area!

  • I was always so bad in ingredients in skincare products. Thank you for sharing. Thanks this I think I will start to look at what I actually put on my face. :D

    Michelle Morchella

  • Wow, these products look and sound amazing! Thanks for sharing doll!


  • clare⭐

    hyaluronic acid is my favourite thing to keep my skin hydrated! thanks for sharing