About a month ago (well, like 45 days ago, but who’s counting?) I turned 27. Opinions range as to whether or not that places me in the end of my mid-twenties or in the beginning of my late twenties, but suffice it to say, I can physically not longer eat pizza for lunch every day or stay out till 4 AM on a work night. And actually, I’m pretty okay with that. When I turned 26 last year, I was slightly existentially shaken — as I still occasionally envision myself as a carefree hedonistic 23-year-old — but now I can honestly say that I really do enjoy being in my bed, taking care of my apartment, buying furniture, drinking less, and sleeping more.
That said, in the past few years I’ve 100% noticed changes in my body, skin, health, and hair that I did not have to deal with in my early twenties. Though I try to resist the societally-indicated compulsion to see physical aging as a negative thing, I cannot deny that I don’t exactly LOVE the fact that my skin is drier, my hair is more brittle, and my body is achier than it used to be. In order to help alleviate these woes, specifically in my skincare, I have adopted the below rituals to update my late-20s-or-maybe-mid-twenties-it-is-wholly-subjective beauty routine.
I treat my hands right
I can’t even believe I'm saying this, but I honestly used to think that hand cream was unnecessary. I never had dry hands, I used gloves when I washed dishes, and I didn’t love the greasy-lotion feeling on my fingers, so I just eschewed hand cream all together. Oh, how naive I was.
About a year ago, I noticed that the skin on my hands was getting progressively drier, despite my normal precautions. A manicurist even commented on my rough skin, chastising me (in the way that only manicurists can) for not using hand cream daily.
With this in mind (I’m a pushover, what can I say?), I started using hand cream. Because I hate the greasy feeling of lotion, I splurged on the silken luxury of La Mer The Hand Treatment. Let me tell you, my life has been forever changed. My hands aren’t just “not dry” — they are soft, supple, smooth, and free of any cracks and peeling, every single day. Oh, and the lotion also makes my hands smell divine, so that’s a pretty cool bonus.
My moisturizing routine is overall, much more intense.
You can still pry my Cetaphil from my cold, dead hands, but I now add multiple different steps to my facial moisturizing routine in order to combat the havoc that extra years on this planet has wreaked on my skin. For daily lotion, when I’m feeling like my skin needs some extra love, I alternate my Cetaphil with Clarins Super Restorative Day Cream ($126) and IS Clinical Youth Intensive Cream ($195).
I also take the extra step of using an Essence post-cleansing. Essences are meant to prep your skin so that it can better absorb your moisturizer, but they also individually contain anti-aging ingredients to even further intensify your skincare routine. SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essence ($99) is my fave.
I wash my face like a real adult
The hardest, most deeply ingrained and terrible beauty habit that I’ve had to break as I’ve gotten older is my resistance to washing my face. I’ve suffered from acne in varying severity levels since I was 13, so I attribute my resistance to washing my face to the remembered, terrible feeling I got when I had to rub my sensitive, broken-out skin with soap and water. To avoid the discomfort, I would either only wash my face in the shower, or take my makeup off using remover wipes or toner pads before bed.
Now that I’m a real grown up, I use Shu Uemura Blanc Chroma Cleansing Oil for Uneven Skintones to take off my makeup and clean my face in a gentle, non-drying, but fully adult way.
I take the extra steps necessary to take care of my skin
Facials also fall into the category of “things that I always liked but didn’t think were anything other than a luxury.” Obviously facials are not easily accessible to all, but now that I’m older, I’ve started either splurging on spa facials or DIY-ing my own regularly to make them a dedicated part of my skincare routine.
I’m obsessed with VMV Organics for their natural and organic facials and their product line that let’s you DIY your own. In terms of “extra steps,” I’ve also started preemptively treating all signs of dark spots with Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector. You never can be too careful.
I make sleeping a priority, even when it’s not exciting
I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with sleep. I love it SO MUCH when I’m actually doing it, but my FOMO can be a real hindrance toward me getting the 6-7 hours I actually need to function. However, now that aging has made adequate sleep a necessity both for the health of my body AND my vanity, I’ve made a dedicated effort to squash my feelings of FOMO and get enough sleep. Happily, sleeping enough makes a world of difference for my skin.
I guess in this instance, vanity has finally trumped FOMO.