In your 20s
"Sunbathe? Who, me?" Your skin, like your parents, highly disapproves of your rock 'n' roll lifestyle: smoking, skimping on sleep, and years of unprotected relations…with the sun. "We get 80% of our sun damage before we're 18," says David Bank, MD, a dermatologist in Mount Kisco, New York, and the author of Beautiful Skin: Every Woman's Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age. And there's more bad news for the young and foolish who actually pay money for this damage. "By using a tanning bed, your risk of developing skin cancer can more than double over those who avoid them," says dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, MD, author of the New York Times best-seller The Wrinkle Cure. Use a noncomedogenic broad-spectrum sunscreen every day.
"Ugh, acne!" Your skin may be shifting from teenage acne to the adult variety, which means breakouts migrating to your chin and jawline or, for an unlucky few, occurring in both former (forehead, nose) and newer areas simultaneously.
"Reach for retinoids." "One of the gentler retinoid formulations, like prescription Differin, two or three nights a week will help prevent breakouts, undo some sun damage, and boost collagen production," says Bank. Use it in the evening in conjunction with a daily moisturizer that has at least an SPF 15 in the morning, and your skin will say thank you when you hit your 30s.