The Best Age to Start a Regular Skin Care Routine

Feb 5, 2021
The Best Age to Start a Regular Skin Care Routine

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Developing a regular skincare routine is important for the health and vitality of your skin. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it should be consistent for best results. 

At What Age Should You Start Using Skincare Products?

Frankly, we are of the mind that when it comes to skincare, there is no age you don’t need a daily routine. However, if we had to put a number on when to start, we’d say the earlier, the better. Ideally you can begin around age 12 with just the basics, using a gentle cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen. 

During puberty, you may have to switch your cleanser to an oil control one if you suffer from acne and pimples. You can also incorporate spot treatments with salicylic acid to address specific issues.

By the time you hit your early 20s, you should be in the habit of a routine already and you can up the ante by incorporating anti-aging products. The preventative measures you take in your 20s will help your skin to age gracefully and delay the onset of more visible signs of aging. Consider adding antioxidant serums and creams to the roster by your late 20s to help combat aging skin and the decrease in collagen production. 

As you cross over into your 30s, you can start adding retinol and retinoid products into your anti aging skincare routine. Along with antioxidants, these enable the skin to fight off fine lines and wrinkles. You can then follow this skincare routine into your 40s and beyond, although you may want to change some products in your skincare routine as your skin matures. We’ve even shared the best skincare for mature skin.

Essentials in Skincare 

A proper skincare routine is designed to clean and maintain healthy skin, prevent damage, protect against internal and external factors, and repair any existing damage. So, your morning skincare routine should ideally include products that offer protection and prevention, while your evening routine should focus on cleansing and repair. 

We even recommend using your skincare routine as a self-care ritual to focus completely on yourself and experience a bit of pampering amidst the daily hustle and bustle.


The pores in your skin gather a lot of dirt, dead skin cells, oils, makeup, and general grime throughout the day. That’s why a cleanser is essential. It helps remove the layer of dirt and debris from your skin so it can breathe. Cleansing sets the tone for the rest of your skincare routine. For many people, using a cleanser once a day is sufficient, preferably at night. 


Exfoliation takes cleansing one step further. It scrubs away dead skin cells that can make skin appear dry and dull, unclogs pores, and allows new skin to shine through. Exfoliation also helps you get the most out of your other skincare products by helping them absorb more deeply. A word of caution—exfoliation shouldn’t be done more than twice a week, otherwise you may damage your skin. 

Facial Toner

Toners are designed to balance the pH of the skin. They come in a variety of options, including hydrating formulas and soothing ones. The best time to apply it is after cleansing and exfoliation. For best results, apply to damp skin and pat with your fingers. 


Arguably one of the most important parts of any skincare routine, moisturizers are a non-negotiable. Designed to protect your skin from drying out, many are enriched with nourishing ingredients like honey, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid and more. Again, this type of product is best applied to damp skin and massaged into the skin to seal in the moisture. 


Sunscreen is designed to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays that cause sun damage and premature aging. UV rays can cause photoaging, giving skin a leathery texture with discoloration, fine lines, wrinkles, sagging, and collagen breakdown. 

Sun rays can also increase the likelihood of getting skin cancer, hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and sunburn. You should apply sunscreen everyday rain, sleet, snow, or shine. For best results, look for one SPF 30 or higher.

Optional Beneficial Products


Serums are designed to provide you with a high concentration of targeted ingredients made for your skin type. Serums come in oil-based, gel-based, and liquid forms. Some commonly used serums include antioxidant serums, retinol, and Vitamin C. Apply before your moisturizer. Oil-based serums are massaged into your skin, while liquid and gel forms can be patted on. 

Eye Cream 

Skin around the eyes is so thin compared to everywhere else on the body. That makes it a delicate area. Use a hydrating and moisturizing eye cream and apply it using your ring finger for best results. 

Lip Balm

Since you’re going all out with your skincare routine, don’t forget your lips. Apply a moisturizing lip balm before going to bed and wake up with soft, kissable lips in the morning. You can even use a homemade lip scrub with sugar and honey to peel off any dead skin and avoid cracked and chapped lipstick. 


Masks are like a quick shot of nutrition to the face. They come in a variety of types so pick one designed for your skin. Apply your face mask twice a week. 


For more unique skin problems like acne scars, pimples, and blemishes, use spot-treatments. Spot-treatments are often applied at the end of a skincare routine. 

Different Routine for Different Skin Types

Each skin type requires different care. If you’ve having any issues identifying your skin type, we’ve covered how to determine your skin type.

 Dry Skin

Focus on hydration and moisturization. Also, don’t exfoliate more than twice a week, as you may trigger the skin to produce excess sebum. 

Oily Skin

Use an oil-controlling cleanser and a gel-based moisturizer to minimize oiliness on the skin. You can opt for an oily skin toner, too.

Combination Skin 

Look for gentle products that neither over-dry, nor over-moisturize the skin. Choose a hydrating cleanser and a lightweight moisturizer for best results.

So what age should you start a skincare routine? We say, “Right now!”

We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.