7 things I wish I’d known about skincare in my 20’s

The older I get, the more I realised that I need to take care of my skin better and really understand which skincare product is most suitable for me. After all, the skin is our biggest organ (thank you lockdown pub quiz) and it protects us against all types of elements. In the last few months, I’ve become more interested in gaining more knowledge and a better understanding of how to nourish and take better care of my skin. And most importantly, I really want to understand how to get that flawless skin I’ve always wanted.

The more research I did, the more I realised how little I actually know about skincare. There are so many ingredients and products that I have no idea about – I couldn’t even pronounce half of them. After some more digging and picking the brains of my skincare savvy co-workers, I have gained some useful knowledge that I want to share with those who are just starting.

The Inkey List

1. Double Cleansing

The double cleansing technique means using two types of different cleanser, straight after each other. The common practice is to first use your oil-based face wash, such as oil-based liquid cleanser, cleansing balm, gentle face scrub, or cleansing cloth. This step targets to remove stubborn sunscreen formulas and heavy resistant makeup.

The second step is targeted to wash our face with water-soluble cream, gel, or lotion cleanser that is suitable for your skin type – my recommendation is to massage both of the cleansers to your skin for about 30-45 seconds.

The concept behind this double cleansing technique is to first remove stubborn sunscreen formulas and heavy resistant makeup and clear the way for the second cleanser to really nurture your skin. 

Normally, I double cleanse only when I’m wearing makeup and I use a face cloth to remove the ingredients. I have done this technique for a while now and I feel that my skin is much cleaner, and my pores seems to become less visible. Currently, I use the  Vitamin C Cleansing Oil from Superfacialist followed by Salicylic Acid from The Inky List.

2. Know how to layer your skincare routine

For many years, I guessed which skincare product comes after each other. When I was doing my skincare research, I came across a blog post from Huda Beauty where she explained one reason behind acne prone skin might be not knowing or not properly applying your skin routine in the right order. You might have all of the suitable skin products at home already, but if you don’t apply them correctly, you might end up cancelling them out or not getting the most out of the product benefits.

The rule of thumb is layer from lightest to heaviest formulas. This means that you should start applying the thinnest and fast absorbing product first and working yourself towards heavier formulas. If you are still struggling to know how to layer your skincare – you are not alone. Follow these steps below

Day time:

  1. Cleanser
  2. Toner/essence
  3. Treatment/mask
  4. Serum
  5. Eye Cream
  6. Moisturiser
  7. SPF

Evening: follow the same step but skip the SPF and replace with face oil.

If you are interested to know which products suit your skin type, The Inky List has an amazing quiz on their website where you fill in your skin concerns and get a personalised skincare routine recommendation, for both AM and PM skin regime. On top of that, The Inky List will also send the list to your email so you wouldn’t forget the steps.

3. Skincare ingredients you should never mix together

I am all for a nine steps skincare routine and knowing how to treat my main areas of concern. However, it is important to understand which skincare products should never be combined, and which ones work harmoniously together. Mixing some skincare products can cause skin irritation, redness, dryness and so on. Click here if you want to know more about this subject.

Don’t mix 

  • Retinol with: Vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide, and AHA/BHA acids. 
  • Vitamin C with Retinol 
  • AHA/BHA acids with Retinol ( not even during the same day).
  • Niacinamide with Vitamin C. 

4.How you apply your products

As you age, you might have noticed that your skin is not as firm and plump as in your 20’s. It sucks –

I know! However, there are several approaches you can do at the comfort of your home to prevent skin sagginess without undertaking expensive surgeries. Below, I have compiled some of the few techniques I am currently doing daily when applying my skin care products;

The Patting technique

Originated from Asia, the patting technique means that you gently pat in your skincare products instead of rubbing them in. This technique helps to minimize the risk of pulling or dragging on your skin. While some beauty experts argue that the patting techniques increase the absorption of your skincare ingredients and stimulate the blood flow, resulting in glowy skin – other dermatologists argue against this theory as there is no scientific proof.

I’ve done the patting technique for a few months now and I really think it does stimulate the blood circulation in my skin, making my skin “less saggy” and plumper. If you want to know more about the patting technique, click here.


Another way to reduce the appearance of fine lines and eliminate dark undereye circles is with Faceyoga – This is something I am still learning. I follow @Glowinface.face.yoga on Instagram who is a UK Face Yoga teacher called Karin. I really like her Instagram account as she shares number of useful tips and exercises you can do at home without any face tools. If you are interested in more in-depth knowledge about Face Yoga, you can purchase her E-com and attend her online workout programs.

5. The Whipping technique

Another technique I came across on Instagram is so-called the whipping technique which increases blood circulation and boosts your skin over all radiance. This technique also “lift” the cheek area (or any other areas). I would highly recommend following @facegym on Instagram as they share educational and informative content and demonstrate various techniques to “sculpt” your face.

There are a few face tools in various price points in the market that can help tackle your problem areas. One of the most popular (and pricey) is NuFACE which is a home face tool that improves the face contour and skin texture. Other well-known devices that are loved by beauty experts are Foreo Luna and Dr Dennis gross Skincare, however I’ve decided to try out the more affordable Gua Sha before investing in more expensive face tools.

Gua Sha originates from China and has been used for thousands of years. Traditionally, Gua Sha was used to treating chronic pain caused by inflammation. Today, Gua Sha is a must-have beauty and wellness tool that is helpful for the lymphatic drainage in our faces as we don’t move our face muscles that much. Including Gua Sha in your skincare regime can make your skin look more toned, sculptured and give a glowy look. Click here to see a selection of Gua Sha and click here to see how to use Gua Sha.

6.SPF is your new best friend

SPF is your BFF and the “can’t-live-without” skincare product as it does what it says and much more. SPF not only protects your skin from environmental aggressors, UVA and UVB, but it is also a great anti-ageing product. If you are not keen to invest in so many skincare products, make sure to get a good SPF with a minimum of SPF 30 or higher including UVA and UBA. 

You can either get SPF alone as its own or include it as the last step in your day skin care regime. If your favourite day cream doesn’t have SPF, you can always look for primer with SPF 30 or tinted SPF. 

SPF can be combined with the majority of day skincare ingredients, however, make sure to apply SPF separately to your base, such as BB cream or foundation. One mistake I’ve done for years is mixing my foundation with SPF. To preserve the protection factors – SPF should always be applied separately. 

7. Consistency is key

We all have been there – you’ve had a long day at work and just want to climb into bed. However, consistency is key to achieving the desired result. You can get fantastic results from having a consistent skincare regime, even your makeup will look better on your skin.

The best part of my night has become my skincare routine – I really see doing my skincare regime as a form of self-care and having “me-time”, especially during busy days.

I hope you’ve found this blog post helpful  – make sure to follow me on Instagram @tarasamvi and DM me if you have any questions.

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