Combining her scientific knowledge with her passion for good skincare, Nausheen Qureshi shares her best age-specific tips to achieving flawless skin. First up, the 20s...

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Biochemist and founder of Elethea Luxury Beauty Nausheen Qureshi  truly knows the ins and outs when it comes to good skincare products. From the beneficial factors of every ingredient to the interaction of cells within minerals, you can trust Nausheen’s scientific expertise to help you distinguish between the good, the bad and the downright damaging.

Over the next five weeks, Nausheen will be sharing her tips and tricks to getting your skin back to its optimum condition. Here, she begins by explaining what you should keep in mind when you’re in your 20s.

Nausheen says, “Your 20s are years of fun, setting the tone for the rest of your life to follow. Caring for your skin via your lifestyle and what you put on it is no different. Good, preventative care of the skin is important.”

Sun Protection

Recent scientific studies have shown that up to 90% of the visible signs of ageing are a result of UV exposure. There are 3 types of UV emissions from the sun: UVA, UVB and UVC. The ozone layer still protects us from UVC, whilst UVB affects the skin epidermis causing sunburn and UVA penetrates the skin’s epidermis to induce the production of free radicals. UVA is havoc at a much deeper level and compromises the size of the dermis layer by damaging the collagen and elastin that hold this layer together. Over time, the epidermis then hangs over this smaller layer, resulting in a wrinkled or lined effect on the skin.

The conclusion is obvious: in your 20s, wearing an SPF 30 with both physical and chemical UV actives every day (and topping it up every 2 to 3 hours), come rain or shine, will keep your skin protected. Don’t rely on just SPF in make-up, as this is not enough and is definitely ineffective on its own as a sun protectant.

Elethea Revitalising High Protection Fluid SPF30 , £140, is the ultimate biochemist-formulated sunscreen fluid that provides broad UVA and UVB protection using the latest UV technology to prevent premature ageing of the skin. It's full of rejuvenating, hydrating and brightening ingredients to provide an extra radiant glow and is specifically designed to be lightweight in texture to help minimise clogged pores.

You’re Too Young For Anti-Ageing Products

Anti-ageing products usually contain peptides, ceramides or retinol-based ingredients, which are all designed to signal skin cells to build collagen and prevent water loss so that skin appears more plumped up. The problem with delivering these ingredients to your skin in your 20s is that your skin already does this. So the product and its anti-ageing  ingredients are going to waste, as these skin regeneration processes have not slowed down yet. I recommend  Aromatherapy Associates Rose Radiance Skin Serum , £39, which contains damask rose to help promote the skin’s natural regenerative process, and geranium to help support healthy circulation. Although there is still a lot of scientific research going on in this arena, it is unclear as to whether your skin may get used to the peptides being given to it for regeneration and become “lazy”. This is not to say that your skin won’t have fine lines and wrinkles appearing in the later part of your 20s (the reason for that is covered in the next point). Also, don’t forget other factors that have been shown to accelerate ageing: smoking, drinking, bad diets and poor sleeping habits.

The Fine Lines You Have Are A Result of Dehydration

Fine lines, dark circles under the eyes and dry skin usually come as a combination that signal dehydration, not necessarily ageing during your 20s. As well as ensuring you intake plenty of essential fatty acids and water through your diet, it is key that your moisturiser contains good levels of humectants like tamarind seed extract (or failing this hyaluronic acid). And use good quality facial oil at night without essential oils (as these irritate the skin). Rosehip oil is a particular favourite due to its high Vitamin C and Vitamin A content, which helps greatly with scarring.

Nourish Protect Hydrating Moisturiser , £19, is rich in plant oils (including rosehip and sunflower oils) and antioxidants to help protect your skin. Additionally,  Aromatherapy Associates Rose Hydrating Mask , £36, contains aromatic damask rose water that helps to promote the skin’s natural regenerative process and aloe vera that hydrates and conditions.

Treat Adult Acne Wisely

Statistics show an increase in adult acne  that affects a fair few people in their 20s and beyond. The key is not to over dry the skin, or expose the skin to drastic changes in pH. Use a gentle foaming cleanser with a pH as close to 5.5 as possible - oil cleansers aren’t so good at really removing dirt from the skin. Elethea Pure Balancing Cleanser, £36 (available from November 2014), contains no sulphates, parabens or irritating essential oils. Blended with exfoliating alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), Vitamin C and other antioxidants like baobab fruit powder and green tea, this gently foaming cleanser helps minimise the appearance of pores whilst removing dirt and brightening skin tone.

If acne can be treated topically with a tea tree oil in water mix, I would recommend this sprayed on the face post cleansing. Alpha hydroxy acids will work if this doesn’t, but they can be drying so make sure to apply a little oil to your skin after they have absorbed, even if you believe yourself to have oily skin!

Be sure to check in next week when Nausheen discusses everything you need to know about skincare in your 30s