In an ideal world we would all have amazing skin, we’d metaphorically high-five and then talk nonstop about what it’s like to have real life, airbrushed skin. Now I don’t know about you guys but I am in a complicated relationship with my skin. One day it seems to love me, and the next it will become so hard to deal with it makes me just want to grab 50 tubs of ice-cream and watch 50 hours of Gossip Girl repeats. I don’t even like Gossip Girl.

I’ve always self-diagnosed my skin and bought products based on what I feel I need more of. Over the years I have received little bits of advice off industry friends, makeup artists and the occasional beautician, but I have never sat down with a dermatologist or industry professional to truly figure out my skin type or ways I could be caring for my skin a little better.

If makeup artists ask my skin type when I am on a shoot, I generally say combination. I think my skin is pretty typical – It can be oily and it most certainly can be on the dry side. The weather in Sydney of late has really played havoc with it, so I would definitely say one of my biggest struggles at the moment has been dryness and dullness. No matter how much water I drink or how much sleep I get, areas around my nose and chin always look a little lacklustre to me and when it comes to skin I like a criminal amount of glow.


I turn 27 next month (cue: heart palpitations) and thus, I am beginning to take ageing a little more seriously. Skincare has never excited me in the same way that makeup does. That’s all changed in the past few months. I now realise my 20s should be a time to seriously nurture my complexion, because it’s all about prevention, baby. I’ve switched moisturisers, I have added eye cream to the mix – I’ve basically got a million step process in place. I now get excited for my skin and I really notice my skin suffers if I haven’t been taking care of it properly.



My mid twenties have really made me go from an almost anti-skincare gal to a complete enthusiast. They’ve also made me realise I live for this kind of shit. Just last week I booked in for a complimentary consultation at the SK-II counter at David Jones, in the city to help me create a routine that is a little more targeted to me, instead of me just going with what I feel my skin needs. It was a 10 minute consultation and Karina, the technician was kind enough to laugh at my really bad jokes, so it was a morning of winning, really. She used a beauty tool called the Magic Ring, which isn’t just a plot device from my upcoming novel Ally Hayward and Harry Potter Beat Up on Voldemort and Darth Vader Real Bad and Also Find a Totally Kickass Magic Ring®. Karina took a photo of my skin with the Magic Ring and then analysed it on their system to help figure out my skin’s rating for texture, firmness, wrinkle resilience, spots control and radiance enhancement.

All in all I rated pretty even for the above – between 57%-63% for everything and when it came to the age of my skin I nearly fell off my chair because I felt so damn young. The final result of my consultation, taking all the above into consideration was 22 years oldYes, I now use this as my birth certificate. Here’s the what’s, what for my skin age: Skin’s texture = 29 years old, Firmness = 23 years old, Wrinkle Resilience = 23 years old, Spots Control = 14 years old and Radiance Enhancement = 23 years old.

For the last week I have been trialing the much more simple, reliable SK-II foundation products to help me maintain healthy, happy, glowing skin. So far I am extremely happy – I have been loving using all the products that are helping me achieve hydrated, bright, glowing, plump skin. All in all I think this will all help rebuild and strengthen the skin, thus help with anti-ageing and keeping my skin in the best condition it can be in for the tail-end of my 20s (oh God).


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Products I have been using the last week listed below

1. SK-II Facial Treatment Gel Cleanser: I like a gentle cleanser that still feels like it’s cleansing properly and so far I have found this one to be exactly that. And added bonus is it balances the skin’s natural pH after cleansing.
2. SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion: This is light and watery lotion that exfoliates your skin. Its the first time I have used a lotion based product to exfoliate, but I actually like that it doesn’t feel abrasive.
3. SK-II Facial Treatment Essence: This one is also an exfoliant and one I have seen a lot of over the years so I was really keen to use it!
4. SK-II Skin Refining Treatment: A part of my consultation showed my skin was in serious need of some glow. This product helps to brighten the skin and minimise pores. (As you can see in the close up images I have quite visible pores on my cheeks). I like that it doesn’t have any added fragrance.
5. SK-II Facial Treatment Mask: Karina told me in China they call these the ex-boyfriend mask because after you use them, your skin looks so good your ex will want you back. A box of ten is roughly $150-ish. I love how the serum from the mask soaks straight into you skin.

Just because one product works for someone else doesn’t mean it will work for you. If you start using “hyped up” products which are totally unsuitable for your skin type, you’re only going to experience limited effectiveness (at best) or negative effects on your skin, so I highly suggest getting your skin checked out by a professional to see what positive changes you can make…Then we can metaphorically high five.

Magic Ring consultations are complimentary and are available from an SK-II beauty consultant at SK-II counters at David Jones. For more info on SK-II, visit: SK-II


Some final advice for how to care for your skin in your 20s, because I am now on my way to being reformed – Ha!

  1. Diet REALLY matters, so drink LOTS of water, place a hold on the Rosé when you can and eat fresh food (or at least balance your diet)
    Stick with a simple routine and make sure you’re using products based on your skin type.
  2. Stop flitting between products – your skin needs stability
  3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
  4. Question ingredients
  5. Start your nighttime routine earlier than bedtime to ensure you’re doing a proper job and not just taking off the grime from the day
  6. Keep your products where you use them: My desk plays home to hand creams, my vanity holds all my cleansers and my shower is where I keep my deep cleansing scrub.
  7. Use a mask once a week and a heavy duty night cream for that criminal glow I was talking about earlier

I hope this has been super helpful for all you gals either entering or deep into your 20s!





In collaboration with SK-II. As always, all opinions and creative content are my own. We only work with brands that share the same ethics and values.

Author: Ally Carey

Hi, I am Ally, a writer and creative at Substance. I have worked in the fashion industry for 6+ years as a model and now on Substance. Substance is a lifestyle blog about fashion, beauty, health and self-improvement; hoping to inspire you to live a life filled with Substance. For more: @AllyMayCarey

1 thought on “How You Should Be Caring For Your Skin In Your 20s”

  1. I totally needed to read this! As a 22 year old, I went to the doctors today about my whirlwind skin, it was honestly frightening!
    I didn’t want to hear certain words but I know I’ve got to take more care of this face. I think I’ll go for one of these Magic Ring consultations, wish it came with that exciting novel though haha!

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