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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal Poly chapter.

It’s something nobody wants to think about quite yet, but it sits in the back of our minds knowing eventually we’ll have to address it: signs of aging. Wrinkles, fine lines, discoloration, you name it. All of this will happen to us eventually whether we like it or not. But, there are a few things we can start doing right now in our twenties to make our aging process a little more graceful, and make our skin look ten times better right now too. 


We’ve sorted through the many serums, masks, devices and other products that claim to help prevent aging and have compiled five of the best, with at least four star reviews, to help you figure out what you can do to keep that youthful glow as long as possible. Be sure to check with your dermatologist if any of these products are right for you.

Retinol Cream 

Retinol is one of the most researched ingredients in skincare products. It works by slowing the breakdown of collagen in our skin, which contributes to your skin’s firmness. In addition, it helps to prevent wrinkles and lighten any brown spots that have been caused by sun damage. 

One of the best over the counter retinol creams on the market is the Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream. Sold at Sephora for $74, this product may seem a little pricey, but you’re spending your money on clean ingredients including a blend of peptides that boost the absorbance of the retinol and vitamins to help smooth skin’s surface. On top of that, this product contains antioxidants that help prevent harmful pollutants in the air from damaging your skin. This cream is also vegan and cruelty free!

If you have a dermatologist you see regularly, you can also get retinol creams through them. 

Facial Toning Device

As we age our skin naturally begins to lose elasticity and start to sag. Problem areas often include the eyelids and under the chin. There is a way to prevent this, and even treat it once it happens; by using a facial toning device. 


One of the more popular devices on the market is the NuFACE mini. Sold on the NuFACE website and at Sephora for $200, this device will pay its price back in beautiful, tight skin going into our later years. According to the NuFACE website, “The NuFACE Mini is a FDA-cleared, handheld facial toning device that helps improve facial contour, facial tone, and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, all in a convenient travel size.” 


How does it work? The device sends gentle microcurrents through the skin, triggering the production of structural proteins such as collagen and elastin. It also exercises the muscles in the skin, adding an extra protection against skin sagging.

If this device is more money than you’d prefer to spend, try using a manual facial shaping product such as a jade roller or a gua sha. Click here to learn more about gua shas!

Lactic Acid 

Everybody knows exfoliation is an important step in a skincare routine, especially to prevent aging. But, using harsh scrubby pads or exfoliating washes with plastic beads can actually damage the skin, putting microtears in the outer layer and increasing the likelihood of fine lines and wrinkles. 


So, instead of using these damaging products, reach for a more gentle, chemical exfoliant, such as lactic acid. One popular treatment that includes this powerful ingredient is the Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment.  The product is priced at $122 for a 50 ML bottle. This is a steap price, but this product is an all-in-one treatment that contails lemongrass, licorice and prickly pear extract as well. These ingredients help not ony to prevent signs of aging, but also to smooth texture and treat dark spots. When you have a product like this, you can cut the amount of steps you have in your routine in half; simply cleanse, treat and moisturize. 


As described on the Sephora website, “Good Genes is clinically proven to plump the look of fine lines and wrinkles in as few as three minutes. Formulated with high potency, purified grade lactic acid, it exfoliates the dull surface of the skin for clarity, radiance, and younger-looking skin.”  


This product is free of harmful ingredients often used in cheaper skincare products such as sulfates, parabens and coal tar, ensuring a clean and pure formula. It is also vegan, cruelty free, gluten free and comes in a recyclable package. Thumbs up for skincare that is good for you and the environment!

If you’re looking for a more affordable option, The Ordinary has a Lactic Acid 10% treatment that is only $6.50 on the Sephora website!

Night Cream

Moisturizer is arguably the most important step in skin care, as dry skin can lead to a plethora of problems such as acne, wrinkles, fine lines, rashes, the list goes on. That being said, your daytime moisturizer doesn’t need to be all that heavy, just be sure it includes sunscreen to protect against dark spots. But, putting a more fulfilling face cream into your night time skin care routine can work wonders. 


One of the more natural night creams is the Fresh brand Youth Preserve Dream Night Cream. Available on the Fresh website and Sephora for $48, this cream is a bang for your buck for sure. The key ingredient is extract from the living Lotus plant, which works to hydrate, support radiance and plump the skin with antioxidants. Also included is peach leaf extract which helps to treat signs of stress on the skin. 


Using a moisturizer packed with super ingredients at night is important, it helps give your skin time to refresh and reboot without being covered in makeup, pollutants from the day, etc.

Eye Cream

The skin under the eyes, on the neck and on the hands is much thinner than the skin everywhere else. For this reason, it’s likely to show wrinkles and fine lines twice as fast. For this reason, it makes sense to spend extra time treating these areas. It’s normal to hear about women ages 50 and over using eye creams, but it’s better to start early in the preventative stage than trying to treat wrinkles once they’re already present. 


One of the top rated eye creams on Sephora is the Farmacy Cheer Up Brightening Vitamin C Eye Cream with Acerola Cherry Extract. Vitamin C works wonders on brightening skin, whether it be via ingesting C vitamin rich fruits such as oranges or grapefruits, or using it in your skincare. This cream in particular also contains hyaluronic acid which helps to deeply hydrate the skin and boost your skin’s moisture balance overall. Priced at $45, a fair amount given the importance of your under eye skin! 

It’s scary to think about signs of aging when we’ve just become of age, but someday your skin will thank you for starting a little face TLC in your twenties. Not all of these products are necessary, but adding one or two into your routine now will make a world of difference later. 

Current Vice President and Campus Correspondent for the Cal Poly chapter of Her Campus. Hannah is a third year Journalism student with a concentration in Public Relations at Cal Poly. Hannah is working toward a career writing for an online publication focusing on health and wellness. In her free time Hannah listens to podcasts, walks on the beach, reads self-help books, shops clean skincare and tries new plant-based recipes. On this page you'll find the articles she has written about lifestyle, health, wellness, fashion, current events and more.