Skincare In Your 20s | Where to Spend and Where to Save According to a Beauty Editor

While I have grown to love skincare over the past few years and have learnt a lot about my skin and the different products on the market, I don’t feel even close to being qualified to give advice on such a complicated industry. So I decided to ask the very sweet Megan Bedford, Beauty Editor at Bauer Media, to dish the dirt. Or dish the clean? What? Idk.

Bedford is currently creating the beauty pages for Woman’s Day and Australian Women’s Weekly, and has over a decade’s worth of experience in the fashion and beauty industry including six years at Fashion Quarterly, so when she offers advice people tend to take note. Bedford believes that there is a happy medium to be found between supermarket skincare and selling your liver for La Mer, “Although luxe skincare is no doubt a sensorial delight, in terms of going the extra mile, there are plenty of mid-range products that are just as good, if not way better.”

So grab a pen and paper and keep scrolling to find out where to spend and where to save when it comes to your skincare routine.

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MAKEUP REMOVER | SAVE

I’m a huge fan of using Garnier’s Micellar Water ($6.99) to wash my face and remove makeup both in the morning and before I go to bed, and it turns out we shouldn’t be embarrassed about picking it out at the supermarket, “I currently have a La Mer Micellar Water ($139.95) on my bathroom counter which sits beside the Garnier version, and I find myself reaching for the Garnier Micellar Water a lot more”, says Megan.

Micellar water dissolve makeup, dirt and pollution to leave your skin looking shiny and polished, but the best part is that you don’t need to wash it off afterwards, so it’s super time efficient for twenty-something’s.

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CLEANSER | SPEND

After removing your makeup with micellar water, you shouldn’t just stop there – the key to maintaining the twenty-something skin we have now is to invest in a high quality cleanser and going double-duty on washing our face, in particular before we go to sleep. Sleeping in makeup essentially means sleeping with free radicals on your face, which are the pollutants that build up on our skin from factors like stress, smoke, food and alcohol. If those free radicals aren’t removed, they start to break down all of the good collagen in our skin which is the stuff that makes us look twenty-something and not forty-something.

The good news is that there are plenty of mid-range cleansers which are amazing and don’t cost as much as Bieber concert tickets. Megan says, “I am a big fan of a double cleanse – using a makeup remover oil or micellar water, followed by a dedicated cleanser. I love Dermalogica Pre Cleanse Oil ($67) or MAC Cleanse Off Oil ($40) for removing my makeup and leaving my skin plump and hydrated.”

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SERUMS | SAVE FOR NOW

I didn’t actually know what a serum was until I had it properly explained to me by a beauty expert and up until that moment I had somehow lead myself to believe that all serums would probably sting and/or burn my face and life is already stingy enough you know?

But all is not lost, because according to Megan we don’t even need to worry about them too much in our twenties, “Consider them a multi-vitamin for your skin. So they’re not essential but they are a great way to get a concentrated dose of beneficial skincare ingredients. Serums are made to target different skin issues, so if you want to experiment with serums in your twenties focus on those with hydrating and brightening properties – unless you have specific recurring skin issues to address like redness or oil.”

Megan believes that serums are one area of our skincare routine that we can save money on at such a young age because “generally speaking, you don’t have the same level of skin degeneration that the ingredients in serums are designed to target.”

WIN! WIN! FOR! STINGY! SKIN!

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EYE CREAM | SPEND

I’m still deciding whether eye cream actually works or is just a glorified moisturiser. I’ve been using Kiehl’s Avocado Eye Cream ($44.95) for almost a year now and while it definitely hydrates and softens my under-eye-area, it doesn’t change my life in terms of dark circles and tired eyes. However Megan said that there are some life-changing eye creams on the market as long as you’re willing to pay for it, “La Mer makes an incredible eye cream called Eye Balm Intense ($335). I’ve been using it on and off since my twenties – I’m 37 now – and I totally rate it.”

She said the key with buying an eye cream is to choose a hydrating one that contains Hyaluronic Acid, “You don’t need to worry about high-tech, anti-aging eye creams yet, but Hyaluronic Acid will keep the skin around your eyes plumped-up and fresh, while also preventing any tiny lines sneaking in.”

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FACE MIST | SAVE

You guys. Come on. Face mist is just water with perfume in it. I could literally make you face mist with tap water and my Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb in 12 seconds.

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FACE SUNSCREEN | SPEND

Okay so there are some beauty cabinet bandits that we can afford to “forget” about from time to time and our faces won’t suffer – and then there are things that we simply cannot ignore. As bored as you might be from hearing this, sunscreen falls into the latter category.

Megan said twenty-something’s must find a sunscreen that they can “commit to wearing every single day under their makeup for the rest of their lives”. WO. Sounds intense. But it’s true. With such a huge range of sunscreens on the market, there are now a variety that also offer skin benefits as well as protecting your face from UV rays, “Estee Lauder Daywear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant & UV Defence in SPF 50 ($76) is a good one. Ultraceuticals and Dermalogica also offer sunscreens that have been designed to sit under your foundation.”

Readers of Into The Gloss recently voted EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 46 ($69) as one of their all-time favourite face sunscreens, and it is also favoured by porcelain-skinned beauties Emma Stone and Kendall Jenner. It comes in both tinted and clear varities, and people love it for it’s texture and finish. 

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To learn more of Megan’s beauty tips and tricks, follow her on Instagram @meganbedford!