The first time I started getting into skincare was my last year in college. I was graduating a year early and moving back home to New York. I was truly adulting but I had idea where to start on my skincare journey.

At the time, my skincare routine included make-up wipes, cleanser, physical exfoliator, sunscreen, and moisturizer. These last few years I really started implementing other steps such as cleansing balms, serums, and toners. I’ve tried so many different types of cleansers, micellar waters, cleansing balms, and moisturizers but today, I narrowed it down to the best skincare products for women in their early 20’s. Everything on my list is affordable and skincare friendly for new beginners.


Cleansing Balm

I ditched my make-up wipes for cleansing balms and I've never looked back. The reason why I no longer use make-up wipes is because I wanted to be more eco-friendly in the packaging that I buy and I learned that wiping the make-up off causes premature wrinkles. I repeat, wrinkles. The Physicians Formula Matcha Green Tea 3-in-1 Melting Cleansing Balm is one of my favorite drug store balms because it truly takes off all of your make-up including stubborn waterproof mascara (find out my favorite drugstore mascaras here). It washes off very easily and it does not dry out my skin.



Who remembers the days when using soap and water was all you needed in your skincare routine? Now you can’t even do that because your skin will get irritated. The Botanics Hydration Burst Dual Action Cleanser is a gel cleanser that hydrates my skin while removing dirt and any make-up residue. This cleanser is targeted towards dehydrated and sensitive skin but I think this is great for all skin types. I stay away from foam cleansers since they tend to dry out my skin and make it feel tight.


Micellar Water

The Simple Kind to Skin Micellar Cleansing Water is my saving grace whenever I cleanse my skin. It is the last cleansing step that I do focusing on the hairline, ears (if you put foundation there), lashes, and lips. You will be surprised when you look at the cotton pad after you swipe it on your face and still see make-up residue. This instantly hydrates my skin without feeling greasy. Perfect for all skin types even for very sensitive skin.



Exfoliating your skin is something you should be doing at least twice a week depending on the sensitivity of your skin. The Derma E Microdermabrasion Scrub is a very fine scrub that gentle exfoliates your skin. It leaves my skin baby soft without being too harsh. A great way to remove dry skin and help even out your skin tone. The citrus scent is very refreshing and not overpowering. Some ingredients include Dead Sea Salt, Citrus Oils, Vitamin E, Grape Seed Oil, Kaolin, Jojoba Seed Oil, and Sweet Almond Oil. Apply to clean, wet skin and gently scrub in a circular motion for up to 1 minute. Please make sure to avoid the eye area.



The REN Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic is a toner that exfoliates and brightens your skin. This was the first AHA I have ever used and it was recommended by HelloAva, an online skincare consultant. This is the product that helped reduced all the small pumps on my nose. Do you guys get those? I haven’t really had any bumps on my nose since I started using this. Even though I love using a pore strip and seeing how much gunk comes out, this toner does a better job at permanently removing the small bumps. This product may sting your face at first, but that is normal. It took some time for my skin to get use to this product but I like using it in my night time skincare routine. This can be used for both day and night depending on your skin type.


Serums are my favorite step to skincare whether that is in the morning or the evening. The Maelove Glow Maker Antioxidant Serum contains Vitamins C, E, Ferulic Acid and Hyaluronic Acid. Apply a few drops to your hands and pat onto your skin. Your skin will absorb this instantly which I really enjoy since I don’t like heavy products on my face. Vitamin C is so important to have in you skincare routine since it it brightens the complexion, fades dark spots, and it stimulates the production of collagens.

Recently, my bottle started oxidizing so be aware when your vitamin C starts to turn yellow brown. This means it has been exposed to air and sunlight so you should no longer use it. My bottle lasted around 4 months with just a little bit left over. In order to preserve it as long as possible, keep it in the fridge in a dark area.



We all need to wear sunscreen no matter your age. Whether you are working inside near a window, driving in your car, or it’s a cloudy day outside, UV rays are ubiquitous. The key to healthy looking skin is wearing SPF all year long. The Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40 is an oil-free formula that glides onto the skin effortlessly. There is no sunscreen scent which is hard to believe but is true. It can be used as primer before your make-up application or by itself since it is transparent. This is the ideal sunscreen for people of color because it will not leave any white cast on your face.



No matter your skin type, you need to moisturizer your skin every single day. The key is finding the right one for your skin concerns. The e.l.f Hello Hydration Face Cream absorbs into the skin very quickly without feeling heavy since it is lightweight formula. Some ingredients include Niacinamide, Squalane, Hyaluronic Acid, Peptides, and Vitamin B5. Warning this moisturizer does contain fragrance but it has not made my skin irritated. You can use in the morning and evening on clean skin. Since you are suppose to be wearing moisturizer twice a day, this e.l.f one will not break the bank.



A skincare routine can be overwhelming especially the ones that we’ve seen online but I hope this list helps guide you on what kind of products you should be looking for. Starting your skincare routine in your early 20’s is a great way to take care of your skin and learn about your body more.

Make sure to apply your skincare products from thinnest to thickest if you are not sure about the order. Although I didn’t mention any spot treatments, please see this blog post where I talk about the best products for pimples. Remember, we all just want healthy looking skin!