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Beauty Regrets I Wish I Knew In My ’20s

beauty regrets

Written by: Lauren Warner, Staff Writer

While I’m all for saying I like to live without regrets, I’m well aware that it’s impossible not to have them if you are going to live a full life. Let’s face it. A life without regrets is one that leaves nothing interesting behind to be learned by anybody else. And while most people might not like to admit that they have regrets – I’m here to share my regrets, particularly my beauty regrets.

I wish I stayed out of the sun. No, seriously. When you are young and see your skin as fresh and nearly flawless, it’s hard to imagine that it can ever accumulate wrinkles, sun damage or age spots. There were many days that I stayed out in the sun for hours and hours without applying sunblock and then proudly showed off my sunburn like an achievement. What was I thinking? There was also the need to excessively visit tanning beds in the dead of winter. Oy! Thankfully there are less harmful alternatives such as cruelty free sunblock or faux tanning that can be used today. I should have worn sunblock everyday in my face moisturizer, limited my time in the sun (or at least worn a big floppy hat), and (for goodness sake!) stayed out of the tanning beds.

I wish I had used eye cream. Turning thirty this year has left me treating eye cream as if it were as vital as toothpaste. I’ve finally found the ultimate eye cream and treat it as my favorite child in my beauty regimen. Eye cream refreshes, replenishes and, most importantly, supports the delicate skin around your eye. I truly believe that the skin around your eyes needs extra attention and its own product because of how delicate the skin is around the eye area. Eye cream also helps if you are prone to baggy eyes or dark circles. Once the skin around your eye starts to lose moisture, it’s hard to replace what has been lost. It’s a good idea to feed your skin what it needs before it actually needs it.

I wish I hadn’t tugged at my eyes so much. Speaking of eyes, how many women tug their eyelids flat every time they apply eyeliner? How about violently wiping underneath your eyes with your fingers when you spot a little mascara? Well, your skin is like a rubber band and each time you pull on the skin around your eyes, you are making it less elastic. Overtime, this tugging can lead to looking like you’ve been tugging at your eyes for the past decade. Be gentle with your skin. If you have to tug your eye flat just to get an eyeliner to work, try finding an eyeliner that applies easier. And when you see that eyeliner or mascara underneath your eye? Wipe it away gently! If you can, try patting around your eyes rather than rubbing so hard.

I wish I had gone cruelty free sooner. There’s something to be said of the ignorance of my younger days. Back in the day, all it took for me to buy a new beauty product was a convincing commercial. I was a marketer’s dream consumer. Now my first thought is, “Is it cruelty free? What ingredients are in it?” Buying cruelty free is the acknowledgement that certain practices with animals and makeup are unnecessary. Chances are, if you read this beauty blog on a regular basis you already know all the gory details. Buying cruelty free is the practice of being kind and of being an informed consumer. Knowing what ingredients are being soaked into your largest organ (your skin) is your human right.

I wish I had treated myself to regular facials. We visit the dentist for our teeth, the doctor for our bodies, but we still treat massages and facials as if they are a luxury. Although just because they feel like a luxury doesn’t mean they necessarily are. Facials deep clean our skin, take care of whiteheads and blackheads and deeply moisturize the layers of skin in our face. My mother just started getting facials two years ago and I’ve never seen her skin look better. She now swears by them and considers them “regular face maintenance.” Based on her gorgeous skin, I couldn’t agree more. I should have started getting routine facials in my twenties.

I wish I had been diligent about taking off my makeup before going to bed. Did you know that sleeping with your makeup on ages your looks by seven years? Allowing all that makeup to sit on your skin interrupts your skin’s natural replenishing process. Help your skin out by always washing your face before bed and choosing quality face products that assist your skin’s natural renewal rather than working against it. Whether you climb into bed at 9pm or 4am, always, always take off your makeup. Also routinely change your pillow cases. This help keeps breakouts at bay.

I wish I hadn’t have slept on my face. Now this is a tough one. How many of us love to sleep on our stomachs or curled up on our sides? The skin on the side of our face we sleep on actually gets more wrinkles than the side we don’t! If you can, try sleeping on your back. If this is impossible, well I’m not sure what to tell you. But try to be aware of how much you are sleeping on your face.

I wish I had gotten in the habit of looking nice before I leave the house. In my young twenties, I could happily throw on any articles of clothing I’d find on my floor, throw my hair up and still look cute. Going to college classes in your pajamas was considered normal at certain hours of the day. Now? Not so cute. It took me looking down at my pajama pants at noon, on a day off, and realizing that I had cat hair all over myself, had no make up on and had my hair in a greasy bun. Gross.

I wish I had known the premature aging effects of alcohol and smoking. I like to relax and have a social drink now and then as much as the next person but I wish I had just been more aware of the long term affects of alcohol when it comes to the body, especially the skin. Did you know that over time your body may give off an odor if you drink all the time? And that premature aging from alcohol shows on your face? Not to mention the long term effects such as bone damage, cancer, early menopause and high blood pressure. Smoking can cause deep wrinkles around the mouth from puckering cigarettes and can severely dry out the skin.

As with all regrets, the best thing to do with them is to learn. Start today. If you haven’t treated your skin the best, you still have time to turn your habits around. Has anyone seen the movie, Death Becomes Her? Treat your body like it’s the only one you’ve got!

Lauren Warner

Press samples have been provided for review. Opinions are the author’s own. Article may contain affiliate links.

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  1. Changing the position you sleep in for beauty? Isn't that a bit extreme? And anyway, isn't a good night's sleep the best beauty regimen? Also, what's wrong with being in your PJs til noon on a much-needed day off? Everyone needs some down time! Some of these ideas were helpful but they were overshadowed by the pyschotic ones.

  2. Such an interesting post! Thanks for this. I'm glad to be already doing most of the things you've listed while I still have my 23 year old skin!
    My recent post Shoe Storage Dilemma

  3. So what is the ultimate you have found.

  4. Great post!
    I'm curious – what's the eye cream you mentioned? I'm about to turn 30 and want to start taking care of the skin around my eyes too!

  5. So what is the ultimate eye cream that you found?
    My recent post Vanity Fair

  6. This was really interesting – I'm 19 and I'll admit I don't treat my skin as well as I should! I stay hydrated, wear minimal makeup and don't smoke or drink, but I'd never even thought about the skin around my eyes or sleeping on my back.

  7. I'm quilty of some of these! EEk!

    Kindness is the best accessory,
    My recent post Arm Candy & Nail Polish Instagram Fest #1

  8. Hey all! Thanks for the great comments! I enjoyed reading them all! πŸ™‚ The eye cream I'm referring to is Anti-Aging Eye Cream by Hyrdramar. It's Paraben-Free and Leaping Bunny Certified. http://www.homespacollection.com – Lauren πŸ™‚

  9. I wish I had used eye cream before I hit the big 5-0. That's right, I started eye cream six months ago. Mistake!! The other mistake is not using neck cream before I saw the need, again the last six months. Too late. Let me do you a favor, Jen, and tell you to start neck cream now. Don't wait.

  10. Amen sister! Going to bed with my makeup on and the way I've taken my skin for granted are my big regrets. I always stayed out of the sun, that's why I still have greats skin at 40, but I sure wish I would have started using skin care sooner.

  11. I'm kind of happy to read your post now as I'm 20!

  12. I wholeheartedly agree with all the points you made! Especially the sun exposure. I'm 27 and am noticing sun spots on my face. Not cool! I'm curious about this eye cream you mentioned. Care to share?
    My recent post Review: Benefit Finding Mr. Bright

  13. I'm so with you on the sun in my teens I lived in the tanning beds and now my skin is really making me pay for it. It's so dry and bumpy in certain spots but I just had to have that golden glow you speak the truth when you say you wont notice it then but you will notice it in the future.
    My recent post Manglaze Haul Sneak Peek

  14. Thank goodness, I did start taking care of my skin early on. My skin could be a lot worse as I age. One thing is I still sleep on one side of my face a lot and can't fall asleep in other positions. This is a hard habit to break! Thanks for such a great post!
    My recent post butter LONDON Nail Lacquer in Lady Muck

  15. I like this Carrie Bradshaw style of writing! The second to last one resonates with me the most. My mom always looks perfect when she leaves the house I just look a mess!
    My recent post 9 unnecessary skincare products according to Total Beauty

  16. Thanks for sharing this! I recognize a few things that I luckily realized now at age 24, but there's some topics that I hadn't even considered, like eye cream.. I might look into that now, I have dark circles already and I'd hate to get bags and wrinkles too!
    My recent post Water and fire with Shiro

  17. Reading this, I think I will be alright. I'm 'addicted' to the sample of Chanels eyecreme, and for some reason it's still not empty haha. I will absolutely buy it when it's completely empty.
    Also I am really thankful I don't smoke. All my friends do, except me. And honestly, I'm proud of that!
    The tanning part… I kind of gave it up quickly, because I loose all of my tan within a week. So I stopped tanning completely since it's no use anyway and healthier. Unless I go to the beach but that is rare.
    There are more things like plucking eyebrows (my mom almost has nothing left so I try to leave them as much I can – they're blonde anyway), using mascara too much (I also started to loose eyelashes), and not investing in daycreme. I now use intense daycreme not caring it could give me acne. It's proven that those who had acne when they were young, get wrinkles much later than other people. And now I imagine; that pimple could mean one less wrinkle later.

    Oh and water. I need more than regular people, so it's already extra difficult, but even knowing that I still don't get at 3 liter a day. Even when I have a bottle of water always in my bag and next to my bed….
    It does help a little though! Maybe a tip?

  18. Dear god, I still yell at my friends for sleeping in their makeup–and they’re fellow makeup artists, they should know better! Seriously, and be nice to your eye skin. Hydrate, stop pulling, andsrop waxing your brows (tweeze!)

    I’m actually super grateful I was a bartender and covered in tats, so I’ve been vampire pale for most of my adult life. I credit that and copious amounts of exercise for looking 24 at 30!

  19. Beauty truly comes from within in terms of what you feed your body. Your health determines how your skin will respond to the sun and whether it will cause wrinkling/spots. Eye cream and facials won't do much either.

  20. That wasn't the point that she was wearing her pjs on a day off – it was the fact that she realized that was how she looked like whenever she left her house to go to class or whatever.

    I really liked this post! I'm 19 but I started using eye cream and my friends think I'm nuts, but then they'll just realize they're nuts for not following suite. Thanks for some of these tips πŸ™‚

  21. You're not changing your sleeping position for beauty, but for health. If it's not good to sleep on your face (like, say, sleeping on your stomach), then DON'T.

  22. Totally agree with you! I read about the wrinkles thing somewhere else, and tried to train myself out of sleeping on my side, but i just wasn't comfortable! Eventually, I decided that since I flip back and forth so much, my wrinkles would at least be even, and stopped worrying about it. Much happier now. πŸ™‚

  23. Actually I've found changing positions to be really helpful with my skin. I had been getting very bad acne on the sides of my cheeks and switching to sleeping on my back (although that was kind of difficult!) has improved it immensely.

  24. I'm surprised you didn't mention that a few of those things that are bad for your beauty as you age, can also give you CANCER. Tanning, smoking, pretty much guarantee some serious health problems in later life. Not everyone gets lung cancer, but make no mistake, it ruins your body. My mother is infertile now after complications from a lifetime of smoking. And my friend tans all the time like a crazy person no matter how much I tell her about all the people I know who hav ehad cancerous growths on their skin. Sometimes people just can't see into the future!
    My recent post Rockin My Birthday Suit

  25. Having turned 20, thank you very much for this. πŸ™‚ I’ve gone kind of crazy about eye products, but prevention is better than trying to find a cure later on, I’m hoping!

  26. Thank you so much for your advice Lauren. I’ve learned so much from this post! You are right, we shouldn’t take our young skin for granted. We need to take care of it, just as we take of our teeth or eyes. Thanks again!

  27. I like some of your ideas, but others seem to be only in service of “looking good” when you are older. For example- instead of getting regular facials, why not save that money and use it for your kid(s)’ college fund(s), mortgage/student loans, or donate it? And why does it matter if the skin under your eyes is a little baggy? You compare getting facials, which will keep your skin looking better but are purely cosmetic, to regular dentist and doctor visits, which check for illness, diseases, and make sure that you do not get painful cavities. Frankly, I think you are unhealthily worried about your looks. You should know that no matter how you look, your beauty is unrelated.

  28. Hi Ann – we agree that all of the points you mentioned are more important than simply looking good. If your income forces you to decide between facials and your kids’ college fund, we would never suggest you choose facials!! This is a beauty blog, so our articles are focused on that topic. πŸ™‚

  29. Not taking off your makeup at night does not age you by seven years. If it did then I would look about 7000 years old. I like the rest, especially the sunblock. Wear sunblock every day!

  30. Oooh! The routine facials and massages part sounds oh so good. Good enough for me to consider making room in my budget for them. This is such a great post for those of us that are still in our 20s, the good thing is that I won’t be regretting that I didn’t use an eye cream πŸ™‚ Xo, Audreiana from True Beauty By Nature

  31. The don’t-sleep-on-your-face thing is a problem if that’s your natural sleeping position, most sleep experts say that trying to change your position will result in poor quality sleep, which has detrimental whole-body effects, including for your skin. Long-term, low-quality sleep is more damaging than smooshing your cheek or nose for a few hours every night. Maybe mention drinking more water, something most of us, whether we were party girls or having & nursing kids (holy crap, dehydration-city!), should have done waaaayyy more of in our 20’s!

  32. I agree with all minus the last one , I don’t use alcohol regularly once in a blue moon

  33. I think we all pretty much knew about the negative effects of alcohol and smoking in our twenties. I think we just all believed that we would stop before the premature aging started taking effect. Unfortunately few of us actually do.
    Colin recently posted..Alcohol Detox at Home in 6 Easy StepsMy Profile

  34. This article is a classic, and points out some really important reminders & tips. We’ll be posting it today on Bellashoot’s social media links! xoxo

  35. I’m in my late 20’s and was happy to read that I did already made some of these a part of my regime years ago. As for the others, starting today! Thank u it felt good to face reality for a change.

  36. No thanks. Though I agree with the obvious ones like sunscreen, I’m actually going to live my life instead of constantly worrying about my appearance. I’d like to look my age when I, well, age.

  37. Thank you so much for this great, useful article, some things I knew because of common sense lol but that’s when you start thinking, now I see how important eye cream, facials and sleeping on the face are, I’ll pass it on to others.

  38. Hey, I’m nineteen! There’s hope for me after all!

  39. Thanks for this post, you have shown what we have done wrong with skin care. By showing these wrong deeds we have a chance to make adjustment so we can have healthy skin.
    Venice Brooks recently posted..Clogged Pores – Causes & TreatmentMy Profile

  40. Thank you for sharing this post. Luckily, I’m just turning 20 and finding this post will help me prevent on having regrets.
    Chloe Wallace recently posted..Opiate addiction treatment options for your teenagerMy Profile

  41. excellent reminders! thank you! i was diligent about MOST of these from high school on. i’m 43 today. people often think i’m in my late 20’s/early 30’s. being vegetarian since 16 could help too. i DO struggle to find a perfect eye cream. “wake up looking refreshed!”…yeah…that NEVER happens for me no matter what product i’ve tried so i will try Lauren’s Hydra Mar suggestion. also…i have a tip. i’ve been using these (i swear, i’m only a happy customer; no personal affiliation otherwise) to ward off pesky chest wrinkles. they WORK! http://www.beautifulchest.com just a little tip to keep us all a little bit more ravishing!! πŸ™‚

  42. I started out using it every other day, and now I use it almost every time I shower. It leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth and has significantly reduced my breakouts. The main ingredient is salicylic acid, which exfoliates, clears pores and helps to reduce acne.

  43. Thanks for the input!
    It is amazing how we take our young skin for granted. We need to take care of it.
    Lisa recently posted..Bath Salts Mephedrone MPDV – Mountainside Treatment Center on Fox NewsMy Profile

  44. Thanks for the reminders – how easily we can (conveniently) forget ;P
    I found this page in a meandering search for cruelty-free mascara that isn’t $20-$30.
    Cruelty-free is a serious concern of mine; I just don’t see how these better (and I say “better” in all senses) products need to have a such a higher price than their evil counterparts. Got any leads?
    Lastly, for what it’s worth, you still look totally cute in your picture above πŸ˜€
    Thanks in advance and have a lovely day~

  45. Smoking is my biggest regret, definitely and it’s my only addiction. if I don’t sleep on my face I snore so it’s better to have some wrinkles than bothering the person next to me with horrible noises πŸ™‚ http://epilatorgirl.com/ultimate-epilator-reviews-guide/

  46. Thanks for your site and your great advice!!

  47. At 50+, tanning my skin and laying out in the sun is my absolute biggest regret in life. We were so silly to buy the idea that tanned skin was sexy and healthy but we did not have the information that is available. We used Coppertone #4 so we could get a tan. SPF 30 was not around until the very late 1980s, early 1990s! I still look pretty good for my age but I do envy my female peers who did not do this and preserved their nice pale skin. I wish my mother had warned me from a young age but she did not because apparently that generation did not know. Sun exposure is the #1 ager of skin, and yes, smoking is a close second. Luckily although I tried smoking, I was never addicted.

  48. I’m 15 and I’ll seriously take this to heart!

  49. I was somewhat a smoke addict in my late teens however I realized and managed to stay away from it after knowing the consequences. Really nice article you have shared here Lawren. Really appreciate your effort.

    Melissa recently posted..Braun Silk Epil 9 ReviewMy Profile

  50. Smoking is not good in terms of beauty. It can damage your face skin and losen your teeth and lips. Smoking also change your lips color into black. So please stop the smoking and live a happy and beautiful life

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