Beauty Tips: Carefree 20s Fast Face Fixes

From antioxidant skin creams to skin lighteners and more, Shape shares beauty tips about the products that will keep you looking great.

Start using antioxidant skin serums and creams. Studies show that topically applied antioxidants like vitamins C and E and polyphenols from grapeseeds can help fight free-radical damage to the skin. While use of these power nutrients needn't be limited to the 20s, this is the age to make using antioxidant skin products (which can be applied twice daily after cleansing) a habit.

Age-defying picks:

  • Lancôme Vinéfit Cool Gel Oil-Free Moisturizer ($25;
  • Kiehl's Lycopene Facial Moisturizing Lotion ($35; 800-KIEHLS-1)
  • Clarins Line Prevention Multi-Active Day Cream Protection Plus ($55;

Layer on a skin lightener if you have freckles or dark pigmentation. After cleansing, use a bleaching agent to keep skin even-toned. Natural botanical-based bleaching agents -- kojic acid, licorice extract and the plant extract arbutin -- are effective and mild skin lighteners. (Studies show that all help lighten hyperpigmentation spots.)

Age-defying picks:

  • DDF Holistic Intensive Skin Lightener with licorice extract ($42.50; 800-443-4890)
  • SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Gel with arbutin ($45;
  • Peter Thomas Roth Botanical Skin Brightening Gel Complex with kojic acid ($45;

Read on for more beauty tips that will help protect your skin during the carefree 20s.

[header = Excellent skin care treatments and practical beauty tips from Shape online.]

Discover what kind of moisturizer and foundation makeup are best for you and consider revitalizing citrus skin care treatments for radiant skin.

Slather on a moisturizer or foundation makeup with added SPF. Broad-spectrum sunscreens (those that block the sun's burning UVB rays and aging UVA rays) with a minimum SPF 15 should be the norm, even on cloudy days. To make protecting your skin even easier, plenty of moisturizing products and foundations already contain broad-spectrum SPFs.

Age-defying picks:

  • Aveda Tourmaline Charged Protecting Lotion SPF 15/Oil-Free ($38;
  • Maybelline Smooth Results Age Minimizing Foundation Makeup SPF 18 ($9; at drugstores)
  • Murad Environmental Shield Essential Day Moisture SPF 15 ($40;

Tried & tested skin care treatments: A jolt of vitamin C

At 24, I admit that I'm guilty of taking smooth, youthful skin for granted. But past years of sun worshiping and polluted-city dwelling may be to blame for the fact that my complexion now sometimes flickers instead of glows. That's why I headed to The Helena Rubinstein Beauty Gallery & Spa in New York City to try out the Force C Mega Dose Facial ($140; 212-343-9963), which promised to jump-start my dull skin.

There, aesthetician Julie Zhang gently exfoliated my face with round vitamin-C-infused pads before using fresh-cut orange slices with a galvanic machine's light electrical current to deliver another round of the antioxidant. (The current seems to help ingredients penetrate the skin better, according to Zhang.)

To top it off, she applied a cold vitamin-C mask and serum. My complexion had never been more radiant (a result that lasted for several days). It was like feeding my skin a much-needed fruit smoothie. -- Beth Janes

Keep reading articles on the Shape web site for terrific beauty tips and skin care treatments.

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