Essential skincare gifts for your daughters, nieces, and those in their 20s and 30s!

I am going to purchase skin care items for my niece, 31, and my daughter, 26, for their birthdays. Both use makeup with SPF. I want to get them products that are preventive and can perhaps minimize/reverse the beginning signs of wrinkles (between the eyes, parentheses around the mouth.) I was thinking a retinoid and anti-oxidant. What are your recommendations? A first tier and second tier is welcome, because I may buy them more for Christmas!

I love that you’re asking this. And I love it at the clinic when we can start working with men/women in their 20s and 30s. Why? Because it’s much easier to prevent problems when you’re young, than it is to fix them at age 5o plus.

My top skincare gift by far: sunscreen

I also love your idea of an antioxidant and a retinoid. But even more important, is the quality of the sunscreen your niece and daughter are using. Educate your girls that it’s really not direct sun that is the problem, it’s natural light in general! Natural light contains UVB and UVA radiation, both of which damage skin cells and cause skin cancer, sagging and wrinkles. wrinkled truck driver

This kind man pictured here drove a truck and got UVA through his truck window on his left side for years. You can see the difference between the left and rights sides of his face, yes? This is why the UVA part of sunscreens is so important. Window glass blocks UVB and not UVA. It’s OK to get a little sun on your body for vitamin D. Just don’t burn, and don’t overdo it. Taking vitamin D (only 1,000-2,000 units) a day is a good idea for most people who don’t live on the equator. Their primary care doctors or gynecologist can also check a blood level for them. Now, let’s get to my essential skincare gift picks for those in their 20s and 30s!

Essential skincare gift ideas

1. Sunscreens: My product picks

  • This sunscreen is great for teens-30s with oilier skin. Not greasy. For the face, neck and chest.  Elta Clear.
  • An option for when you’re outdoors in a tank top and shorts. A spray with zinc for the body.  Replenish Sheer Physical.
  • For the person who sweats off sunscreen. Blot face, etc. with a bandana or whatever, then shake this down into the brush and brush on. You won’t think this is coming out but it is. If you’re not sure, try it on a black piece of paper. This stuff really stays on and I’ve used it for years open water swimming, cycling and running.  Colorscience Powder.

2. Antioxidants: My product picks

This goes under your sunscreen.  It’s hard to find a good quality antioxidant for under $50.

  • This is a good quality one for less than most. It’s not quite as good as the SkinCeuticals antioxidants, but they are much more expensive.  Replenix Cream CF.
  • More expensive, but also more effective. I don’t think most teens – 30s could afford this though.  SkinCeuticals C&E Ferrulic.

3. Retinol/Vitamin A cousins: My product picks

Always use these at night.

  • Stick with a good starter one. The important thing is to get started and not get discouraged in the beginning by too much peeling. You can gradually go up in concentration later, and then even switch to the prescription form.  Skin Medical Retinol Complex .25.

*Please remember we are all individuals, and that you may be allergic to a skin care product. If you experience burning, stinging, redness, or any other unexpected symptoms, stop the product and see your doctor. Test patch a product before using it all over.

Hope this helps,  Dr. I










Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

Ask me your skincare question!

Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

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One of the best investments in your skin is your daily skincare. Why? Because you can prevent many problems with blotchy skin color, lack of glow, texture, some types of acne, and fine lines with good skincare products. You can also correct some of these problems with effective skincare products. Great skincare is often more expensive because quality ingredients are expensive. Some companies spend on research/development which benefits all of us and adds to the cost. Are they worth it? In general - yes! I have handpicked some of what I consider to be the best skin care products, and offer them for sale on SkinTour's shop. This is based on my team and I's testing and research at our clinic. Many of the products are in my own regimen. What could be better than using skin care products a dermatologist uses?!