Time is forever moving forward, leaving behind few wrinkles, blind spots and dull skin in its wake (for both men and women). It’s an inevitable fact, yes, but what if there was a way of delaying it? And dermatologists say there indeed is a way, but the catch is to start early, as early as your 20s. Never heard of anti-ageing measures in your 20s? Well, check again.Dr Simal Soin, dermatologist and anti-ageing expert comments on this and says: Twenties is a critical time when we enjoy youthful, skin but soon skin damage (due to external factors) becomes inevitable. Also Read: Here’s How To Keep Your Skin Young And Sparkly Despite the SmogPollutionThe rising levels of pollution has a direct onslaught on the quality of your skin. Among medical problems that pollution can cause, there are also direct consequences in the form of skin allergies, acne, dullness and, of course, ageing.Dr Rahul Arora, Consultant, Dermatology, at Max Hospital draws attention to the adverse effects of pollution on your skin and says:Twenties is the age of onslaught of various adversaries which try to take away that perfect looking skin you have in your early teens. Living in a metro city is a further challenge due to persistence of noxious pollutants in the environment all throughout the year. Chemicals in dirty air—organic and volatile organic compounds (VOC), along with other irritants like ozone and cigarette smoke—comes in contact with our skin, the body’s outermost barrier, every time we step outside.Dr Soin comments on the same and suggests that it’s important to layer up when stepping out. This includes first applying a serum, a moisturiser, followed by a sunscreen, the last step is of utmost importance and should not be ignored. Sunscreen should be worn even on a cloudy day, especially if you are in a tropical country like India.A good morning regime consisting of a Vitamin C serum and sunscreen helps to fight signs of ageing. A regular regime walks our skin through everyday environmental insults and definitely delays ageing. A good face wash with mild exfoliative action and medical facials helps to brighten your face. They also help the skin to recoup from pollution, harmful gases and particulate matter in atmosphere making sure the glow remains intact. Dr Simal SoinCome Rain, Come Smog, Here’s Why You Should Wear Sunscreen IndoorsOther than ageing, sunscreen also protects you from carcinogenic effects of the ultraviolet rays of the sun.Dr Arora further stresses on the importance of sunscreen.Minimise the adverse effects of skin dehydration by limiting your exposure to sun. This can be achieved by wearing a moisturiser with sunscreen, and opting for accessories like wide-brimmed hats when venturing outdoors for extended periods. When selecting your sunblock, be sure to choose one that is non-toxic and non-comedogenic (products that don’t clog pores) and one with zinc or titanium. Natural products such as coconut oil too provide a great barrier against damaging sun rays.Dr Rahul AroraHowever, just throwing names of products can be a little overwhelming for the uninitiated. So here’s an easy breakdown:1. Serums: Serums are primarily of three kinds, namely, oil, gel or water based serums. While choosing one, the first important thing to keep in mind is the skin type. The basic rule is for oily skins to opt for light serums which are water or gel based, and steer clear of the oil based ones which might make your skin prone to acne and an overall oily look. Also, the heavier oil based serums are mostly to be applied before going to bed, while the others are suitable for day-time requirements.A lot of serums are specifically meant for anti-ageing, but someone in their 20s doesn’t have to specifically opt for them. A good, wholesome serum in itself is anti-ageing whether or not the label says that.Beware! Acne and Eczema on Rise in Delhi Due to Pollution2. Under-eye cream: Dermatologists cannot stress the importance of this product enough. Starting especially from your mid-20s, it’s advisable to invest in a good under-eye cream. Since the skin around the eyes is particularly delicate, use your ring finger to gently dab the cream all along the socket of your cheekbone. Take extra care to put it right till your hairline on the sides of your eyes, often the first regions for fine lines to appear, and the brow bone; steer clear of the upper eye-lid. This skin is also very sensitive so keep in mind your particular skin type before opting for a product to avoid irritation, redness, watering or even dry eyes. It’s best to consult a dermatologist on this.Dr Soin recommends the use of both serums and under-eye creams.Serums and under-eye creams are a very vital part of a skincare routine. They are absorbed deeper in the skin. Hence, the glow and hydration is maintained for a longer duration.Dr Simal Soin3. Moisturisers: Once again, the market is flooded with different kinds of moisturisers for different skin types. There are gels, creams, sprays, lotions so on and so forth. Moisturisers meant for the night are normally heavier than the day ones. If you are dry skinned, take especial care to keep the skin hydrated. Dry skin will experience wrinkling and show signs of ageing faster than plump, hydrated skin.Some common guidelines for all of these three products include always, always reading the label. Ensure the product you’re using is free of parabens and sulfates, two ingredients very easily found in cosmetics and toiletries. Also keep in mind any particular ingredients or substances you might be allergic to. When it comes to ingredients like Vitamin C and E, remember that they are especially well known for their anti-ageing properties. However, it’s still best to consult an expert before making any seismic change in your skincare routine.Dr Arora offers a word of caution on this.You should seek a dermatologist’s opinion before choosing a product, especially if you have dry and sensitive skin. Don’t be in a habit of taking a risk when it comes to using new products on your skin. Something which suits your friend’s skin may not suit you. Research well about combination of ingredients of the product and whether it would suit your skin type.Dr Rahul AroraLadies, Want to Age Well? Here Are Some Food Habits That Will HelpCleansingNow that you have been equipped with the knowledge of what to apply to your face, here’s a look at how to get rid of it all. If your skin is layered with serums and moisturisers, chances are pollution will as it is find it hard to get to it too deeply. However, it’s important to ensure your skin is clear of every last bit of grime from the day when you step back in.Dr Arora agrees and adds:Cleansing and exfoliating remove the dirt and toxins your skin has picked up throughout the day, while moisturising, will strengthen the skin barrier.A dirty skin means a fall in its self repair which would further aid ageing, yes, even in people in their 20s.Of the several cleansing products, the most common ones are, toners, rose water, cleansing milk and baby oil. While the first two are to be used after you wash your face, the first two are used before.Ageing and Importance of Bed Time RitualsIt is imperative to use this two-step method to clean your face before starting with the serum-cream lathering. Swear by it and make it your pre-bedtime ritual.A pre-bedtime routine might sound too much work, but it works like magic. Basic steps like cleaning and moisturising act as building blocks towards a healthy skin. Micellar water helps to remove dirt and clear pores of oil accumulation. This can be followed by a good face wash and moisturiser. Oily or acne prone skin also needs a good water based moisturizer.Dr Simal SoinMakeup Scare: Yes, yes, you may love your blush and highlighters and eye-shadows and liners, but if you are not removing them before bedtime, you’re not doing your skin any favours. Other than the usual clogging of pores, increasing chances of acne, rashes and allergies, not cleaning your skin deeply of all the residual grime would make it harder for your anti-ageing products to nourish it deeply. Clean your face before hitting the sack and your sheets and pillows will thank you for it.