Help! I’m In My 20s And I Have Wrinkles Already. What Can I Do Besides Botox?

Wrinkles are never a pleasant surprise, but dealing with them in your 20s can be especially disheartening.

By Simone Sydel5 min read
Pexels/Anna Shvets

Their unwanted appearance may make you feel like you’ve aged overnight, and it will certainly make you wonder what you could have possibly done to prevent them. First, it's important to understand that wrinkles are a part of the natural aging process, so nobody's immune to them. As we get older, our skin produces less collagen and elastin, which are the proteins responsible for keeping our skin plump and elastic, and this leads to the formation of wrinkles. Additionally, our lifestyle habits, beauty routines, and even our sleeping positions can all contribute to the development of wrinkles.

While you may think that Botox is the only option for dealing with wrinkles, there are actually a number of things you can do to reverse the skin damage that has led to their appearance and prevent them from getting worse without resorting to injectables.

Here are our best tips for how to get rid of wrinkles in your 20s:

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Lifestyle Changes

First things first: When it comes to slowing down the process of aging, consider cutting out some lifestyle habits that might not be doing your skin a favor.

Drinking Alcohol

You may enjoy unwinding with a glass of wine or two at the end of a long day, but alcohol can actually be a significant contributor to wrinkles. Not only does it dehydrate the skin, making wrinkles appear more prominent in the process, but it also causes inflammation, which can break down collagen and elastin fibers. So, if you want to keep wrinkles at bay, it’s best to limit your alcohol intake or cut it out completely.


Smoking is another primary culprit when it comes to premature wrinkles, as inhaling the harmful chemicals leads to increased production of an enzyme that breaks down collagen and reduces your skin's elasticity, making it look more aged, saggy, and wrinkled.

But besides aging your skin from the inside, smokers also have characteristic skin wrinkling patterns, including lines around the mouth from pouting when smoking a cigarette and crow's feet from squinting to keep the smoke out of their eyes. Therefore, if you want to prevent wrinkles, alongside minimizing your risk of developing deadly diseases, you should definitely consider quitting.

Eating Inflammatory Foods

Food fried in inflammatory oils or loaded with sugar releases free radicals that can cause cellular damage to the skin. Exposure to this type of free radicals accelerates the aging process due to an action called cross-linking. Cross-linking affects DNA molecules and can weaken skin elasticity, resulting in sagging skin and the formation of wrinkles.

Sleeping Positions

How you sleep at night can also have an impact on the formation of wrinkles, as certain positions put unnecessary stress on your skin. For instance, sleeping on your stomach or side can cause your face to press against the pillow, leading to the formation of wrinkles on your forehead and around your eyes. To prevent this, try sleeping on your back, which allows your skin to rest evenly and prevents creases from forming. You can also consider investing in a good silk pillowcase, as this will reduce friction and prevent your skin from creasing while you sleep.

Product To Try: Slip – Pure Silk Pillowcase, $89

Sleeping on your back allows your skin to rest evenly and prevents creases from forming. 


While laying in the sun and getting a golden glow is therapeutic and may make you feel more confident, the sun's harmful UV rays can cause a lot of damage to your skin. This happens because the UV rays trigger the melanocytes (tan-producing cells) in your skin to produce more melanin, which gives you natural protection from the sun in the form of a tan. But melanocytes are also a part of our body's defense mechanism, so when those cells start to produce melanin, it's basically their way of communicating that you should pack up and go inside for the day.

Excessive tanning leads to dry, dehydrated, and saggy skin because the UV rays have a direct role in causing the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers, leading to a loss of skin elasticity and the formation of wrinkles. There is also strong evidence suggesting that excessive exposure to UV rays, both UVA and UVB, can cause skin cancer. UV radiation may promote skin cancer in two different ways: by damaging the DNA in skin cells, causing the skin to grow abnormally, and by developing benign or malignant growths.

Anti-Aging Skincare Products

Next in line after eliminating some damaging lifestyle habits are good skincare practices and products that can help reverse existing wrinkles and delay the appearance of new ones down the line.


Retinol is a vitamin A compound that's available in both over-the-counter and prescription forms and is one of the best anti-aging products you can introduce into your skincare routine in your 20s. This vitamin A derivative works by increasing cell turnover, which helps to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles after as little as 6-8 weeks of use.

Product To Try: L'Oréal – Revitalift Night Serum, $40

Exfoliating Acids

Besides retinol, another great anti-aging skincare ingredient to look for in your 20s is exfoliating acids, such as glycolic and lactic acid. These acids work by dissolving the bonds that hold dead skin cells together, revealing the brighter, smoother skin underneath. Exfoliating acids also help increase cellular turnover and stimulate collagen production, which will help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Product To Try: Paula's Choice – RESIST Advanced Smoothing Treatment 10 AHA, $38


Moisturizers that contain ceramides are also great for keeping your skin hydrated and plump, as they help replenish the natural ceramides that are lost due to aging and environmental stressors. Ceramides are lipid molecules that are found in between our skin cells, and they help keep the skin moisturized and plump by forming a barrier that prevents water loss. This leads to more hydrated skin and improvement in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Product To Try: SkinCeuticals – Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2, $136

Ceramides keep the skin moisturized and plump by forming a barrier that prevents water loss.

Silicone Patches

While they may not be the most glamorous skincare product, silicone patches are a great way to target specific areas on your face that are prone to wrinkles, such as the forehead, crow's feet, and laugh lines. These patches work by sticking to the skin and creating a barrier that prevents the skin from creasing, which leads to deeper wrinkles. They are also a great option to use while you're sleeping when you don't have control over how much your skin creases.

Product To Try: SiO Beauty – Face Lift Pack, $55

Professional Treatments

Botox may be the most popular wrinkle-erasing treatment, but it's not the only one. If you're looking for a more long-term solution, there are some professional treatments that can help you maintain youthful-looking skin well into your 30s, 40s, and beyond.

Lymphatic Drainage Massage

A lymphatic drainage massage is one of the best professional treatments you can get in your 20s to help with wrinkles. This type of massage helps to stimulate the lymphatic system, which is responsible for draining away toxins and excess fluids from the tissues. Lymphatic drainage massage can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by reducing the inflammation and swelling that causes their formation. It's also an excellent treatment for helping to de-puff the face and relieve any tension headaches.

It can be performed at home using tools such as Gua Sha or silicone cups, but doing it in a salon with a professional lymphatic drainage machine will give you the best results.

Product To Try: Wildling Beauty – Empress Collection, $129

Chemical Peels

Another great professional treatment for reducing wrinkles is a chemical peel. Chemical peels work by exfoliating the top layer of skin, which helps improve the overall complexion by evening out the skin tone, smoothing out texture, and decreasing the depth of wrinkles.

Chemical peels exfoliate the top layer of skin, decreasing the depth of wrinkles.

Chemical peels are exclusively done by estheticians and dermatologists, and are recommended to be done every 4-6 weeks during wintertime to prevent potential UV damage through sun exposure.


Microneedling, or collagen-induction therapy, is another excellent professional treatment for wrinkles, as it helps to stimulate collagen production from the deeper layers of the skin. Microneedling is a treatment that involves using a pen-like tool with tiny needles that prick the skin and create micro-injuries. This leads to reduced wrinkle depth as well as smoother texture as the skin will naturally work to repair the micro-damage by overproducing collagen to fill out the area.

Laser Resurfacing

Laser resurfacing is a more invasive treatment that can be done to help improve the appearance of wrinkles, but it's generally recommended for those who have deeper wrinkles that can't be helped with other methods.

Laser resurfacing works by using a laser beam to quite literally vaporize the skin's top layer, which helps smooth out the surface and improve the overall complexion. However, the downside of this treatment, although very effective, is that it can be painful and requires some downtime for the skin to heal properly.


Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that's been used for centuries to help with various ailments, including musculoskeletal problems (back pain, neck pain, and others), nausea, migraine headache, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and even infertility. However, it's recently gained popularity as a natural treatment for wrinkles.

Although the results of acupuncture for wrinkles are promising yet limited, this treatment works by stimulating the pressure points on the face, which is thought to increase circulation and promote collagen production. Some studies have shown that acupuncture can also help improve facial elasticity and skin hydration, both of which can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Due to all the benefits of acupuncture, it might be worth considering if you're looking for a more holistic approach to anti-aging.

Closing Thoughts

As you can see, there are a number of different options available to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, both professional and at-home treatments. But, the most important thing to remember is that prevention is key. So, make sure to invest in a good skincare routine that includes products with anti-aging properties such as retinol, exfoliating acids, and barrier-repairing ceramides. Additionally, you should also consider getting a professional treatment every few months, as this will only help your products work better and your skin look plumper, glowier, and healthier.

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