By Lane Moore
1. Your bones are still getting strong as hell. According to Maria Sophocles, M.D., "Bone strength continues to increase in your 20s, much as a savings account continues to grow with regular deposits. Right now is a great time to eat a diet with adequate calcium and vitamin D, and to get into a pattern of regular weight-bearing exercise, both of which will stimulate growth of bone cells. Once you hit menopause, you'll lose bone mass faster, but if you're making deposits now, there will a good amount of bone mass stored up."
2. Your weight will probably go up a little bit every year and it's totally normal. "Weight normally continues to increase annually in your 20s, mostly due to increase in body fat compared to teen years. Still, it's important to keep in mind that a normal weight is to have a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9," Dr. Sophocles says. So as long as your weight is just going up tiny amounts yearly, it's totally normal.
3. Your skin is remembering every single thing you do to it. Just because you've finally stopped breaking out like you did in your teens doesn't mean your skin is healthy now. "Skin exposure to the sun's rays early in life can have cumulative and dangerous effects later in life. Skin in the 20s is still very forgiving but the skin 'remembers' the sins of its youth. Those glowing summer tans of our 20s become the wrinkles of our 40s and the sunspots of our 60s, so think ahead! It is great to get a compliment on a good tan at 20, but even better to have smooth youthful skin at midlife," Dr. Sophocles says.
4. Your periods finally get less random and unpredictable. Karen Boyle, M.D., says that by the time a woman is in her 20s, her periods become more regular if they weren't before because women are at their peak fertility potential, even if having kids is the last thing you want to do right now.
5. You might have more acne than you did as a teenager. Dr. Boyle says that in your 20s, you'll start having a surge in estrogen and progesterone around your menstrual cycle, which could cause acne. She says another possible reason for acne is that women in their 20s wear more makeup and aren't always being vigilant about skincare, which definitely doesn't help matters. Yet another reason to take off your makeup before bed because duh, you know you should so just do it.
6. Your desire to bone spikes like whoa. Unless you're on the pill, which could absolutely affect your sex drive, Dr. Boyle says your desire to have sex all the time will be incredibly high right now (like you didn't know this), so that's fun.
7. You can already start experiencing gradual muscle and bone loss. Your metabolism in your 20s is still really solid but according to Dr. Boyle, your metabolic rate starts going down 2 to 4 percent per decade starting in your 20s. Plus, by the time you hit your 30s, you can already start experiencing gradual muscle and bone loss. So staying active and starting weight-training in your 20s will definitely help when everything basically goes to hell in your 30s (JK, I'm sure your 30s are fine.)
8. Your menstrual cramps get especially torturous now. Even if you thought your teen years were hell period-wise, you'll now find out that you had no idea what true period cramp hell was. Dr. Boyle says that because the hormone prostaglandin is at its highest level of production in your 20s, your cramps are no longer screwing around with those monstrous pain levels. So now when you're dyyyyying on those days, you're actually not joking at all.
9. Your nipples might start looking super different than they used to. It doesn't necessarily happen to everyone, but Dr. Boyle says in your 20s, your areolae can start looking larger and darker than it did before, which is totally normal.
10. Your vulva might lose weight and become slimmer. Dr. Boyle says that in your 20s, you start to lose weight exactly where you always hoped you would (this is a joke): in your vulva. "A woman's fat distribution changes in her 20s, so you may notice your labia major or 'outer lips' and the opening of your vagina can lose fat and look slimmer." Still, your ability to self-lubricate is on point and your vaginal muscles are still very strong, but it's important to note.
11. You might get a little curvier. Dr. Boyle says that for the most part, regardless of diet and exercise, most women are pretty slim in their teens and 20s, but as you get older, you might carry weight in places you never did previously. "You might notice an increase in fat distribution in your hips, thighs, and bust region. This is due to metabolic changes, weight gain, and hormonal changes." Aka being in your 20s is a nonstop physical and emotional thrill ride. Are we having fun yet?
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Lane Moore is an award-winning comedian, actor, writer, and musician based in New York City. Her first book, How To Be Alone: If You Want To And Even If You Don’t became a #1 bestseller and was praised as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, New York Magazine, NPR, Good Morning America, Fast Company, Marie Claire, and many others. Moore also gave a TEDx Talk based on the book, called How To Be Alone. Her comedy show “Tinder Live!” is regarded as one of the best comedy shows in New York City and has been praised by The New York Times, Entertainment Tonight, CBS, Time Out New York, and New York Magazine. She has a monthly sold-out residency in NYC, and also tours rock venues and colleges worldwide. As an actor, Moore plays Kelsey on HBO’s Search Party, and has a recurring role on Rooster Teeth’s What Do You Know? and had a memorable role on season 5 of HBO’s Girls. She also frequently appears on Comedy Central, VH1, MTV, truTV, and IFC shows. As a musician, Moore is the front person and songwriter in the band “It Was Romance.” In her time as the the Sex and Relationships Editor at Cosmopolitan, she won a GLAAD award for her groundbreaking work championing diverse, inclusive coverage. Moore also hosts the live streaming comedy show How To Be Alone on Twitch, which she calls “PeeWee’s Playhouse for lonely adults.”
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