Your thirties can often be accompanied by major milestones like marriage, kids, and career advancement, but are you aware that your skin changes tremendously during this decade as well? Often it is easy to look back at our youth and exclaim, “if only we knew x, y and z!"
But we shouldn’t let that discourage us from taking full advantage of our current stage in life. Our skin care routine will definitely transition as we age, and I have found that the most change occurs in our 30s.
With so many of us dealing with little sleep thanks to young children, hormonal changes, and skin that just doesn’t recover quite like it did in our 20s, our 30s are the perfect time to get into a groove with a healthy skincare routine. Below is a guide to help you evaluate if your routine is ticking off all the boxes as you hit 30.
These Are The 9 Best Skin Habits for Your 30s
1. Get consistent with cleansing
Never skip washing your face before bed. Gone are the days where you could catch some zzz's with a face full of makeup and not pay for it the next day. Makeup can easily clog pores, which leads to a dull complexion and even acne.
Keeping the chemicals from makeup on your skin at night also slows down the skin’s ability to naturally renew and repair itself from the daytime insults. Hydrating natural facial cleansers that won’t strip the skin of healthy oils are ideal, like Bioelements Flash Foam Cleanser, which gently exfoliates as it cleanses.
2. Fight sun damage with vitamin C
Pigmentation and sun damage begin to surface in your 30s. Incorporate a good vitamin C serum into your daily morning routine to help counteract and fight free radicals from the environment.
Vitamin C works as a backup to protect your cells not only from UV radiation that gets through your sunscreen, but also the many other free radicals produced from stress, pollution, environmental toxins, and metabolic processes [source].
3. And with sunscreen
In our 30s we are often confronted with the sun damage of our past. And while we may start to incorporate products that combat pigmentation and sunspots, we need to be doubly careful about sun exposure in the present. Sunscreen is no longer an option but a requirement at this stage of life!
The vitamin C, retinol, and alpha hydroxy acids that are in so many of our skincare products can make us prone to sun sensitivity and sun damage if we are not using adequate sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses. It would be a waste of money and effort to undo all of your hard work in fighting pigmentation by laying out in the sun or being inconsistent with sunscreen.
Read our guide to healthier sunscreens—and find out which ingredients to avoid. Safe sunscreens to purchase: Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer SPF 30, Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40, or Glowscreen Sunscreen.
4. Hydrate inside + out
As we age, skin becomes drier and less supple, so moisturizing becomes the name of the game. Never skip this step!
Hydration isn't just an external step to adopt because hydrating internally by drinking water is just as important for healthy skin. Water helps circulate nutrients throughout the body, flush out toxins, and hydrate skin cells.
First thing in the morning, drink a tall glass of water—at least 6–8 ounces before you even get out of bed. An easy rule of thumb for water consumption is to drink half your weight in ounces each day [source].
5. Add an eye cream
It is never too late to start using an eye cream, but I feel in your 30s it is the best time to create this nightly habit. The eye area is the first area to age due to the lack of oil glands and the delicate skin found here. Apply a hydrating or anti-aging eye cream to the orbital rim of the eye nightly.
Apply a hydrating or anti-aging eye cream to the eye area nightly. Eminence Bearberry Repair Eye Cream is a personal favorite, as well as this Tula Skincare Glow & Get It Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm.
6. Exfoliate with AHAs
Alpha hydroxy acids are wonderful to incorporate into your skin cycling routine to help rapidly exfoliate dead skin cells. As we age, our skin does not shed dead skin cells as regularly as it did in our youth. Retinols and alpha-hydroxy acids fill this need, making it the most impactful step to add to any skincare routine, especially in your 30s [source]
AHAs help this process by breaking down the bonds holding dead skin cells together, revealing fresh skin cells beneath, and aiding in product absorption. Whether using a nightly serum with alpha hydroxy acids, or a mask a few times a week, find a glycolic, lactic, or similar fruit acid to deal with uneven complexion and cell turnover.
7. Take your beauty sleep seriously
During sleep, skin repairs itself, but our products aren't solely responsible for recovery and regeneration. The amount of time we are actually sleeping is crucial.
Our body’s blood circulation is boosted during sleep, bringing nutrients and oxygen to skin cells. Repairs during the night happen all over the body, including the skin.
When we don’t sleep enough, cortisol levels can rise, and our skin becomes inflamed and stressed. Puffy eyes, sullen complexion, and dull skin are usually signs of not enough sleep. Eight hours is the recommended amount of sleep for most adults.
Invest in a good satin or silk pillowcase. The hype is true: it will diminish the appearance of fine lines, smooth hair and will absorb less moisture from your skin than a cotton pillowcase.
8. Adult acne? Check your ingredients
If adult acne is something you are struggling with in this decade, it might be time to inspect your makeup and skincare products for any ingredients that may be clogging pores or contributing to breakouts [source]. Search labels for comedogenic (clogging) ingredients, and clear these products from your shelves if you are battling acne.
These would include: acetylated lanolin, butyl stearate, carrageenan, cetyl acetate, cocoa butter, hydrogenated vegetable oil, octyl stearate, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, and soybean oil, to name a few [source]. In the future, you can look for the word “noncomedogenic” on the label to make sure you are getting a product without those culprits.
9. Change with the season
Just as you wouldn’t wear sunscreen before going to bed, you wouldn’t wear a light summer moisturizer in the dead of winter. Each season examine your skin care regimen and change out serums and moisturizers to meet current needs.
A good skincare routine in our 30s can make even more of a difference as we enter our 40s, so if you don't have one yet, the time to start is now!
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Rina Mary Allawh, M.D., a dermatologist who performs adult and pediatric medical dermatology, skin cancer treatment and cosmetic dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow's medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.196