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A Beauty Regimen for 30-Somethings

beauty regimen for 30-somethings
October 16, 2014 Reviewed by Marta 8 Comments

Test. Maintaining your skin's radiance becomes more challenging as your fourth decade advances. It is in your 30s that your skin starts to look a little gray and washed out. You might not be seeing any wrinkles yet, you may not even be a smoker, but your skin is looking as if you woke up in post-volcanic Pompeii and you are covered in a thin film of ash. A specific skin care regimen is required to keep your 30-something skin looking refreshed and glowing.

Use a Weekly Mask

The first essential is a weekly, gentle exfoliating mask that will give you a brighter complexion, refine your skin tone and help close enlarged pores. La Vie Celeste Restorative Exfoliating Gel Mask ($60 in the shop) it has mostly natural ingredients and a 5% glycolic concentration that is just enough to give you a glow. Another good one is Kat Burki Hibiscus Antioxidant Face Mask ($78), which contains glycolic and lactic acids to polish the skin as well as hibiscus to act as a natural exfoliant.

Cleanse Daily

As far a daily essential 30-something regimen goes, the best possible cleanser is a must. La Vie Celeste  Exfoliating Mother of Pearl Cleanser ($40) is uniquely formulated with pink and white clays and is a lovely companion to the LVC mask mentioned above. For those that prefer a creamy cleanser, Red Flower Lymphatic Phytopower Sea Cleanser and Masque ($42 in the shop) is calming and will not clog pores whether left on for a few moments in mask mode or immediately rinsed away. Some really nice ingredients include juniper and antioxidant mushroom. Those with especially oily skin could investigate Sevani Ageless Radiance Refining AHA Cleanser ($39 in the shop), which also multitasks as makeup remover, mask and cleanser.

Do You Need a Serum?

Now, whether a 30-something should go for a serum really depends on an objective (not paranoid) assessment of their skin. If you don’t have wrinkles then there is nothing to repair, so something like AQ Skin Solutions Active Serum or ReLuma Skin Illuminating Serum with repairing stem cell cytokines is probably a waste of money. A few fine lines, however, are a good signal to start getting serious about prevention; antioxidants that prevent free radical damage are going to be a great investment.

Arcona Peptide Hydrating Complex ($75) is a rare serum and moisturizer in one. For all its hydrating power, this is a fast-absorbing and non-greasy serum that keeps the skin feeling supple throughout the day or night. It has the power peptide Matrixyl 3000, a slew of hydrating ingredients and plant-derived antioxidants. Really, really dry skin seems to respond well to VOYA My Little Hero Face Serum ($102), with an antioxidant-rich blend of organic oils and VOYA's trademark seaweed extract to boost moisture levels in the skin. A turbo-charged (as in hydrates and may help prevent aging) is Snowberry Bright Defence Face Serum ($69). Its unique anti-glycation and anti-free radical formula — with ingredients that include kombuchka, vitamin C, ODA White and Chromabright — reduces discoloration, evens out skin tone and protects against cellular damage.

If that objective appraisal of your skin condition concludes that heavier guns are needed, then I would suggest Arcona Instant Magic Reversal Serum ($105) with the antioxidant milk thistle and skin brightening alpha arbutin. It will improve hyperpigmentation and hydrate and plump skin, while giving you a dose of the free radical scavenger, spin trap.

Start Using Eye Creams

I do think this is the time to start thinking about eye creams rather than hoping that one cream will do for everything. Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Active Moisture Vitamin E Eye Balm ($49 in the shop), with antioxidant pomegranate and raspberry as well as vitamin E, would be a good investment if lines are beginning to appear. If your outer eye area still reassembles itself after a hearty laugh, then you’ll be more than happy with the refreshing efforts of Sevani Ageless Eyes ($54 in the shop) or the highly popular Skinfinite LOL Eye Serum ($49 in the shop).

Note: This article was last updated on October 16, 2014

See also:

A Beauty Routine for 60-Somethings

An Uplifting Regimen for 50-Somethings

Beauty Essentials for 40-Somethings

  • November 27, 2016

    by Ashley

    Hi Marta - Would you make any changes to the product suggestions for 30's after seeing what came out in 2015 and 2016? Just wondering if there are updates.

  • May 19, 2013

    by Esther

    So I am kind of on the hunt for a good eyecream.... I already use one that I like, it lifts my eyes as if I have botox...but then I also noticed that my eye area is not moisturized....and looks a bit dry and crepey...
    I can see that YBF Refresh ha a good review...without having any retinol in it, am I correct? So what is the main ingredient that does the trick, if I may ask..
    Thank You

  • March 27, 2013

    by Marta

    Hi Michele, I did call out the Retrospect and the La Vie Celeste makes a good night cream. However, I personally feel that unless your skin is very dry a night cream isn't always necessary and its a good idea to give your skin a bit of a break. I didn't start using night creams until menopause hit just after I turned 50 (night creams will definitely be part of the 50-something regimen coming up next month.

  • March 27, 2013

    by Michele

    I see that you didn't list a separate night moisturizer here. Can you share your feelings about the necessity of a separate night product? Thanks!

  • March 5, 2013

    by Marta

    Hi Tiffany - yup, I know what that's like! Don't worry help is on its way (if not for eyesight, at least for counteracting gravity). I'll be doing the 40-something regimen in a couple of weeks.

  • March 4, 2013

    by tiffany newman

    Hi Will you ever do a similar post on over 40 skin? I woke up on my 40th realizing 1) It'snow difficult to see small print and 2) My skin is slowly moving downward. It's kinda scary to realize so much changed so quickly after decades of same/same. Help!

  • February 28, 2013

    by Marta

    Hi Meredith, everyone is a little different. I rarely need to moisturize as well as use a serum as my skin is a little on the oily side. If you have dry skin you may need both. And, of course, it is advisable to wear sunscreen as the last layer. There are very few products that would cancel each other out. It is advisable to use exfoliating products on their own and there are some ingredients that don't go together that you can read about here:
    For some ideas of moisturizers with anti-aging ingredients, check out the Five Best with moisturizers post - you might find a twofer that appeals:

  • February 28, 2013

    by Meredith Lee

    Thank you for this post. I am 35 and have been so confused about serums since they have become so popular lately. My question is related to serums and moisturizers and sunscreens. If I've noticed some lines and should probably be using a serum, is one expected to use all three together? How do I know if one cancels out the good effects of another or has no interactions?

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