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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.
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.
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 in the shop) 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.
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.
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