You’ve arrived, 30-somethings. It’s time to get serious about skin care. This is the decade where visible aging starts to take the form of fine lines and dark spots. Your skin may also be feeling sluggish as cell turnover slows, resulting in dullness and dark circles. However, it's never too late to get with the (prevention) program. Your routine should no longer only consist of the basics — cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. Load up now on sun protection and antioxidants, as well as some powerful anti-agers, and your skin will thank you later.
Priority no. one: Get rid of any harsh, foaming acne cleansers (even if your skin is still prone to breakouts). They tend to be too drying and stripping, which is less than ideal when it comes to preventing aging skin. Instead, opt for a gentle and sulfate-free face wash.
LIFTLAB Purify + Clarify: Daily Cleanser & Detox Mask ($65 in the shop) effectively removes oil and makeup, gently exfoliates skin with enzymes and deeply hydrates with olive oil-sourced Olivem 300. Also nice? As the name implies, it can be used as a weekly mask to boost results.
If you regularly use a toner, try Dr. Dennis Gross All-in-One Cleanser with Toner ($30 in the shop). It is designed to leave skin feeling fresh, balanced and supple, but never overly dry. Toning witch hazel water works with conditioning agents such as jojoba, sunflower seed and grape seed oils and oat amino acids for a smoothed and hydrated complexion.
Starting in your 30s, cell turnover and the metabolism of your cells will begin to slow down. The pileup of dead cells and debris can lead to clogged pores, dullness and accentuated fine lines. Twice-weekly exfoliation with alpha or beta hydroxy acids will give you a brighter complexion, refine your skin tone and help close enlarged pores. Mild chemical exfoliation also normalizes the skin’s moisture barrier so it’s better able to hold water.
La Vie Celeste Restorative Exfoliating Gel Mask ($60 in the shop) uses a 5 percent pure glycolic acid concentration, along with soothing aloe, bearberry and chamomile. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Medi–Spa Peel ($110 in the shop) is packed with 15 rejuvenating acids to refine skin texture and tone. Just be careful not to overdo it — once a week is plenty with this stuff — as you can damage your skin’s barrier.
As we age, our skin’s moisture levels begin to decline. Daily moisturizing is a must no matter your skin type — let us remind you that the production of oil is different than the skin’s water content. There are few things you want your moisturizer to contain: humectants like hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate and glycerin will help draw in and trap moisture; emollients — which can be fluid or thick in texture — and plant oils will thwart water loss and protect the skin barrier.
If your skin is normal, try Skin 2 Skin 24/7 Rejuvenation Cream ($109 in the shop); it is your all-in-one moisturizer with added anti-aging actives like peptides and plant stem cells. Dr. Dennis Gross Hydra Pure Intense Moisture Cream ($125 in the shop) with humectants and essential oils is choice for drier skin types. If yours is oily, go for Your Best Face Boost ($65 in the shop), a lightweight moisturizer that's formulated to clarify the complexion, tighten and tone skin, prevent excess oiliness and discourage blemishes.
Protecting your skin from sun damage is non-negotiable. Hopefully you’ve been diligent with sunscreen use, but now’s the time to step up your sun smarts as thirtysomethings are more susceptible to pigmentation and fine lines. The best approach includes both SPF and antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals —borne of environmental aggressors like sunlight, pollution, heat — shown to injure collagen and activate pigment. Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, ferulic acid and spin trap (which has the superpower ability to intercept free radicals before any damage is done) can help protect and repair the skin throughout the day.
We like AO Skincare Protect with SPF 30 ($59 .95 in the shop), a silky — never chalky — cream that features the abovementioned antioxidants and the slightly less known astaxanthin. Another Truth In Aging favorite is Prana SpaCeuticals Purifying Day Lotion SPF 30 ($38 in the shop); it leaves an invisible, matte shield that is ideal for oilier skin types. Suntegrity 5-in-1 Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen ($45 in the shop) is a tinted cream that provides natural coverage and a radiant glow.
Content with your current sunscreen? Apply a serum, like Your Best Face Antioxidants Concentrate ($65 in the shop), before layering on your block.
Don't stop there! Here are a few more steps you can take for a smooth, glowing complexion.
Get ahead of lines and wrinkles
Start supporting your collagen cells now for major payoff later. Two or three nights a week, apply a gentle low-dose retinol treatment to stimulate collagen production and cell turnover and slow down signs of aging. Try Prana Reverse A ($45 in the shop) with soothing aloe vera, chamomile and sage to offset irritation.
Is your glow a no show? Sadly, dullness becomes increasingly common at this age. Consider applying a concentrated brightening serum with plant-based arbutin, kojic acid, vitamin C, licorice or soy. Try Stemulation Hi Impact Serum ($185 in the shop) or Sevani Advanced Complexion Corrector ($39 in the shop).
Keep an eye on your eyes
Because the eyes are the usually the first area to show signs of aging, focus on strengthening this thin skin. Go for a multi-tasking cream with plumping peptides, hydrating hyaluronic acid, dark circle diminishing caffeine and protecting antioxidants. Volante Skincare Transformative Eye Crème ($75 in the shop) is specially formulated to fight the signs of aging that first appear around the eyes. Lightweight yet just as effective is Expurtise Effective Anti-Aging Eye Serum ($65 in the shop).
Control hormonal breakouts
Blemishes, specifically hormonal cysts, can still be common for women in their 30s — so not fair! Spot treat with salicylic acid; it unplugs pores while reducing swelling and redness. Or, if your skin can tolerate it, try bacteria-killing benzoyl peroxide. Also beneficial: Blue light therapy. The rays have been shown to penetrate follicles and kill off the bacteria responsible for acne. Give it go at home with the Truth Vitality Lux Renew ($279 in the shop).