7 Crucial Things You Should Be Doing for Your Skin By the Time You’re 30

You’ll thank us later.

If your skincare regimen could be described as “carefree” in your 20s, you may need to be a little more high maintenance once you hit your 30s, experts say. “Estrogen levels are continuing to decrease at this age, which may contribute to dry skin, and even acne-prone skin for many women,” says New York-based dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, MD. In addition to unexpected breakouts (thanks, stress and hormones!), you’ll also want to use protective products that help repair existing damage and prevent future signs of aging, such as fine lines and dark spots. Here, a few smart skincare steps dermatologists recommend.

1 Wear sunscreen every single day
You’ve heard it time and time again, but seriously: It’s critical to wear sunscreen every day and use commonsense measures (think wide-brimmed hats, no tanning beds) to avoid excess sun exposure. “There is no such thing as a healthy tan when it comes to the cosmetically undesirable long-term consequences—wrinkles, brown spots, broken blood vessels, just to name a few,” says Mary Gail Mercurio, MD, a professor of dermatology and obstetrics and gynecology at University of Rochester Medical Center. With so many options these days—lotions, sprays, even powders—not liking how sunscreen feels is no longer an excuse to not wear it. Dr. Mercurio suggests one that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, such as this one from SPF brand Elta MD.

2 Invest in a serum with antioxidants
There are tons of serums out there, but make sure yours is packed with good-for-skin antioxidants. “I recommend all women use a serum that contains antioxidants that can neutralize free-radical damage, such as vitamin C and E,” says Dr. Nazarian. The reason: Antioxidants help protect collagen from the degrading properties of the sun, pollution, and aging. We like SkinCeuticals’ C E Ferulic Antioxidant Serum; it’s pricey, but has a cult following for a reason.

3 Hyaluronic acid is your BFF
Although we may associate the word acid with harsh, hyaluronic acid is anything but. Instead of exfoliating skin, it acts as a super moisturizer: applied topically, the ingredient helps increase hydration, improve elasticity, and reverse free radical damage (all the yes) to keep skin plump, hydrated, and young-looking. Debra Jaliman, MD, a dermatologist based in New York City, recommends Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream, because not only does it have this key ingredient which helps to make fine lines less noticeable, but it’s also packed with niacinamide, which helps even out skin tone and improve the appearance of enlarged pores.

4 Get familiar with retinol
Francesca Fusco, MD, a New York-based dermatologist at Wexler Derm, tells Health that skincare products with retinoids stimulate collagen, which means increased skin strength, reduced wrinkles and pigmentation, and improved texture. Dr. Fusco likes First Aid Beauty Retinol Serum as a wallet-friendly option. Willing to splurge? She also loves the pricier 111 Skin Celestial Black Diamond Retinol Oil.

5 Find a gentle cleanser
As you approach 30, it’s important to take cleansing seriously (read: remove your makeup before bed), but it’s not necessary to break the bank to do so. New York-based dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, says to stick to a mild, non-soap cleanser so your skin barrier stays healthy and intact. “Soap and harsh cleansers strip the barrier leaving the skin more readily inflamed and irritated,” she explains. Dr. Gohara likes Dove Beauty Bar as an affordable place to start, and purchasing a multi-pack will even help you save a few dollars.

6 It’s not just about your face
We cannot stress this enough, but start early with a good neck cream. We like Lavido’s Renewal Neck Cream, which is rich in essential oils and hyaluronic acid to plump skin and reduce wrinkles. Plus, the cream combines pomegranate seed, rose hip, and citrus, so it smells delicious.

7 Think outside your medicine cabinet
In addition to a good skincare regimen, many of our experts recommend mild in-office procedures like microdermabrasion, chemical peels, microneedling, and hydra-facials, which help enhance exfoliation and increase collagen growth. Speak to your dermatologist about your own individual needs based on your skin. July 2018

Article by Susan Brickell

Image by Getty Images