Remember your life as a twenty-something? Whether it was gorging on pizza without care because your metabolism was going to take care of it or washing your face and slathering some moisturizer to complete your skincare routine — everything felt a lot easier.
But as soon as you hit your 30s, life changed completely. Apart from discovering that you always seem to be nursing an unexplained back pain, you also started noticing that your skin is no longer as it used to be in your 20s.
That slight dullness has now been replaced by discoloration, and your old products no longer seem to work for your 30 plus skincare regime. But hey — all this is normal and expected because your skin changes with age. So how do you care for your skin in your 30s then?
This article tells you everything you need to know.
Do you need to change your skincare routine as you age?
The skin in your 20s is more resilient and can protect itself without too much intervention. But that ability withers away over time.
A lot of bodily processes, such as the production of essential hormones and protein necessary to keep your skin smooth, slow down. That’s why following the same routine for your 35-year-old skin that you were following in your 20s doesn’t help because the needs of your skin change.
You need to update your skincare routine with the right products to give your skin some extra support.
What happens to your skin once you hit your 30s and why does it happen?
As you age, various changes start taking place inside the body. While all body parts get affected, skin changes are often among the most visible signs.
Here are some common changes you may notice:
- Your face doesn’t look as youthful as it used to: With age, the production of collagen and elastin, proteins responsible for maintaining that plump appearance, reduces. Moreover, your ovaries also start producing less estrogen, causing you to lose volume from your cheekbones and jawline.
- Your skin seems irritated: Hormones such as estrogen and progesterone stimulate the oil glands to keep the skin from drying out. In your 30s, the production of these hormones slows down, leaving you with dry skin. Your skin also finds it difficult to retain moisture. Dry and dehydrated skin always results in itchiness and becomes irritated whenever there are any changes in external factors.
- Skin starts looking dull: Build-up of dead skin cells due to delayed cell turnover, dryness, sun damage, and poor lifestyle can all result in your once radiant-looking skin losing its glow.
- You experience a lot of dryness: The layers of your skin experience moisture loss due to a reduced rate of cell turnover. Moreover, as your hormones go out of whack, you can experience dry and rougher skin.
- Dark spots pop up out of nowhere: As cell turnover slows down, any type of scarring takes a long time to heal. Damage from exposure to the sun also accelerates hyperpigmentation and leaves you with dark spots.
- Hormonal acne is a common occurrence: Even if you enjoyed a pimple-free teenage and 20s, you might suddenly find yourself reaching for adult anti-acne products. 30s are notorious for changing hormonal levels, and discontinuing oral birth control pills or pregnancy can add to your woes and result in acne.
- You notice puffy under eyes and dark circles: The muscles and tissues around the eye weaken as you age. This causes the fat around the eye area to bulge out and give a baggy appearance. And as your skin starts thinning with age, the dark blood vessels under the skin become more prominent and darken the area around your eyes.
- A few fine lines here and there: Your skin starts losing elasticity due to decreased production of natural oils. This makes it difficult for the skin to spring back, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles.
How to take care of your 30s skin at home?
1 – Invest in the right kind of skincare
When it comes to skincare after 30, you need to be extra careful about the products you pick. Targeted products that address specific concerns of your skin can be a complete gamechanger.
Here are a few items you should consider:
- Cleanser: Cleansing is the first step of any skincare routine. Your skin cannot absorb any product unless it is adequately cleansed. Always pick a gentle cleanser that won’t dry out your skin and leave you with a ‘squeaky-clean’ feeling. Harsher cleansers can damage the moisture barrier and strip your skin of its natural oils. Your cleanser should also have a pH close to your skin’s natural level, which is between 4 to 6.
- Exfoliant: Exfoliation ensures that the dead skin cells are completely removed. If not, the skin can appear dull and break out due to clogged pores. Depending on your skin type, you can choose a chemical or a physical exfoliant. But make sure it is gentle enough to be used a couple of times every week.
- Alcohol-free toner: If you are using a cleanser with the right pH, toning is an optional step as the primary job of a toner is to restore the pH balance. If you are getting a toner, make sure it is alcohol-free as they are much more gentle on the skin and help balance the pH with ease.
- Sunscreen: Applying sunscreen with high SPF is recommended regardless of your age, but it is non-negotiable for a 30 plus skincare routine. Liberal application of sunscreen can protect your skin from UV damage and skin conditions such as melanoma. Always pick a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30+ or higher. If you are outdoors, reapply sunscreen every two hours. But if you are taking part in activities like swimming or running that results in a lot of sweating, you need to apply sunscreen more often. If you are indoors, applying sunscreen once a day is enough. But if you sit close to windows or spend a lot of time on your screen, you run a higher risk of getting exposed to UV rays and blue light. If that’s the case, you may be better off reapplying sunscreen every 5 to 6 hours.
- Eye cream: Since the skin around your eyes is a lot thinner than the skin elsewhere, always pick a product specially formulated to be applied around the eyelid. If your primary concern is dryness, invest in an eye cream with hyaluronic acid for added hydration. If you are struggling with patchiness in the under-eye area, get one with vitamin C.
- Anti-aging serums: Dermatologists recommend adding an anti-aging serum for after 30 skincare routines as they are the best way to deliver highly concentrated active ingredients right into your skin. Always look for serums with ingredients such as retinol or niacinamide. Retinol, in particular, is a boon for 35-year-old skin for addressing fine lines, building collagen, improving skin texture, and fighting acne. Niacinamide is great for minimizing the appearance of acne scars and hyperpigmentation.
- Moisturizer: A slower skin turnover rate impacts the skin’s moisture barrier and leaves the top layer of the skin dehydrated. Invest in a gel-based moisturizer if you have oily skin and want to keep your face shine-free. For drier skin, a thick cream-based moisturizer is a better option. Look for moisturizers with hyaluronic acid as it can help your skin looking plump
2 – Be gentle on your skin
Skin is a very delicate organ. Treating it too harshly is a strict no-no.
Always look at the ingredient list before you add products to your cart. If you are trying out new bath and body products, pick non-comedogenic and dermatologist-approved ones as they are gentler on your skin.
Opting for skincare products with natural ingredients is also a good way to keep the harsh chemicals off your shelf. Whenever you wash your face or body, always pat dry your skin using a microfiber towel. Wiping or rubbing the skin too hard can irritate it and deplete moisture levels.
It is also a good idea to apply skincare products while it is still damp to lock in that moisture.
3 – Take your makeup off before bed
Do you love putting on makeup every day? Then make sure to take off every last bit before you hit the sack.
When trapped underneath your skin, makeup can break down the skin barrier and result in oxidative damage. This can also age your skin prematurely as natural skin repair processes slow down when you skip regular cleansing.
If you only use foundation and blush, your regular cleanser should be enough to remove makeup. But if you use more products, go for an oil-based makeup remover. Leave the makeup wipes for lazy days but toss those alcoholic wipes as they can dry out your skin completely.
4 – Pay attention to your lifestyle
Skincare after 30 is deeply connected to lifestyle choices. Making shifts in your lifestyle can go a long way in preserving your radiance. Here are some of the things you can do:
- Workout regularly: Exercise is the best way to care for your skin from within. Regular workouts improve blood flow in your body and increase oxygen supply to preserve skin elasticity. It can also decrease elevated hormones that can damage your skin adversely.
- Hydrate well: Water is important for preserving skin elasticity and maintaining a healthy glow from within. As you age, your body finds it challenging to retain water. So drink at least six to eight glasses of water daily.
- Consume a healthy diet: You need to get your fill of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids to pump up your skin’s collagen production. Nuts, fatty fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean protein are some great additions to your diet.
- Sleep well: Make sure to clock in 7-8 hours of restorative sleep as a lot of vital repair work takes place while you are asleep.
- Keep stress levels in check: A sudden outbreak of acne, increased dryness, bags under your eyes are often a result of chronic stress. Engage in a relaxing activity to wind down and manage your stress.
- Cut down on smoking and drinking: Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes narrow the blood vessels and reduce oxygen supply to skin cells, resulting in premature aging. Alcohol increases inflammation that reduces collagen production and leads to facial redness. So it’s best to reduce consumption or eliminate them completely.
Here’s the bottom line — when it comes to beauty tips for 30 plus, no miracle product can stop aging. But by updating your skincare regime, adding the right products to your personal care kit, and making a few simple adjustments to your lifestyle, you can keep your skin from aging faster than it needs to.