In my teenage years, I was pretty blessed skin-wise. Aside from the occasional breakout, my skin was generally clear and bright. The only consistent step in my routine was step one—wash face. And if I’m being honest, sometimes I didn’t even do that! (Don’t judge young me.) Then college happened, and I experienced my first bout of acne, along with some other unexpected skin changes that caught me totally off guard. Suddenly, my skin was more reactive to changing weather, I started to see under-eye bags, and was even afflicted with some hyperpigmentation. For the first time, I had to figure out an actual skincare routine that worked for me.
Things leveled out for a while, but just when I thought I’d gotten things totally figured out, my late twenties hit, and, again, my skin changed. Seemingly overnight, it was dryer, I was seeing the formation of fine lines, and my skin was just dull. Thankfully, I knew the drill this time around and since then, I’ve nailed down a skincare routine that’s kept my skin clear and glowy as I’ve crossed over into my 30s. I’m laying it all out ahead, so keep scrolling for some of the best products to try in your 30s.
As we age, we produce less collagen. In fact, a derm recently explained that production starts waning as early as age 22. While that might sound like a scary statistic, ingredients like retinol (or stronger retinoids) help to stimulate collagen production and cell turnover to keep the skin firmer longer. You’d be hard-pressed to find a skin expert who doesn’t recommend incorporating one into your routine if you’re in your 30s. Just make sure to follow directions for use—the stuff makes your skin more sensitive to the sun and, especially if you’re new to using retinol, you’ll want to start slow since it can cause some irritation.
While some would argue that toner is an unnecessary skincare product, personal experience has taught me that wearing makeup regularly, using sunscreen regularly (hello, that’d better be everyone!), and having oily or acne-prone skin are all great reasons to start using one, like, now. And don’t worry—formulation technology has caught up from yesteryear, so there are a ton of toners on the market that aren’t too harsh and won’t strip your skin and make it sad. Instead, you can reach for hydrating toners that soothe the skin while helping to purify it.
If you’re not wearing sunscreen, then what are you even doing? Experts agree that, particularly as we age, sunscreen is the number one product we can use to protect our skin and keep it living its best, healthiest life. The fact that it also helps to maintain a more youthful and vibrant dermis is just a bonus.
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