Skincare in Your 30s: The 7 Most Important Habits to Establish

Skincare in Your 30s: The 7 Most Important Habits to Establish

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So you survived your 20s… Congratulations! Your 20s were a bit of a mess, and now that you're in your 30s, life is still a mess, but it's a different kind of mess. Especially for your skin.

"Your 30s are a time of… stress and hormonal swings that can wreak havoc on your skin," explains celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau. "The growth hormones start to slow down, so the skin won't repair itself as it did in your 20s; breakouts can often occur in the form of cystic acne." In your 30s, you might also be dealing with dark spots, acne scars, and fine expression lines that were never there before. "It's definitely time to take your skin seriously," says Rouleau. "The days of neglecting your skin are over."

But don't freak out-for every skincare concern that's likely to pop up in your 30s, there's an easy fix. We spoke with a handful of trusted experts who walked us through their bestВ advice forВ skincare in your 30s. So pour yourself a glass of wine, and keep scrolling for theВ seven most important habits to integrate into your skincareВ routine in your 30s.

Michela Buttignol/Byrdie

1. Use Makeup to Your Skin's Advantage

Laneige BB Cushion Hydra Radiance $38Shop

Many women avoid wearing makeup every day in order to let their skin "breathe," but according to Rouleau, makeup can actually help protect your skin.В "I like to educate my clients toВ think of makeup as a skincare product," she says. BecauseВ UV damage is the number one cause of premature aging and most people don't actually wear enough sunscreen to get the true protection, Rouleau recommends wearing foundation every day "as an insurance policy." In other words, that layer of makeup serves as an extra barrier between your skin and its "worst enemy-UV light."

If you're worried about daily foundation clogging your pores, don't be. "As long as you're using makeup that's appropriate for your skin type, you shouldn't run into any problems," says Rouleau.

For even more protection, choose a foundation with SPF built into the formula. We recommend Laneige or BareMinerals.

2. Don't Neglect Your Neck

Perricone MD Cold Plasma Plus+ Neck & Chest Broad Spectrum SPF 25 $89Shop

Estheticians agree that as you age, it becomes especially important to treat your neck and dГ©colletage. "These are more delicate areas that show signs of aging first," explains esthetician Joanna Czech ofВ Joanna Czech Dallas. "Your 'face' starts at your nipples and ends at your hairline."

And remember: Rubbing the leftover moisturizer from your face down to your neck isn't good enough. "While the intention is good, it's truly not helping that much in the quest for smooth, moist skin on the neck," says Rouleau. Instead, the neck deserves its own step in your skincare routine. "This means applying one application of moisturizer (with sunscreen during the day) to the face and then a second full application to the front and sides of the neck," says Rouleau. "This willВ ensure that the neck gets a proper coating of moisturizer and sunscreenВ to keep it looking soft, smooth, and damage-free."

We recommend using moisturizer specifically formulated for the neck, like the Perricone MD Cold Plasma Plus+ Neck & Chest Broad Spectrum SPF 25 ($89)В or SisleyВ Neck CreamВ ($180).

3. Make Eye Cream a Part of Your Routine

Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Eye Serum $85Shop

Rouleau explains the importance of eye cream like this: "Considering the eye area has virtually no oil glands and isВ the first area of the face to show aging from facial expressionsВ like squinting and smiling, protecting this area with a well-formulated eye cream is essential."

That doesn't mean you should slather eye cream all over your under-eye area, though. "Eye cream should be applied only to the orbital bone around the eyes, which is the bone just at the top of the cheekbone," says Rouleau.

If the product gets too close to your lash line, your lashes will lift microscopic amounts of product when you blink, which might get into your eyes, causing unnecessary irritation and puffiness.

For daily use, we recommend the Tatcha eye serum aboveВ or BotanicsВ All Bright Refreshing Eye Roll-OnВ ($14) for a more affordable option.

4. Trade Makeup Wipes for Proper Cleanser

RenГ©e Rouleau Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel $34Shop

In your early 20s, it was a good night if you remembered to take your makeup off at all; in your late 20s, you embraced the makeup-wipe life. But now it's time to get serious.

"Makeup wipes dehydrate and spread dirt and grime all over your face," explains Czech. Not to mention they don't actually do a good job of cleansing your skin. Instead, choose a gentle, sulfate-free cleansing lotion or gel like the RenГ©e Rouleau option above. Follow up by wiping the skin with a baby washcloth, making sure to switch out your cloth each time you wash to avoid bacteria. (You can get aВ 12-pack of clothsВ for $10 on Amazon.)

"Clean skin is healthy skin," Rouleau reminds us. "Be very meticulous about cleaning a day's worth of makeup, dirt, and bacteria from your skin so you'll get the best results from serums and moisturizers applied afterward."

5. Start Using Retinol

RoC Deep Wrinkle Night Cream $25Shop

"In your 30s, it's important to start using anti-aging products," saysВ NYC board-certified dermatologistВ Debra Jaliman, MD. By starting in your 30s, you can successfullyВ prevent signs of agingВ so you'll have less to deal with later.

"Aside from sunscreen, the best, tried-and-true proven ingredient for smoothing the texture of the skin and making lines, wrinkles, and pores less visible is retinol or a prescription retinoid like Retin-A," says Rouleau.

In your 30s, you can start by using an over-the-counter retinol like the RoC serum above three or four nights a week. "Once you have been using it for six to nine months, you can transition into a prescription retinoid," says Rouleau.

6. Switch up Your Routine From Day to Night

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads $32Shop

"Many people in their 30s fall into the habit of using the same routine morning and night, but it's important to understand the needs from day to night are different," says Rouleau.

During the day, our skin is exposed to the UV rays and environmental stressors that age us; then at night, our skin goes into repair mode to recover from all that. Thus,В your morning skincare routine should be all about protection, involving an antioxidant serum, like DermaDoctorВ Kakadu-C SerumВ ($95) and sunscreen. ThenВ your nighttime routine should focus on rejuvenation, incorporating products like retinol,В peptides, and chemical exfoliation (try the First Aid Beauty glycolic pads above), followed byВ night cream.

7. Get in Your Eight Hours

Unsplash/Vladislav Muslakov

Odds are you didn't get a full eight hours of sleep each night in your 20s, and that undoubtedly took a toll on your skin. "Beauty sleep is very important," says Jaliman. As our experts mention,В nighttime is when the skin repairs itself, and the longer you sleep, the more time it has to do that. "Sleep on a satin pillowcase so that the skin doesn't crunch against the pillow and sleep lines do not form," Jaliman suggests. We recommend SlipВ Silk PillowcaseВ ($85).

Next up, shop five little-knownВ beauty supplements with over 1000В positive reviews on Amazon.