Reaching thirty-something happens in a haze of happy hours, bachelorette parties, baby showers, career advances and wild Friday nights browsing Netflix. While I’m thankful my transition to #adulting meant upgrading from a “flex-bedroom” (aka sleeping in a living room) to a true one-bedroom apartment, I could've done without the new fine lines on my face. In the spirit of being vain and wanting to look forever young, I’ve consulted skin experts and perused the dark corners of the internet to learn how to approach skincare in your 30s vs. 20s. This is in addition to the obvious: use sunscreen and wear protection! While everyone’s journey will look a little different, I hope you can incorporate some of these tips!
the solution: chemical exfoliation
Time for a quick biology refresher. Skin is your largest organ – it makes up ~16% of your body weight! The top layer of skin (the epidermis), protects you from bacteria and harmful substances. It’s a self-renewing system, so when cells surface to the top, they die and break away from the fresh cells growing below. This shedding of nearly one million skin cells per day (gross!) is necessary to keep your skin looking young and healthy.
As we age from 20s to 30s, our skin turnover cycle (time it takes for skin to shed) increases from ~20 to ~30 days. Regular at-home chemical exfoliation (which is NOT the same as using mechanical exfoliation tools
) can speed up this process and reveal fresh, glowy skin fast. Look for products
with alpha hydroxy and glycolic acids and apply once a day to regenerate your skin.
the solution: medical-grade products
I love a drug-store steal or solid Sephora find as much as the next skincare guru, but I've found replacing elements of my routine with medical-grade products to be super effective. If there is one product to splurge on, start with a stronger serum. The holy grail of anti-aging serums is SkinCeuticals’ CE Ferulic. If you speak with your dermatologist about anti-aging, he or she will likely put you on a retinol, which will also combat fine lines.
Although these products are expensive, they work. I keep telling myself that splurging on prevention and maintenance now will reduce the amount I'll want to spend in the future. Also,
I’d rather have a wrinkle-free face than a fancy dinner or pair of Stuart Weitzmans, but that’s just me.
the solution: regular facials
are wonderful options if you’re looking for an easy treatment with no downtime. If you’re prepping for a bigger event, such as a wedding, and have specific concerns, discuss more impactful treatments with your dermatologist or esthetician. Treatments can address a variety of issues including aging (Clear & Brilliant
), sun damage (IPL
), skin texture (PCA Peels
) and acne (Isolaz
). You may need multiple sessions to notice a difference and some require downtime for your skin to recover.
This is another area in which you’ll need to invest some $$$ (starting to see a trend?), and any Groupon-type deal is probably to be too good to be true. If regular facials aren’t an option, take the time to treat yourself to an at-home mask once a week.