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An Esthetician’s Guide to Taking Care of Your Skin in Your 30s

Seasons of life are often accompanied with changes–some beautiful, some challenging–but each new season may arrive with questions concerning self-care. Often it is easy to look back at our youth and exclaim, “if only we knew x, y and z!” But we shouldn’t let that discourage us from taking full advantage of our current stage in life. Our skin care routine will definitely transition as we age, and I have found that the most change occurs in our 30s.

With so many of us dealing with little sleep thanks to young children, hormonal changes, and skin that just doesn’t recover quite like it did in our 20s, our 30s are the perfect time to get into a groove with a healthy skincare routine.

Healthy Skincare Habits To Adopt in Your 30s

An Esthetician's Guide to Taking Care of Your Skin in Your 30s

1. Hydrate

Water is essential for healthy skin. And while we might reach for that cup of joe in the morning to begin our day, it isn’t doing our skin any favors.

Water helps circulate nutrients throughout the body, flush out toxins, and hydrates skin cells. First thing in the morning drink a tall glass of water–6-8 ounces before you even get out of bed. An easy rule of thumb for water consumption is to drink half your weight in ounces each day.

2. Smooth sleeping

Invest in a good satin or silk pillowcase. The hype is true: it will diminish the appearance of fine lines, smooth hair and will absorb less moisture from your skin than a cotton pillowcase.

Find out more about why we love silk pillowcases.

3. Add an eye cream

It is never too late to start using an eye cream, but I feel in your 30s it is the best time to create this nightly habit. The eye area is the first area to age due to the lack of oil glands and the delicate skin found here. Apply a hydrating or anti-aging eye cream to the orbital rim of the eye nightly.

Here are some of our favorite eye creams.

4. Ingredient check

Acne is not something that disappears with age. If you battle adult acne, it might be time to inspect your makeup and skin care products for any ingredients that may be clogging pores or contributing to breakouts.

Search labels for comedogenic (clogging) ingredients and clear these products from your shelves if you are battling acne. These would include: acetylated lanolin, butyl stearate, carrageenan, cetyl acetate, cocoa butter, hydrogenated vegetable oil, octyl stearate, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, and soybean oil, to name a few.

5. AHAs

Alpha hydroxy acids are wonderful to incorporate into your routine to help rapidly exfoliate dead skin cells. As we age, our skin does not shed dead skin cells as regularly as it did in our youth. AHAs can help this process by breaking down the bonds holding dead skin cells together, revealing fresh skin cells beneath, and aiding in product absorption. Whether using a nightly serum with alpha hydroxy acids, or a mask a few times a week, find a glycolic, lactic, or similar fruit acid to deal with uneven complexion and cell turnover.

Try one of these AHA face masks that you can make at home.

6. Say no to the sun

In our 30s we are often confronted with the sun damage of our past. And while we may start to incorporate products that combat pigmentation and sunspots, we need to be doubly careful about sun exposure in the present.

The vitamin C, retinol, and alpha hydroxy acids that are in so many of our skincare products can make us prone to sun sensitivity and sun damage if we are not using adequate sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses. It would be a waste of money and effort to undo all of your hard work in fighting pigmentation by laying out in the sun or being inconsistent with sunscreen.

Read our guide to healthier sunscreens–and find out which ingredients to avoid.

7. Beauty sleep

It’s not called beauty sleep for nothing! Our body’s blood circulation is boosted during sleep, bringing nutrients and oxygen to skin cells. Repairs during the night happen all over the body, including the skin. When we don’t sleep enough, cortisol levels can rise and our skin becomes inflamed and stressed. Puffy eyes, sullen complexion and dull skin are usually signs of not enough sleep. Eight hours is the recommended amount of sleep for adults.

8. Change with the season

Just as you wouldn’t wear sunscreen before going to bed, you wouldn’t wear a light summer moisturizer in the dead of winter. Each season examine your skin care regimen and change out serums and moisturizers to meet current needs. Winter may require more hydrating masks while summer calls for a boost in SPF coverage. If indoor heaters zap moisture from the air, consider adding hyaluronic acid to your winter staples.

The 30s are a beautiful season of life and a wonderful opportunity to give proper attention to our skin’s needs and changes.

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