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The Best Skincare Routine for When You’re in Your 30s

Your thirties can often be accompanied by major milestones like marriage, kids, and career advancement, but are you aware that your skin changes tremendously during this decade as well?

Thanks to hormonal changes, little sleep (that would be due to the aforementioned kids!), and skin that doesn’t bounce back quite as quickly as it used to, this is a great time to take a closer look at your skincare regimen. If you’ve started good habits in your 20s, below is a guide to help you evaluate if your routine is ticking off all the boxes as you hit 30.

Best Skincare Routine in Your 30s

The Best Skincare Routine When You're in Your 30s -

1. Cleanse

Never skip washing your face before bed. Gone are the days where you could catch some zzz’s with a face full of makeup and not pay for it the next day. Makeup can easily clog pores, which leads to a dull complexion and even acne.

Keeping the chemicals from makeup on your skin at night also slows down the skin’s ability to naturally renew and repair itself from the daytime insults. Hydrating cleansers that won’t strip the skin of healthy oils are ideal, like Bioelements Flash Foam Cleanser, which gently exfoliates as it cleanses.

If adult acne is something you are struggling with in this decade, it might be time to inspect your makeup and skincare products for any ingredients that may be clogging pores or contributing to breakouts [source]. 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 [source]. In the future, you can look for the word “noncomedogenic” on the label to make sure you are getting a product without those culprits.

2. Vitamin C

Pigmentation and sun damage begin to surface in your 30s. Incorporate a good vitamin C serum into your daily morning routine to help counteract and fight free radicals from the environment. Vitamin C works as a backup to protect your cells not only from UV radiation that gets through your sunscreen, but also the many other free radicals produced from stress, pollution, environmental toxins, and metabolic processes [source].

Internal vitamin C is important, but so is external protection. Try Drunk Elephant C-Firma or Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Active Brightening Oil.

3. Protect

Sunscreen is no longer an option but a requirement at this stage of life! The vitamin C, retinol, and alpha-hydroxy acids in so many of our skincare products can make us prone to sun sensitivity and sun damage if we do not use adequate sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses.

It would be a waste of money and effort to undo all of your hard work in fighting pigmentation and skin damage by laying out in the sun or being inconsistent with sunscreen. Find a great sunscreen that provides not only coverage but hydration as well.

If you love a tinted sunscreen, try Dermalogica Sheer Tint that has walnut-seed extract and a water-based moisturizer, or Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte, which is cruelty-free and supports the International Elephant Foundation.

4. Treat

During sleep, skin recovers and repairs itself. As we age, this repair process slows down and dead, sticky skin cells do not naturally slough off as quickly as before, so our skin needs a little boost in this department. Retinols and alpha-hydroxy acids fill this need, making it the most impactful step to add to any skincare routine, especially in your 30s [source].

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 encourage cell turnover. Enter a couple of favorites: Caudalie Glycolic Peel or Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask.

When it comes to nighttime, our products aren’t solely responsible for recovery and regeneration. The amount of time we are actually sleeping is crucial. 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 most adults. 

Sleep for skinAnother nighttime habit to adopt is using a silk pillowcase. Investing in a good satin or silk pillowcase will diminish the appearance of fine lines, smooth your hair, and absorb less moisture from your skin than a cotton pillowcase.

Find out more about why we love silk pillowcases.

5. Hydrate

As we age, skin becomes drier and less supple, so moisturizing becomes the name of the game. Never skip this step! Whether you prefer a hydrating oil like Tata Harper Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil, or a cream like Eminence Firm Skin Acai Moisturizer, be sure you hydrate each and every night.

Hydration isn’t just an external step to adopt because hydrating internally by drinking water is just as important. Water helps circulate nutrients throughout the body, flush out toxins, and hydrate skin cells.

First thing in the morning, drink a tall glass of water—at least 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 [source].

Puffy Eye Mask

6. Eyes

Last, but certainly not least, is an eye cream for the delicate skin under and above the eyes. Your 30s is the best time to create this nightly habit since the thin skin around your eyes is typically the first to show signs of aging.

This is due to the lack of oil glands, and the delicate skin found here. Apply a hydrating or anti-aging eye cream to the eye area nightly. Eminence Bearberry Repair Eye Cream is a personal favorite, as well as this No Puffery Cooling Roll-on Eye Gel by Origins

A good skincare routine in our 30s can make even more of a difference as we enter our 40s, so if you don’t have one yet, the time to start is now!

This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Haley, a board-certified dermatologist with extensive experience in medical, cosmetic, and surgical dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical review board here. As always, this is not personal medical advice, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.


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