How To Address The Most Common Skin Changes In Your 30s

30 — it truly is the start of the best decade; it’s the age you can finally start seeing yourself as an actual adult, which comes with a confidence. Personally, I haven’t reached 30s yet but honestly, I love my mid-20s. When I heard that 30s was the best decade, it kind of reminds me of that movie 13 Going On 30, guess 30s is when you’re living the good life.

Honestly, I wish I had an oily complexion like my younger brother’s, I might have more breakouts but at least wrinkles develop slowly. Living in the modern world, there’s also every product or treatment for almost every skin concern. Occasionally that might include filler or Botox, but a majority of doctors agree that all the Juvaderm and neurotoxins in the world can only do so much. In the end, it all comes down to taking care of your skin. So, to fine-tune the best routine to take you through your 30s, keep scrolling for how to achieve your dream skin.

You should absolutely step up your skincare game in your 30s. Exfoliate more frequently to encourage skin cell turnover, aim for at least two to three times a week. Moisturize and hydrate daily. Add an antioxidant in the morning and be religious about sun protection and sunscreen, and grab your hat along with your sunglasses. And finally, commit to using an evening retinoid at least a few nights a week.

A fine line.

In our teens, we could raise our brows with total abandon. But at some point, we discover the forehead lines remain even after our face relaxes. That’s one of the first things people start to notice. You may also notice more visible blood vessels around your nostrils, a slight drooping of the skin at the corners of your mouth, and an increase in depth of the nasolabial folds.

Neurotoxins like Botox and Dysport can temporarily smooth out crow’s feet or the “11 lines” between our brows, but the experts all agree that the first solution you can easily commit to right now is sunscreen, sunscreen, and more sunscreen.

Isdin Eryfotona Ageless Ultralight Tinted Mineral Sunscreen

This mineral sunscreen includes a blend of peptides, antioxidants, and enzymes that both protect against sun damage and help reverse its effects.

A skincare ingredient hero like hyaluronic acid can also help boost collagen production, which begins to slow down in our 30s, leaving skin more vulnerable to fine lines, larger pores, and dullness. Spread it on before your moisturizer and makeup in the morning for a dewier look that works hard for your skin.

EltaMD UV Elements Broad-Spectrum SPF 44

This lightly tinted sunscreen is blended with hyaluronic acid.

SkinCeuticals Hyaluronic Acid

We recommend this potent product for amplifying the skin’s natural hyaluronic levels.

SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator

This serum blends hyaluronic acid with peptides and vitamin E to smooth the skin and replenish plumping moisture.

Another key ingredient for effectively fighting fine linesvitamin C or other antioxidant-packed serums. Use it in the morning on clean skin before your moisturizer and sunscreen, the anti-aging skincare staple works to protect your skin from pollution, heal damaging free radicals, and promote collagen. The SkinCeuticals’ CE Ferulic serum has won countless beauty awards, while Hyper Skin offers a dermatologist-approved option at a drugstore-friendly price, but there are so many good Vitamin C formulations to discover.

OBAGI CLINICAL Vitamin C + Arbutin Brightening Serum

This clinical-grade skincare line is also carried at your local Target store.

A little dull.

The idea that skin doesn’t “bounce back” quite as easily as it did in our teens and 20s has a lot to do with cell turnover. Dead cells sticking around prevent our skin from looking radiant, and slow turnover leads to longer healing time for scars and hormonal acne, another fun thing many women trying to get pregnant will deal with in their 30s.

The best way to address dull skin and slow cell turnover in your 30s is an exfoliant. But not the microbead formulas you see on acne commercials. Those can cause tears to in the skin barrier. Rather, chemical exfoliation with glycolic acids or lactic acid is much safer for aging skin. A good retinol or retinoid is a 30-something’s best friend. Your dermatologist may prescribe a specific product to be used a couple of nights a week, but there are excellent over-the-counter options that can be used every night to promote cell turnover and keep skin glowing.

Skinbetter AlphaRet Overnight Cream — $125

This highly recommended cream blends a retinoid with an AHA (lactic acid) for effective and tolerable skin rejuvenation. Most retinols and retinoids leave skin feeling dry and irritated, so skinbetter’s formula is changing the game.

SkinBetter EyeMax AlphaRet Overnight Cream

OBAGI CLINICAL Retinol 0.5 Cream

This gentle but effective retinol, which features a slow-release technology that makes it tolerable for most skin types.

Sun soaked.

Another fun epiphany you have when you ease into your 30s is the importance of sunscreen. Skin changes a lot throughout our lives, but your 30s is when you will see the biggest changes. This is when you will start to see signs of aging, like fine lines slowly settling into wrinkles and all those days spent baking in the sun in your 20s now turning into hyperpigmentation. You can use brightening treatments and serums, with or without hydroquinone. Retinol and retinoids can also be extremely helpful in the sun spot department.

SkinBetter Even Tone Correcting Serum

An all-time hydroquinone-free serum for reducing hyperpigmentation.

Protect your neck.

In addition to noticing just how fragile and thin the skin around our eyes is, you can’t neglect your neck as well, especially in your 30s. Fortunately, many medical-grade skincare companies have recently developed products that finally address the often overlooked area.

SkinBetter Techno Neck Perfecting Cream

As life has shifted virtually in the pandemic, “tech neck” has become even more of a concern. This product addresses the bands around the neck and helps reverse the signs of aging.

Perricone MD Cold Plasma Plus+ Sub-D/Neck

Revision Skincare Nectifirm Advanced Neck Firming Cream

SkinCeuticals Tripeptide-R Neck Repair

We recommend this SkinCeutical’s blend of retinol and tripeptide concentrate to address neck bands and crepiness.

How to laser through your 30s.

If you’re looking for something a bit more potent to address skin concerns, Dr. Robinson recommends investing in laser treatments. To take preventative action your late 20s and early 30s, start with Clear+ Brilliant.

Once you enter your late 30s, we recommend getting treated with Fraxel — the original non-invasive fractional resurfacing treatment addresses a variety of concerns, including fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, acne scars, surgical scars, age spots, sunspots, melasma, and Actinic Keratoses.


Stay safe, healthy, and live life to the fullest.

Xoxo, Messycafe.


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