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Your 30s – Decades of Skin Care – Tiffany Clay, MD


Skincare in your 30s is about building upon what you did in your 20s. Adding products that are slightly higher quality and working more on anti-aging is key in this decade. Numero uno is a sunscreen that you love! If you don’t love it you won’t want to wear it every day and that’s how often you should wear sunscreen on your face and neck. Your sunscreen should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Sunscreen options are endless. You can get them oil-free or with moisturizer added. They can be tinted or un-tinted and many have additional items like peptides, B vitamins and antioxidants. Take your pick and wear it daily!

At this point you should definitely be using a retinoid (prescription grade) or retinol (not prescription) each and every night (or every other night at least). These Vitamin A derived topical creams and gels come second only to sunscreen in an antiaging routine. If you have acne this is probably already a part of your routine. These products will help reduce sebum or oil production and gently exfoliate the dead surface layer of the skin which helps acne breakouts. Their claim to fame is that it stimulates collagen production which is going to minimize the production of fine lines as you age. It also inhibits the production of melanin so it will reduce hyperpigmentation or dark spots on the skin. Retinoids/retinols also increase how fast the skin cells turnover, enhancing the skin’s ability to repair itself.

Antioxidants such as Vitamin C and E, green tea and resveratrol, should now be a part of the program. These products reduce oxidative stress on the skin that comes from sun exposure. They also help to lighten and brighten the complexion as they subtly reduce hyperpigmentation and age spots. You may use an antioxidant serum or light lotion before applying your sunscreen each morning.

Now is the time to step your cleanser game up. Whether over the counter or a higher-end purchase you want your cleanser to reflect your skin’s needs. If you are more on the dry end of the spectrum, you want a creamy, hydrating cleanser, not a foamy exfoliating one. If you have oily skin, a glycolic acid cleanser or clarifying foaming cleanser may be better for you.

Moisturize! Despite having dry or oily skin you should apply a moisturizer. Those containing ceramides or hyaluronic acid are best. If the skin is not well hydrated it will develop mild inflammation which causes the skin to age more rapidly.

A huge add on in your 30s is eye cream. Starting to notice those fine lines or under eye circles? Eye creams can help slow the progression to deep lines and wrinkles and discoloration. Look for those containing caffeine and green tea for puffy eyes. Dark undereye circles are minimized by creams containing ingredients such as Vitamin C, mica, and titanium dioxide. Ingredients including hyaluronic acid and peptides reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Lastly, team up with a dermatologist and aesthetician. They can recommend products and prescriptions specifically based on your needs. In your 30s, you may want to start treating yourself to a chemical peel or microdermabrasion to help correct hyperpigmentation, or as a seasonal refresher to get that healthy glow poppin’.

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Check back for tomorrow your 40s!

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