Skin Care Routines in Your 30s: Taking Care of Your Skin

When you’re under 30, taking care of your skin can be a bit carefree. This scenario may sound familiar: late nights out dancing and partying with friends, eating anything you wanted, drinking like a fish, falling into bed without removing your makeup and maybe even washing your face with shampoo in the shower the next morning. Trust us, that last one happens! How we embrace skin care routines in our 20s vs. our 30s really stems from how our lifestyles change, in addition to how we change physically.

It’s often the subject of a joke, but the way your body and your skin changes in your 30s can be noticeable early on! When my eldest daughter, Fiona, turned 31, she woke up, sat up in bed, and wrenched her neck. Her husband, who was sympathetic, laughed anyway. Apparently, he too had twisted his back or neck on his 31st birthday. Things are changing, and while it may be amusing, it does indicate that maybe it’s time to shift your self care priorities.

Your 30s show many changes. Maybe you are married now, or you’ve elevated your position in your career. Maybe you are thinking of starting a family, if you have not already done so. Maybe you are doing it all: career, family and managing your first home.  While our energy levels may be at their highest as we juggle all of these milestones, your skin may tell a different story. 

Let’s take a look at the changes that happen in your skin in your 30s.

How Your Skin Changes in Your 30s

Your skin changes with each decade, but the abrupt change from acne or “normal” skin, to drier, more irritated skin, can come as a shock to many people.

As we age, our skin slows down the production of hyaluronic acid, collagen, elastin, and other integral parts of what makes skin look “youthful”. When we talk about youthful-looking skin, it means skin that snaps back because of elastin—resulting in very well hydrated skin with a “plump” to the touch feel. Our body never stops generating these youthful components, as they are found deep within our cells’ structure, but they do slow down with each decade. 

After 30, you might experience more dryness and irritation than you ever did and be wondering about changing your skin care routine.  Not to mention, in your 30s you may also notice strange spots called hyperpigmentation, or “age” or “sun” spots. Your skin may also seem a bit dull to you, or patchy. 

Here are a few of the best, simple anti-aging adjustments to your 30s care regimen that will become your daily routine for the next few years.

Exfoliating Skin Care Regimen for Clogged Pores or Dull Skin in Your 30s

When we were children, our skin cells turned over naturally every 2 weeks.  As we age, those cells still turnover, but it takes longer for them to do so.  By the time you enter your 30s, new cells are visible every 28-34 days. Your skin may then appear less radiant or glowing, which is why we begin to naturally look for products that help bring that glow back to life.

To get your glow back, exfoliation can help.  There are two types of exfoliators: chemical, and physical.  A physical exfoliant is something like grains or scrubs.  The problem is, that no matter your age, things like sugar, for example, have sharp edges. Seen under the microscope, many types of physical beads or grains can actually cause micro tears, and damage your skin.  

A chemical exfoliant dissolves the sebum, or excess oil and dead cells. Many people experience sensitive skin issues in their 30s, however, so glycolic acid may be too strong.

Face WashReveal Exfoliating Facial Foam is the gentle solution to this problem. The fruit acids in Reveal help remove the dead skin without irritation, enlivening your complexion. As part of your skin care routine in your 30s, your exfoliator should be used 2-3 times a week, not every day.

Exfoliating ensures that your skin is glowing, fresh cells are at the top of your skin, and that the serums or products that you layer on top can actually reach the new skin cells and work (which saves you money!).

Speaking of cleansing…

If you are like many people, who coasted through their 20s using makeup wipes, you may be in for a shock: most makeup wipes don’t fully cleanse the skin.  They get most of it off, but if you take a cotton ball with some toner on it, and wipe again, many times you will still see makeup or dirt.  While this may have been okay then, it can cause problems now in your 30s skin care routine.

Wipes can also be too abrasive for your skin in your thirties. Most of them are formulated with alcohol, which over-dries the skin, and leads to skin dehydration and redness. The best cleansing skin care regimen for your 30s would be one that is a gentle cleanser or facial bar, such as our Calm Facial Bar.

Calm contains nettle, olive leaf, chamomile, tea tree and charcoal, among other ingredients—all designed to calm and soothe irritated, acne-prone and sensitive skin. An added wallet-friendly bonus is that the Calm Facial Bar doubles as a 2-in-1 facial/body wash if you wish, keeping your 30s skin care routine as simple as it was in your 20s.

The best way to use our gentle facial bar is in the morning and in the evening, however, at night we recommend using makeup remover followed by your cleanser. Make sure your cleanser isn’t full of alcohol, which can be drying, and leaves your skin feeling moist and refreshed.

Diet Sensitivity and Skin Sensitivity Are Interlinked

It’s not just your skin that becomes more sensitive as you age. In your 30s you may find gut health becoming a thing of concern. Some of the foods you wolfed down in your 20s may start to cause stomach upset or indigestion. You may experience more allergies as well. Why is this important to consider?

Our gut is directly tied into the health of our skin. If you are experiencing allergies or digestion issues, it may be time for you to consult a doctor like a holistic one that specializes in allergies and diet. Some people do a 30-day elimination diet, to find the source of the problems. If you do this, we suggest also taking all of your skin care products out and checking their labels for red flags as part of your mission to change your skin care routine in your 30s.

If you find that one or two of your skin care products are irritating, or causing inflammation, then take them out of rotation and try something more gentle. Choosing the right, natural skin care products, is essential to maintaining healthy skin.

Go easy on the retinol, too. We know, it’s super popular, particularly when brands are touting it as the best anti-aging skin care regimen in your 30s. We are aware of the popularity of this hot ingredient, but your skin only has so much that it can give. Over-using harsh products or chemicals that strip or thin the skin can be too much. Look for products that will offer similar benefits but that are easier on your skin. Be good to your skin, inside and out, and it will be good to you, too.

Skin Care Routine Tip for Your 30s: It’s All About Serum

Everyone knows our skin needs moisturizer, but in your 30s you will start to add a serum as the first step after you have cleansed your skin. There are two types of serum. Let’s look at each.

Oil Serum

Oil serums really come into play in your 30s. There are so many wonderful oil blends on the market. Even if your skin is still oily, oil actually helps balance the skin. Always check the ingredients. You want to find one that lists things like organic oils and extracts, with little or no synthetic ingredients or fragrance. The idea is for this to penetrate quickly, help nourish the skin, and then follow it with your moisturizer and sunscreen.

Water-Based Serum

The other kinds of serum are water based. They will appear more liquid, and the ingredients will contain things like water, aloe, hyaluronic acid or glycerin. These types of serums are among the best anti-aging skin care regimens for your 40s and will become your favorite things to use in your 40s skin care routine… but they can be used now as well.

Some people like to layer a water based serum first, and then follow it with an oil serum. Some prefer one over the other.  The benefits of a water-based serum are that they can contain more vitamins and hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid (HA) plumps the skin and delivers hydration to the skin.

There are different kinds of HA, some that sit higher on the surface of the skin, and some that penetrate slightly, but they are the least expensive of the serum, and a good idea for your skin. Adding hyaluronic acid in either your serum, or your skin moisturizer, can help support collagen production and strengthen your skin barrier, allowing for a stronger protection against the environment. All serums are pricey for a reason. They have a condensed amount of ingredients in them, designed to give a lot of benefit in a few drops. Use them regularly, day and night.

Eye Cream or Eye Serum?

The skin around your eyes is the most sensitive part of your face, and will be one of the first areas to show signs of aging. This is why a serum is one of the first and best additions to your skin care routine in your 30s. If you are not already using an eye cream, this is the time to add it to your routine. What’s the difference between an eye serum and eye cream, though?

An eye serum is usually a lighter version of an eye cream, or it can be a gel. Awaken Eye Serum from Ayr Skin Care is a very concentrated eye cream that is full of anti-aging peptides, probiotics and sea algae… everything you need to keep the eyes looking youthful and awake!

A Special Word About Pregnancy

Many people choose to start a family in their 30s, which adds to the many life situations that one juggles during this period.  What products should you discontinue when you become pregnant?  The short answer is: retinoids.  The amount of retinoids absorbed by topical products is likely low, but birth defects have been linked in higher doses.  

Other ingredients that should be avoided are products that deliver a high dose of salicylic acid — such as peels and oral medications. Endocrine disruptors are also dangerous during pregnancy. Phthalates are one source, found in synthetic fragrances, so eliminating perfumes and synthetically scented products is a good idea. Oxybenzone, usually found in sunscreen, is also on the list of endocrine disruptors you should be wary of when pregnant.  

Organic oils, like our Virgin Marula oil is wonderful for balancing sebum, and an excellent, gentle alternative for your skin care in your 30s….and ours is Fair Trade, so you are helping women in South Africa send their children to school too.  A win win!

We believe that you can and should eliminate all toxins from your food and beauty products, opting for gentle, natural alternatives—particularly if you are pregnant or otherwise considering better ways to take care of your skin (and body) in your 30s.

We hope you have found a few tips for your 30s skin care routine. Look for more decades coming soon in our skin care by-the-decades series!

Bye for now!

Kirsten, xx

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