Ahh, your 30s. You have envisioned this time as the span of years between the acne that plagued you throughout your teens and 20s and the fine lines that will begin showing up in your 40s. And now that you are here, you might be realizing that those breakouts aren’t quite over yet.
And what are those tiny wrinkles doing next to your eyes? Is this not going to be the reprieve you had been expecting? The truth is, imperfections are common throughout all phases of life, including during your 30s.
The good news is that there are some skin care tips you can take now to ease your transition into midlife in the coming decades. You can retain your youthful look and hold off on aging while controlling any acne breakouts that sneak into the fourth decade of your life.
Keep Your Skin Clean
During your teens and early 20s, you knew that if you went to bed with makeup on, you would very likely wake up with a few extra acne blemishes the next day. In addition, you would feel the excess oil on your face, which was no fun.
While you’re not waking up with slick skin in your 30s, it’s still important to follow the golden rule of all the skin care tips available by washing your face twice daily. Before bed, use a gentle cleanser, massaging it in well with your fingertips before rinsing with clear, lukewarm water.
This will remove the makeup and grime from the day and will also increase blood flow to your skin before bed. In the morning, however, you might be best off just rinsing with clear water, particularly if you tend to have dry skin. If you are still dealing with oiliness, then go ahead and use your cleanser in the AM as well.
If you are noticing some dryness, however, a rinse in the shower followed by patting your face dry with your towel should be enough to keep your skin clean without over drying it.
Deal With Dry Skin
In the last decade or two of your life, you might have been battling oily skin, either all over your face or in the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin). Now, though, you might have some oily spots, but it is more likely that you will have some dryness to contend with. Take a mirror and really examine your skin.
Do you have tiny flakes on your forehead, between your eyebrows, and on your chin? These are telltale signs that your skin is rejuvenating itself more slowly, which begins to happen in your early 30s. You will want to exfoliate once or twice per week. Do not do it every day, as that’s overkill.
You can use a washcloth with your regular cleanser, or you can choose an exfoliating product. A product with alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) will help you slough off those skin cells that want to keep hanging around past their prime.
You could use a gentle scrub, but keep in mind that these can cause tiny tears in your skin, leading to increased dryness and irritation. Go slowly and begin using these products once per week or even once every two weeks, then you can increase to up to twice weekly if you desire.
Also, choose a moisturizer formulated for your skin and apply it religiously after washing and before applying makeup. A non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging) product is best, particularly since you still might be prone to acne.
Deal With Adult Acne
The acne you get as an adult might be similar to what you got as a teen, or it might be totally different. During your 30s, you’re dealing with different types of hormonal changes. You might be going through (or have already gone through) pregnancy and breastfeeding, which can wreak havoc on your skin.
In addition, women in their late 30s might begin experiencing some of the hormonal ups and downs of perimenopause. (If your periods are changing, this is a possibility you should discuss with your doctor). Even switching birth control methods can cause an increase in acne.
While you might have piled on the anti-acne products when you were 15, it is not a good plan when you are 35. Your skin does not renew as quickly, and it will take longer for the acne to go away. In addition, remember that tendency for 30-something skin to get dry?
These products will not help. Try adding just one acne product (maybe a gentle wash containing benzoyl peroxide) at a time. If it is too drying, discontinue it. Your 30s are also a great time to start seeing a dermatologist, who can advise you in addition to conducting regular skin cancer screening.
Add an Anti-Aging Product or Two to Your Routine
We hate to be the ones to break it to you, but during your 30s is when you are likely to see some laugh lines around your mouth and crows feet near your eyes. It is perfectly natural, but not everyone embraces these changes!
The first thing you should do (that you should have been doing all along, of course) is to be sure to apply an SPF sunscreen to your regimen every single day. It is easiest if your moisturizer contains an SPF of at least 30 because once you get used to wearing moisturizer, you will not feel fully ready for the day without it, so you are unlikely to forget.
The sun can damage your skin and hasten the aging process, so keeping your face shielded from those rays can really make a difference. Of all the skin care tips available, it is important to note that you might also consider using a retinol product to help keep your skin from aging so quickly. These are derived from vitamin A and are available over the counter.
As a bonus, they will also help you if you are dealing with acne. If the ones you can buy at the pharmacy are not helping, talk to your dermatologist about getting a prescription retinoid, which is stronger. They can be irritating, so remember to introduce your skin to these products slowly.
As with all your body systems, the aging process will begin to take its toll on your skin during your 30s and beyond. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle (such as getting plenty of sleep, drinking enough water, and not smoking or indulging in excessive amounts of alcohol) and following these skin care tips as outlined above will help keep the wrinkles at bay for as long as possible.