As soon as you hit the big 3-0, things start to change. While today’s 30 might be the new 25 or even 20, that doesn’t mean you necessarily want to keep up the same skin care routine you had in your 20s. In your 30s, you’ll generally want to focus on two things: undoing damage that’s already occurred, and preventing future damage from occurring. You can’t stop time or the aging process, but you can take care of your skin in such a way that people won’t believe you when you tell them your real age.
Adding a Retinol
In your 30s, it’s usually time to add a new ingredient to your skincare routine: retinol. Available in a range of strengths, from milder versions you’ll find in over-the-counter products at the drugstore to prescription strength versions only available from your facial plastic surgeon or dermatoligist, retinol comes from vitamin A and benefits aging skin in several ways. First, it’s an antioxidant, so it helps reduce damage caused by free radicals. It also helps encourage cell turnover and improves the structure of the skin, making wrinkles less visible.
You’ll want to speak with your skincare specialist about the type of retinol that will best meet your needs. It might be that a prescription version is ideal for you, or you might be OK using a drugstore product. Since retinol can be irritating, at least at first, you might want to discuss the best way to use the product with your doctor. He or she might recommend using it every other day to start.
Consider a Peel
One thing you might notice about your skin after you turn 30 is that it seems a bit duller. You’re not imagining things. Around age 30, cell turnover starts to slow down, meaning focusing on exfoliation becomes more important than before. It’s up to you to give your skin a little jumpstart to help it shed dead cells. For that reason, adding a regular chemical peel to your routine might be a good way to go.
Chemical peels come in a variety of strengths, from the very mild and gentle ones you can try at home, to deep peels that actually require anesthesia and a bit of downtime afterwards. While deeper peels are generally reserved for people who have more severe skin problems, you might benefit from a mild or light peel performed at a facial plastic surgeon’s office. Usually, light or mild peels feature acids such as glycolic acid or salicylic acid. The exact ingredients in your peel will depend on what you want it to do or what your major skin concern is. A peel can help reduce the appearance of pores, clear acne break-outs or make your skin tone more even.
Of course, chemical peels aren’t right for everyone. Your facial plastic surgeon will evaluate your skin type and tone and let you know which peel, if any, is the right one for you.
Protection Is Still Important
It doesn’t matter how good your skincare routine is in your 30s or how many peels you have, if you skip sunscreen or start spending hours and hours outdoors in the sun, you’re going to see some sun-related signs of aging. Whether you started wearing sunscreen in your 20s or not, in your 30s, there’s no excuse not to. Get the most from a product by looking for a moisturizer that also contains an SPF of at least 30.
Start Thinking About Injectables
While for some women, using a product with retinol, having regular chemical peels and using sunscreen and a moisturizer in their 30s is enough, others might want to go a step further when it comes to combating those first few wrinkles. Your 30s might be the time to start considering injectables, such as Botox for the frown lines or Juvederm for the lines by your mouth or nose. Whether injections are right for you at this age depends on the depth or visibility of your wrinkles and your own preference.
Rethink Your Habits
It might be tough news for some to hear, another part of your anti-aging routine in your 30s might be re-evaluating your lifestyle choices and habits. In your 20s, you might have been able to go out every night, survive on five hours of sleep, and eat more junk food than whole foods without seeing any effects. In your 30s, that will probably not be the case. If you’re still living like you’re 21, it might be a good idea to make some changes, at least for the sake of your skin, if not your overall health. Try to add healthier foods to your diet, skip the late nights and give up excess drinking. If you smoke, you should seriously consider quitting.
You might not want to think about getting older when you’re in your 30s. But, if you start take be more proactive about an anti-aging skin routine now, you might be thankful when 40 and 50 rolls around and you still look youthful. If you want to learn more about what products will work best for you or find out more about certain treatments, aging face specialist Dr. Jessica Kulak can help. A facial plastic surgeon practicing in Virginia and Maryland, Dr. Kulak can recommend products, perform chemical peels or give you advice about injections. For an appointment in Virginia, call (703) 481-0002. Call 201-222-2020 for a consultation in Maryland.