In your thirties, you and your skin experience new challenges. Most have succeeded in getting past the stage of consistent breakouts that you had in your teens and twenties. Be careful though, at this time introducing one of the new highly advertised anti-aging products may bring back those frustrating days of problem skin. Comment below if you have questions or feedback you'd like to share.
Your thirties often means increased stress levels. A new job (or no job), raising children (or trying to get pregnant) and the financial stresses of being on your own and trying to be independent can affect your skin. With stress comes elevation of the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone increases oil production and increases your inflammation potential. All of a sudden you're getting breakouts. This can even happen to those who went through their teens unscathed. Another lovely effect of being under stress is the thinning of the supportive skin layer, the dermis. This results in a subtle loss of facial volume. As a young person you may have complained that your face is too fat. Contouring cosmetics may have become your best friend. The reality is, fat in the face is exactly what makes you look younger so hanging onto this fat for as long as you can is a good thing. Your thirties is also a time where environmental aging starts to show up on your skin. Pigmentation from too much time under the sun without adequate protection may be showing up on your skin as stubborn brown patches that are exceedingly difficult to get rid of. In your early thirties the level of growth hormones produced begins to slow down. This means skin cell turnover subtly slows. Your skin may start to look tired. You might see the beginnings of fine lines under your eyes or expression lines etched between your brows or outside of the sides of your mouth.
Ask yourself, what is your current level of skincare?
Hopefully you are doing the basic levels of cleansing, toning and moisturizing. Hydration is key here. If your cleanser or toner is too drying or you’re skipping a moisturizer, your cells will die prematurely from lacking vital moisture. This leads to deep dehydration and a loss of your skin’s protective barrier layer and impedes it's ability to repair itself. Your skin is different than it was a decade ago, so it's time to reevaluate your entire regime and ask yourself if these are still the best product choices for your skin. If you have dry skin or you’re oily but your skin still feels tight or is flaky, then look for a light, oil free serum with hyaluronic acid.
In the best case scenario you’ve been using sunscreen with a 30 SPF every day for years. Nothing ages your skin like the sun. Daily use of sunscreen not only helps prevent uneven pigmentation as you age, there is evidence that your skin, especially at this age, can repair itself over time if you adopt the habit of using sunscreen every day, summer and winter, rain or shine.
If you’re a pro at skincare you probably know that your skin is bombarded by oxidative stress (free radicals) that damage skin and is an integral factor in aging skin. By the time you are thirty you should be applying a super antioxidant serum every morning under your sunscreen. My favorite antioxidant serum is our C & E Antioxidant Serum. This serum is not just protective against free radical damage but increases the efficacy of your sunscreen to work better at preventing aging from sun damage. Vitamin C is essential for the production of skin firming collagen, it helps even out pigmentation and also reduces blackhead formation, making this a super serum to start using in your late twenties or early thirties.
If you’ve already introduced Vitamin C, now is the time to think about adding Retinol into the mix. Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative that exfoliates, reduces acne by reorganizing cell layers to unclog pores and help push off old pigmented cells. Start with a gentle dose and increase the potency as your skin allows. Retinol should be only used at night. Work up to three nights a week. Cut back if you experience any irritation. The main benefit of adding retinol into the mix is that retinol helps jump start cell metabolism which has slowed down a bit at this time of your life. Gently increasing metabolism means your skin can repair itself better and undo environmental damage.
Remember I said to be careful of certain anti-aging products. Even though metabolism has slowed down a bit it’s still working at a pretty good clip. That means adding snail serum, growth factors or stem cells can be problematic for your skin and cause it to react or break out. Take it easy and focus on the products I’ve mentioned here. You can add acne products if that is still a concern. A light eye cream can help if lines are starting to form under your eyes. A good eye cream for younger skin is very light weight (as to not weigh down this delicate area) and based on antioxidants that will prevent damage. Vitamin E is a great antioxidant for protecting the eye area. but will clog the tiny pores under the eyes if it is used straight. So, please don't break capsules of Vitamin E and use it under your eyes. Vitamin E can still be a problem by creating milia (little white bumps) when used in an eye cream in too high a concentrations. Ingredients are dose dependent, more is not always better. Apply your eye cream only once a day (at night) for this age group.
A thirty something skin will also benefit from using a smooth surfaced scrub a couple times a week. Using this type of scrub gives your skin a nice fresh glow. It also encourages repair but to a lesser degree than retinol. It also promotes cell renewal to keep skin looking youthful for a long time to come. Never use a scrub with rough partials like almond husks or sugar crystals on your face. And remember, exfoliate gently, you’re not scrubbing the kitchen floor but living tissue.
Keep in mind that having a beautiful skin and a healthy body goes hand in hand. This is the perfect time to develop lifelong healthy habits to stay younger longer. Some of the major ones include:
Learning to decompress. Yoga and meditation help to lower your stress hormones and improve your skin by creating balance.
So does unplugging. Being connected to technology every minute raises stress hormones. The easiest way to counteract this is to choose times when you turn off technology, say when you’re taking a walk or an hour or so before bed. You’ll also reduce damaging blue light generated from smart phones that ages your skin.
Learn to eat clean. What better time than now to focus on food. Don’t stress yourself over starting that new diet, especially one that requires you to write everything down. You don’t have time for that. A quick and effective way you can reduce oxidative damage is just by eating foods that are... real food. Your digestive system only recognizes nutrients that come from nature. Not knowing how to handle chemical additives in your food disrupts your microbiome. Some of this disruption leads to inflammation (which we now know is a leading cause of aging) and skin reactions but also leads to age spots, dullness and uneven pigmentation over time.
Oh, and what about sugar? An excess of refined sugars is probably the worst thing you can do, unless your goal is to age as quickly as possible. Sugar leads to cross linking of collagen fibers that eventually leads to wrinkles And loss of tone. It also increases the risk of breaking out because acne bacteria just loves to feed off sugar. Also, sugar is a major contributor for inflammation. I keep mentioning inflammation because there is a cascade of free radical damage causes by inflammation. Many scientists and researchers now refer to this as "inflammaging".
A change of lifestyle means you may want to re-evaluate some of the things you were doing in your twenties that you may not be able to get away with now that you're in your thirties. Sleep is a vital repair time you want to make time for. You may find it harder to recover from a night of partying or overindulging in alcohol or other not so healthy habits. Remember, aging is the accumulation of damage that slowly creeps up on you. Don’t let it catch you by surprise.
Comment below if you have questions or feedback you'd like to share.
Elizabeth believes in "Longevity Skincare", the idea that beautiful skin can endure throughout one's lifetime when utilizing the best that science and nature has to offer. LONGEVITY is a science-based skincare line that appreciates skin of all ages. LONGEVITY by Elizabeth Renee provides hydration, nutrition and protection from environmental aging. Your skin will receive high performance ingredients to help energize and repair its cells, resulting in a healthy skin with an enduring, vital glow.