Skincare in Your 30s: Important Habits to Establish (2023)

So you survived your 20s… Congratulations! While your 20s may have been a time of exploration and fun with bits of chaos thrown into the mix, now that you're in your 30s, it's still about trying new things, but with more of a routine. Especially for your skin.

"Your 30s are a time of … stress and hormonal swings that can wreak havoc on your skin," explains celebrity estheticianRenée Rouleau. "The growth hormones start to slow down, so the skin won't repair itself as it did in your 20s; breakouts can often occur in the form ofcystic acne." In your 30s, you might also be dealing with dark spots, acne scars, and fine expression lines that were never there before. "It's time to take your skin seriously," says Rouleau. "The days of neglecting your skin are over." But don't freak out—for every skincare concern that's likely to pop up in your 30s, there's an easy fix. We spoke with Rouleau and two other experts who walked us through their bestadvice forskincare in your 30s.

Meet the Expert

  • Debra Jaliman, MD, is aboard-certified dermatologist based in New York City.
  • Renée Rouleau is a celebrity esthetician and the founder of her eponymous skincare line.
  • Joanna Czech is a celebrity esthetician and the founder of her own skincare line and body spa.

Keep scrolling for the most important habits to integrate into your skincareroutine in your 30s.

Skincare in Your 30s: Important Habits to Establish (1)

How to Adjust to Skincare in Your 30s

"Many people in their 30s fall into the habit of using the same routine morning and night, but it's important to understand the needs from day to night are different," says Rouleau.

During the day, our skin is exposed to the UV rays and environmental stressors that age us; then at night, our skin goes into repair mode to recover from all that. Thus,your morning skincare routine should be all about protection, involving an antioxidant serum and sunscreen. Thenyour nighttime routine should focus on rejuvenation, incorporating products like retinol,peptides, and chemical exfoliation, followed bynight cream.

How to Introduce Anti-Aging Products in Your 30s

"In your 30s, it's important to start using anti-aging products," saysJaliman. By starting in your 30s, you mayprevent signs of aging,so you'll have less to deal with later.

Key Ingredients

(Video) Skincare Habits For Your 30s (I WISH I'd Started Sooner!)

Retin-A (tretinoin) is a form of vitamin A that helps the skin renew itself by encouraging cell turnover. It's commonly prescribed for acne, fine lines, and sun-damaged skin.

"Aside from sunscreen, the best, tried-and-true proven ingredient for smoothing the texture of the skin and making lines, wrinkles, and pores less visible is retinol or a prescription retinoid like Retin-A," says Rouleau.

In your 30s, you can start by using over-the-counter retinol like the RoC serum once or twice a week, gradually building up to three or four nights a week. "Once you have been using it for six to nine months, you can transition into a prescription retinoid," says Rouleau. It may take about six weeks to see results from using retinol, so be patient.

Skincare in Your 30s: Important Habits to Establish (2)

RoCDeep Wrinkle Night Cream$28.00


Morning Skincare Routine for 30s Skin

Remember when we said that your morning skincare routine should be all about protection? DermaDoctor's antioxidant Kakadu C-Serum is the perfect lightweight serum to wear under makeup. Kakadu plum extract, ferulic acid, and vitamin E are meant to work together to help brighten your complexion and smooth and soften skin.

Skincare in Your 30s: Important Habits to Establish (3)

DermaDoctorKakadu C 20% Vitamin C Serum with Ferulic Acid & Vitamin E$95.00

(Video) Skincare in your 30s | Skincare routine in your 30s | Dr. Nivedita Dadu


No matter your age, sunscreen is crucial to your skin's health. A Byrdie-fave and dermatologist-approved pick,La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Milk sunscreen has an SPF of 60. The French sunscreen is fragrance- and oil-free, water-resistant for over an hour, and is non-irritating, according to the brand. The best part (and a bonus for any sunscreen), is it goes on sheer and absorbs quickly, leaving a beautifully soft and smooth finish.

Skincare in Your 30s: Important Habits to Establish (4)

La Roche-PosayAnthelios Melt-In Milk Sunscreen$36.00


Evening Skincare Routine for 30s Skin

Estheticians agree that as you age, it becomes especially important to treat your neck and décolletage. "These are more delicate areas that show signs of aging first," explains Czech. "Your 'face' starts at your nipples and ends at your hairline."

In your early 20s, it was a good night if you remembered to take your makeup off at all; in your late 20s, you embraced the makeup-wipe life. But now it's time to get serious.

"Makeup wipes dehydrate and spread dirt and grime all over your face," explains Czech. Not to mention they may not actually do a good job of cleansing your skin. Instead, choose a gentle, sulfate-free cleansing lotion or gel-like Renée Rouleau's Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel. Follow up by wiping the skin with a baby washcloth, making sure to switch out your cloth each time you wash to avoid bacteria.

"Clean skin is healthy skin," Rouleau reminds us. "Be very meticulous about cleaning a day's worth of makeup, dirt, and bacteria from your skin so you'll get the best results from serums and moisturizers applied afterward."

Skincare in Your 30s: Important Habits to Establish (5)

(Video) "look young and Stay Healthy" | AFTER AGE OF 30 | You must Follow this TWO tips | SADHGURU

Renée RouleauLuxe Mint Cleansing Gel$39.00


And remember: Rubbing the leftover moisturizer from your face down to your neck isn't good enough. "While the intention is good, it's truly not helping that much in the quest for smooth, moist skin on the neck," says Rouleau. Instead, the neck deserves its own step in your skincare routine. "This means applying one application of moisturizer (with sunscreen during the day) to the face and then a second full application to the front and sides of the neck," says Rouleau. "This willensure that the neck gets a proper coating of moisturizer and sunscreento keep it looking soft, smooth, and damage-free."

Perricone MD Cold Plasma Plus+ Neck & Chest Broad Spectrum SPF 25is a moisturizer specifically formulated for the neck. Use it nightly as part of your skincare routine to try to help smooth, firm, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles in this area. (Note: If you chose to use this one during the day as well, you'll need to pair it with another SPF of 30 or higher.)

Skincare in Your 30s: Important Habits to Establish (6)

Perricone MDCold Plasma Plus+ Neck & Chest Broad Spectrum SPF 25$89.00


As for eye cream, Rouleau explains its importance like this: "Considering the eye area has virtually no oil glands and isthe first area of the face to show aging from facial expressionslike squinting and smiling, protecting this area with a well-formulated eye cream is essential."

That doesn't mean you should slather eye cream all over your under-eye area, though. "Eye cream should be applied only to the orbital bone around the eyes, which is the bone just at the top of the cheekbone," says Rouleau.

For daily use, we recommend Tatcha eye serum in a pea-sized amount every 12 hours. While eye serum can be applied in the morning, nighttime application can be a nice addition to your routine thanks to the cooling ceramic applicator. For a more wallet-friendly pick, try BotanicsAll Bright Refreshing Eye Roll-On($14) infused with hibiscus extract.

(Video) How to Anti-Age in Your 30s | Top 10 Tips from a Dermatologist

Skincare in Your 30s: Important Habits to Establish (7)

TatchaLuminous Deep Hydration Firming Eye Serum$88.00


Odds are you didn't get a full eight hours of sleep each night in your 20s, and that undoubtedly took a toll on your skin. "Beauty sleep is very important," says Jaliman. As our experts mention,nighttime is when the skin repairs itself, and the longer you sleep, the more time it has to do that. "Sleep on a satin pillowcase so that the skin doesn't crunch against the pillow and sleep lines do not form," Jaliman suggests. We can't recommend SlipSilk Pillowcase($89) enough for skin and for preventing unwanted frizz and loss of moisture in your hair.

Skincare in Your 30s: Important Habits to Establish (8)

SlipSilk Pillowcase$89.00


The Final Takeaway

Aging is a beautiful, natural thing. After all that our body does for us, the least we can do is treat our skin kindly with the right products as we gracefully age from one year to the next.

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(Video) Skin care in your 30s| Dr Dray


What should my skin care routine be at 35? ›

Generally though, as a rule you'll need the below products for a skincare routine in your 30s.
  • A cleanser.
  • A moisturiser.
  • An SPF.
  • An alcohol-free toner.
  • An antioxidant serum.
  • An eye cream.
  • An exfoliating acid.
  • A retinoid cream.
Jan 31, 2023

How can I keep my skin youthful in my 30s? ›

11 ways to reduce premature skin aging
  1. Protect your skin from the sun every day. ...
  2. Apply self-tanner rather than get a tan. ...
  3. If you smoke, stop. ...
  4. Avoid repetitive facial expressions. ...
  5. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. ...
  6. Drink less alcohol. ...
  7. Exercise most days of the week. ...
  8. Cleanse your skin gently.
Feb 24, 2021

Can I improve my skin in my 30s? ›

Use Anti-Aging Skin Care Products

Your 30s are a time when you may need to start using products that target wrinkles and fine lines. Be sure to use a gentle cleanser, moisturizer, and eye cream, as well as an anti-aging serum or night cream as needed.

Is 35 too late to start a skincare routine? ›

The short answer? No. It's never too late. Read on to find out about the basics of a skincare routine and where to start.

Is 30 too late to start taking care of your skin? ›

If you talk to a dermatologist or any skin expert, they will tell you it is never too late to start a skincare routine. It does not matter how old you are because you will see benefits regardless of your age. The key is to ensure that you stick to your routine every day.

How to look 10 years younger at 35? ›

8 Ways to Maintain a Youthful Appearance
  1. Stay out of the sun. While it's true that the sun isn't the only factor in the overall appearance of your skin, it does play a huge role. ...
  2. Drink plenty of water. ...
  3. Get some ZZZs. ...
  4. Rub it in. ...
  5. Eat a diet rich in plants. ...
  6. Get moving. ...
  7. Establish a good routine. ...
  8. Limit alcohol and caffeine.

How do you age gracefully in your 30s? ›

Tips for aging gracefully
  1. Be kind to your skin. Your skin is your body's largest organ . ...
  2. Exercise. ...
  3. Mind your diet. ...
  4. Mental health matters. ...
  5. Stay physically active. ...
  6. Lower your stress. ...
  7. Quit smoking and decrease alcohol consumption. ...
  8. Get enough sleep.
Jun 18, 2019

How can I look 10 years younger in my 30s? ›

10 Ways to Look 10 Years Younger, Say Experts
  1. Maintain Good Posture.
  2. Don't Forget to Wear Sunscreen on Your Hands.
  3. Eat Anti-Aging Foods.
  4. Smile More.
  5. Exercise.
  6. Get A Good Night's Sleep.
  7. Take Care of Your Skin.
  8. Eat Lots of Veggies.
Sep 5, 2021

At what age does your face change most? ›

Most people begin to notice a shift in the appearance of their face around their 40's and 50's, with some also noticing a change in their 30's. But with these physical changes brought on by aging also comes a change in the appearance of our face - Luckily, there is treatment available.

What are the first signs of aging in 30s? ›

Common Signs of Skin Aging That Appear in the 30's
  • The appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Sagging skin.
  • Loss of volume and elasticity.
  • Experiencing dry and sensitive skin.
  • Hyperpigmentation (also known as dark spots, brown spots, age spots, or sun spots)
  • Uneven skin tone.
  • Dark circles under the eyes.

What serums do I need in my 30s? ›

  • Blu Atlas Vitamin C Serum. ...
  • La Roche-Posay Pure Retinol Face Serum with Vitamin B. ...
  • RoC Retinol Correxion Anti-Aging Line Smoothing Night Serum Capsules. ...
  • IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Lines 1.5% Hyaluronic Acid Serum. ...
  • Dermalogica Biolumin-C Serum. ...
  • Tree of Life Vitamin C Serum, Retinol Serum and Hyaluronic Acid Serum.
Feb 9, 2023

How do I take care of myself in early 30s? ›

Here's what Wilson-Rector recommends for maintaining good health in your 30s:
  1. Schedule an annual physical. ...
  2. Make a depression screening part of your annual physical. ...
  3. Choose a primary care provider you're comfortable with. ...
  4. Don't skip screenings. ...
  5. Stay physically active. ...
  6. Eat well, drink well. ...
  7. Find your release valve.

How do I take care of myself in my 30s? ›

8 Self-Care Habits You Need If You're Over 30
  1. Dial-in your skincare regimen. We hate the term anti-aging. ...
  2. Take vitamin D. ...
  3. Incorporate weight training. ...
  4. Get friendly with your doctor. ...
  5. Go to therapy. ...
  6. Maintain friendships. ...
  7. Stay on top of your medical history. ...
  8. Read for 30 minutes every day.
Jun 8, 2020


1. 10 Things I Wish I Did for My Skin Sooner (Skincare Tips for 20s & 30s) | Susan Yara
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2. Skincare Habits I Formed In My 20s That Paid Off (Skin At 29 Better Than At 19!)
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3. Skincare Habits I Followed in 20's for Better Skin in 30's
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4. Webinar on Skin and Hair Damage #HerHealthMatters
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5. Skincare Habits I Stopped & Started In My 30s: Botox, Tanning, & More Tips! | Skincare @SusanYara
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6. Skincare Tips in your 30s | Skincare routine at 30 | Look young and Stay Healthy AFTER AGE OF 30
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