The Ultimate Guide to Skincare in Your 30s
Your 30s are probably the most interesting years in your life, for your skin and in general too. For most of you with acne, the breakouts have stopped (your hormonal changes are quite under control now). However, some of you may start noticing a few early signs of ageing, like a fine line here and a wrinkle there. Don’t worry though, modern medicine and basic common sense has a lot to offer and can help you pull through your 30s with healthy, beautiful skin.
I always like to start with the basics, so here is the regular spiel:
1. Cleansing: The importance of washing your face twice a day to keep it free from oil and bacteria along with getting rid of makeup in the night must, by now, be ingrained into your routine. If not, it’s never too late to start.
2.Moisturising: Irrespective of the season, moisturisers should always be used. Choose one based on your skin type and the ongoing season. Washing always removes moisture from the skin, which in turn accelerates aging. Whenever you moisturise your face, don’t leave the neck and hands behind. These are first to show signs of aging. You can read all about moisturisers and understand which one is suitable for you here.
3.Sunscreen: Please use sunscreen every day, for 365 days of the year. We all know about the damage UV rays can do to the skin (this includes premature ageing). So, use a sunscreen of SPF 30 and above every time you step out.
Now that that’s clear, let’s get to the specifics of the changes your skin experiences in your 30s and how you can continue keeping it healthy. The changes you may experience can broadly be categorised into 2 types:
Physical Changes: As you age, your metabolism slows down. This leads to issues like weight gain. Also, the cell regeneration in your body slows down, meaning your skin ages a lot faster than it can heal itself.
Psychological Changes: Most of us have more responsibilities and higher stress levels in our 30s. Believe it or not, stress by far causes the most harm to your skin and overall health.
These changes ask for specific attention to certain aspects of your life that you may have taken lightly in your faster, younger years.
Hydration: As you age, your skin finds it difficult to maintain its natural hydration levels. This means that you have to ensure that you consume your daily quota of water, which is about 2.5 litres for women and 3.5 litres for men. You can read more about dehydrated skin here.
Nutrition: You can no longer afford to eat whatever you like, whenever you like. It is essential to keep a watch on the calorific value of what you eat and also the basic nutritional value of what you eat. Seeing a nutritionist is not the worst of ideas. Avoid copious amounts of antioxidant-rich foods. These antioxidants help in removing toxic free radicals from your body, which are detrimental to the health of your skin. You can read more about diet and skin here.
Exercise & Relaxation: A routine which involves adequate amount of physical exercise and relaxation activities is extremely important for you to de-stress yourself. These activities release the good chemicals in your body, like endorphins that help regulate your entire physical and mental system.
Sleep: This is probably something most of us take lightly in our 20s. Sleeping is like resetting your system and giving your body and mind time to recuperate from the battering they have taken through the day. Try setting a sleep routine that includes things and activities that help you fall asleep on time and in a relaxed state.
Now that you know what you need to do for a healthy lifestyle, let’s talk about what ingredients you need to lookout for in beauty products you include in your skincare routine. These products include serums, creams, etc., that either serve a specific purpose or are all-in-one solutions. As always, I recommend that you speak to your dermatologist before trying anything new.
Retinol: Retinols are vitamin A derivatives that are very effective in reducing recent fine lines and wrinkles. They also help in minimising pores and blemishes.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which helps in reducing toxic radicals that cause skin damage. It also helps in stimulating collagen production, thereby increasing elasticity of the skin.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA): HA boosts collagen production and improves hydration of skin, and hence, its elasticity.
Also, as you age, effects of ageing are seen more clearly in certain areas of your face, like around your eyes. Ensure that you pay specific attention to this area and have suitable products for the same.
As for beauty procedures that boost skin health in 30-year-olds, please note that mild treatments that are not drastic but definitely effective will help you to maintain smooth, supple skin. These include:
1. Medical Face Clean-ups: This is a simple procedure in which a trained aesthetician carries out a clean-up of whiteheads, blackheads, etc. It’s advisable to get it done between once every month to once in 3 months, based on exposure to pollution and other environmental factors.
Microdermabrasion: It is a simple treatment that helps you exfoliate your skin with a tightly controlled machine that administers exfoliation crystals. It will rid you of dead cells in the upper layers of your skin and will help you get healthier looking skin. You can read more about this procedure here.
Ionization: The primary purpose of this procedure is to help certain medicated serums and creams to penetrate into the deeper layers of your skin, resulting in intense, long-lasting moisturisation. Read more about it here.
Chemical/Medical Peels: Peels vary in composition based on the purpose for which they’re being used. They’re are safe and time-tested. Peels help rejuvenate and regenerate the skin. You can read more about peels here.
Laser Skin Rejuvenation: This is the most effective method for skin rejuvenation. It helps in achieving an even skin tone and a near instant glow. Read more about this treatment here.
Unfortunately, like most things in life, it’s impossible to recommend a one-size-fits-all treatment. It’s best for you to see a dermatologist who can identify the line of treatment that is most suitable for you.
With a little effort and diligence, you can knock off the years from your skin and make your 30s your second 20s.
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This article is one in a series of articles on skin conditions by Dr. Sejal Saheta – MD, DNB – Dermatology and Venereology. The objective of this series is to educate the reader and help them take precautions against various skin conditions they come across on an everyday basis. These articles are not meant to be used by patients for self-diagnosis or for avoiding proper medical treatment. The images used in the above blogs are only for visual representation purposes. Actual results may vary from patient to patient.