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Yes, your skin really does start to change at age 30 — here's what you can do about it

Woman in her 30s putting on skin moisturizer
miniseries/Getty Images
  • Near age 30, a few natural processes in your skin, like cell turnover, decrease.

  • You may experience signs of premature aging such as the appearance of fine lines and dark spots.

  • Focusing on hydration and boosting collagen production can help your skin stay glowing.

For those of us with less sensitive skin, our 20s are a time of peak skin resiliency. We can forget to reapply sunscreen and fall asleep in our makeup with little to no immediate consequences, aside from the occasional pimple or sunburn.

Near age 30, however, many people start to realize that their once easy-going skin may be changing. "After the age of 30, skin cell turnover slows down, collagen production decreases, and antioxidant defenses get weaker," Dr. Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital's Department of Dermatology in New York City, told Insider.

This can lead to the newfound appearance of fine lines, as well as dark spots from prolonged sun exposure. Some people can even start experiencing brand new issues, like hormonal or fungal acne.

"That's why it's important to establish a strong skincare routine at this point," Zeichner added.

Whether you already have a daily skincare regimen or have no idea where to start, we spoke to Zeichner about some of his favorite products for people in their 30s to use, and how to apply them for the best outcomes.

Use mornings to protect your skin for the day

"Think of the morning as a time of protection and prevention," Zeichner said.

He said mornings should start with a gentle cleanser, such as Beauty Pie Japanfusion Pure Transforming Cleanser, which he said removes dirt and impurities from the skin without irritating your skin barrier.

Next, he said an antioxidant product, such as a vitamin C serum, should be applied to help boost collagen production and protect against environmental damage to the skin. He suggested the newly launched Morning Cocktail Vitamin C Serum from YSE Beauty, which he said "combines stabilized vitamin C along with brightening niacinamide and skin-repairing squalane and hyaluronic acid."

Lastly, you should always finish your routine with a broad-spectrum sunscreen, and Zeichner recommended Eucerin Age Defense SPF 50 as a great option that "protects not only against UV light but also visible light, which is known to contribute to premature aging and hyperpigmentation."

Evenings should be focused on boosting hydration 

While mornings should focus on prepping the skin for the day, "evening is a time of hydration and repair," according to Zeichner.

"Your evening routine should include a cleanser, a rich moisturizer, and a product that stimulates collagen, like retinol," he said.

Start by cleansing your face to remove any makeup or sunscreen. Afterward, you can either apply retinol or moisturizer first (the order is commonly debated in the dermatology world). Some people prefer to layer on retinol first to get a stronger effect, while those with more sensitive skin might opt to hydrate with moisturizer first.

For retinol, Zeichner recommended RoC Derm Correxion Fill + Treat Serum because it includes hyaluronic acid to boost hydration while retinol helps smooth fine lines. As for the moisturizer, he said Charlotte's Magic Cream from Charlotte Tilbury is a great product that uses plumping hyaluronic acid along with antioxidant vitamins to improve skin tone.

Lasers and Botox deliver more drastic results

Topical products can produce effective long-term results, but they have their limitations. Zeichner said injecting neuromodulators (like Botox and Dysport) is the "number one procedure" he's performing in women in their late 20s and early 30s, with patients often coming in for their 30th birthday.

Getting injections can help prevent existing lines from getting deeper over time. If you're on the fence about when to start, Zeichner said "You're an appropriate candidate when facial expression lines start to stick around at rest."

Other popular options include "lunchtime lasers," which are quick procedures that work by "punching microscopic holes in the skin, creating a controlled wound, and taking advantage of the skin's ability to heal itself up," he said.

Zeichner likened these laser treatments to "getting a personal trainer at the gym." If you continually get it done, it can "improve skin tone, skin texture, and lighten dark spots," he said.

Read the original article on Insider