So you’re 30something, and that same skin care routine you started when you were 19 doesn’t seem to be giving you the same results it used to, right? Maybe your skin seems different, or you break out now even though you never did in your teens and 20’s? It may also feel drier, the pores may seem larger, and…wait…is that sunspot or a wrinkle?! Blemishes, and sunspots, and wrinkles, OH MY! Well calm down Dorothy—you might not be in Kansas anymore, but no one’s dropped a house on your face. You’ve just changed a little. So lets follow the yellow brick road and get to know your new skin, and learn to care of it now that it’s out of Kansas…I mean, your 20’s.
The Breakouts: The most common breakouts I see in 30somethings are hormonal breakouts around the chin. It’s a lie that women go through puberty, and then it’s smooth skin sailing. Our hormones are constantly changing, and on top of that, we eventually get to experience “second puberty”— menopause.
What to do: If you’re dealing with this type of breakout, see your doctor. The best way to deal with hormonal breakouts is to get those hormones under control, and your doctor will be able to guide you in the right direction. Outside of prescription help, you can also do yourself a favor by avoiding foods that contain hormones. Try to get hormone free meats and dairy, milk and butter from grass-fed cows, or try alternatives like almond milk.
Sun Spots: Remember that amazing tan you got every summer in college? Or even, bless your heart, year round thanks to the tanning bed? How about all those fun days a kid playing outside in the sprinklers? Guess what—They’reeee baaaacccckkkk! Most people actually get 80% of the sun damage in their lifetime before turning 18, it just takes a while for it to start showing. On top of that, for every decade that goes by, we lose 8-20% of our melanocytes, the pigment producing cells in our skin. Of course, they don’t disappear in a nice, neat, and orderly manner…so this leads to skin looking uneven and mottled in some areas. Hooray aging!
What to do: Use products with high quality vitamin C and treatment serums containing hydroquinone. Kojic acid and alpha hydroxy acids work well on darker skin as well. If you’re looking to really attack those spots, consult a doctor about IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) treatments or a chemical peel along with your at-home treatments. And don’t forget your daily SPF. No need to add extra sun damage!
Wrinkles: As we age, our cellular turnover rate decreases. When you’re 20, the rate your cells turn-over can be 20 days or fewer. By 30, this rate can be 30 or more days. The faster your cells turn over the less likely they are to be damaged before they produce new cells, keeping cells fully functional, healthy, and less likely to form wrinkles. Collagen cells form rope-like bundles under the skin in organized patterns in smooth skin. Damage in your collagen cells can lead to the more disorganized structure that is found in wrinkled skin.
What to do: Use a retinoid at night. This helps to increase cellular turnover rate and improve collagen production. SPF also helps prevent the UV exposure that damages cells…so wear sunscreen.
Large Pores: Remember that cellular turnover rate we just talked about? Yuuup, it’s causing this issue too. Because your cells aren’t shedding as rapidly as they used to, that sluggishness leads to excess oil, skin cells, and other environmental debris getting trapped in your pores. All that stuff gets stuck in there and expands your pores. Silver lining—great blackheads for your esthetician to extract. 🙂
What to do: Using a retinoid at night helps here as well. You should also try exfoliating 1-2 times a week to help with the cell shedding process and avoid buildup in your pores.
Dryness: Our skin naturally gets drier as we age. Not too many people in their 80’s complainof excess oil. If you had oily skin as a teen and in your 20s, it may be hard for you to wrap your mind around the idea that you’re just not oily anymore. If you always had a tendency to get dry, it may get worse. It also gets more difficult for our cells to hold on to water as well as lower oil production, which can make the dryness issue more complicated than just putting on a moisturizer.
What to do: Don’t be afraid of oil. If you’re dry, give your skin what it needs! Try an oil cleanser. You may be surprised how much you love it! If your current moisturizer doesn’t seem to be doing the trick, try something a little thicker. I would recommend that you use a hydrating toner to keep the water balance in your skin, as well.
Remember, your skin is the largest organ in your body, and an overall representation of your health. As you age and your hormones change, decades of environmental damage starts to manifest, and your body starts to slow down, your skin will inevitably begin to start exhibiting outward symptoms of all of these effects. That’s ok—it happens to all of us. The key is to keep updating your skin care routine to be as effective as possible for the stage of life that you are in. Find products that really make your skin feel great instead of just using what you’re used to.
One of the best ways to get great advice on what products to use is to schedule a facial and let your esthetician help you!
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