Your twenty-something skin has something to tell you: Baby, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Because once your thirties roll around you can say hello to signs of ageing—and possibly even some new adult acne! (Happy birthday to you—here are some roller coaster hormones and the zits to prove it.)
“[Turning 30] really is a watershed year, in that your skin begins to change on the outside,” says Mona Gohara, M.D., dermatologist at Advanced DermCare and associate clinical professor at Yale School of Medicine.
Your collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid levels (the stuff that keeps your skin plump and firm) will start going down, Gohara says, as your hormones fluctuate and sun damage starts to show. Fun.
Thankfully, there are preventative measures you can take now so you don't have to deal. Just incorporate these five derm-approved products into your routine:
1. A retinoid serum
This is a great time to start using a topical retinoid, which helps stimulate collagen production, says Joshua Zeichner, M.D. and director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital. (It also has a ton of other benefits, like fighting acne and evening out skin texture and pigmentation.)
By using it now, you can keep your skin's foundation strong, which will help fight aging down the road. Zeichner recommends Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum (Priceline $43), which is clinically proven to reduce both fine lines and deep wrinkles.
2. A gentle, non-soap cleanser
“By the time you are 30, your skin barrier starts to thin, making you more prone to irritation, and dry skin," says Gohara. "And a lot of cleansers strip the barrier even more." She recommends sticking to the basics and reaching for a gentle, non-irritating cleanser, like the Dove Beauty Bar (Priceline $1.49).
3. A daily moisturiser with SPF
"In the morning, it is important to protect your skin from environmental exposures like UV light," says Zeichner. The easiest way to do this is by incorporating a moisturiser with sunscreen into your daily routine. While you may not be getting sunburnt on your daily walk to work, even small levels of UV light add up over a lifetime—leading to early wrinkling, Zeichner says. He recommends Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Facial Moisturiser With Broad Spectrum SPF 30—not only does it protect the skin, it smoothes and evens it as well.
4. A vitamin C moisturiser or serum
Peter Thomas Roth
If you’re looking to nail down an antioxidant for your changing skin, focus on vitamin C, says David Lortscher, M.D. and founder of Curology. “Vitamin C blocks damage before it even happens by neutralising free radicals," he says. (Free radicals from the environment damage your skin's cells—leading to signs of ageing and even skin cancer). "It also helps rebuild your skin’s structure by stimulating collagen production, a protein that makes up your connective tissue and gives your skin its structure.”
5. A body moisturiser
After 30, our skin cannot hold onto hydration as efficiently as it used to, says Zeichner—that's true for the skin on your face and on the rest of your body. If you haven't started already, start applying a light moisturiser on a regular basis to help maintain a healthy skin foundation. Light lotions that are easy to spread and don't leave you feeling heavy or greasy are a great option.