Is your skin just not quite looking the same as it used to with minimal effort? Is it duller, redder and perhaps a bit dry-feeling (or much oilier)? Welcome to your 30s – join the club! Of course, these are general changes that a majority will experience… Unfortunately, as I personally know to be true, some may still be getting spots due to hormones and everyone has their own individual skin concerns due to their genetic makeup, their environment and their lifestyle.
It would be literally impossible to write in such a way to cover every exact skin concern that each hooman has… Your skin is made up nearly exactly the same to everyone else in the world but you are YOU and you may have different goals for your skin than someone else. It is this exact reason that I’m a firm advocate for personalised skin consultations (and why I set up my own online skin consultancy with a team of experts that will educate you and recommend products for you specifically using the magical powers of the internet).
When you’re in your thirties, 2 key things happen to affect what your skin looks like:
- Your own natural production of collagen and hyaluronic acid has slowed down dramatically since you turned 25
- You will start seeing the effects of extrinsic ageing if you haven’t been protecting yourself
Lines, wrinkles and a decrease in density and volume
Collagen and hyaluronic acid – you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone, am I right?! Collagen is the protein that our skin creates that allows it to feel voluminous, plump and bouncy. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant molecule found in our skin – humectant is the important word here as it means something that draws moisture towards it and retains it, like a water magnet.
This decrease in the production of collagen is why you may notice that your chin and the area around your nose isn’t looking as perky as before. It’s possible that your under eye area is feeling a little thinner too and no matter how much sleep you get, your dark circles are poppin’ and not in a good way.
Moisture in the skin gives it its plumpness and allows it to function properly. When our production of HA (hyaluronic acid) decreases, we may notice a lack of plumpness.
This means that in our thirties we need to find ways to help our skin to create as much collagen (and hyaluronic acid) as possible and include topical products that will hydrate the skin and create that plump effect.
Now, I know you’re probably thinking that getting your skin to create collagen is easier said than done. I believe in a 360˚ approach to skincare in that you should be using skincare that helps from the inside, on the outside and on top.
Skincare in your 30s – the nutrients you need to keep your skin plump
Skincare supplements are key for the creation of collagen. Thankfully, there are supplements geared towards prompting our skin to make more collagen. Many experts question how collagen supplements work, suggesting that there is no way for the skin to use the collagen in the bloodstream.
Collagen actually works in a different way than you think, so long as it is hydrolysed collagen in your supplement. The hydrolysed collagen breaks down into highly bioavailable (aka absorbable by the body) peptides and amino acids which are clinically proven to make their way to the skin and stay in the tissue for up to 2 weeks.
At the same time, the peptides trigger our skin’s own production of collagen and increase the amount of glycosaminoglycans in the skin, increasing skin hydration (hyaluronic acid is a GAG, don’t you know?).
The process of collagen synthesis (how our skin produces its own collagen) requires vitamin C. We do get vitamin C in our diet but we realistically are not getting the optimal amount of it. For this reason, make sure that your collagen supplement also contains vitamin C.
IMAGE Yana Daily Collagen Shot is a drinkable, tropical-ly flavoured supplement containing hydrolysed collagen peptides, antioxidants, vitamin C and biotin so it ticks the boxes we’re looking for – all you do is take a shot of it straight once a day or mix it in with your favourite juice or smoothie.
You could also take both a collagen supplements and a skincare vitamin C supplement means that our levels of vitamin C are at the highest amount they can be, thus providing our skin with the materials it needs to make collagen. A deficiency in vitamin C is proven to create a decline in collagen synthesis so making sure that you always have enough means that the collagen conveyor belt can keep running.
You NEED vitamin A
In my opinion, Vitamin A is entirely necessary in all skincare regimes (unless pregnant, breastfeeding or there is any other reason you shouldn’t be using it), both topically and internally through supplements. Why? Topical retinyl palmitate products, aka the fat form of vitamin A, thickens the epidermis and so plumps out fine lines and wrinkles whilst simultaneously stimulating fibroblasts to create more collagen and elastin.
Duller, greyer, sluggish, less radiant skin
At the same time, your skin cell turnover is slowing down too. Skin cell turnover, or desquamation in nerdie terms, is the process of fresh, new skin cells being created and older, dead-er ones being shed off. Ever wondered why children have such glowy, dewy, soft skin?! It’s because their skin cell turnover is faster than adults due to the rate at which they are growing. Don’t you wish you were told to appreciate your skin more as a youth?!
When your skin cell turnover slows down, the dead skin cells that make up the stratum corneum, aka the uppermost layer of the skin, accumulate on the surface of the skin and don’t get rid of themselves as quickly as they did before.
More dead skin cells means a lack of radiance as the layers of dead skin cells stop light from reflecting off the skin. So, if you’re in your thirties and not chemically exfoliating, you’re doing yourself a big disservice.
Get on the acids or enzymes bandwagon as exfoliating your face with scrubs or grits (shop-bought OR homemade) is just causing damage to the surface of your face and compromising your barrier – eugh.
Opt for glycolic acid like in IMAGE Ageless Total Facial Cleanser (€34.00), lactic acid like in Gallinee’s La Culture Foaming Facial Cleanser (€30.00) which contains a low amount so can be used everyday or salicylic acid like that in Dermalogica’s Clearing Skin Wash (€41.00) which is also suitable for daily use.
You can also find products that contain more than one exfoliating acid, such as the Academie Derm Acte Restorative Exfoliating Night Cream (€65), for the benefits of both lactic acid (hydrating) and salicylic acid (dissolves plugs of sebum/dead skin cells within the pore). This night cream is also suitable for use everyday.
Enzymes are a fab option for those who want smoothy-smooth, soft, radiant skin but perhaps their skin is a little bit reactive. The enzymes in IMAGE Skincare Vital C Hydrating Enzyme Masque (€42.00) will gently gobble off the dead skin cells on the surface of the skin without irritating your princess skin.
The onset of rosacea
This is not something that will happen to everyone but you may notice that you have rosacea. Rosacea is a long-term skin condition that can be treated but not cured. Why do people get rosacea? Well, it’s thought to have a genetic element (you’re much more likely to have it if your parents had it) and statistically, it is more common in those of fairer complexions and in women.
The symptoms of rosacea tend to appear between the age of 30 and 50. After years of having technically very healthy, unproblematic skin, you can start to see flushing of the skin, redness that doesn’t go away, spot-like papules and pustules (acne rosacea), bumpiness, visible blood vessels, irritation and swelling. If you have these symptoms and they are persistent, speak to your GP – here at The Skin Nerd online skin consultancy, we can advise you on topical skincare alongside the advice of a medical professional.
Skincare in your 30s – key skingredients
- Vitamin C – to strengthen capillaries and thus diffuse redness, to provide antioxidant protection, to help with pigmentation and provide the supply your skin needs to create its own collagen
- Hyaluronic acid – to hydrate the skin and to plump it out
- Vitamin A – to strengthen the skin, thicken the epidermis and so plump it up, aid in natural exfoliation and repair cell DNA
- A chemical exfoliant, whether it’s with acids or enzymes
- Antioxidants – not mentioned above but they protect us from free radical damage, meaning the damage caused to our skin by external factors like pollution, secondhand smoke and everyday life… vitamin C, A & E are all potent antioxidants and there are 100s of others
- Academíe Scientifique De Beauté’s Derm Acte Antioxidant Cream (€59.20) contains both vitamin A & vitamin C (and doubles as a primer)
- Wearing sunscreen everyday of your life, in particular, a broad spectrum sunscreen (and not the one in your makeup or BB cream), is a necessity; no excuses
Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of the things you should be adding into your routine? Don’t fret – our team of expert skin analysts can help you to figure it out and we ship respected cosmeceutical brands direct to your door.
- Study on hydrolysed collagen peptides: Borumand M, Sibilla S: Effects of a nutritional supplement containing collagen peptides on skin elasticity, hydration and wrinkles. Journal of Medical Nutrition & Nutraceuticals. 2015;4:47-53.