I Turned 30 and Made These Changes to My Skincare Routine

In the run-up to my 30th birthday last December, I had a lot on my to-do list. It included relearning German, swearing less and understanding my body more. The list was diverse, to say the least, but the last one was probably the task that I focussed on the most. I had a fertility MOT to understand my cycle and reproductive system more, and this in turn informed my skincare habits because the more I was in tune with my cycle, the better I could work out what part of the month my skin felt drier or oilier or even where I was likelier to break out. By just making notes on my cycle, I realised things weren’t really down to luck at all but my cycle and lifestyle combined. The road towards 30 also highlighted that my tired-looking eyes weren’t just down to a bad or stressful week; they were my eyes now. But it also highlighted the features that I appreciated and wanted to preserve and the fact that I catch the sun really easily without burning (safely).

Photo:

@keeksreid

When I was younger, the movies and shows I watched in the noughties made turning 30 seem like this scary pivot into old age, but for me, hitting this decade has just meant learning more about myself and my body, including my skincare needs and the changes to add in for this next stage of life. Here are the steps that are now non-negotiable for my 30s and the products I have in constant rotation.

Eye Cream

I honestly never used to bother with eye cream, but when people say that the eyes are the window to the soul, they are not kidding. I was noticing as work and life got a little more stressful with less sleep and more responsibilities, my eyes were bearing the brunt of it. I now add in a light eye cream for daytime and an active eye cream for nighttime to help minimise the look of dark circles.

CeraVe Reparative Eye Cream

A gentle eye cream formulated with hyaluronic acid and ceramides to keep under-eyes hydrated and reduce the look of dark circles.  

No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Eye Cream

With shea butter and hyaluronic acid, this eye cream aids in moisture-boosting, while the antioxidant complex keeps your eye area looking radiant.

Pacifica Wake Up Beautiful Retinoid Eye Cream

This eye cream contains mushroom-powder extract, which helps with hydration levels and aids in reducing puffiness.

Retinol

This is an addition that most skincare experts recommended to me as I hit my late 20s because of the way it can aid with collagen production, which depletes more the older you get. If you have pretty easy-going skin, a low-level retinol can slip into your routine quite seamlessly in the evening, I started with a 0.3% retinol and gradually worked my way up to being able to tolerate up to 5% now. It can irritate even the most tolerant skin, so I always recommend starting once a week and then stepping up usage. It’s key to remember your SPF when using retinol, as it sensitises your skin.

Kiehl's Retinol Skin-Renewing Daily Micro-Dose Serum

Thanks to the peptides and ceramides in this formula, the possible side effects of retinol, such as skin sensitivity and redness, are pretty much nonexistent with this product. And it left my skin looking plumper from week one.

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

This oil works overnight to improve collagen production and is made with cold-pressed avocado, chia and Concord-grape extracts to improve skin brightness, too.

La Roche-Posay Retinol B3 Serum

This was the first retinol-based serum I ever used, and I found it to be very gentle but effective for dehydration and fine lines.

SPF

Putting more work into crafting a perfect routine for my 30-year-old skin means nothing if I skip SPF. This is especially pertinent when using retinols, but even if not, applying SPF on your face, neck and chest will reduce the chance of premature ageing and pigmentation damage. I slather on at least an SPF 30 every single day without fail, even if it’s a WFH day.

Supergoop! Play Everyday Lotion SPF 50 With Sunflower Extract

A lightweight, non-greasy SPF can be hard to come by, but this is my everyday go-to, as makeup applies so well on top.

If you prefer a mineral suncreen that's coral- and reef-friendly, this is a 100% mineral sunscreen that sinks in quickly with very little cast on the skin.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Uvmune 400 Invisible Fluid SPF50+ Sun Cream

A go-to for my holiday bag or when it’s a super-sunny day in London, this is lightweight and blends in well. I also love the mist version for reapplying sun cream when I have makeup on.

Double Cleansing

I’ve never been one to fall asleep in makeup, but I have been known to wake up and realise that not all my makeup had been washed off, leading to clogged pores and cluster breakouts. Double cleansing in the evening really reduces the chances of this, so I indulge a little more time in creating a clean slate for my actives to work. I’ll use a balm or oil cleanser to start and a milky or gel cleanser as my second cleanse.

Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

A cult classic for it’s effective cleansing ability but also the indulgent texture that makes removing makeup and grim a pleasure rather than a chore.

Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturizing Cleanser

This is a super-gentle cleanser that keeps skin feeling soft and moisturised as it cleans. It’s great for even the most sensitive skin.

 

The Glowcery Blue Dew Fruit Enzyme Oil to Milk Cleanser

This oil cleanses and gently exfoliates thanks to the pineapple enzymes. As you emulsify with water, it turns into a milky texture that keeps skin feeling soft and nourished.  

Vitamin C

I used to really go crazy with actives like glycolic, lactic, azelaic… a manner of acids, really, until I realised I was over-exfoliating my skin for no reason. I used to think I had to slough away at my skin layer to brighten and get rid of hyperpigmentation. But since becoming a vitamin C devotee, I have brighter, plumper-looking skin without the excessive irritation I experienced with acid misuse disrupting my skin barrier.

Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum

This is the vitamin C serum I continue to go back to. You can pretty much see an immediate difference thanks to the potency of the formula, which also includes hyaluronic acid for a hydration boost.

Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil

This oil is the perfect way to seal your skincare routine. With vitamin C and squalane, it keeps moisturising ingredients locked in while boosting radiance.

Ren Clean Skincare Glow Daily Vitamin C Gel Cream

Light layers are my preferred way of doing my skincare, and this day cream layers under SPF and makeup well. It gives the skin an unrivalled glow.

Hand Cream

Just like your neck, your hands have quite thin skin and therefore can often appear more crêpey as you age. If this is something you want to keep at bay, keep a hand cream near at all times like I do. It’s pretty helpful now because with increased handwashing, my hands constantly feel dry, so it alleviates cracked, parched skin and keeps things soft and supple.

Ultrasun SPF25 Anti Pigmentation Hand Cream

It’s key to protect your hands when you’re out in the sun, and this SPF 25 lotion is anti-pigmentation, which is great if you’re prone to sun spots.

Gypsy Water Hand Cream Travel Size

The most luxe hand cream I’ve owned, it’s nourishing thanks to the shea butter in the formula but also smells incredible.

Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula Coconut Hydrate Hand Cream

I keep this cheap and cheerful hand cream on my bedside table, as it’s quite thick but highly nourishing.

Supplements

I started leaning into supplements to aid and work in conjunction with my skincare routine and lifestyle choices. The different supplements I take top up my collagen and biotin (for my hair and nails). I also take a pre and probiotic for gut health and microbiome diversity on the skin, which keeps it balanced and looking healthy.  

Hum Nutrition Skin Squad Pre+Probiotic Clear Skin Supplement

This supplement has nine probiotic strains as well as prebiotic konjac root. The mix helps to improve skin appearance thanks to the way it promotes microbiome diversity.

Professional Treatments

Photo:

@keeksreid

My love for a FaceGym facial has long been documented, but I really do make at least semi-regular face treatments part of my routine now, whether it’s a sculpting treatment pre-event, dermaplaning for a seasonal shift or some light microdermabrasion to treat congested, uneven skin. I’ll get a treatment every two or so months, and my skin looks and feels a lot better than it did even in my early 20s thanks to the regular professional attention.

Next up, the best products to reduce acne scarring.

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