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6 of the Best Skincare Options by Decade - your 30s

For many of us, our 30s can be a time of much change. Many of us may have children, with pregnancy and associated changes, breastfeeding, chronic sleep deprivation and wrangling little children.

Additionally many of us may be dealing with work outside the home at the same time, and making progression on the career ladder, with the requisite sacrifices of time and some quality of life in the process.

These combinations of sleep deprivation, late nights and long hours, plus physiologic changes such as pregnancy, birth and raising babies, can all wreak havoc on our wellbeing, and our skin.

1. Hormone related changes may result in pigmentation that becomes very hard to get rid of and is mostly an ongoing lifelong management issue.

2. Fine lines and wrinkles may begin to make themselves known on our faces from decades of frowning, squinting and even smiling.

3. Skin begins to thin, and superficial blood vessels may become more apparent, with easier bruising.

With the decreasing collagen that began in our 20s, skin begins to lose its plumpness and glow and for some, adult acne may make itself known.

Chronic sleep deprivation and stress may contribute to overall slight decline in skin health and our general sense of feeling blah.

It is never too late to begin however your 30s heralds a shift in focus from prevention to more correction and if you've done the minimum to date, you may find initially there will be significant upfront costs before maintenance.

So here are some tips to halting the ravages of time and beginning to reverse some before the process worsens.

As always, the foundation of great skin in your 30s remains the same:
- daily sun protection
- getting as much sleep as is feasible
- limiting poor food choices - processed foods, alcohol
- avoid or quit smoking as it's among the worst choices you can make for your overall health and shows on your skin, teeth and nails.
- get regular exercise.
- consistency with all of the above.

1. Personalised skincare including prescription skincare

If you are noticing problems on your skin that you dislike, over the counter skincare may no longer cut it, and may even make matters worse.  Consider a trusted doctor who can help assess and treat your skin concerns including with bespoke prescription ingredients. Common skin concerns in our 30s and older include pigmentation, rosacea as well as acne.

These are all skin diseases, and once present, may be tricky if not impossible to cure, so do yourself a favour and spend on a personalised assessment, diagnosis and treatment plan to manage these conditions instead of experimenting and risking making matters worse.  

Skincare favourites in this decade of life, provided there are no pregnancy related concerns, are Vit A derivatives and Vit C alongside any others your doctor may prescribe.

2. Anti wrinkle treatments

Unlike anti wrinkle treatments in our 20s, when some use them in baby doses for prophylaxis, by now, you may noticed the faint beginning of lines even at rest aka static lines- a combination of declining skin quality and receptive muscle movements. These are much harder to soften and take time, and regular anti wrinkle treatments are a great way to do this.

The drug works by softening/ paralysing the muscles used in forming the lines such that over time, the lines are softened.

Using smaller doses as preventatives in other areas of the face remains a viable option to prevent deep etched in lines a few years later. Additionally, anti wrinkle treatments help smooth out skin and pores, giving skin an added luminosity that is hard to beat when done well.

3. Dermal Fillers

This is often the decade when we begin to notice a definite loss of volume in the face as the combination of chronological ageing, cumulative sun damage and lifestyle choices begin to take effect.

Depending on our genetics we may notice the changes under our eyes, or our cheeks, with dark circles, or deepening lines around the mouth. In some of us, we may even begin to notice hollowing of the temples. 

We may get unsolicited comments about how tired or sad we look. Dermal fillers work to replace some of the lost volume in our faces that give a hollow, gaunt and tired appearance. While they don't lift, they do replace some of the lost volume, creating the illusion of lifting and refreshing the face, in small amounts.

Too much filler, however is a bad thing and risks venturing into the territory of the faces we see all around us - duck lips, Simpson lips, chipmunk cheeks and more so stick to the one injector who knows what they are doing and who takes a holistic approach to the ageing process. Importantly, ensure they know when to say no.

4. Laser neocollagenesis

Laser toning or neocollagenesis is a great way to gently induce collagen production with little to no downtime. On the surface, it's simply a laser session that seems quite relaxing, and doesn't seem to do much immediately. 

A series of sessions are needed for best results, as with all skin therapies, but the laser heats skin layers under the surface, stimulating your own collagen in the process. In the process and depending on the type of laser, it may also help with pigmentation and mild redness. 

5. Collagen Induction Treatments

Treatments such as skin needling, Radiofrequency micro needling as well as Aquagold, PDO threads and PRP treatments are among some of the options available to help induce your own collagen over multiple sessions to induce your own collagen that will last you upto 2 years at a time. 

While the exact method may differ, and different options may be recommended to you based on your skin, your concerns and your budget, they all work by inducing your own collagen production where applied leading over 3-6 months to smoother, firmer skin that has that glow we all seek. 

6. Radiofrequency treatments

Radiofrequency treatments come in many forms, some more reliable than others and work by heating tissue layers under the surface of the skin, causing controlled damage that induces your own collagen production as well as minimal skin tightening (30-40% over repeated treatments). This can be another useful way to stimulate your own collagen while improving skin tightness minimally and improving skin quality. As with all skin therapies, a series of sessions close together is usually needed for best results. 

As with all preventive treatments, the earlier you start, with the basics in place, the less you have to do at a later age to begin to catch up. 

In saying that, it is never too late, and if you do begin on this pathway, the initial costs can be significant so it makes sense to choose a provider who has a multi-modal, holistic approach to the problem at hand so you end up spending on the things you are more likely to need for the results that you want, and which will land you good stead heading into your 40s, where it all comes together. 

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