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A guide to looking after your skin during your 30s

An expert approved guide covering everything you need to know about transitioning your skincare and treatments for great skin in your 30s

Our skin changes pretty dramatically throughout the course of our lives. Unfortunately, what once worked as a teenager, isn’t going to work forever — as much as we’d love the simplicity of that. The changes in our skin as we reach our 30s, is far more significant than the change we experience as we enter our 20s.

It’s more than likely that you’ll notice some big differences, that will see you want to change up your skincare, and you’re probably more interested in in-clinic treatments than you were before. To understand exactly what’s going on with your skin during your 30s, we’ve called in the help of three top Etre Vous experts to share everything you need to know.

What happens to our skin during our 30s 

You may think that the pigmentation, lines, wrinkles, sensitivity, dehydration, dryness etc that can begin to develop in our 30s is happening in real time. But, “there’s an emerging theory that 50% of damage happens to our skin before the age of 18,” explains Dr Nestor Demosthenous, Etre Vous expert and founder of Dr Nestor's Medical Cosmetic Centre. “We lose 1-1.5 per cent of our total collagen every year after the age of 25,” he adds. On top of collagen decline, there’s also a hyaluronic acid and elastin decline, too, and of course lifestyle related damage – think UV, diet, smoking and more. If that’s not enough, “the natural process of cell turnover also slows down,” adds Etre Vous expert, Dr Raquel Amado.

This changes the present in a number of ways. Cell turnover slowing can lead to “a dull complexion and uneven skin tone,” says Dr Ifeoma Ejikeme, founder and Medical Director of Adonia Medical Clinic. “Collagen and elastin production decrease causes mild fine lines and wrinkles to appear,” she adds. On top of this, for women, hormonal changes, pregnancy, and stress can also lead to pigmentation and acne breakouts.” Demosthenous also notes that he sees under eye fine lines and dark circles being a concern among those in their 30s. And over the course of this decade, it’s likely that without a targeted skincare regime and treatment plan you’ll notice these concerns become more prominent.

Skincare changes to make in your 30s 

The first aspect to address, is the skincare you’re using at home. Whilst nothing is a miracle worker, consistent use of the correct products for your skin type can have a huge impact on skin health.
All of our experts were in agreement that sunscreen should be your number one priority when it comes to at-home skincare. It truly is the most efficient (and affordable) way to keep premature ageing and hyperpigmentation at bay — not to mention protecting from the sun’s harmful UV rays. “Look for an SPF of 50 or higher and apply it every day, even on cloudy days,” says Amado.

Next up is incorporating vitamin C into your AM routine - not the kind you get from orange juice. “It’s a powerful antioxidant that can help to brighten your skin and improve its overall tone. It can also protect you from the sun by helping block some of the pigmentation processes,” explains Dr Demosthenous.
Retinoids aren’t hailed as the hero ingredient in skincare for nothing. “They stimulate collagen production, hyaluronic acid production, decrease pigmentation and oil production, and help with exfoliation,” Demosthenous explains. It’s a powerful ingredient, which makes it important to start with a low concentration and gradually work your way up,” explains Amado. “Retinol should be used at night, and it's important to wear sunscreen during the day as it can make your skin more sensitive to the sun,” she adds.

Treatments to consider during your 30s 


This is a fantastic starting point if you’re new and perhaps a little apprehensive of in-clinic treatments. Hydrafacial is a type of facial that addresses many concerns (tailored to your specific needs) — appearance of fine lines and pores, dullness, and exfoliation — as well as boosting overall hydration. This means you’ll get an instant glow post-treatment.


Microneedling — particularly when used alongside radio frequency (RF) — is a popular treatment, and for good reason. “You can’t bank collagen, but the idea is to decrease that deficit,” explains Dr Demosthenous, and treatments like this can help with that. RF-microneedling improves collagen, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, and improves tone and texture. Demosthenous also notes that those in their 30s often don’t need many sessions to see great benefits.

Chemical peels 

Chemical peels don’t have to be scary and can yield excellent results when used correctly. They are tailored for your skin type to address things like hyperpigmentation, lessen the appearance of fine lines, and clear congestion revealing a more radiant complexion.

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