Best Skincare Regimen for Your 30s - Expert Tips and Advice

It can be intimidating to start a new hobby or lifestyle change, even when it comes to skincare. The social media posts on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube might make these skincare routines look daunting and time-consuming. While some of the infamous eleven-step routines most definitely aren’t for beginners, it’s never been easier (nor is it ever too late) to start investing in skincare. Thanks to the ability to access information at our fingertips, millions of users have become professionals in their homes and so can you!

If you’ve entered what many consider the dreaded 30s or are still in your 20s and looking to get a jumpstart on anti-aging routines, be sure to check out our guide below. We discuss a healthy lifestyle in terms of skincare habits, beneficial products to incorporate, and we even speak to some experts in the industry about their favorite products.

Is 30 too late to begin anti-aging treatments?

Of course not! 30 is never too late to begin anti-aging treatments and skincare practices. Starting a proactive skincare routine and incorporating anti-aging strategies in your 30s can be quite beneficial in maintaining the health and appearance of your skin as you age. While the signs of aging may not be as pronounced in your 30s as they are later in life, it's an ideal time to establish healthy habits that can help prevent or minimize the effects of aging.

What are the signs of aging on the face at 30?

Signs of aging, particularly on the face, can vary depending on factors like genetics, sun exposure, skincare habits, and overall lifestyle. Here are some common signs of aging that might appear on the face around your 30th birthday:

  • Fine Lines and Expression Lines: Fine lines, sometimes referred to as "laugh lines" or "crow's feet," might begin to appear around the eyes and mouth. These lines are typically the result of repeated facial expressions over time.

  • Loss of Skin Elasticity: The skin might begin to feel slightly less firm and elastic as opposed to your 20s. This can contribute to a subtle loss of skin tone and tightness.

  • Uneven Skin Tone & Texture: Minor irregularities in skin tone, such as areas of hyperpigmentation (dark spots) or unevenness, may become more noticeable as you enter your 30s. Skin texture might also become slightly rougher or less smooth due to reduced cell turnover and the beginning stages of collagen and elastin breakdown.

  • Pore Size: Pores might appear slightly larger due to a combination of factors such as genetics, sebum production, and sun exposure.

  • Dryness: Skin can begin to feel drier and less hydrated with age, which can contribute to a dull complexion. It becomes even more crucial to maintain hydration, both topically and by consuming enough water daily, as well as providing your body with an enriched diet.

  • Loss of Volume: Some individuals might notice a slight loss of facial volume, particularly in the cheeks or under the eyes.

How to start a skincare routine in your 30s?

Starting a skincare routine in your 30s is a proactive step toward maintaining healthy and youthful-looking skin as you age. Here's our recommended guide to help you establish an effective skincare routine tailored to your needs:

Cleansing: Any beneficial skincare routine starts with a gentle cleanser suitable for your skin type. Cleansing removes dirt, oil, and makeup from the skin without stripping your skin of its natural moisture. Be sure to cleanse twice daily, in the morning and before bedtime.

Consistency: Consistency is key to seeing results in skincare. Stick to your routine and give products time to work. Oftentimes, changes in your skin or desired results may take several weeks to become noticeable.

Hydration, Moisturization, & Nourishment: Incorporate a hydrating moisturizer appropriate for your skin type. Moisturizing helps maintain your skin's protective barrier and prevents dryness. Applying a nourishing night cream or moisturizer to hydrate your skin overnight can also be beneficial. Keep an eye out for products with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and peptides.

Professional Guidance: If you’re unsure of where to begin or about a certain product or active ingredient in a formula, always consult a dermatologist or skincare professional for personalized advice. They can recommend treatments or adjustments to your routine based on your skin's needs and concerns.

Sun Protection: Taking precautions outdoors, even in winter, can never be emphasized enough. Apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every morning, even on cloudy days, at the end of your routine but before applying makeup. Sun protection is crucial to prevent premature aging and protect your skin from UV damage. This especially includes the increased sensitivity around your eyes, which is where sunglasses come into play.

Targeted Treatments: If you have specific concerns such as hyperpigmentation or acne, consider adding targeted treatments such as serums or creams containing ingredients like niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, or salicylic acid. These more specialized formulas will produce more effective results than a general skincare regimen.

Understand Your Skin Type: Perhaps the most important element of any skincare routine is knowing your skin type (normal, oily, combination) and any specific skin concerns you want to address, such as fine lines and uneven skin tone. This will help you choose products that suit your skin's unique needs and get you closer to achieving the intended results.

What serums should you use in your 30s?

While not required, using facial serums can be a beneficial addition to your skincare routine in your 30s. Serum cocktails can help address specific concerns and provide targeted treatments. Here are some types of serums that are commonly recommended for individuals in their 30s:

  1. Antioxidant Serums: In the morning, after cleansing and before sunscreen, apply an antioxidant serum containing ingredients like vitamin C. Antioxidants help protect the skin from environmental damage by embracing the skin’s protective barrier and promoting a brighter complexion.
  2. Glycolic Acid Serum: Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that exfoliates the skin, promoting cell turnover and improving skin texture. It can help address concerns like uneven skin tone, dullness, and fine lines.
  3. Hyaluronic Acid Serum: Hyaluronic acid is a hydrating powerhouse that can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Using a hyaluronic acid serum can help plump and hydrate the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and promoting a smoother complexion.
  4. Niacinamide Serum: Consider using niacinamide serum to help control sebum production, minimize pores, and improve overall skin texture. They have also been known to reduce the appearance of dark circles on the skin and around the eyes.
  5. Peptide Serum: Peptides are short chains of amino acids that can help support collagen and improve the overall texture of the skin. They are often found in anti-aging serums to help promote skin firmness and moisture retention.
  6. Retinol Serum: Retinol is perhaps one of the most famous skincare ingredients, famous for its ability and power to reduce aging signs such as fine lines and wrinkles from years of expression lines. Start with a lower concentration and gradually increase frequency as your skin adjusts, as it has the potential to irritate the skin and make the skin more sensitive to sunlight. Due to this occurrence, it’s best to apply retinol in your PM routine.
  7. Vitamin C Serum: Vitamin C serums help brighten your complexion and protect your skin from environmental stressors, acting as a powerhouse antioxidant.
  8. You don't necessarily need to use all these serums simultaneously. Choose serums based on your specific skin concerns and goals. To avoid overwhelming your skin, introduce new serums gradually and ensure they complement your existing routine. You can alternate serums in your routine as well, only applying certain formulas on specific days.


What are dermatologist-recommended skincare routines for your 30s?

Dermatologists often recommend a comprehensive yet simplified skincare routine for individuals in their 30s to address common concerns and maintain healthy skin. In recent years, they have become champions of skinimalism to prevent aggravation of the skin.

According to Dr. Amoafo-Mensah, a dermatologist specialist based in the United Kingdom, she “loves the direction skincare has taken now because people can easily research for themselves which ingredients they should incorporate into their skincare routine to achieve their individual skincare goals.”

Mensah’s personal favorite from the Dēpology collection is the Anti-Aging Retinol Night Cream. “A retinol or retinoid should be incorporated into many of our skincare routines for its anti-aging and anti-hyperpigmentation effects,” says Mensah. She notes that Dēpology is unique because its products are “based on ingredients that we have the science to support, such as niacinamide and hyaluronic acid, to name a few. They’ve also used innovative techniques to formulate their products, which makes them stand out.”

What are affordable skincare routines for your 30s?

Creating an affordable skincare routine for your 30s doesn't have to drain your bank account. There are effective skincare products available at various prices that can help you maintain healthy and radiant skin. Here's an affordable, simplified skincare routine that you might want to consider:


Always begin any routine with a gentle cleanser suited to your skin type. Look for options without harsh sulfates. Affordable drugstore options are often available over the counter.

While not always necessary, if you enjoy using a toner, choose an alcohol-free formula that provides a boost of hydration. Many toners are available at affordable prices. By implementing toner into the early stages of your routine, you not only prep the skin for the rest of your desired products but remove any lingering impurities not washed away by your cleanser.

Moisturizer with SPF
Opt for a daytime moisturizer with at least SPF 30 to provide sun protection so that you get two steps finished in one. Look for moisturizers that are suitable for daily use and won't leave a greasy residue.


Eye Cream
Aside from cleansers and moisturizers, consider investing in a budget-friendly eye cream that addresses concerns like puffiness and dark circles. These can provide the area around the eyes with extra moisturization. Apply it gently around the eye area using your ring finger.


Use an affordable exfoliating scrub or gentle chemical exfoliant (like glycolic acid) once or twice a week to promote skin cell turnover. Exfoliating helps improve skin texture and allows other products to penetrate more effectively. This is done at the beginning of your routine.

Face Mask
Applying a budget-friendly hydrating or purifying face mask once or twice a week to address specific concerns can be a reward following the completion of a skincare routine. There are countless masks available to treat a variety of skin care concerns without having to leave the couch.


Focus on the essential steps rather than the optional ones. For example, targeted serums aren’t a requirement, but you never want to skip cleansing or moisturizing. You don't need a complex routine to achieve desired results.

Ingredients Over Brand
Prioritize effective ingredients on labels like vitamin C, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and retinol over brand names. Before introducing new ingredients, be sure to perform a patch test, preferably on a less noticeable area like the armpit or forearm. If you notice any redness or reactions, it might be best to leave it out of your routine.

Affordable DIY
Some natural ingredients including honey, yogurt, and oatmeal can be used in DIY masks and treatments.


Conclusion: SKINCARE IN YOUR 30S

Everyone's skin ages differently, and the signs of aging can vary widely. Additionally, some people in their 30s might not experience these changes yet, while others might notice them earlier. While it's natural to want to address these changes, it's best to approach skincare with a positive mindset and focus on maintaining skin health rather than solely trying to reverse the signs of aging.

A skincare routine doesn't need to be overly complicated or thought out. Start with a few essential products and gradually add in additional steps as needed. As your skin changes over time, adjust your routine accordingly. Additionally, be patient and let the formulas work their magic. Achieving and maintaining healthy skin is a journey that requires dedication and time.