Dive back into our Skin Care by the Decades series with Dr. Shoná Burkes-Henderson, Associate Principal Scientist, to learn skin care tips and more for thirty-somethings! Not in your 30s yet? Check out one of these articles for information that you can apply to your daily routine! 

Skin Care by the Decades: Your 20s
Skin Care Routines 101
Product Safety 101

Dr. Shoná Burkes-Henderson, Associate Principal Scientist, a black female scientist, smiling in a scientific setting

How does my skin change in my 30s?

Aging is an inevitable, complex process that can be clinically described as having features such as wrinkles, sunspots, uneven skin colour and sagging skin. Signs of aging begin to appear in your late 20s, and you start to produce 1% less collagen in the skin every year, and the rate of cell renewal begins to decline. In your 30s: 

Wrinkles begin to appear due to decreased collagen and elastin levels and the impact of repetitive facial expressions. For example, you may see fine lines and wrinkles in the eye area (crow’s feet) and smile or forehead lines.
Cell turnover begins to slow in your early 30s, contributing to uneven skin tone and tired, dull-looking skin. 
 
Even though aging can definitely feel jarring or scary for some people when those first signs of aging start to appear, aging is natural and not a bad thing! What’s truly important is that you take care of your skin so it can be beautiful and healthy at any age.
A blonde white woman with beautiful even skin

What does essential skin care look like in my 30s?

In addition to having a basic skin care routine (cleansing, moisturizing and UV protection), add age-fighting products that target fine lines and wrinkles, and uneven skin tone along with other more noticeable signs of aging to your regimen. Choosing the right age-defying products for your skin can help reduce premature signs of aging and keep your skin looking healthier and younger. 

• Facial Cleanser: Cleanse day and night to help remove makeup, dirt and impurities that can lead to blocked pores and breakouts.  
• Antioxidant Serum: Use an antioxidant-rich serum to protect against free radicals on skin, which can contribute to premature skin aging including fine lines, pigment changes and textural irregularities.  
• Exfoliation Product: Remove dead skin layers and speed up your skin cell turnover to help give you radiant skin. 
• Moisturizing Sunscreen: Choose a moisturizing cream that contains SPF to keep skin hydrated and protected from environmental stressors such as UV radiation. Sunscreen protects your skin from UVA rays that contribute to wrinkles and brown spots and UVB rays that contribute to sunburn. Daily use of a sunscreen is a must.

 Retinol: Add a topical Retinol product to your regimen to help improve the overall texture and even-toned skin. Apply it at night and avoid your eye area.  
• Moisturizer or Hydrating Face Mask: Use a hydrating cream or a moisturizing face mask to help skin retain the moisture it needs to promote softer, smoother, more supple-looking skin.  
• Eye Cream: Use an eye cream both day and night to hydrate the skin around the eyes and increase suppleness.

Product Suggestions:
• Try TimeWise Replenishing Serum C+E™ to add an antioxidant megaboost to your regimen for skin that’s firmer looking, brighter and glowing with good health. 
• Exfoliate twice each week with the TimeWise Repair® Revealing Radiance® Facial Peel, which uses glycolic acid as a chemical exfoliant, or try TimeWise® Microdermabrasion Plus Set, Botanical Effects® Invigorating Scrub or Mary Kay Naturally® Exfoliating Powder for physical exfoliation. 
• Add the Mary Kay Clinical Solutions™ Retinol 0.5 Set for a nightly dose of the powerhouse ingredient retinol. 
• Lock in vital moisture in 10 pampering minutes with the hydrating TimeWise® Moisture Renewing Gel Mask.

SKIN CARE TIP: SKIN TYPE RECOMMENDATIONS

If you have normal skin, your skin does not experience dryness or oiliness. Since your skin is more forgiving than other skin types, you can easily try cleansers, moisturizers and masks until you find what works for you. But what about the other skin types?

A smear of the pink, moisturizing TimeWise® Moisture Renewing Gel Mask
DRY 
 If this is your skin type, your skin may feel tight, and fine lines and wrinkles are more visible. Look for products that emphasize extra hydration like Mary Kay® Intense Moisturizing Cream and the TimeWise® Moisture Renewing Gel Mask!

Four purple, creamy dots of Mary Kay® Oil-Free Hydrating Gel in various sizes
OILY 
Your skin has an over-production of sebum (oil) and shine but also fewer wrinkles. Use oil-free moisturizers like the Mary Kay® Oil-Free Hydrating Gel, cleansers with salicylic acid, clay masks and products labeled as “non-comedogenic” that don’t clog your pores. Even oily skin needs moisturization.

A smear of the gray, creamy Clear Proof® Deep-Cleansing Charcoal Mask
COMBINATION
Your skin is defined by an oily T-zone and dry/normal skin on the rest of your face. Some products are designed specifically for combination skin, but many products are flexible enough for your use. Choose the products that moisturize your skin without making your T-zone feel too heavy, or try multimasking with Clear Proof® Deep-Cleansing Charcoal Mask and the TimeWise® Moisture Renewing Gel Mask!

A man dispensing MKMen® Shave Foam into his hand

Do men in their 30s have different skin care concerns from women in their 30s? Do you have different advice for women and men in their 30s? 

Skin aging is generally the same regardless of gender. With aging, the slowing down in collagen production generates a loss of hydration and skin thinning which can lead to the appearance of wrinkles. So if you already have a basic regimen (cleanser, SPF protection, and moisturization), focus on products that target fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone. 

However, men generally don’t focus on skin care as much as women do. Male grooming habits and behavioral differences also contribute to different skin needs compared with women. For example, daily or weekly shaving with razors can contribute to increased irritation and dryness. Men are also less likely to protect themselves against sun damage and nourish their skin compared to women, so they need to make sure they’re focusing on that.

Product Suggestions: 
MKMen® Skin Care includes the basic products men need to care for their skin (face wash, moisturizer with SPF and eye cream), but it also features shave foam and after-shave gel to help with irritation like razor burn.

SKIN CARE TIP: THE BEST WAY TO SHAVE

Mary Kay Global Beauty Ambassador Luis Casco recently gave us a few tips about men’s skin care — including shaving! He suggests shaving after a warm shower so your pores can be more open. Then wet your face with warm water before applying the shave foam. Follow by gently shaving in the direction your hair grows to prevent irritation and get a smoother shave. 

Several dots of the white Calm + Restore Facial Milk from the Clinical Solutions® Retinol 0.5 Set

What kinds of ingredients should I look for when I’m shopping for skin care in my 30s?

I suggest using anti-aging products that contain these key ingredients.

RETINOL
Also known as vitamin A, this ingredient supports the natural production of collagen and elastin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It improves skin texture and reduces the look of dark spots by accelerating skin cell turnover.

Product Suggestion: Mary Kay Clinical Solutions™ Retinol 0.5 Set is powered by pure, potent, high-concentration retinol, which is the gold-standard ingredient dermatologists recommend for adults of every age.

BROAD SPECTRUM SPF
Always wear sunscreen, even when its cloudy, for daily protection. It’s an important step in any and all routines because it can protect the skin from harmful UV rays, and helps prevent the early signs of skin aging.  

Product Suggestion: Mary Kay makes many moisturizers with sun protection, and the TimeWise® Age Minimize 3D® Day Cream SPF 30 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen is great for early to moderate signs of aging. 

VITAMIN C 
Vitamin C supports the natural production of collagen and elastin and is a strong antioxidant to protect against premature skin aging. 

Product Suggestion: Add TimeWise Replenishing Serum C+E™ to get three distinct forms of vitamin C, plus vitamin E. 

HYALURONIC ACID 
Hyaluronic acid helps provide moisture to the skin and helps the plump skin. 

Product Suggestions: The Volu-Firm® Complex in TimeWise Repair® Volu-Firm® Set features a skin-volume-supporting peptide that helps maintain natural hyaluronic acid.1
A smiling black woman with glowing even skin

Is it possible for me to have youthful, firm, wrinkle-free skin in my 30s? 

Healthy skin is attributed to lifestyle, environmental factors and genetics. As I mentioned before, there is a reduction in collagen production as you age, which leads to thinning skin and the development of fine lines and wrinkles. However, sun damage is largely responsible for the appearance of wrinkles and the loss of firmness. Avoid overexposure to the sun where possible. Having a good anti-aging regimen including sunscreen can help protect against and prevent the signs of aging, maintain healthy skin long-term and give skin a more radiant appearance.
Clear Proof® Acne System in while, green and black tubes on a bathroom counter with the teal, transparent Indulge® Soothing Eye Gel

I still have acne in my 30s. How can I get rid of it?

Acne is caused when the pores of your skin are plugged with sebum (oil), dead skin cells, or bacteria, so I suggest effective cleansing with salicylic acid. This key ingredient promotes the easy removal of dead skin cells and helps unclog pores of dirt and sebum to resolve and prevent lesions. If you get mild breakouts, use a spot treatment or Clear Proof® Deep-Cleansing Charcoal Mask. For serious acne, consult your board-certified dermatologist for recommended treatment.

Product Suggestion:
Mary Kay’s Clear Proof® Acne System uses 2% salicylic acid, a highly effective ingredient, to help clear up existing blemishes and help prevent future breakouts.
An Asian woman with beautiful skin

How does my race/ethnicity affect how my skin ages?

Aging is influenced by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors and less based on ethnic origin. Environment and lifestyle are some of the key factors that impact facial skin aging. The visual signs of skin aging, such as wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and lack of skin elasticity, can occur in all ethnicities. However, some research studies indicate that the following signs of aging were more commonly observed in these people groups: (in alphabetical order)

 Black/African American: Uneven skin tone and sagging of the jawline.
 East Asian: Uneven skin tone and crow’s feet.
 Latinx: Uneven skin tone and sagging of the jawline.
 White/Caucasian: Lines and wrinkles, and loss of skin elasticity.

Product Suggestions: 
For uneven skin tone, use the TimeWise Repair® Revealing Radiance® Facial Peel twice a week for skin that looks rejuvenated and revitalized with a more even tone. In addition to vitamins C and E, TimeWise Replenishing Serum C+E™ also contains navy bean extract, which is shown to help reduce the appearance of discoloration on the skin’s surface and improve the look of more even-toned skin overall.2

For sagging of the jawline, apply TimeWise Repair® Volu-Firm® Advanced Lifting Serum after using your daily cleanser. In an independent clinical study, sagging skin along the cheeks and jawline is visibly lifted for 100% of the panelists.3

For crow’s feet, smooth on TimeWise Repair ® Volu-Firm® Eye Renewal Cream using the metal applicator twice a day after your moisturizer. This hydrating cream contains ingredients shown to support skin’s natural collagen and elastin to help maintain skin’s natural framework.4

For deep lines and wrinkles and loss of skin elasticity, try using some or all of the products from the TimeWise Repair® Volu-Firm® Set. It’s clinically shown to help reduce the look of deep lines and wrinkles and improve skin elasticity.5

Skin Care For Thirty-Somethings

If you need a little help figuring out your anti-aging routine or just need to re-order your favorite serum, contact or connect with a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant! As your personal skin care advocate, she can help you love your skin and try the latest makeup looks with one-on-one consultations and small gatherings — virtually or in person!