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The best skin care routine for your 30s, according to a dermatologist

"You want to spend one decade prepping your skin for the next decade."
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Welcome to your 30s! You’re older and wiser (great!) but so is your skin (not great!). If you were anything like me and squandered the good skin of your youth in favor of thinking you were invincible, you’ve now arrived in the best decade of your life. In your 30s you’re no longer new to the working world, you live on your own terms and those lines next to your mouth that send it drooping down seem to be more prominent every single time you catch your reflection in the mirror.

When I started to notice weird lines on my neck that appeared seemingly overnight, I finally started to understand that Nora Ephron book, “I Feel Bad About My Neck” (which I totally didn’t get when I read at 22).

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I asked Dr. Jessica Weiser of Weiser Skin in New York City about what 30-somethings (me) should be doing with their (my!) skin. To review, in your 20s: sunscreen every single day and wash your face every single night. In your 30s, keep going with the sunscreen. Winter, cloudy days, dark movie theaters? Sunscreen.

“Your 30s are all about prevention and anti-aging,” Dr. Weiser told us. Essentially, you want to spend one decade prepping your skin for the next decade. Thirty-somethings should talk to a dermatologist about using retinol at night which stimulates collagen production. “For sensitive skin types consider bakuchiol, a plant-based retinol alternative that has less irritation potential,” Dr. Weiser added. This is something I have to personally look into because I found out retinol really makes my skin go crazy.

If fine lines worry you (and worrying will create more fine lines — amazing!), “consider an in-office procedure,” Dr. Weiser suggests. I have personally been curious about Botox for my weird neck lines but that also may just be what happens when you move to Los Angeles. But would Botox even be a good choice for me?

Dr. Weiser says going to your dermatologist for a consultation about the state of your skin and your personal skin goals can help determine which procedure might be most beneficial to you. She also recommends “anti-aging serums and night creams to maintain a healthy youthful complexion,” but since everyone’s skin is different, you should ask your dermatologist for a personal recommendation on those products.

If I may offer one piece of my own advice — keeping in mind I am not a professional but a person who has put a lot of anti-aging serums on her face: Don’t get any procedure, no matter how cheap or trendy, without talking to a professional first. And don’t buy a deal for a random procedure via Groupon (or any other discount site).

I know it’s tempting! Don’t do it. Or else once we hit our 40s we’re going to have so much more to deal with.