The Unexpected Changes That Happen to Your Face in Your 30s, According to a Dermatologist

Photo: Getty Images/ Peathegee Inc

The happiest years of life are in your 30s, according to a survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Tru Niagen, and it makes complete sense. By the time you enter your 30s, you'll more than likely have learned a lot of life lessons and more about yourself, you'll have experienced personal and professional growth, you'll probably have gotten better with your finances, and there's a high possibility you wholeheartedly don't give a you-know-what about most things.

Your physical features, such as how your face looks, also change in your 30s. If you've already hit 30, these changes may have come on unexpectedly, and for those who haven't, we're prepping you now. Aging is inevitable and it's actually an honor when you think about it. Knowing how to best take care of your skin as it transitions is important to celebrate the years you get to spin circling the sun.

Experts In This Article
  • Onyeka Obioha, MD, Onyeka Obioha, MD, is a board-certified medical and cosmetic dermatologist based in Los Angeles, CA.

So let's jump in: As you get older, the first sign of aging in the face for those with light skin tones tends to be in the form of wrinkles and fine lines, according to Onyeka Obioha, MD, a board-certified medical and cosmetic dermatologist based in Los Angeles and Glory Skincare advisor. For people with more melanin in their skin, Dr. Obioha says you are less likely to develop wrinkles and more likely to develop hyperpigmentation and benign growths called dermatosis papulosa nigra, which appear on the skin as small brown or black spots usually around the eyes and on the cheekbones.

Another thing that happens in your 30s: The structure of your face changes. According to Dr. Obioha, these changes are common and occur due to the loss of subcutaneous fat in your face, making it look less full and more defined. "You might start to notice this in places such as under your eyes, cheekbones, temple, or nose," she says. And collagen, too, subsides so skin gets a bit thinner.

Generally speaking, Dr. Obioha says that there's usually a rush to layer on heaps of products in your 30s and advises limiting this, because too strong actives can lead to skin irritation. It's best to consult with a skin-care expert, such as a dermatologist, to find out what you should and shouldn't be using for your skin concerns and goals. And no matter what your concerns may be, Dr. Obioha says there are three products everyone in their 30s should add to their routine, stat.

3 skin-care products everyone in their 30s should use

1. Sunscreen
No matter your age, Dr. Obioha says, "SPF is the most important product to use in your daily skin-care routine." This is because the UV rays from the sun are damaging and can speed up the appearance of aging on your skin. By wearing SPF, you'll protect your skin from photo damage and will also help combat hyperpigmentation.

2. Vitamin C

"Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that combats UV-induced reactive oxygen species. In addition to SPF protection, vitamin C will give your skin additional protection from environmental aggressors while also providing benefits like brightening the skin," says Dr. Obioha.

3. Retinol

In addition to wearing sunscreen daily and using vitamin C, Dr. Obioha recommends implementing retinol into your skin-care routine, because it's a "powerful anti-aging ingredient." The main benefits, according to Dr. Obioha, are brightening of the skin and delaying potential wrinkle formation. But, because of its potency, you need to be cautious when using it, for example, not wearing it directly in the sunlight and discounting using it if it causes irritation.

Shop the routine below

MD Solar Sciences Mineral Crème SPF 50 — $30.00

This just-launched mineral SPF from MD Solar Sciences, offers SPF 50 protection in a formula that glides onto skin. For those who like a bit of tint in a sunscreen, the line also has a tinted rendition that gives SPF 30 protection. Whichever you choose, you’re helping to protect skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays.

Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum — $85.00

This vitamin C serum was created to lighten hyperpigmentation, target the signs of aging, and minimize the look of pores.

Rose Ingleton MD Retexturizing Retinol Booster Serum — $70.00

This concentrated non-irritating retinol will help minimize fine lines and wrinkles while simultaneously smoothing the texture of your skin.

Want even more beauty intel from our editors? Join Well+Good's Fine Print Facebook group (and follow us on Instagram) for must-know tips and tricks.

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

Loading More Posts...