It started happening to me when I was 28 or 29. One day it occurred to me that my skin was somehow…different. Not on the outside, but from within. I’d gone through my twenties with oily, acne prone skin. Now my skin could best be described as oily combination. Some parts of my face were starting to be more dry than oily. I still got breakouts but they were less predictable in nature. I started to feel a dry tightness in my skin at night. Did I need night cream? Serum? What the what? Wasn’t I too young for all of this?

Image of woman via Shutterstock.

No. I wasn’t. According to Dr. Julius Few of the Few Institute for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, I was right on time.

“Women should start using anti aging serums and creams in their 30s before the signs of aging take hold. A good analogy for this early effort is to think about shifting from the normal lane of aging to the slower lane of aging. I actually don’t use the term anti-aging because it implies that aging is bad. Aging itself isn’t a bad thing—it’s a fact of life! The key is to find ways to do it gracefully, and that starts with good products, early on,” says Dr. Few.

And according to Dr. Brooke Jackson of Skin Wellness Center of Chicago (AKA the first dermatologist I ever went to), if the question is in your mind then you should start using anti-aging skincare products ASAP. The best, most important kind? SUNSCREEN.

Dr. Jackson went into detail about it.“Start using anti aging serums. The best anti-aging serum/cream is sunscreen and that should start at 6 months of age. If you are not using a sunscreen on a daily basis (regardless of your intent to be outdoors) then you are playing catch-up rather than being preventative and it is always easier (and cheaper) to be preventative!

Your skin dries out as we get older, so the moisturizer you used in your 20s is probably not going to do it for you in your 40s or 50s. As estrogen decreases, the need for moisture increases so this means you should use heavier creams.

Creams and treatments are complimentary to each other but not interchangeable. Treatments such as peels, lasers, and injectables target specific concerns and this is dictated not by age, but by need. To reiterate my first point, I generally start doing treatments on patients who have had significant sun exposure about 10 years earlier than I do on patients who have practiced sun protection in their teens and 20s. Injectables are treatment for volume loss (cheeks, smile lines) and most patients could probably use a little something in their late 30s to mid 40s.”

So there you have it, from the pros!

Now I’m 33, and I use a serum or night cream every night – or at least I do my very best to slather something on before going to sleep. I’ll do a follow up post on my favorite brands and varieties, so you’ll know what I’m working with! My skincare issues continue on – especially now that I live in Chicago, climactic changes have led my skin to become even dryer although my oil/acne issues continue. If you thought you stopped breaking out past the big 3-0, allow me to gently talk you down off the ledge. These things happen. Thankfully, there are amazing products to help us deal with them.

Revisit my vintage post The Grown Woman’s Skincare Regimen. These struggles are real and they’re ongoing! I’ve shared mine. Please feel free to share yours in the comments!



Lisa says:
January 24, 2013, 5:31 pm
My acne issues began when I turned 28 and 9 years later they still persist. My regimen consists of cleansers and toners from Proactiv and Origins. Serum,eye creams, day time moisturizer with sunscreen and night creams are all from Origins. I recently added a Retinol cream from Roc since I read somewhere that it helps to speed up cell turn over and can help with acne.
Jeloi says:
January 25, 2013, 1:07 pm
I started using anti-aging product in my 30's. I use to use MK product, but switched to Oil of Olay and then Aveeno. I noticed that in the winter time I have to use a different product than in the summer time.
LaNeshe says:
January 25, 2013, 4:48 pm
I was just thinking about this the other day.
Sabbio says:
February 6, 2013, 2:53 am
33 years old too and it's strange ^^, I've been thinking about this these days and began loking for eye serums and night cream. I found but not bought yet Weleda's organic ones with pomegranate as the main ingredient. I'll let you know about it ;)
Belmarra Health says:
February 18, 2013, 4:31 am
Hi I think it is very important that we have to choose the best natural anti aging products.We have to give more importance about our skin.It is very important. Thanks.
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February 22, 2013, 5:55 am
You should start as soon as you have the money to. My friends and I have been putting on anti aging cream on since we were 16. The best defense is prevention. Korea has the best anti aging, as they allow stem cell and experiments. So they are the go to place to get cosmetics. I found a place that has amazing Korean cosmetics with free shipping and kick ass functional product. This one has both stem cells and snake venom! Don’t worry it doesn’t smell like anything.
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I am 35 years old, I prefer natural skin treatments, I make my own green tea mask. I have read about green tea and found that it has many anti aging ingredients.
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Loren B says:
March 15, 2013, 9:03 am
Anti Aging begins with sunscreen and watching how much sun you get, especially on the face. There are so many anti aging products out there, but your post helps point in the right direction for taking care of our skin. I've always used a moisturizer and sunscreen, but after reading your post I think I'm going to have to re-evaluate what I am using. Thanks for the info
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June 5, 2013, 1:44 am
Thanks, although I’m not in 30’s but taking care of our skin is very important, so age doesn’t matter. We only need to use a product that is appropriate for our age and skin. I learned a lot from this article, thanks for sharing! :)
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