Our Guide to Skincare Through Your 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s+

Our Guide to Skincare Through Your 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s+

A once tried-and-true skincare regimen of your youth may not remain an ideal staple throughout the varying decades of life. With every decade comes new wellness wisdom and beauty bonuses to help us do what humans have always been best at—evolve and change. 

If you’ve spent recent years perfecting your routine, you might need to alter how you care for your skin as you mature aka, age. The skincare concerns of a twenty-something are not the same skin issues you will have to think about in your thirties and so on. With ever-changing skin and multiple formulations out there, how do you know when it’s time to reassess…and upgrade?

If you’re looking for skincare mantras to live by, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve come up with simplistic summaries to guide you.

Skincare That Spans The Decades

Some things never change, and those are the basics. So what skincare should you be doing regardless of age? First and foremost, cleansing. Teens are conditioned to use harsh cleansers that often strip the skin, exacerbating breakouts.

As we get older, protecting the skin barrier is the true path. The key is mild or gentle cleansers that work with all skin types. Clay-based ones like Tru Alchemy’s Celestial Cleanser are both gentle and softening, yet deeply purify the skin.

To continue collagen renewal, it is best to use liquid exfoliants like alpha or beta hydroxy acids, which will gently dissolve dead skin, while smoothing and refining texture.

Last but not least, using an SPF 30-50. It’s essential to protect ourselves because sun exposure is always present, regardless of the season, and contributes to premature skin aging. This is why the key to any healthy skin regimen is using a daily SPF year-round.

Skincare In Your 20s

Your twenties are all about preventative care. The way you care for your skin by implementing good habits now means better skin in the future. When you’re in your youth, actual skincare is all about minimalism and how you live your life overall.

woman doing yoga by the ocean

Prioritize wellness — maintain an active lifestyle with adequate sleep, a nutritious diet, and minimize stress levels.

When it comes to skin concerns, the number one is acne. Most twenty-somethings are continuing to use drying products that strip their skin of natural oils, thus causing a surge in oil production and more breakouts.

If you have normal skin, you need to wash it only before bed with a mild, water-based cleanser. If you’re dealing with breakouts, try a cleanser or spot treatment that has a boost of salicylic acid, which is naturally derived from bark. This active ingredient will exfoliate, help get rid of bacteria, and calm an oily complexion.

A simple, hydrating, oil-free moisturizer with hyaluronic acid or ceramides will work great. Before bed, apply a pea-size amount all over your face. Don’t forget an SPF during the day!

Skincare In Your 30s

In our thirties, you should begin adjusting your skincare by using one morning routine and one night routine.

Our physical body is going through changes that can be revealed on the skin. For example, postpartum stress and hormonal changes can cause diminished production of oil glands, so our skin becomes drier, and some might notice discoloration and an uneven skin tone. Skin becomes thinner due to a loss of collagen, and cell turnover has begun to slow down, making your complexion look a little dull.

To help maintain that dewy and youthful glow, consider adding the following to your skin-care routine:

In the morning, use a hydrating cleanser. 

In the evening, first use a makeup remover then wash with a mild gel cleanser.

An exfoliating AHA will help bring back your glow and reveal a bright complexion. When you enter your thirties, cellular renewal slows and discoloration and dullness appear. To combat these visible changes, you can add an alpha hydroxy acid like Tru Alchemy's Glow Serum into your ritual two or three times a week. An alpha hydroxy acid helps even out skin texture and tone and gives you luminous, smooth skin.

Tru Alchemy's Glow Serum

Additionally, antioxidants are a key addition to your beauty routine once you begin your thirties. Serums with vitamin C, vitamin E, ferulic acid, and green or white tea will protect your skin from typical oxidation stress. Start wearing eye cream daily. For dark circles, use one with botanicals that brighten, and for puffiness, look for one containing caffeine.

Consider a nighttime treatment that boosts cellular renewal and collagen production, such as retinol or a naturally derived retinol alternative like bakuchiol.

Skincare In Your 40s

While some women may just be hitting their stride in life, their skin can be changing yet again. Most women will enter the pre-menopause phase, which means the body’s hormonal complexity is in flux and lead to new effects on the skin.

Use a brightening AHA or vitamin C cleanser in the morning to wake up the complexion and a creamy or emollient cleanser at night.

Use two different antioxidant serums or moisturizers and alternate them every other day. You'll get a wider benefit from switching off because different antioxidants address the appearance of different skin concerns, like brown spots and discoloration.

Consider a peptide-rich moisturizer as well. Peptides are essential building blocks of skin, promote collagen, and minimize the appearance of premature aging.

The eyes are generally the first place to show signs of fine lines because the skin is super delicate and thin in that area. Look for an emollient formula that has antioxidants to brighten and hydrate the under eyes.

aloe vera

Skincare In Your 50s and Beyond

A few wrinkles here and there are simply signs of a life well lived. We’re all about embracing skin as it ages and harnessing the power of nature to rejuvenate and replenish the complexion.

That being said, this is a good time to pare down the use of multiple active ingredients, minimize irritants and soothe skin prone to sensitivity. Menopause can cause a multitude of skin concerns, including everyday dryness and redness. Once you hit your 60s and 70s, some issues that arose in your 50s become more pronounced. Cell turnover is slower, and the most significant change you'll notice in your complexion is age-related dryness and loss of elasticity. So the goal is to focus on extra hydration, promoting moisture and firmness.

With less elasticity, it’s sage advice to use a non-soapy cleanser. Look for a cream or oil cleanser that will remove impurities without stripping skin of moisture. Avoid using extremely hot water to reduce redness. Swapping in cooler water to wash the face will temporarily help with firmness.

Moisturize well and hydrate continually to help skin retain its elasticity, bounce, and radiance. At this point, it's also time to back off some of the harsher treatments, like retinol and exfoliants, and focus on putting moisture back into the skin.

Look for humectant products that are high in plumping, like aloe, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid, to give the skin more moisture. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally-derived ingredient that can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. It is very light, thin, and easily absorbed. Then apply a broad-spectrum moisturizer containing SPF-50 with UVA/UVB protection.

In the evening, to combat dryness, after using hydrating humectants, try using an occlusive emollient balm as a final layer to seal in moisture and ensure no water loss occurs. We prefer non-petroleum products that utilize naturally occurring beeswax and shea butter.

Beauty Is Ageless

They say youth is wasted on the young, and perhaps our evolving skincare through the ages is one example. All those golden tans from our teens show up later in life to haunt us. So, when it comes to the sun, at least, it’s safe to say that preventative measures are best. The number one point all experts agree on is that the sun is a major contributor to premature aging, which is why a broad-spectrum SPF is an essential through line at every age, 365. Your future self will thank you.

There’s wisdom in repetition and building better habits. By being mindful of that wisdom, you’ll discover that your ideal skincare ritual is less about which specific products to use and more about simply making time for yourself. 

Of course, the right products will help you along the way, but a healthy lifestyle will make all the difference in your skin, wellness, and beauty. Be sure to nourish yourself by partaking in all forms of self-care, like getting enough rest and eating wholesome foods. Striving to age gracefully may mean you need to balance embracing a few imperfections with maintaining your lifelong inner radiance.