For many women, turning 30 signals that the true battle in skin care has begun. You'll fight against wrinkles, sun damage, uneven skin tone, collagen loss, dark eye circles and even acne. No matter what your previous skin-care regimen was, now is the time to revamp your routine to look beautiful as you age -- without those painful and costly cosmetic procedures.
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Make it a habit to wash your face and neck with a gentle cleanser every morning and especially before bedtime to remove makeup, sweat and grime from the day. Use gentle pressure with your fingers; you don't want to cause your skin any further stress. Avoid oily products, or those containing lanolin, which can clog pores. Check the ingredients for alcohol, as it dries out the skin, and be aware of products with strong fragrances that can cause irritations.
Incorporate an exfoliating product into your nightly routine, starting twice a week, to remove dead skin cells. Choose an exfoliant with alpha-hydroxy, glycolic or salicylic acid. Look for synthetic microbeads in the exfoliating product as these are gentler on the skin than irregularly shaped granules. Also apply a retinol cream at night, which helps to slough off the top layers of skin, unclog pores and boost collagen production. Be safe with these products by performing a sample test on a small area to see if your skin is sensitive.
The one product you cannot afford to forget is sunblock, both for beauty and health reasons. Sunscreen decreases your risk of skin cancer and also protects newer skin after exfoliation. Regular use of sunscreen diminishes the development of sunspots or hyperpigmentation. Select a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which protects against harmful UVA and UVB rays, and choose a minimum sun protection factor of 15. Apply multiple times a day, every day, regardless of the season or weather.
There are many moisturizers on the market -- use the ones that pack the most punch. Instead of applying heavy foundations or powdery makeup, which only make lines and pores appear more prominent, use a tinted moisturizer. There are also those that double as sunscreen, while others contain ingredients, such as retinol, which work to prevent wrinkles. Look for moisturizers that contain antioxidants by checking the ingredients list for vitamin C, selenium, pomegranates or green or white tea.
Daily Eye Care
The best eye cream to use depends on your needs. Reduce puffiness with caffeine, moisturize with hyaluronic acid or make dark circles diminish with vitamin C or hydroquinone. Certain botanicals, such as soy, licorice and kojic acid, brighten the area under the eye. Avoid being rough with this skin by applying the cream with your ring finger to put the lightest possible pressure on the area.
Healthy Skin, Healthy You
Skin care is not limited to just the face. Keep showers short, use a moisturizing body wash and make sure the water temperature stays warm, not hot. Apply a rich body cream twice a day to keep your skin hydrated. Smoking and excess alcohol does your skin no favors, and neither does cutting corners on a full night's sleep. Combat the frown lines and furrowed brows that come with stress through exercise and relaxation. Finally, drink plenty of water and eat a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, in addition to plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables, to help maintain a radiant appearance.