Decade-by-Decade Skin Care Routine

Are you following the right skin care regimen for your age?

Adriana Martino, an esthetician who operates SKINNEY Medspa and Wellness in New York City, says many women don't realize their skin care regimen needs to change as they get older. "The same things that work for you in your 30s may not be the best for your skin when you're in your 50s," says Martino. "But my older customers don't seem as aware about what they should be doing."

While there are some general rules that we all have to follow -- like daily sunscreen, for instance -- there are others specific to different ages. What should you be doing now? Here’s a look:

In your 30s
Martino says the 30s are when many women start to notice fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and mouth. Pigmentation from sun exposure is also more visible at this age. "The first thing I would recommend is using a good eye cream at night that has peptides, which stimulate the production of collagen,” she says. "You should also be sure to use moisturizer regularly – and make it a water-based one.”

"You also want to make sure you're exfoliating regularly -- at least once a week. And I recommend having a facial once a month, especially if you're prone to breakouts."

In your 40s
As you enter middle age, skin changes become even more noticeable. This is the time to consider adding collagen-boosting products that will make your skin look younger and healthier. "Using a retinol-based cream is important at this stage because it will speed up cell turnover,” says Martino. But because retinol can be drying, you may want to use it only once or twice a week.

This is the time to schedule regular facials to keep your skin healthy and refreshed, and to talk to your dermatologist about getting a good chemical peel. Moisturizing is also more important now than in your 30s, because your skin becomes dryer as you begin to lose estrogen. Martino suggests using gentle daily moisturizers containing ceramide.

In your 50s

For women in their 50s, the emphasis is on adding even more moisture.  “I would recommend using an oil-based moisturizer at this point and increasing your use of retinol products with a higher concentration,” Martino says, “I also recommend laser therapy at this stage. Things like Thermage can tighten loose skin. You can definitely use serums with peptides, as well.” To wash your face, use a cream cleanser for extra softness. Menopause and hormone use can also make skin more sensitive, so baby your skin by adding new products gradually to make sure they don’t irritate your face.

Finally, as you approach your 60s, your diet and exercise habits are just as important as the beauty products you use. “I recommend a healthy lifestyle in general to make sure your skin looks young,” says Martino.

by Karyn D. Collins