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The Best Skin Care Routine for Your 30s

First, let's start with how your skin is different now than in your 20s. During your 30s, your hormone levels begin to decrease, and the collagen and elastin production rate lowers. Cell turn-over becomes slower during your thirties, and skin doesn't bounce back as it once did. How you took care of your skin up to this point will play a part in the aging process. Most of us will have some evidence of late nights and UV damage by our 30th birthday.

If fine lines weren't enough to deal with, you might also find that your skin is either newly dry or oily. However, all is not lost here - there are plenty of treatments and products to help restore and repair your skin. You can have great skin at any age, but you have to be a little better at looking after your skin as you age. 

Using targeted products with active ingredients is a good idea in your 30s. While some products, such as retinol, need to be cautiously introduced (it can cause irritation and dryness in most complexions), they are the formulas that will do the best job regarding anti-aging.

Everyone's skin is different, so what suits one complexion may not suit another. Below is a breakdown of a good skin care regimen in your 30s. 

Morning Routine

1. Cleanser
Cleanse in the morning with a gentle cleanser such as ZO Gentle Cleanser or for a more oily acne-prone skin type ZO Exfoliating Cleanser. 

2. Toner
Toners are often left off people's lists but toners help tighten pores, eliminate toxins and rebalance your skin. Your toner also works to 'prep' your skin for your essential serum step, making it penetrate the deeper layers and work more effectively. Try ZO Complexion Pads or ZO Acne Pads. These reduce oils and help brighten the competition and minimize the pores.

3. Serum

Moisturizers are great for giving you hydration and protecting the skin's barrier, but if you want to deliver active ingredients deep within your dermal layers and cause a real action, you'll need a serum. Here's a quick guide to some of the ones you might want to add in, depending on your skin's needs:

ZO Self-Activating Vitamin C: An antioxidant that brightens and helps neutralize free radical damage.

Lumivive System: Includes a day and night serum that gives your skin more power to resist the environment's attack during the day and recover itself overnight. With complete atmospheric protection against blue light and pollution, you may see truly radiant skin in as few as 14 days.


4. BHA/AHA
Exfoliating acids help with skin texture and rebalancing. Try the Exfoliant Accelerator by ZO Skin Health. It contains glycolic acid to aid in texture and tone. Salicylic kills bacteria and dissolves the debris that can cause spots to form. Hyaluronic acid serums will plump the skin and tackle dehydration on the top layers of the skin. Add in hyaluronic acid to strengthen the epidermal barriers and support collagen production. We love HA5 by Skin Medica. 

5. Moisturizer
Apply your creams in a system of the lightest fluid first. So serum, moisturizer and then SPF. That way, the most liquid formula will penetrate first, and the other layers will sit on top to nourish and protect. Our go-to for daily use is ZO Daily Power Defence and for those with dryer, more dehydrated skin types, try ZO Recovery Cream. 

6. SPF
An essential at any age and imperative if you want to delay aging. You should be using an SPF daily, even if it's cloudy. Daily application, regardless of being inside or outside, is crucial. All ZO Sunscreens protect from HEV (learn more about HEV) UVA and UVB rays. Our go-to favourite is Smart Tone SPF 50 by ZO.


Evening Routine 

1. Cleansing & Exfoliating 
Pair your cleanser with a weekly exfoliator to remove dead skin cells. Exfoliating should be done about 2-4x times a week. For a gentle exfoliant, we recommend Zo Exfoliating Polish. Try ZO Dual Action scrub formulated with salicylic acid and an anti-redness solution for those with more acne-prone skin or oily skin types. 

On other days, use a cleanser alone, choosing one that suits your skin's needs. It's important not to overload your skin. If you are using lots of actives like retinol, Vitamin C and acids, then it's a good idea to have a few days where you use gentler products. Listen to your skin, and give it what it needs.  

2. Retinol 
Anti-aging retinol is best used at night as it can increase your skin's sensitivity to UV rays. You can get formulations of varying strengths, and the best one for you depends on your skin's sensitivity.

Try starting with something around the 0.25%, such as a Skin Medica retinol or a 0.5% ZO Wrinkle and Texture Repair. That way, you can build up slowly, reducing the risk of irritation. A 1% is one the strong end of the market. 

3. Night Serum 
The purpose of a night cream is to support your skin through its regeneration process and make it more efficient. Try Lumivive Night by Skin Medica. Nighttime sleep plays a crucial role in skin recovery and health. Your body uses the sleep cycle to repair and reverse daily skin damage. As you age, the skin has a more challenging time repairing itself.

Stress can also decrease the skin's ability to recover. Lumivive Night Revitalize Repair Complex helps enhance that critical sleep-repair cycle. Give your skin more power to resist the environment's attack during the day and heal itself overnight.

4. Eye cream
The skin around the eyes is the most sensitive part of your face and will be one of the first areas to show signs of aging. Incorporate a product specifically designed to be used in the area and treat common concerns, such as dark circles and crow's feet. 

ZO Intensive Eye Cream works to combat visible signs of aging, including fine lines and wrinkles, and dullness, with synergistic ingredients to take care of the super delicate eye area. If you're looking to add plumpness to the under-eye, ZO Growth Factor Eye Serum will be your best choice - it's also retinol free. We recommend ZO Eye Brightening Cream if dark circles are your primary concern. And if your looking for a cream with growth factors and retinol, Skin Medica TNS Eye Repair is our go-to choice. 

5. Growth factors 
We are born with all our growth factors, and as we age, these diminish over time. ZO Growth is formulated with a combination of plant and enzymatically derived growth factors, clinically proven to Improve the overall appearance of the skin. Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, restore hydration and reinforce the skin's protective barrier. 


Aging is a natural thing and with the right products we can gracefully age from one year to the next. Book
 a in-person or video consultation with us to access your skin and find the right products for you.

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