How I'm Stepping Up My Skincare Game as I Approach My 30th Birthday

I think these products are a really good starting point on the journey into my thirties.

My 30th birthday is fast approaching (April 24th — go Taurus) and as it approaches, I've started thinking about what adjustments I wanted to make in my skincare routine. I already started making adjustments in October, but after a couple of months I decided to add a few more things to the roster.

For BrighteningDr. Dennis Gross Hydra-Pure Vitamin C Brightening Serum

Sam wrote about this, so I put it on my list to try once I used up the serum I'd been using. I was especially drawn to this because it has vitamin C, which helps protect against sun damage, reduce inflammation, and boost collagen production.

As far as texture goes, it actually feels kind of like a primer (it has that silicone slip to it) but it absorbs really well into my skin.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads

I'd been using a salicylic acid treatment, but since I haven't been quite as oily as I used to be, nor have I been breaking out as much, I save that for when I do have breakouts and, instead, have been using these pads for daily use.

FAB Facial Radiance Pads use glycolic acid, which I’ve found has been gentler on my skin as far as chemical exfoliation goes (I was getting a little bit of redness using salicylic acid every day) and I like that the texture of the pad gives me a little bit of physical exfoliation.

For Retinol

Retinol is most popularly known for its wrinkle-reducing properties, but it's also good at reducing the appearance of pores and combating breakouts. I don’t have wrinkles yet, so I can't speak to that, but I do have pores (duh) and I can tell you that they have been less filled with gunk since I started using these.

I actually started searching for a retinol product to add to my regimen back in August, but had a tough time finding one that didn’t irritate my face. I found two that I’ve been alternating, but I don’t think it’s necessary to have two different retinol products. It just worked out that I got both at the same time.

Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Overnight Serum

In addition to having retinol, this serum (as the title would indicate) also has ferulic acid, which is a plant-based antioxidant that helps protect skin from sun damage. The texture feels like a lightweight lotion and absorbs pretty well. This one took a little bit for my skin to adjust to (slight irritation, but nowhere near the inflammation I got trying other stuff). It has a scent to it that I can’t really put my finger on — sometimes I get citrus with a faint hint of bacon (weird, I know).

Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM Night Serum

This was the first of these two that I tried, and I was really surprised that it did not irritate my skin at all. It is very watery in texture, and it absorbs into the skin immediately. There is absolutely no scent to this either, which is another bonus for me.

For Added MoistureCaudalie Vinosource Overnight Recovery Oil

When I ran out of the oil I'd been using at night, I decided to try this, and I’m sad I didn’t discover it sooner. I like oils at night, but they do typically take a little while to sink into my skin; this oil absorbs quickly and is a blend of a few different oils, including grapeseed, jojoba, and sesame, as well as rose and palmarosa essential oils. The carrier oils in this blend are especially good for breakout-prone/oily skin, and I love how glowy and fresh my face looks in the morning.

Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream

I have long been a naysayer of eye creams. I never really got the point of paying the extra money and generally just put a little extra or heavier moisturizer under my eyes instead. After reading a lot of information for and against eye creams, though, I decided I couldn’t really be a naysayer if I never actually tried it.

I’m now a believer.

It has to be mentioned that this eye cream does have some light-reflecting particles in it, which gives it an instant brightening effect. When I started using it, I rolled my eyes at that thinking, Of course my eyes look brighter — it’s kind of like luminizer! After a month of use, however, I noticed that my under-eye area looked brighter in general, even before I would put my eye cream on.

Additionally, the area under my eyes has been smoother, which has makes my concealer blend out really nicely under the eyes.

I’m actually really looking forward to being in my thirties to see how my skin develops over time, and I think these products are a really good starting point on that journey. Anti-aging products can garner mixed feelings, but I feel like I only have this skin once, so I’m going to take care of it as best I can!

I would love to hear from those of you who are living in/have lived through your thirties as well — what skincare wisdom can you share?