Skin Care Goals Differ in Your 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s

The Changing Face of Skin Care

For each decade of your life, there are different approaches you should take to skin health and different dangers that you should look out for. While a certain skin care regimen may have worked great for you in your 20s, the same practices may be downright harmful in your 50s. As you age, you'll need to adapt your skin care techniques and increase your awareness of your skin to ensure that you maintain optimum skin health for as long as possible.

Old age comes for everyone, but if you play your cards right, you can still have the skin of a 25-year-old into your mid-50s. In this article, we'll provide you with skin tips that are tailor-fit for each chapter of your life story.

Skin Care in Your 20s: Prevention

Skin care in your 20s is all about prevention. While you may have perfect skin at the age of 25, the choices that you make during this critical decade will decide how your skin ages as you get older.


What to Watch For

For instance, it's estimated that 80 percent of the damage that is done to your skin due to sun exposure occurs during the first 20 years of your life. While this sun damage may not be notable until you are older, choosing to stay out of the sun or use effective sun blocking techniques in your 20s can protect your skin health for the rest of your life. As you progress through your 20s, watch for any early signs of premature aging like crow's feet, skin tightness, or skin discoloration.

Best Practices

Your 20s are the best time to ditch bad skin care habits. It's important to understand that cosmetics that are filled with artificial ingredients are often bad for your health and that many over-the-counter skin remedies can harm your skin more than they help.

For instance, acne is a common condition in your teenage years and on through your 20s. Out of desperation, many teens and 20-somethings choose to try over-the-counter acne medications. However, it's been found that these treatments may cause serious side-effects like throat tightness, wheezing, fainting, or low blood pressure.

Over-the-counter acne products also dry out your skin, and this effect is only accentuated if you wash your skin too frequently. If your skin stays too dry for too long, it can become damaged, and in some cases, this damage can permanently alter your skin's health to the point that it ages more rapidly. However, your skin repairs itself effectively when you're young, so if you alter your practices in this decade, it's likely that any damage that was done will be reversed before you're 30.

While your skin may still look young all throughout your 20s, it's never too early to start using an anti-aging serum. Even if your skin doesn't show any signs of aging throughout this decade, the antioxidant effects of ingredients like vitamin C and hyaluronic acid can reduce your free radical levels, which will keep your skin healthy as it ages.


When you're young and beautiful, it can be tempting to do less to care for your skin. Old age seems a long way off, and when your skin doesn't have any issues, it can seem like it will stay that way forever. However, grabbing your skin health by the horns at this age is something you'll thank yourself for as you approach middle age.

Also, remember that applying excessive makeup can be harmful to your skin. While we all like to dress up and party, going for the "all natural" look is one of the most responsible choices you can make during this decade of irresponsibility.

Skin Care in Your 30s: Holding Steady

As you enter your 30s, you'll start to notice the first signs of aging. The concentration of hormones that have kept you youthful up until this point will start to decrease, and your collagen and elastin production levels will also start to slacken. In addition, your skin cells will begin to replicate and repair themselves more slowly, and your skin oil levels may also start to move outside of the ideal ranges. 


What to Watch For

This decade is usually the point in time in which you'll start to notice frown lines and fine lines around your eyes. Due to decreased collagen levels, your skin may also start to sag, and you may begin to develop acne even if you've never had this condition before. Acne can sometimes make its first appearance in your 30s due to changing skin oil levels, but it can also appear because your skin's natural anti-inflammatory protective mechanisms start to lose their efficacy in this stage of life.

Best Practices

Continue to avoid direct sunlight unless you're wearing sunblock. Even if you've never used many skin care products until this point, you may want to start using products like gentle face washes, toners, and night creams to keep your skin healthy. If you haven't already started protecting your skin from the signs of age, your 30s are the perfect time to work anti-aging skin treatments like facial serums into your daily skin care routine.


Your skin becomes more prone to damage in your 30s, so you'll need to be more careful with how you remove makeup from your face. For instance, wipes that contain alcohol can disrupt your skin's natural barriers, which makes your skin dry and sensitive. Your skin becomes more reactive as you get older, which means that conditions like inflammation and discoloration get more intense in your 30s. If you do experience a condition that causes your skin to become discolored, stay away from solutions which claim to bleach your skin since these products can cause significant damage.

Skin Care in Your 40s: Early Treatment

According to the founder of the Nuriss clinics, Dr. Anita Sturnham, your skin loses approximately 1 percent of its collagen in each year past age 20. By the time that you're 40, this means that your collagen levels could have decreased to about 80% of their maximum concentration, which means that your skin will have a much harder time maintaining its youthful appearance.


What to Watch For

In your 40s, your skin will stop being so forgiving of your choices. If you stay up too late or expose yourself to too much stress, you'll start to display signs of age sooner, and toxins like alcohol and tobacco will also start to noticeably damage your skin in this decade. In general, your 40s are when your skin starts to look old if you don't take care of it properly, but your skin can stay youthful all throughout this decade of your life if you've taken preventive measures since your 20s and continue to take your skin health seriously.

Best Practices

Practices that generally contribute to your health and well being become more important in your 40s. In particular, staying properly hydrated, getting enough sleep, and observing a healthy diet will help your skin look young all throughout this decade. In your 40s, it becomes more important than ever to use anti-aging cosmetics that are filled with antioxidants, peptides, and other age-defying ingredients.


Once you reach your 40s, a lot of the decisions that will affect your continuing skin health have already been made. If you've lived a stressful life so far or spent a lot of time out in the sun without protection, it's certain that your skin will start to show signs of age past your 40th year of life. However, it's always possible to reverse trends, and anti-aging products can sometimes be effective tools for replenishing collagen and repairing your skin. Remember that the same skin care precautions that applied earlier in your life will still apply throughout your 40s but that your skin will become increasingly sensitive and prone to injury as you get older.

Skin Care in Your 50s: Advanced Treatment

For most women, menopause hits in their 50s. This final chapter of a woman's fertility cycle is accompanied by a number of hormonal changes that may affect your skin health, and the most impactful of these changes is a decreased concentration of estrogen in your skin.

Estrogens are a group of hormones that are commonly referred to as the female sex hormones, and this group consists of the compounds estriol, estradiol, and estrone. When a woman stops menstruating, her estrogen levels drop dramatically, and this can cause serious changes throughout her body. Among other functions, estrogen controls the level of moisture that can be held in the skin, and decreased estrogen levels make your skin dryer.


What to Watch For

Collagen levels will continue to drop as you enter your 50s, which means that wrinkles and saggy skin will become more pronounced. The onset of menopause will make it harder to keep your skin hydrated, and you may need to use moisturizers in order to keep your skin within its usual moisture range. Your skin may also look duller during this decade, and exfoliating it can help it retain its shine.

Best Practices

As you enter your 50s, using natural and cruelty-free anti-aging products becomes more important than ever. While science hasn't yet provided the answers to stopping the aging process completely, the antioxidant-rich compounds in anti-aging serums can help your skin retain its youth and vigor all throughout this decade. Your skin regimen won't change much as you enter your 60s and 70s.


Your skin will continue to lose its elasticity as you age, which leaves it more prone to injury. If you've cut corners and used unsafe cosmetics with artificial ingredients up until this point, it's time to switch to natural alternatives.

Staying in Stride as You Age

It's never to early to take your skin health seriously, and it's never too late to heal and defend your skin from age-related conditions. The reality is that there are tons of safe and natural practices that you can observe in each decade of your life that will ensure that you'll remain proud of your healthy skin for years to come. To wrap up, we'll provide you with a few final tips.

While the allure of artificial products and harsh treatments can be hard to resist, these aggressive approaches to skin youthfulness should be shunned. Your skin is a dynamic living entity, and treating it like a machine will only lead to more problems down the road. Luckily, nature has provided practically everything that you need to keep your skin healthy as you age, so there's no need to leave the path in search of some over-hyped skin care fad that might inadvertently give you cancer or throw your hormone levels out of whack.

Also, the sooner you start a skin care regimen, the easier it will be to stick to a solid routine as you get older. While you'll need to change many of the individual aspects of your routine as time goes by, getting in the rut of an established ritual is one of the deciding factors in determining whether or not your skin care efforts will be successful.

Lastly, don't be overly critical of your skin health. While we'd all like to look like we're 20 forever, nothing is permanent, and grace and adaptability are ultimately the most attractive attributes in life's great symphony.

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