Best Skin Care Routine for your 30s: and How to Layer Properly
Curating a skin care routine for your 30s is not an easy task. With self-care being so important these days, you want to invest in your skincare as you get older. Skincare is my favorite form of self-care and I’m here to teach you all the products that are worth buying.
In this post, I cover the best AM + PM skin care products, how to layer them correctly, and how to pick a routine that works for you. You can easily curate the best skin care routine for your 30s without breaking the bank. Sure, it’s nice to splurge every once in a while but the majority of products I use are very reasonably priced. Finally, one product I love to splurge on is my moisturizer because since it’s the last step in your routine, it stays on your skin the longest.
You must always stick to the cardinal skincare rule when it comes to layering products “layer thinnest to thickest”. If you can remember that you’re already skincare natural!
While all opinions and recommendations are always my own, my content on this blog post may contain affiliate links for products I use and love. This means I get a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking one of these links at no additional cost to you. As always, I am so thankful for your support and will continue to offer free resources!
BELOW IS MY CURRENT ROUTINE IN ORDER OF APPLICATION
BEST AM SKIN CARE ROUTINE
Ice Roll and Cleanser in the AM
You should only wash your face in the morning if you truly need it (extra oily). Or if you have acneic skin. Otherwise, I would simply splash my face with cold water, dry it thoroughly, then use the best ice roller on the market to de-puff the skin. Not to mention the cool feeling on your face is heavenly in the morning and helps with those under-eye circles. Pro tip: use these eye masks and ice roll over them. If you are looking for a gentle cleanser the Sulwhasoo Cleanser is great (I use this every night).
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum (SPLURGE)
I’m sure you’ve heard of this serum as being the holy grail of serums. Even though it’s very expensive I can attest to the fact that it is worth every single penny. I’ve been using Vit C for years to diminish one dark spot on my cheek. I even went as far as getting a laser treatment (that cost well over $200) to get rid of said spot and nothing seemed to work. Then I started using Skinceuticals and within weeks the spot has diminished so much that I don’t even notice it anymore. If you struggle with dark spots try this serum and you will not be disappointed.
Skinceuticals C E Ferulic Serum
Adding a Vitamin C Serum to your routine is vital as you get older. It has so many benefits that I actually wrote an entire blog post on it. Check out “Vitamin C Serum Benefits: The Best Ones to Buy“.
Maelove “The Glow Maker” Vitamin C Serum (SAVE)
If you want a more affordable Vitamin C Serum then Maelove is your girl. I used this for years before my SkinCeuticals obsession and it does the trick! It’s not as effective as the Skinceuticals option, in your 30s skincare should be an investment, but if you’re truly on a budget then this is a great alternative.
EltaMD Renew Eye Serum
Being that I have very dark circles under my eyes (thanks genetics!) I’ve searched high and low for a good daytime eye serum to help reduce puffiness. Well thankfully, I found the EltaMD Renew Eye Gel. The gel is lighter than an eye cream making it perfect for daytime.
Peter Thomas Roth Moisturizer
Even if your SPF has a moisturizer in it, I’m a firm believer that a product either does one or the other. So I always make sure to moisturize separately during the daytime, especially in the summer months. I love this Peter Thomas Roth Moisturizer because it’s lightweight with Pentavitin®, a breakthrough ingredient that provides hydration for up to 72 hours.
Innisfree SPF is a Korean SPF and I have grown quite fond of it over the past few months. Not only is it affordable, but it is hydrating without Phthalates and parabens. Along with that, it doesn’t have any pore-clogging ingredients. This is vital with acneic skin and should be checked with each product you use.
SPF is the most important part of your routine and if you can only choose one product, let it be this. I don’t leave the house without it. Finally, it would absolutely be my desert island pick if I could only choose one of these best skincare products to bring. Yeah, it’s THAT good.
BEST PM SKIN CARE ROUTINE
I always triple cleanse when I wear make-up so this PM routine is based on that. If you are not wearing any makeup I still suggest double cleansing because SPF is a heavy product. So scratch the micellar water if you’re not wearing makeup and just oil and a gentle cleanse.
La Roche Posay Micellar Water
It’s best to triple cleanse your face when taking off makeup and this cleansing water is the first step. Dab some micellar water on a pad and wipe clean. You don’t need to get fancy with your micellar water. You can grab this one at any drugstore or Ulta.
Biossance Oil Cleanser
After removing your makeup I love to really get a solid clean with an oil cleanser. Being that I’m in my 30s now, I have to choose the best skincare routine for my skin. This takes off the additional makeup left behind from the Micellar Water. Finally, the Biossance Oil Cleanser is rich in anti-oxidants and helps remove impurities, and restores skin moisture.
Sulwhasoo Gentle Foaming Cleanser
I’ve been using the gentle cleanser from Sulwhasoo for months now and it’s easily my favorite cleanser I’ve ever used. Another Korean skincare favorite this cleanser has a lot of foam which I love because it always makes my face feel cleaner. It deep-cleanses and hydrates, soothes and respects the skin barrier. A gentle, pH 5.5, sulfate-free formula leaves my skin feeling fresh and balanced. Finally, it does not have any pore-clogging ingredients.
Caudalie Gentle Toner
A highly natural, vegan toner that hydrates and soothes skin while visibly removing final traces of makeup—leaving skin feeling clean, fresh, and softened. I love how gentle this toner is you can use it every night!
Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum
If you’re going to invest in anything for your nighttime routine in your 30s, make sure it’s this Retinol Serum. Since I started using a retinoid 3 years ago my skin has been thanking me. If you have never used it before make sure to check out this post explaining how to use it and when to add it to your skin care routine. Below are the benefits of using a Retinoid:
- fights the signs of aging
- improves the look of congested skin
- balances and soothes skin
- calms the appearance of redness for a more even-toned complexion
- improves the appearance of damaged skin by raid cell turnover
Pro Tip: If you use it daily, you very much need sunscreen during the day because it makes your skin much more sensitive to sunlight.
Kiehl’s Avocado Eye Cream
This eye cream does wonders for hydrating the under-eye. My facialist even complimented me the last time I visited because that’s how good this eye cream is. It is super thick so you only need a small amount. And it’s affordable too!
Kiehls Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream
I love ending my skincare routine with this product. A moisturizing botanical face cream, formulated with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, that visibly increases the plumpness of skin while you sleep. I have seen such results by adding this moisturizer to my nighttime routine.
Best Skin Care Routine for 30s: Other Products I use
These are products I add to my routine as needed. It’s important to note that on the days I don’t use retinol I will use either an exfoliant or AHA/BHA. You don’t ever want to mix these ingredients at the same time; always choose just one:
- glycolic acid
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Peel
This two-step exfoliant helps to give your complexion a radiant and healthy glow. It’s been on the bestseller list for some time and it most definitely lives up to the hype. This product is primarily used at night and only use if you’re not using retinol that night. It works wonders when you’re skin is in need of an exfoliant aka that time of the month. DO NOT USE RETINOL, AHA/BHA, OR GLYCOLIC ACID WITH THIS PRODUCT.
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting Exfoliant
This exfoliant is non-abrasive and only has 2% BHA liquid. This stuff will do all kinds of miracles – unclog diminished enlarged pores, exfoliate dead skin cells, smooth wrinkles, brighten, and even out skin tone. It combats redness, wrinkles, aging, enlarged pores, & blackheads. I use this after I wash my face. DO NOT USE RETINOL OR AHA/BHA WITH THIS PRODUCT.
For my ladies in their 30s, fighting tech neck and turkey neck is a real thing. You want to make sure to take care of your neck at all costs since that is what shows the most signs of aging (and hands). This neck cream is known to help with all of the above.
Ancient Indian Healing Clay
Indian healing clay has been used for centuries to beautify and refresh when used as a facial mask. It’s used in many spa treatments and is great for deep pore cleansing. I use this mask once a week and it’s so simple and easy to use did I mention it’s like $8?! Such a STEAL!
- Add a little apple cider vinegar and mix it up in a plastic bowl with a plastic utensil
- Lather it on your face for 10-15 minutes or until the entire clay dries a light green
- Wipe off gently with warm water and a washcloth
Gua Sha is a face-scraping technique that has many benefits. It stimulates the lymphatic system, which in turn increases circulation and promotes detoxification. It’s an amazing anti-aging practice for your 30s skin. I love to Gua Sha at night with my Elemis Face Oil – it’s one of the best skin care products that has upped my nightly routine. I purchased my stone from Wilding and they have amazing tutorials on how to properly Gua Sha.
Thank you for reading my “Best Skin Care Routine for your 30’s” guide. I hope this was useful to you and are motivated to invest in your skin care routine. Stayed tuned for my entire hair care blog post. If you have any questions at all please feel free to drop a comment below. Finally, don’t forget to check out more of my Skincare Guides.
pin this best skin care routine in your 30s post for later
I can’t live without my moisturiser and my cleanser either! They’re some of my essentials for traveling when I can’t bring too many items 🙂
For sure! I always bring my SPF and moistures everywhere!
This is great Courtney, I use the Foreo Luna Mini and the Garnier Micellar Water. 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing this with us :)!
Currently I’m using only selfmade products and it feels soo good ?!!
that’s awesome good for you!
Can’t get enough of my Luna mini!!!
I can’t even begin to explain the coincidence of this post! I LITERALLY just asked my sisters and some of my girlfriends about what to do for a skincare routine because (embarrassingly) I’ve never really had one other than just washing my face. Trying to go through all the different suggestions and even begin to understand the complexity of all these different products was/is so overwhelming and I actually said I wish I had just a reference of everything I need and here you are! Thank you thank you thank you!
Ahhh! This makes me so happy to hear Jac. In the beginning I was overwhelmed too but now I live for this stuff! And if you ever have any questions at all I’m always just a call or text away! XO