'I asked a dermatologist what I should do to my skin now that I'm turning 30.'

I turn 30 this year and I feel like I'm in a GLASS CASE OF EMOTION. On the one hand, I'm excited, because turning 30 means you enter a new decade of your life (fresh! exciting!). On the other hand, I'm having an *actual* existential crisis about all the changes that are happening to my skin and body.

I know 30 is still young - I'm very aware.

But goodness, everything hurts. My joints are achy AF from years of sport, hangovers are now a two-day thing, my metabolism is broken, and I just pulled out a hair on my chin - so I guess I'm growing a beard now, too.

Watch: The best bit about being in your 40s. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

However! It's not all doom and gloom, you guys (even though I *totally* just set it up like it was heh heh heh). Looking after your body and mind and focusing on prevention is a great way to maximise health and longevity. This means doing things like exercising, eating well, staying active, getting enough sleep, managing your stress levels, etc. etc. 

Easier said than done, we know - but making a few changes and keeping some good lifestyle habits can certainly be beneficial.

When it comes to skin health in your late 20s/early 30s (let's be honest, this is what we're all here for amirite?), there are a few habits to take up, and products to have in your armoury, to help target some of the age-related changes you might be noticing. 

Listen: Leigh has found a cream that'll put the plump back into your skin and it's only $11 from Aldi. Post continues below.

And, look, as someone who writes so many stories about skincare, I'm really bloody invested in this and I want to know exactly how I can take care of my skin and keep it healthy as I get older.

And I don't mean just about preventing lines and wrinkles, but more so about protecting my skin against all the annoying BS out there that wants to damage it (lookin' at you, UV and pollution) and keeping it looking its healthy, glowy best.

So what kind of changes will pay off? To find out, I asked some skin experts for their best tips on how I should take care of my skin at 29, going on 30.

How to take care of your skin in your 30s.

To get the party started, I hit up skin cancer physician Dr Imaan Joshi from Skin Essentials in NSW, and asked her for her advice on where to start with things.


And it turns out it's actually helpful to firstly *see* my face in order to assess it. Shocked and confused.

Dr Joshi said: "When I first meet someone, I insist on an initial consultation. Many patients who’ve been getting treatments elsewhere dislike this idea “I know what I want” or “I’m very familiar with what I need” except I don’t know, and unlike shopping we are assessing each other for fit."

So, I quickly took a photo and sent through this image, where I look like a tired, 12-year-old boy.


When it came to the verdict, I told Dr Joshi not to hold back, cause I can just cry in the shower later.

"In the case of you: Here’s what I see - and I tend to say to patients, I’ll nitpick cos that’s what you’re paying me to do," she said. "At 29, you're in the prime of your youth. BUT here’s what I see already."

"Sun damage in the form of freckles on your face and décolleté from your childhood and teenage years. A picture under a UV camera would give us a better idea of the extent of this cumulative sun damage over the decades that contributes to both unwanted pigmentation as well as collagen loss."

I kinda knew this was coming, as I recently had a skin cancer check and the dermatologist told me I was covered in 'old freckles' likely from childhood. I also have an Irish mum and Scottish dad, so my purple skin and the harsh Australian sun are NOT friends.

1. Wear sunscreen every day.

In terms of the best way to remedy my existing sun damage and protect my skin in the future, both Dr Joshi and dermatologist Dr Cara McDonald from Complete Skin Specialists in Victoria (another lovely expert I stalked down for advice) had a few pointers.

The first being sunscreen. Every. Single. Day.

"The number one anti-ageing product is sunscreen. Use it every day without fail," said Dr McDonald.

This is a thing I already do every day (I wear SPF 50+ rain, hail or shine), so I was a little (a LOT) smug that I was already taking steps to prevent more glorious damage from happening to my already freckled skin.

2. Switch up skincare products.

Another tip? Both experts said to switch up my skincare routine if needed.

"Start with the basics: Use a soap-free cleanser and an antioxidant (for example a vitamin C serum) in the morning, followed by sunscreen," said Dr McDonald.

"In the evening, target your ingredients to your specific skin concerns and goals, but generally start with an alpha-hydroxy acid to stimulate cell renewal and a good quality moisturiser for barrier protection."

...Some cheeky reccos within these categories:

Image: Chemist Warehouse, Adore Beauty and Mecca.

1. La Roche-Posay Redermic Vitamin C10 Serum 30ml, $59.49 from Chemist Warehouse. 

2. Ultra Violette Supreme Screen SPF 50+ Hydrating Facial Sunscreen 75ml, $49 from Adore Beauty. 

3. Sunday RileyGood Genes Lactic Acid Treatment, $186 from Mecca. 

4. CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion PM 52ml, $17.39 from Chemist Warehouse. 

Don't worry, I took more notes.

"If you want to optimise your skin, see a highly trained dermal clinician or dermatologist who can target your skincare to your personal wants and needs. However, just beware of being over-sold products," she continued.

Dr McDonald suggested always starting with the basics and building up your skincare routine with only one new product at a time, saying "This way, if you have any problems or reactions, it is easy to pinpoint the culprit."

Makes sense, no?

3. Be patient and consistent.

Dr Joshi said to keep one thing in mind. "Remember, skin takes time. So, allow three months to really begin to notice an effect on your skin's texture, fine lines and wrinkles and skin luminosity."

"Consistency is the key," adds Dr McDonald. "Find a manageable routine and stick with it. Over time, you can increase the potency and introduce extra ingredients for maximal results."

4. Take care of yourself.

In terms of general non-skin specific things, Dr Joshi said to focus on diet and lifestyle, too.

"Maintain as healthy a diet and lifestyle as possible. Our 20s are often a blur of late nights, too much partying and a poor diet - and it all adds up.

Not me every Friday at 5.30pm. 

5. Consider non-invasive treatments for sun damage.

And while I kinda like my freckles, Dr Joshi said if it's something that worries me, there are options to minimise the appearance of them.

"If your freckles bothered you, there are various machines and treatments that could be used, such as IPL, to help permanently get rid of them in a few sessions, after a skin check to ensure no hidden lesions of concern first."

6. Consider dermal fillers for dark circles.

When it comes to how I should approach some of the early signs of ageing, Dr Joshi said that for me, it's all in the eyes.

"One of the earliest signs of ageing is the loss of the fat pad around our eyes, leading to “dark circles” and a tired, 'barely slept' look."


"Because you are fair skinned, likely a skin type II, I’d say that you’re beginning to lose volume under your eyes, coupled with a pale complexion with thin skin in this area that allows blood vessels (dark blue/purple in colour) to show through, giving you that exhausted look."

In terms of the best way to plump the skin under my eyes and address discolouration, Dr Joshi said my best bets were non-surgical treatments like dermal fillers. 


"If you’re open to it, some dermal fillers to this area, replacing some early volume loss to the under eye and cheek, would work a treat and help you look more rested and rejuvenated," she said.

It me. According to both experts, if I want to start getting serious about taking care of my skin, there's never been a better time to do it.


"The great news really is, managing the ageing process in your twenties is your best bet to doing well, in your 30s, 40s and beyond. This is when the cumulative damage and neglect can really add up, especially coupled with pregnancy and breastfeeding years, when most treatments are a no-no."

If you're in the same boat as me, it doesn't mean you have to do anything drastic. 

Having a solid skincare routine (including wearing sunscreen) and getting into a good routine when it comes to health and lifestyle can make all the difference. And of course, get professional advice if possible. 

"In your twenties, the focus is mainly on prevention with a tiny bit of cure (if needed), so it’s a good habit to get into now," said Dr Joshi.

Have you tried any of the skincare treatments above? What are your thoughts? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Supplied

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