Better Skin at Every Age
How to take care of your skin
One skincare tip: It makes sense to revisit your cleanser as you age.
Your skin gets drier, thinner, and more sensitive over time, so the moisturizer you loved in your 20s might not be as effective a decade or two later, says Karen Kim, MD.
Check out the top concerns and ways to switch up your routine. You can’t go wrong with these basic and trustworthy picks for each decade.
"Fighting acne is usually the number-one priority," Dr. Kleinsmith says. Look for a water-based, oil-free lotion or gel with salicylic acid.
What to pick: Try Philosophy Clear Days Ahead Oil-Free Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment and Moisturizer ($39; philosophy.com).
Your skin in your 20s
The biggest issue tends to be battling breakouts, says Meghan Oâ€™Brien, MD, a consulting dermatologist for Physicians Formula. Opt for an oil-free, gel-based cleanser with salicylic acid.
What to pick: Lâ€™OrÃ©al Paris Go 360Â° Clean Anti-Breakout Facial Cleanser ($7; mass retailers).
"Fine lines and wrinkles appear, and skin tone becomes more uneven," says Whitney Bowe, MD, a dermatologist in Ossining, New York, who suggests anti-agers like retinol.
What to pick: Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Moisturizer Night ($20; mass retailers)
Your skin in your 30s
“Brown spots and wrinkles start to develop,” Dr. O’Brien says. Stick to a gentle cleanser to offset any irritating effects from the anti-agers you may be using.
What to pick: Look for a wash with moisturizing ingredients, such as Burt’s Bees Sensitive Facial Cleanser ($10; burtsbees.com).
Wrinkles and age spots have likely set in, Dr. Kleinsmith notes. Her solution? Peptide-packed moisturizers. "Peptides even out pigment and increase collagen," she says.
What to pick: Try Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream Fragrance-Free ($25; mass retailers).
Your skin in your 40s
“During this decade, the skin starts to lose some of its tone and texture,” says Dr. O’Brien, who suggests using cleansers with low concentrations of exfoliating alpha or beta hydroxy acids.
What to pick: Try Olay Regenerist Regenerating Cream Cleanser ($10; drugstore.com).
Hormonal changes can lead to dehydrated skin, Dr. Kim says. Counteract these effects by using glycolic acid; it revs up cell turnover, so skin stays smooth.
What to pick: Dermadoctor pH Correcting & Renewing Glycolic Acid Facial Moisturizer ($52; Ulta).
Your skin in your 50s+
A drop in estrogen makes skin drier with less elasticity, Dr. O’Brien notes, while brown spots are still a problem.
What to pick: Choose a wash with glycolic acid to renew skin cells. Consider DermaDoctor Litmus Test Glycolic Acid Facial Cleansing Gel ($25; dermadoctor.com).