In your 20s
verona studio/ShutterstockHow you treat your complexion in your younger years can set you up for skincare success later in life. In your 20s, it's mostly about prevention. Make sure you know the correct age to begin these vital skin care practices.
Prevent sun damage
Melpomene/ShutterstockAny dermatologist will tell you that one of the most important things you can do to protect your skin is to wear a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30+ every single day, rain or shine. UV rays damage collagen and elastic tissue and cause wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, brown spots, broken blood vessels, and uneven texture, explains Debra Jaliman, MD, a board certified dermatologist in New York City. People who wear sunscreen religiously tend to look much younger (not to mention it helps protect against skin cancer), so this is important for every age group. If you need some product recommendations, these are the 13 sunscreens top dermatologists actually use on themselves.
Avesun/ShutterstockJust because you're out of your teenage years doesn't mean acne suddenly disappears (but wouldn't that be amazing?!). To keep skin clear, Dr. Jaliman suggests using a cleanser like Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Face Wash Cream Cleanser or pre-soaked pads with salicylic acid like Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Correction Pads. You can also try out these home remedies for acne, or find out the over-the-counter drugstore acne-fighters that dermatologists trust.
Deep clean pores
Voyagerix/ShutterstockAnd once a week, use a purifying mask to really give pores a deep clean. Look for formulas with ingredients including charcoal or clay, like Biore Self Heating One Minute Mask or Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask. If you have acne-prone skin, these blemish-busting face masks are a must!
Treat tired eyes
Kaspars Grinvalds/ShutterstockEye masks (or patches) are great for faking a well-rested look—even after those late nights. Some good options are G.M. Collin Instant Radiance Eye Patches and Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Mask. Didn't catch enough zzzs? These genius makeup tips will help you look less tired.
In your 30s
puhhha/ShutterstockDuring this decade, hormone changes and stress can throw your skin out of whack. And if you didn't take care of your complexion in your 20s, it's time to do some damage control, pronto.
Deal with discoloration
Visuta/Shutterstock"When it comes to patients in their 30s, I see a lot discoloration—mostly from pregnancy, melasma, and sun damage," says Dr. Jaliman. She suggests using vitamin C in the morning. Try Ole Henriksen Truth Serum or Glossier Super Glow. Dealing with dark spots and uneven tone? These 12 magical makeup tricks will make flaws disappear.
Fight hormonal breakouts
wavebreakmediaSadly, blemishes can follow you until your 30s. If you're still struggling with blemishes or inflammation, try a pH balancing (alcohol-free) toner, like Jasmine Green Tea Balancing Toner or Cocokind Raspberry Vinegar Toner.
Step up your anti-aging game
wavebreakmedia/ShutterstockRetinol (vitamin A) is a favorite among dermatologists, prized for its ability to promote cell turnover, thus boosting radiance and diminishing fine lines and discoloration. Because retinol increases photosensitivity, it's best to use it at night. Consider trying Amarte HydroLift Cream. If you have sensitive skin, consider Roc Retinol Correxion Anti-Aging Sensitive Skin Night Cream or Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum. This is what dermatologists wish you knew about preventing and treating wrinkles.
In your 40s
Africa Studio/ShutterstockHaven't you heard 40 is the new 20? Make sure your skin gets the memo by stocking your medicine cabinet with plenty of nourishing products. (These are the 12 makeup rules you should know by the time you're 40.)