If you’re under 30, you may be asking yourself if it’s really necessary to spend a fortune to take care of your skin and keep your face looking young and fresh. It’s easy to think you may need that long list of anti-aging serums and creams that cost hundreds of dollars, especially if you’ve been watching some popular social media influencers recently. One of those videos is exactly what prompted me to cover this topic. I assure you that you don’t need a mansion in LA and a pink Ferrari to achieve great skin or afford quality skincare products for your under-30 skin. Some of the recommendations I’ve seen lately are mind-blowing. It’s important to remember that many influencers making those recommendations may be excellent at applying makeup, but they don’t have expertise in skincare.
A proper skincare routine is very important no matter what your age is, whether you’re in your teens, 20’s, 30’s or older. Preventative skincare is very important, although it’s NEVER too late to start caring for your skin. You certainly don’t have to spend a fortune on prestige skincare brands to look great. You can find excellent skincare products at drugstore prices that are just as effective, if not more, than the department store options. You just need to know what to look for!
If you’re under 30 and don’t have any serious skin issues, such as hormonal or cystic acne or other issues, then all you need is a few core products and a very basic routine. (If you have skin issues and concerns, please be sure to contact a dermatologist or other treatment provider for a routine that best addresses your skin’s issues.) All you need is 5 minutes or less every morning and night! To accommodate a variety of budgets, I’ll provide recommendations at different price points:
It’s important to cleanse your face morning and evening with an appropriate cleanser that is PH balanced and safe for your delicate face. Many cleansers today are multi-purpose, meaning they’re great at removing your makeup, cleansing your skin, and are even self-toning. Your skin is your largest body organ, and it’s important to care for it properly. Don’t use harsh cleansers, never use regular bar soap, and stay away from “foaming” cleansers as much as possible. In your twenties, it’s important to transition into creamy or milky-based cleansers. If your face feels tight and dry within a few minutes after washing your face, you’re probably using the wrong cleanser. Foaming cleansers strip your skin of the natural oils it needs to stay properly balanced and hydrated. This applies even if you have “oily” or “acne-prone” skin, so resist the temptation to strip your skin of every ounce of hydration and natural oils. Here are some of my favorites:
- Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser CREAMY Formula. Affordable and gentle. Doesn’t strip your skin and leave it feeling dry and cracked.
- CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser – This is very affordable and can be found online at Ulta or in your local drugstores/grocery stores. It’s an excellent option because it contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides and won’t strip your skin. Be sure to get this exact formula though and not the foaming formula by the same brand.
- Serious Skin Care Vitamin A or Glycolic Cleanser – Found at HSN. This is the brand and product line I started with in my later teens and 20’s. I give this brand total credit for keeping my skin young. All Serious Skin Care cleansers are self-toning and a great 1-step option to remove makeup and cleanse your skin flawlessly.
- First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser – This is great for all skin types, especially if you have acne-prone skin or other skin issues and need something gentle but effective. It’s very affordable at around $20 for a tube that will last a few months.
Basic Anti-Aging Serum
You honestly don’t need much here. Don’t spend a fortune or waste your time applying 6 different serums if you’re under 30. It’s a total waste and isn’t needed unless you’re already showing premature signs of aging such as fine lines, crows feet, or hyper-pigmentation. Find a basic serum with some of the key ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, peptides, and antioxidants. Choose just one of the following:
- The Ordinary The Buffet – Very affordable and contains everything you need to keep your skin young. Contains hyaluronic acid and a cocktail of peptides, probiotics, amino acids, and other advanced anti-aging technology and ingredients. It’s under $15 at Sephora.
- Super Peptide Serum – Another very affordable serum packed with super peptides that will keep your skin young and plump. Hydrates, brightens, and helps smoothes your skin. Just $12 on Beautylish.
It’s important to apply a facial moisturizer to give your skin the boost of hydration it needs throughout the day. Even if you have oily skin, you can find lightweight moisturizers that won’t leave your skin greasy. At night, be sure to use a moisturizer that doesn’t contain sunscreen. Here are some options without sunscreen:
- Belif Moisturizing Bomb – A great Korean brand moisturizer that can be used morning and night. Great for those with dry skin! If you have skin that falls on the more “normal” side and don’t need something this hydrating, the next option may work better for you.
- Belif Aqua Bomb – This is a great option for people with normal skin who don’t require something super hydrating. This is very light-weight and it wears very well under makeup throughout the day.
- Youth to the People Superfood Green Tea Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer – I love this moisturizer! It’s a vegan moisturizer that is packed full of superfoods, contains hyaluronic acid which is very hydrating for your skin, and it wears very well under makeup (one of my favorites to apply around 15 minutes before makeup). Never leaves your face greasy and provides just the right amount of hydration.
- IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream – A great moisturizer for day or night use that is packed with aging ingredients.
Sunscreen is the most critical, preventative anti-aging product you should use every morning. Never leave the inside of your house without it. Contrary to popular belief, sunscreen doesn’t have to be thick and greasy. There are fabulous options available that can be worn under your makeup without messing up your makeup wear or making your face look like an oil slick. Don’t rely on the sunscreen already in your foundation ingredient list to keep you protected all day, as that will only keep you protected a few hours at most.
- Lancôme Bienfait UV SPF 50. It’s thin, not oily, and absorbs immediately.
- Neutrogena Face Sunblock (varies) – Most of the Neutrogena sunscreens are great options that are affordable, not greasy, provide great coverage and have high ratings. This Clear Face Liquid Lotion is a great option available at Ulta.
- – Although pricey, this brand is known for quality sunscreens that work flawlessly under makeup. Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 42 For Face
Special Treatments (Optional but Recommended)
I included this category last because it’s not something that is needed daily, but it should be incorporated into your routine at least once a week. This category includes face scrubs, peels, and micro-dermabrasion products! It’s also a good idea to add a mask to your routine every now and then to target any special needs you may have at that time such as moisture or pores, but that’s an entirely different topic that I don’t have room to cover here. A lot of products in this category can get pricey, but you can find some alternatives in the beauty aisle at the drugstore. Products like this will help remove the dead skin cells that clog pores and make your skin appear dull. Here are a few products that I personally use and recommend in this category. Unfortunately, these don’t fall in the drugstore category, but some are still affordable if you catch them on sale.
- Tarte Knockout Tingling Treatment – This is a toner and resurfacing treatment that should be used after cleansing your skin and before applying your serums and moisturizers.
- Peter Thomas Roth FIRMx Peeling Gel – This is a great product for those days when you have dry, flaky skin. You rub this product in circles on your face, and the dry skin will literally ball up and come off. It leaves the face baby soft and glowing.
- GlamGlow FlashMud Brightening Treatment – For dull skin, this treatment works wonders! I love using this to brighten my skin. It also exfoliates really well with little microdermabrasion particles.
- Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment – This is known as the “2 minute Hollywood facial” and it really works! It is filled with lactic acid and fruit enzymes to deliver results that will leave your skin soft, smooth, and bright. Love this!
- Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion – This product contains very fine particles to give you a more gentle microdermabrasion treatment, but is still very effective to remove dead skin cells while keeping your pores clean and your face glowing!
- First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads – This is a quick and easy way to apply acids and keep your skin glowing. This can be used daily as part of your skincare routine.
- Sunday Riley Good Genes – This is a leave-on treatment with lactic acid that you use daily, preferably at night so it doesn’t interfere with your makeup.
That’s it! That’s honestly all you need for your under-30 skin unless you have specific skincare issues that require additional products from a dermatologist.
What products do you love for your under-30 skin? Comment below or head over to my Instagram page, and let’s chat!