5 beauty habits you should start in your 30s (that you'll thank yourself for in your 40s)
Disclaimer: I am in love with my 30s.
Seriously, much as my 20s were all sorts of amazing (and they really were, with travels, college, moving around, falling in love, out of love, keeping up with fashions, being frivolous with money and – towards the end of my 20s – becoming a mama), I still love my 30s more.
I feel more settled now. More focused. More in love with my life. Like I have grown into a better, more mature and more polished version of my 20s self.
Now, right now, I just want to pause the clock a little and enjoy this glorious decade for all it is worth. And much as I know time isn't stopping for anyone, I am at the very least planning on hanging on to my 30s face for as long as humanly possible – without having to resorts to nip-tuck and needles.
If this is your philosophy too, here are six great beauty habits to adopt in your 30s – that will help correct damage, keep your skin youthful and slow down the aging process. Start these now – and you will be thanking yourself later.
1. Take off your makeup every night (EVERY night – no exception)
This is such an important habit to get into, and one you should never skip – no matter how late it is or how tired you are feeling.
Your skin – which is, in fact, your largest organ – renews itself at night, and works hard to repair any damage done during the day (sunshine, pollution, stress etc.). The problem? If you go to bed wearing your makeup, you are only making it harder for your skin to heal itself, and making it impossible for your nighttime products to get to work.
Failing to remove makeup will, in fact, lead to all sorts of skin issues, like enlarged pores, impurities, dullness and even more wrinkles, as your skin is not able to regenerate the way it is meant to at night.
TIP: Get into the habit of removing your makeup and applying your night cream earlier in the evening – that way you will get it out of the way before you are so tired that you just fall into bed, unable to remove anything.
I have started taking my makeup off and applying face oil or night cream when I am in the bathroom getting the kids ready for bed. That way, I won't forget, as I am in the bathroom anyway, and I don't have to worry about later in the evening when I am actually getting ready for bed myself. Win-win.
To remove makeup, I love the gentle cleansing butter from Antipodes. It is certified organic, which I love, and leaves my skin feeling deeply cleansed and super-soft.
2. Make your nighttime products work hard
Skin cells regenerate at night, so now is the time to apply products with really potent ingredients that will make you wake up looking fresh, rested and – behold – even younger than you looked going to bed.
And, before you ask, it absolutely pays to invest in products that are designed for using at night, as many daytime skin products contain an SPF, which you don't need when you sleep – and that can end up clogging your pores.
Look for ingredients like lactic acid, retinol, and hyaluronic acid when you invest in nighttime skincare, as these are proven to work hard at tackling aging skin issues like wrinkles, sun damage and dry, lacklustre skin.
I am currently in love with Pestle & Mortar's Superstar Retinol Night Oil, which sinks into my skin, and goes to work eliminating fine lines, pigmentation, and uneven skin tone, as well as minimizing the appearance of pores and improving elasticity.
3. Start using a serum
While your 20s are about double-duty products to suit your busy schedule, let's face it, in our 30s, our skin needs that little bit extra TLC.
If you haven't yet started using a serum as part of your beauty routine, now is a great time to start. Serums, quickly explained, are applied after cleansing your skin (but before your regular moisturizer), and will – because of the tiny molecules it is made up of – penetrate deep into your skin and deliver a very high concentration of active ingredients.
Most serums are chock-full of moisturizing ingredients (like hyaluronic acid and ceramides) and will help your skin retain moisture, as well as work deep down in your skin to even out tone, smooth our wrinkles and make your complexion far more glowy than before.
I recently tried Clarins new Double Serum Complete Age Control Concentrate and was amazed at the difference it made to my skin after just a couple of days' use. Hello eternal youth!
4. Eat your skin younger
We really are what we eat, and when it comes to your skin, this becomes extra important.
To keep your skin and complexion looking youthful, you need to fill up on good fats (think avocados, nuts, oily fish...), anti-inflammatory ingredients, (turmeric is AMAZING for this) and good, healthy, wholesome food that works on keeping your skin healthy from the inside out.
Celebrity makeup artist Wendy Rowe's book, Eat Beautiful, is amazing, and am loving all the brilliant tips in there on what to eat to really keep your skin looking its very best.
5. Set aside one night a week for a face mask
For many of us, being in our 30s mean juggling busy home lives with busy career lives, and, often, things like taking care of our skin ends up far down a long list of more important things we "should be doing."
The thing is, though, taking time out just for yourself is important, not only to make sure you look after your skin, but also to just let yourself have some time to breathe. Some time that is just for you, where everyone else and their needs don't take centre stage.
I have started making Sunday nights all about me – and find myself looking forward to it all week now.
I am talking long, leisurely soak in the bath (by myself, not together with wild toddler and his big sister), candles, DIY mani/pedi and – most importantly – a face mask to really give my skin some much-needed TLC after a busy week.
Masks are a great way of giving your skin an intense hit of moisture, and you can buy ones to suit whatever skin issue you might be suffering with (oily skin, dry, redness prone; you name it, there is a mask out there to fix it).
I am currently using these two by Dr. Hauschka and Origins, and find both leave my skin feeling really dewy and refreshed. The Origins one I leave on overnight, and come morning, just clean off whatever residue is left with a damp face cloth.
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