Rodan + Fields / Blog / Skincare Guides

Skincare By The Decade: 30s

Closeup of young woman with freckles in a tiled bathroom

For many of us, our 30s are when we first begin to see changes in our skin with regard to aging. The first changes we see in our skin happen when we reach our 30s — specifically, we begin to lose collagen and endure Hyaluronic Acid depletion. Have you seen the meme about if you remember wearing the very specific black chunky platform sandals of the late ‘90s, that it’s time for a night cream? Well, if pop culture isn’t a marker for you, your 30th birthday is a great time to begin your anti-aging skincare Regimen if you haven’t already.  

Genetics versus lifestyle for aging  

When it comes to aging in your 30s, genetics accounts for aging by 20%; 80% is lifestyle. The latter includes lifestyle choices such as sun exposure, smoking, alcohol consumption and diet.  

Anti-aging skincare in your late 20s and early 30s 

Beginning in our 20s, we start to lose 1% of our collagen in our skin every year, according to this study.  

Address All Visible Signs of Aging with the REDEFINE Regimen  

As we age, we begin to see the usual signs of visible aging on skin. Think those pesky fine lines and wrinkles on the forehead that appear or the gradual decrease of skin firmness. “Even as early as being 25 to 30 years old – we begin to lose collagen and the support structures that come with it. This is highly accelerated in perimenopause (in our late 30s through 40s) and dramatically accelerated in our 50s and 60s with the loss of estrogen. The goal is to keep collagen production going to maintain firmness and keep the skin pliable, which also results in smaller-looking pores, more even texture, smooth shine to the skin, better cell turnover,” says Dr. Kathy Fields.  

Implementing a skincare routine that takes a preventative approach to addressing signs of aging is essential to maintaining youthful-looking skin. Easy-to-use, 3-step, customizable REDEFINE Regimen targets all visible signs of aging around the clock. With consistent use, it works to smooth the look of fine lines and deep wrinkles, improve uneven-looking skin texture, tighten the look of pores, and visibly plump, firm, lift and sculpt skin.  

The science behind aging skin 

Our skin goes through a transition in our 30s. Starting in our late 30s, collagen begins to break down. “I have seen figures that it’s at a rate of 1% per year. Cell turnover slows down, too. For example, in your 20s, your epidermis renews itself every 28 days. As you get older, it takes longer, up to 50 days in a fifty-year-old. This causes a build-up of dead cells on the surface of the skin, making the skin look dry and dull,” says Dr. Katie Rodan. Skin aging is complicated, as it is impacted by both genetics and lifestyle choices. “As dermatologists, we know that you can’t fix this complicated process with one miracle molecule. Using a science-based approach, we combine these together in a Regimen creating synergy, in order to visibly transform skin and restore a youthful complexion,” says Dr. Katie Rodan.  

What steps and ingredients should my 30+ skincare routine contain?  

The steps and ingredients you incorporate into your Regimen depend on your skin concerns. “Katie and I break them down into acne, sensitivity, dark spots + sun damage, and natural aging. We recommend everyone should focus on their primary skin concern,” Dr. Kathy Fields says. Select a skincare routine that directly targets your own skin concern. In general, this should include a cleanser, toner, moisturizer and SPF/sun protection. Remember, consistency is key in seeing visible results. Think about your skincare Regimen as a part of your daily ritual, like you may do with your shower or your morning coffee. Be patient – it can take at least a month of consistent use to see visible results on your skin.   

How to Build a Skincare routine for 30s 

Step 1. Facial Cleanser 

The cleanser is an important first step to building any skincare routine. By using a gentle, exfoliating cleanser to wash off dirt, pollution, and makeup, you can prep your skin for the Regimen products to follow. Try REDEFINE Daily Foaming Cleanser, which uses Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) to exfoliate, leaves skin feeling soft and supple as it removes daily impurities like dirt, oil, and makeup.   

Step 2. Toner 

After cleansing, make sure to follow with a toner. It’s an important step that many people skip because they may not understand the purpose of a toner. Toners, like REDEFINE Pore Refining Toner, act as a highly active prep solution that allow for better and more even absorption on the surface of the skin to get the maximum benefits from the efficacious moisturizer that follows. Additionally, toners can help soften skin, minimizes the appearance of pores and exfoliate to promote natural cell turnover. 

Step 3. Cream or Lotion 

Next up is applying a daytime or nighttime moisturizer, depending on the time of day. Moisturizing skin plays a vital role in keeping skin hydrated and healthy. Dr. Kathy Fields explains, “When you create a moist environment for your skin, you get better cell turnover and better enzymatic reaction. When skin is dehydrated, the quality of these enzymatic reactions decreases.” Regardless of the weather or your skin type, everyone needs moisturizer to keep skin hydrated. Moisturizers come in lotion or cream form, which can help you customize your skincare routine to suit your texture preferences. If you have more oily skin or prefer a lighter moisturizer, try a facial lotion formulation like REDEFINE Overnight Reparative Lotion. For the morning, make sure to choose a daily moisturizer that contains SPF so you can protect skin from the sun’s harmful rays.   

Suncare is vital to protecting skin 

Preventative skincare is important. Skin damage created by this point may or may not be able to be addressed, but you can always have an impact on how your skin ages in the future if you take care of it. “Sun protection is an absolute must on a daily basis. Aging begins the minute you are introduced to the sun. Sun exposure is the skin’s worst enemy,” says Dr. Katie Rodan. Applying SPF is important all-year round to protect skin from the sun or other light, such as blue light. “Whether it is cloudy, rainy, or bright, you need your sun protection every day because every day is “Sunday” as far as your skin is concerned,” says Dr. Katie Rodan. Without proper sun protection, dark spots on skin may appear.  

When it comes to SPF, you want to be mindful of which type you choose depending on your skincare goals. Opt for a mineral SPF for acne or sensitive skin and a chemical version for skin that’s simply concerned with aging.  

Address underlying skin concerns first 

In your 30s, you might have underlying skin concerns—like adult acne, sensitive skin or skin discoloration. When creating your anti-aging skincare routine, it’s important to address the priority skin concern first. Think of it as a skincare hierarchy.  

Serum additions  

Adding a serum into your routine can help amplify the results from your skincare routine. Choose a serum that targets your main skin concern, like a serum with Vitamin C to help target skin discoloration and brightness or a serum that includes retinoids if you want to target the visible signs of aging, like fine lines and wrinkles. REDEFINE Intensive Renewing Serum is formulated with Retinal-MD Technology to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, so skin looks healthier and younger. Retinal is a form of Vitamin A that’s more potent than Retinol. 

Selecting a hydrating serum that keeps skin moisturized, like Rodan + Fields Active Hydration Serum, can also be efficacious in enhancing the results from your skincare routine. Active Hydration Serum is an oil-free face serum featuring 3D3P Molecular Matrix, which contains 30% Glycerin and cross-linked Hyaluronic Acid, to draw moisture from the atmosphere and lock it on the surface of the skin to deliver all-day hydration. It works to balance moisture levels to prep skin to better receive products applied on skin, boosting their performance.  

Eyes Age First 

It’s sad, but true. We see the first signs of aging near our eyes—think crow’s feet, dark circles, under eye bags. To counteract the visible signs of aging near the eyes, it’s important to use an eye cream morning and night. Eye creams are also specifically formulated for the area around the eye, which is very thin, delicate, drier, and more sensitive.  

Key ingredients for your 30s skincare routine 

When it comes to formulations, there are tried-and-true ingredients that have become the gold standard in the beauty industry. “These include, Retinoids, Peptides, Niacinamide and of course, SPF,” says Dr. Katie Rodan. When building your routine with anti-aging or preventative skincare in mind, make sure to look out for products including these powerhouse ingredients in their formulations. Better yet, choose a Regimen that features skincare products that are clinically-tested to work together to provide visible results.  


Retinoids are the first tried-and-true anti-aging ingredient to include in your anti-aging routine. The REDEFINE Regimen’s PM routine products help visibly sculpt, define and lift to improve facial contours with exclusive Peptide Technology plus Retinoid Science. Retinoids can be irritating to some skin types, making it important to always spot test a new product before applying full-face. REDEFINE Overnight Restorative Cream is formulated with Bakuchiol, a naturally-derived, gentler alternative to Retinol, which can be used by those with more sensitive skin types.  


Antioxidants not only protect your skin from the effects of free radicals, they can help reduce inflammation in your body—and more importantly, in your skin. Inflammatory damage in your skin can contribute to the formation of wrinkles, so antioxidants are an ingredient that can help with anti-aging skin goals. RECHARGE Step 2 Ultra Boost Moisturizing Treatment is a weightless, fast-absorbing gel cream and a good choice for a light moisturizer with antioxidants. It defends against visible signs of stress to reveal a lasting, healthy-looking glow.   

Consistency, Consistency, Consistency 

By your 30s, you probably know about the importance of a routine, but we want to remind you because it’s easy to forget when life gets busy! Apply your skincare routine twice a day — morning and night — to see results. In that vein, make sure to do all the steps in your routine, as each step builds upon the last. With consistent use of the entire routine, you can expect to see visible results on your skin.