Skin Care Through the Years

Skin Care Through the Years


This is Martha Thomas, head of customer care for Tree of Life Beauty, and I want to welcome you to our weekly newsletter where we discuss important ways to age gracefully, “how-tos” for keeping skin healthy as you age, and so much more about your skincare regimen.

Please be advised that we are not doctors or dermatologists, and this article should not be taken as medical advice or any medical statement. Any questions or issues involving your skin-care needs should be discussed with a physician, and we highly recommend you consult with your doctor before taking up any skin-care regimen.


As we age, our skin care needs tend to change. In our twenties, anti-aging skin care is rarely necessary, instead we need to focus on preventing skin damage through avoiding the sun and cigarettes and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, this is the decade when we need to establish a regular skin-care routine of keeping our face clean and moisturized and applying sunscreen.

Once we hit our thirties, it’s time to start battling the aging process. In our thirties, we begin a decline in hormone levels and, by then, out skin can have accumulated a significant amount of damage. In our thirties, we need to establish a more comprehensive skin-care regimen, with an emphasis on moisturizing and exfoliating. Fine lines need to be treated as they appear.

In our forties and beyond, our hormone levels decrease dramatically and so does our skin’s ability to self-repair. With age, skin tends to dry out and we begin to experience deeper wrinkles, discoloration, and even sagging skin. At this age, the key is hydration and moisturizing, plus establishing an ongoing skin-care regimen.

Skin Care Basics for Your 20s...

The most important thing when it comes to your skin while you are in your twenties is to keep your skin moisturized. Staying away from the sun and tanning booths is also a good idea.

You’re probably already working and maybe you wear makeup to work every day. All of that, combined with the age can make your skin dry. Most of those problems could be avoided with a simple moisturizer.

Don’t use anything too strong, you really don’t need it. Your skin still produces enough collagen so it only needs a moisturizing boost. 

Skin Care Basics for Your 30s...

If you've been diligent with sunscreen, you most likely haven't seen a radical change in your skin since your 20s. But this is the decade when your complexion may start to look dull because of slower cell turnover, so regular exfoliation should be your top priority, says Ellen Marmur, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. Sun worshipers will see an increase in fine lines and damage like dark spots and loss of elasticity—but it's never too late to get with the (sun protection) program. This is also the decade when you may begin to notice crow's-feet, dark circles, and sagging of the lower eyelids, says Doris J. Day, MD, clinical associate professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center.


You want to continue to protect your skin's natural barrier, so use a gentle face wash. To make dull skin more luminous, try a cleanser with hydroxy acids. You can also use a mild scrub several times a week or a cleansing brush.

Daytime Serum and Moisturizer

Keep it up with the sunscreen. For an extra boost of protection from pollution and damaging sun rays, layer a vitamin c cream underneath. It can also help with hyperpigmentation. Also, a moisturizer containing peptides such as Matrixyl will help sustain collagen.

Nighttime Cleansing and Moisturizer

Your focus should be on repairing the thin skin around the eye area. Choose high quality undereye cream or gel.

Skin Care Basics for Your 40s...

Once you reach forty, your skin slowly reduces the production of collagen. This results in aging of your skin, because it loses its elasticity. This period calls for stronger face creams and some rejuvenation.

In this decade, dark-skinned women are usually just beginning to see fine lines, wrinkles, and other age-related issues like loss of volume, says Brooke Jackson, MD, associate professor of dermatology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In fair-skinned women, sun damage continues to show up as splotchiness and hyperpigmentation.

By this time, you’ll need stronger day and night creams.


Continue washing your face, morning and night with a gentle cleanser. And if you're plagued by occasional pimples, try a face wash with salicylic acid.

Serum and Moisturizer

To repair and protect, look for a serum or moisturizer rich in antioxidants, like vitamin C or E,. Over that, layer a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 30 moisturizer.

Nighttime Treatment

It’s worth it to spend a bit more on your bedtime regimen since that’s the time when your skin restores itself. Regular use of a retinol moisturizer can have long-term benefits. 

Skin Care for Your 50s and beyond...

It's true at every age, but especially important now: Being beautiful comes from feeling happy and taking good care of yourself. So if you haven't made that your primary goal, do it today, says Cheryl Karcher, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center. In your 50s, you really appreciate the benefits of having made wise lifestyle choices, which are more important than genetics in influencing the rate at which you age, says Darrick Antell, MD, assistant clinical professor of surgery at Columbia University. In his studies of twins, he found that not smoking, avoiding excess sun exposure, and managing stress can have a major impact. 


You want to protect your skin barrier, because the drier your skin, the more susceptible it is to damage. Wash daily with a creamy moisturizing cleanser for sensitive skin.

Serum and Moisturizer

Start with a serum or moisturizer containing antioxidants like vitamin C or E, resveratrol, or green tea. Over that, layer your moisturizer and a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

Nighttime Treatment

It's simple: Moisturize and repair. You need a rich night cream with peptides or a retinol cream or lotion. If the retinoid causes dryness, try it with a moisturizer or a night cream, or use it only three times a week. Be sure to use the night cream on your neck and the retinoid on your chest and the backs of your hands.