Age isn’t just a number when it comes to skin care – it’s a magic one that unlocks skin-care success. That’s because our constantly-changing complexions have different needs at different ages: So a product that worked for your skin at 28 may do nothing for you at 31. Checking in with what your skin type is right now (not what it was five years ago!) and finding products that work for it are key to keeping your skin smooth and bright. No one knows this better than our editors Kelsey, who is in her 20s, and Erin, in her 30s, who are intimately familiar with their current skin states and the products that work for them.
Scroll ahead for their advice (wisdom often comes with age, after all) and top product recommendations all available at Sephora.
20s Skin Concern: Acne & Pores
“My skin has gotten oily with age, even though it’s dry. I also get cystic pimples regularly: little bumps beneath my skin that aren’t super visible, but make my skin feel rough. My complexion is sensitive and easily overwhelmed, so I lean towards products that feel lightweight with non-irritating ingredients. To combat the pimples and texture, I gravitate toward products with salicylic acid, which is one of my favorite chemical exfoliators. It always makes my skin feel baby smooth, but doesn’t aggravate it. A salicylic acid face cleanser is an easy add to my routine and really helps clear out my pores. After that, I’ll layer on hydration with a non-stripping toner, a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid, and SPF. To finish, I smooth on a pore-smoothing primer serum which also helps with the texture due to cystic acne. Blurring products have a mattifying effect that really helps to bring down shininess, and you can use them with or without makeup.”
Kelsey Steigman, Senior Fashion Editor
Kelsey’s Product Picks
30s Skin Concern: Radiance
“My complexion is mostly even, but the occasional pimples I get always turn into lingering dark spots. It tends to be dry as well, so I’m always mindful about regular exfoliation for a radiance boost. Chemical exfoliators with ingredients like tranexamic acid and AHAs are my favorite and significantly increase luminosity. Out of all the steps in my makeup routine, I probably spend the most time layering products under my eyes. I’ve always had dark circles, but dull skin and hyperpigmentation are issues that started to pop up in my twenties and have shown up full-throttle in my 30s. Any skin-care product that can help brighten my dark circles and decrease the amount of concealer I need is a must. When I’m choosing an eye cream, caffeine is a great active ingredient that I always look for on the label.”
Erin Stovall, Senior Beauty Editor