Healthy Skin for Every Decade

As we age, our skin care needs evolve and change. To glean some insight into the care protocols you should be following for each decade, we sought the advice of three scouted dermatologists. Here, they recommend the products and treatments that will ensure a glowing visage through the years. To find a scouted dermatologist near you, browse The Scout Guide Directory.


“Effective skin care is a habit and Rome wasn’t built in a day,” shares Monique Kademian, MD, FAAD, owner/founder of Vérité Dermatology Boutique in Columbus, Ohio. “Start in your 20s and you will thank yourself later.” Kademian even advises her younger patients begin a basic skin care and sun protection routine int heir their teens.

STATE  OF YOUR SKIN: By your mid-20s, the production of collagen and elastin begins to slow, setting the stage for the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles over time, Kademian explains. The accumulation of UV (sun) exposure starts to show with uneven pigmentation, redness, or small vessels.

POTENTIAL ISSUES: Many of the patients Kademian sees in this age group are still dealing with a fair amount of hormonal acne which can require some medical intervention. The most common skin concerns include early signs of photoaging, including fine lines, redness and rosacea, and sun spots. 


  • Wash daily with a gentle cleanser.  Kademian recommends getting into the habit of cleansing the skin daily, especially before bed to remove environmental toxins and impurities from the skin, as well as any make up. Product recommendation: Biologique Recherche Lait U
  • Use a hyaluronic acid lotion. This ingredient boosts moisture retention and is more than just a moisturizer as it actually prevents epidermal water loss, Kademian explains, leading to more plump skin and prevention and improvement of fine lines. Product recommendation: The Vérité Plumper 
  • Opt for an antioxidant. Look for products that incorporate l-ascorbic acid (vitamin C), Vitamin E, Ferulic Acid, and peptides. These ingredients will boost skin tone, protect against photoaging, improve fine lines and even out pigment. Product recommendation:  Vérité Glow Serum 
  • Start using an eye cream. The skin around the eyes is the thinnest on the body and will show age the fastest. Do yourself a favor and take care of it now, Kademian advises. Product recommendation: Sente Illumine Eye Cream, Biologique Recherche, and Colorescience 3-1 Eye Therapy.  

RECOMMENDED SKIN CARE TREATMENTS: “Even patients in their 20s can have skin care issues, from dryness and acne to the emergence of sun damage and fine lines, that can benefit from specialized treatments,” Kademian shares. While there are many options, from lasers to microneedling, she recommends a consultation with a dermatologist who can recommend the right treatment to target your needs. 

Get to know Diamond Glow. “One of my favorite treatments for this age group is Diamond Glow, a noninvasive skin-resurfacing treatment that has no downtime,” she says. Great for all skin types, this treatment drives cellular turnover and combines exfoliation with extraction while cosmetic serums infuse the skin. 


“Every day in my clinic I see patients in their 50s, 60s, or older, who have not taken good care of their skin and want to know what they can do to improve sun spots, wrinkles, redness, and poor skin texture,” says Amy Ananth, MD, board-certified dermatologist, owner and founder of Camellia Dermatology, located in Foley, Alabama. “Decades of good skin care and sun protection will leave your skin looking much better than if you ignore skin care until later in life.”

STATE  OF YOUR SKIN: By the time you’ve entered your third decade of life, the dermis starts to lose collagen and elastin, Ananth explains, and the epidermis becomes thinner. Sun damage causes brown spots and dilated blood vessels.  

POTENTIAL ISSUES: Over time, many people develop brown sun spots, dilated blood vessels, redness of the face or neck, enlarged pores, dull skin texture, wrinkles, and benign growths such as seborrheic keratoses and angiomas, Ananth shares. This is also the decade when skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma start to develop. So it’s important to add yearly skin checks to your regimen, especially if your family has a health history of skin cancer.   


  • Continue regular cleansing. Build on the routine you started in your 20s, but start to incorporate morning cleansing if you’ve previously skipped it, Ananth says. She recommends a gentle skin cleanser. Product recommendation: Elta MD Foaming Facial Cleanser, Alastin Gentle Skin Cleanser, or Cerave Cream-to-Foam Cleanser
  • Keep using an antioxidant. After cleansing in the morning, keep up your use of an antioxidant face cream. Product recommendation: Revision C+ Complex or Skinbetter Alto Serum
  • Follow antioxidant with sunscreen. By now, you should be in the regular habit of using sunscreen daily. “An ounce of prevention now is worth a pound of cure,” Ananth stresses. Product recommendation: Elta MD UV Clear, Skinbetter Sunscreen Lotion, or Neocutis Journee Revitalizing Day Cream
  • Incorporate a retinol cream in the evening. After washing your face in the evening, Ananth recommends using a retinoid. Derived from vitamin A, retinol stimulates skin cell renewal and aids in forming new collagen resulting in diminished fine lines and wrinkles, reduced pore size, sun damage improvement, and breakouts prevention. Product recommendation: Skinbetter AlphaRet Overnight Cream, Revision Retinol Complete, or prescription tretinoin
  • Add a hydrating moisturizer. As we age our skin starts to lose moisture, keep it hydrated by incorporating a cream after your retinol application. Product recommendation: Sente Dermal Repair Cream, Revision DEJ Face Cream, Skinbetter Trio Rebalancing Moisture Treatment

RECOMMENDED SKIN CARE TREATMENTS: “There are many in-office procedures with minimal down time that help to keep skin bright, clear, and firm,” Ananth explains. Some of her favorites are chemical peels, microneedling, and lasers such as non ablative resurfacing lasers and vascular lasers to help with redness, rosacea, sun spots, large pores, acne, and melasma.  

Consider Botox. “I would also recommend considering botulinum toxin (i.e. Botox) in your 30s,” Ananth says. “As soon as you can see wrinkles at rest on areas such as your forehead or crow’s feet, that is the best time to start neurotoxin treatment.” Botulinum toxin is an excellent preventative treatment, and regular treatments will stop wrinkles from becoming etched in. If you wait until your 50s or 60s to start, it may be too late to totally reverse the wrinkles that have formed. 


One of the greatest complaints about the aging visage, is the slow down in production of collagen and elastin fibers, resulting in a host of skin care issues that can require some extra TLC,  Kademian says.

STATE OF YOUR SKIN: Even if you’ve been vigilant about your skin care and sunscreen use through the years, you can’t stop the slow plod of Father Time. “With the increased decrease of collagen production, we start to see more fine lines, deeper lines, and sun damage really starts to creep in,” Kademian explains. Red veins around the nose and cheeks become more visible and there is a visible loss of volume around the mid-face. 


  • Be open to changing up your skin care protocol. Building on the basics that you’ve followed in your 20s and 30s, you might find that you need to mix things up a bit. As always, Kademian stresses that a good, gentle cleanser is a must and those with the additions of an alpha or beta hydroxy acid or oxygenating properties can be helpful. Product recommendation: Sente, Roche, or Biologique Recherche cleaners
  • Continue using retinol year round. Now more critical than ever, is the sustained use of a retinol treatment. You may find that your skin requires a stronger product than you used previously, Kademain says. As always, speak with your dermatologist about the product that’s best for you. Product recommendation: Sente Bio Complete Serum 
  • Protect and repair your skin. With so many advances in skin care products, there’s no reason why your sunscreen can’t do double-duty. And Kademain notes, it’s essential to protect your skin from the sun when you’re using a retinol product. Look for a sunscreen with a 50+ SPF rating and additional ingredients such as enzymes that can improve existing sun damage. Additionally, she stresses the importance of protecting the sensitive skin around your eyes, neck, and decolletage. Product recommendation: Isdin Photo Eryfotona Actinica Daily Mineral 50+ SPF Sunscreen, Colorscience Total Eye® 3-in-1 Renewal Therapy SPF 35 
  • Incorporate a repairing serum into your routine. Give your skin a boost by adding in a product that actively repairs your skin. One of Kademain’s favorite ingredients are those with HSA (heparan sulfate analog) technology, which has been shown to improve the appearance of mature and photo-damaged skin. Product recommendation: Sente Dermal Repair

RECOMMENDED SKIN CARE TREATMENTS: At this stage, if you seek to possess a more youthful face, there are a host of treatments that can help get you there, Kademain advises. From fillers that can restore some of your skin’s volume to Botox to decrease deep wrinkles to an array of targeted laser treatments that can restore skin’s texture and skin tone. If you’ve shied away from lasers in the past, Kademain notes that there are more advanced ones on the market that deliver spectacular results without the traditional damage and down time. A win-win!

Give a laser a go. The world of laser treatments is vast and the treatment you choose depends on the skin issue you are addressing. One of Kademain’s favorite lasers for this age group is the Vérité Cool Peel Tetra Laser. It’s a fractionated CO2 laser that allows her to achieve amazing fractional ablative results without the thermal injury and downtime. “CO2 lasers are the gold standard in treating wrinkles, age spots, and acne scars, while tightening the skin and evening out tone,” she says.  “Damaged skin is removed (ablated) while stimulating new collagen, and heat energy tightens the skin.”


Some women come into my office and say, ‘I’ve been using the same products for years,’ which isn’t always a good thing,” explains Heather Haley, MD of Haley Dermatology in Fairhope, Alabama. As the skin changes with age, we have to make some tweaks to our skin care routine, whether that’s incorporating a new treatment or simply mixing up your products. 

STATE  OF YOUR SKIN: Two big changes with age are dryness and thinning of the skin, Haley reports.  Over time the epidermis and dermis both get thinner and less hydrated. This increases the appearance of fine lines and causes skin texture changes.


  • Add more moisture. If you aren’t already using a product with hyaluronic acid, now’s the time! Hyaluronic acid is already in your skin and it is intertwined with your collagen, but by the time you’ve reached your 50s, it needs a boost. Haley explains that some products instantly hydrate the surface of the skin, so you can see visible improvement within minutes, and some penetrate and help hydrate over time. She uses hyaluronic acid every day as it acts like a primer to prevent makeup from settling into fine lines. Product recommendation: Skin Medica HA5 , Neutrogena Hydro Boost Moisturizer 
  • Keep using sunscreen. “If you are only doing one thing, make it a sunscreen,” Haley says. She notes that it needs to be physical sunscreen with both UVA (anti-aging) and UVB (burning rays) protection. She likes to use a product (Intelleshade) that not only has sun protection, but also anti-aging properties, so you get multiple benefits out of one product. Product recommendation: Intelleshade by Revision, EltaMD UV Clear Sunscreen
  • Continue retinol or tretinoin use. At night use a retinol or tretinoin product, which are the most studied anti-aging products around. Haley prefers the prescription strength tretinoin, but you can certainly get over-the-counter retinol products. Some of these products can be harsh so those with sensitive skin should go slow and see how their skin tolerates it. Product recommendation: SkinMedica retinol products, Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair
  • Treat your neck like your face. While this is something Haley advises to begin in your 20s, it’s never too late too late to start. Use all your skin care and sun protection that you use on your face everyday on your neck. “The skin on the neck is very different from the face and many of the lasers and other procedures we can use on the face to correct aging and sun damage cannot be used on the neck,” she stresses.  Product recommendation: Revision Nectifirm Advanced

RECOMMENDED SKIN CARE TREATMENTS: “One big piece of advice I give my patients is to do at least one thing once a year above and beyond your daily skin care,” Haley says. “It can be a chemical peel or microneedling, or a laser. But do something to slow down the aging process and even reverse it a bit.”

An ideal plan for your 50s. For those wishing to give their skin the utmost attention and care, Haley recommends the following annual plan: 

  • Botox three times a year
  • A filler once a year
  • Treatment such as a peel, laser, or microneedling once a year

Haley personally opts for the HALO Laser by Sciton every year. It smooths the surface lines while stimulating collagen for some tightening effect. Another option would be a BBL (broad band light) treatment to even out skin tone and remove sunspots.

TSG Tip 443 from Monique Kademian, MD, FAAD, owner/founder of Vérité Dermatology Boutique in Columbus, Ohio; Amy Ananth, MD, board-certified dermatologist, owner and founder of Camellia Dermatology, in Foley, Alabama; and Heather Haley, MD of Haley Dermatology in Fairhope, Alabama. Vérité Dermatology Boutique appears in The Scout Guide Columbus. Camellia Dermatology appears in The Scout Guide Gulf Coast. Haley Dermatology appears in The Scout Guide Mobile Bay