Skincare Essentials For Every Age

A Look At The Best Skincare Products To Invest In For Your Age

Image credits: paulaschoice
Image credits: paulaschoice

According to Dermatologists, These Are The Skincare Products To Invest In For Every Age

We get it. It’s never a bad idea to try to find the best sale or deal to save a couple of bucks. And if you’re a beauty junkie, your monthly skincare bill may cost just as much as your car payment and then some. According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, landing on the right skincare routine can help enhance the health of your skin. “Caring for your skin is a marathon, not a sprint,” he adds. In other words, perfecting your complexion takes a bit of balance. It doesn’t mean your skin requires a collection of luxury products costing over $100 each, but it also doesn’t mean that splurging on a product that addresses your skin concerns is necessarily a bad idea.

The new year—which is now just a few weeks away—presents an excellent opportunity to invest in yourself. And investment doesn’t have to mean blowing your budget or going overboard. Instead, focus on setting aside time to pamper yourself and give your skin a little TLC. To help you navigate what products are non-negotiable, we tapped two board-certified dermatologists to give us the scoop on what’s worth the investment. And since no complexion is created equal, we asked the experts to break down the must-haves by age so you can address specific needs within your age bracket. Keep scrolling to see which products made it on their must-have list.

December 22, 2022

Written By:Rank & Style

Product Expert:Georgia Jones

FacebookPinterest logoTwitter logoEmail icon

Interviews and Articles make it easy to learn more about the products that top our lists, what’s currently trending, and the leaders who inspire us We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.


20s: SPF, Retinoids, And Anti-Acne Treatments

Truth be told, the experts agree that SPF is a must-have no matter what your age, but it’s especially important for 20-somethings in order to establish a good habit of applying daily sun protection. “Sun damage is the single most important extrinsic cause of skin aging and skin cancer,” says board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Hadley King.

Zeichner agrees and says daily use of sunscreen has been shown to protect against the development of skin cancers, prevent early skin aging, and even reverse signs of sun damage. It’s one holy-grail ingredient we don’t recommend skipping. And even though your skin may not exactly be aging in your twenties, King suggests using a retinoid to help prevent the signs of aging before they appear.

“Retinoids increase cell turnover, promote synthesis of collagen and elastin, and decrease discoloration,” she says. They also help to reduce acne and clogged pores, because TBH, acne is still a thing in your twenties. Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are among other ingredients to look out for to banish breakouts.

Top 10 List Spotlight: 10 Best Facial Sunscreens; 10 Best Serums For Acne 

EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Face Sunscreen,


EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Face Sunscreen,


Buy Now


30s: SPF, Retinol, And Antioxidants

To no surprise, sun protection is still a must-have once you’ve hit the dirty thirty and above. “In your 30s, skin cell turnover starts to slow down,” Zeichner says. That’s why retinol is even more important in this decade. Thankfully, there are a variety of formulas to choose from, including creams, serums, and oils. There are even retinol alternatives like bakuchiol, which is plant-based and great for sensitive skin and expecting moms.

King also recommends reaching for antioxidants like vitamin C, which helps brighten the complexion and protect the skin from free radicals, sun exposure, and pollution. This antioxidant also works wonders on dark spots and discoloration, and it gives the skin that healthy glow we’re all trying to achieve.

Top 10 List Spotlight: 10 Best Sunscreen Sticks; 10 Best Retinol Oils; 10 Best Vitamin C Serums


40s: SPF, Moisturizer, And Anti-Aging Products

You guessed it: Sunscreen is still non-negotiable. Hydration becomes even more critical during the decade before you’ve lived half a century. During your forties, King says extra moisture is essential for skin barrier support as the skin thins and becomes drier and more fragile. Dry skin is an easy way to develop wrinkles quickly, so keep your skin youthful with a rich moisturizer. And since the skin is beginning to thin and become fragile, this is the age where investing in anti-aging products is essential. Look for topical products like peptides, growth factors, and the fan-favorite ingredient niacinamide, which is a multitasking dream that experts rave about.

Top 10 List Spotlight: 10 Best Anti-Aging Eye Creams; 10 Best Anti-Aging Face Cleansers 


50+: SPF, AHAs, And Moisturizers

Even if you’re over 50 years of age, sunscreen is still at the top of the list, according to experts. One of the main concerns you may notice in this decade and beyond is the lack of moisture in the skin. “With age, the skin tends to become dry, so daily moisturizing is a staple part of the skincare routine,” Zeichner says. It may take a little trial and error to figure out what type of hydrator your skin loves the most. But once you’ve landed on the perfect formula, make sure you apply it liberally both day and night. You can even double up and try using a facial oil and cream to lock in the moisture even more.

He also suggests incorporating alpha hydroxy acids, like glycolic acid, into your skincare routine since age makes skin dry and dull. AHAs act as chemical exfoliants and remove dead skin cells, so skin appears more radiant and bright.

Top 10 List Spotlight: 10 Best Chemical Exfoliators; 10 Best Anti-Aging Moisturizers

View All Top 10 Lists
Arrow white

The Latest

Image credits: jane iredale


Product Review: Jane Iredale's ColorLuxe Eye Shadow Sticks

There's A New Eye Shadow Stick In Town—And It's Going Viral

View All Articles

From Our Partners

Image credits: jane iredale

Jane Iredale

Meet TikTok's NEW favorite eye shadow stick, ColorLuxe by Jane Iredale.

Shop Now

Arrow white

Straight-to-the-point emails to make finding what you love even easier.