What To Do In Your 30s:
With the hormonal changes of your life — having babies, changing lifestyle habits, signs of aging, Dr. Barba suggests that "things start to just pop up!" Things like sunspots and hyperpigmentation can be exacerbated by hormones. Hyperpigmentation, she emphasizes, isn't curable, but it is treatable. "The treatments are only as good as we are at treating it." She asks her clients to honestly decide what sort of lifestyle they have, and whether or not they are willing to stay out of the sun.
This also allows you to decide whether you want treatments with hydroquinone or if you'll go hydroquinone-free. Hydroquinones are a skin-lightening agent that work best, says Barba, when you stay out of the sun. She recommends only using hydroquinone products for six weeks.
For getting the jump on wrinkle prevention, Dr. Barba suggests looking into products that contain retinoids. "We repair with retinoids. It is the only FDA-approved anti-wrinkle [ingredient]. But you can't have a retinoid if you are in the sun." If skipping the sun is no can-do, then she suggests dropping the retinoids, and going straight to a growth system. "A helpful acronym is GAS and GRASS. If you want to go outside a lot, then remember: Growth factors, Antioxidants, Sunscreen. If you are sun-free, then try Growth systems, Retinol, Antioxidants, Alphahydroxy, and Sunscreen.
Lastly, Dr. Barba recommends getting more aggressive with a repair regimen. If you are more comfortable with Botox or fillers, this might be the time to consider using them because the skin is more flexible and change is less noticeable.
SkinMedica Tri-Retinol Complex ES, $75, available at Skinmedica; Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum, $45, available at juice beauty; Neocutis Bio Serum, $158, available at Skinmedix; SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum, $260, available at SkinMedica.