How to Prevent Wrinkles in Your 20s, 30s, and 40s

8 anti-aging skincare products that you need to try now

If there’s ever a month when your mirror is likely to point out summer’s many crimes against the complexion, it’s August—the so-called dog days, when your golden glow gives way to teensy little lines, and those flirty freckles conspire to become full-fledged sunspots.

You might find yourself scouring the web for younger-looking skin secrets or anti-aging skincare routines, and you’re not wrong; there’s literally no bad time to start preparing your skin for a lifetime of radiance. Depending on your age, however, there will be significant differences in the products you use in your anti-aging skincare routine. With this in mind, we’ve rounded up our top younger-looking skin secrets—organized by age.

Start targeting wrinkles before they even start

Ahhhh, youth! If you’re lucky enough to be reading this paragraph for your own edification, we’d like to start by reminding you to *fully appreciate* those bright eyes and baby-smooth cheeks. Even if you don’t have perfect skin—and let’s face it, very few of us do—you shouldn’t be dealing with any of the most common signs of aging. YET. So if you’re wondering how to prevent wrinkles in your 20s, it’s all about being proactive and protective...but not too much of either.

Skincare experts agree that around age 25, you can start incorporating a few gentler anti-aging products into your daily routine. That includes an eye cream like Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Eye Concentrate, even if you don’t see any lines just yet. Your 20s are also a great time to start using products with high concentrations of antioxidants, like Glossier Super Glow Serum with Vitamin C and Magnesium. Light exfoliation is also key, so you’ll need some of our very own METAL HEAD Gold Brightening Mask to brighten skin tone and stimulate collagen production.

20s HOT TIP: At this age, you shouldn’t need glycolic acid or any products labeled “lifting or firming”—these may contain peptides and other ingredients that can cause irritation.

30s is the time to clean up the mess from your 20s

Once you reach your 30s, you may start to get serious about seeking out those younger-looking skin secrets. Start by choosing a higher-quality, more targeted cleanser; if you’re wearing makeup and going outside every day, this might be a good time to experiment with a two-step cleansing regimen. We’re big fans of Tatcha’s Camellia Cleansing Oil + Classic Rice Polish, which will get your face into a serious petal-soft-baby-bottom territory, starting with the very first use.

Your 30s are also the perfect time to add retinol to your regimen; this all-around hero helps to alleviate a number of skin woes, from sun damage to hormonal breakouts, by encouraging healthy cellular turnover. We like The Ordinary’s Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion, which is specifically formulated to reduce the irritation sometimes associated with chemical resurfacing.

30s HOT TIP: If you’re using retinol, you must also be using sunscreen. We’re currently obsessed with MISSHA All Around Safe Block Sun SPF 45, which is incidentally at $14 at your local Target.

Battling wrinkles and fine lines in your 40s

Congratulations! You’ve reached the ripe and radiant age of 40, and much of your life’s drama should be behind you. It’s smooth sailing from here on out, girl! Except, hold up—that is definitely not a girl you see in the mirror. And, although you’ve dutifully Googled “anti-aging skincare regimens” for every decade along the way, still the march of time...marches on.

If you’re just starting your anti-aging skincare regimen, none of the recommendations above will hurt you. But you’ll also likely be dealing with a handful of brand-new issues—including dryness, loss of elasticity, hyperpigmentation and possibly even hormonal breakouts. It’s probably time to pull out the big guns.

Make sure you’re using targeted hydration like Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Moisturizer, which is basically like adding a shot of protein to your smoothie, but for your skin. To address uneven skin tone and texture, try our NIGHT RANGER Overnight Renewal Mask, with plumping hyaluronic acid, smoothing lime pearl acids and resurfacing retinol. For hormonal breakouts, we swear by Herbivore Lapis Balancing Facial Oil, with naturally soothing Blue Tansy.

40s HOT TIP: A multi-tasking eye cream is also probably a great idea in your 40s—iS Clinical Youth Eye Complex addresses fine lines, puffiness and even stubborn under-eye circles.