Skincare in Your 30s: A Q&A with a Dermatologist

Disclosure: Thank you to Suzanne Bruce & Associates for sponsoring this post. As always, the text and opinions are 100% mine.

Today I’m so excited to be kicking off a series with Suzanne Bruce & Associates. If you don’t remember, I worked with them on my Botox and fillers video and I had the most amazing experience with their office.  Dr. Katz is, indeed, my dermatologist, and this has been such a great partnership to take to my blog.

I will be partnering with Suzanne Bruce & Associates for some posts throughout the rest of this year. We plan to cover different topics, and I will also be trying out different cosmetic skincare procedures and give my honest experience.

To kick off this series, I thought it would be great to sit down with Dr. Katz and really just dive into skincare, especially for us ladies who are thirty plus.  I met with her in her office and interviewed her! We had a really great discussion (in fact, we chatted for over 30 minutes!), and I’ve put together some of what I feel are the biggest points.

I truly hope you find this helpful! Let’s dive right in!

Skincare in Your 30s: A Q&A with a Dermatologist by popular beauty blogger Meg O. on the Go

How often should we be visiting our dermatologist in our thirties?

Dr. Katz: “How often you visit a dermatologist depends on multiple factors. Age plays a role – as the older you are, the more sun damage you have. But, if you have moles or a family history of skin cancer, then you need to see a dermatologist more frequently. Someone who is young in their twenties and early thirties doesn’t need to see a dermatologist every year necessarily. Patients are not always able to determine if their moles are okay or concerning, so you need the help of a dermatologist to determine that. In your thirties, you should think about going every other year, and every year if you do have moles or a family history of skin cancer. The earlier you start paying attention to your skin and having it evaluated, the less likely you are to have skin cancers down the road.”

What should women in their thirties be most concerned with?

Dr. Katz: “Definitely prevention and sun protection. That will be the most important thing at this age. Wearing sunscreen on a daily basis, rain or shine. Face, neck, top of the chest, top of the hands – those are the most important parts. Those parts show age. Wear a hat when you’re outside. Don’t let yourself get a sunburn. Getting a tan doesn’t mean that you’re not damaging your skin. Getting a tan means you’ve had sun, and that will cause damage to the DNA in your skin.”

I’ve been told before that I should look for a physical (mineral) sunscreen. Is that outdated advice?

Dr. Katz: “No, that’s not outdated. Physical blockers (titanium dioxide, zinc oxide) are broad spectrum and cover very well. Chemical blockers cover different wavelengths of light. Some of them may be better at cover UVA and some may be better at covering UVB. When you’re using a chemical blocker, it’s not as broad spectrum as a physical blocker is. You have to make sure that you get a broad spectrum sunscreen. Honestly, most sunscreens today are. And it’s okay if it’s a mixture of physical and chemical.”

What is the minimum SPF we should be looking for?

Dr. Katz: “I think a good SPF for daily and prolonged sun exposure is a minimum of SPF 30. There really isn’t that much difference between a SPF 30 and anything higher. The higher the SPF is, the higher you’re creeping up to the 99% blockage, but the difference between the two is very minimal. A SPF 30 is fine.”

Product wise, what are some of the skincare items we should splurge on versus what we should save on?

Dr. Katz: “That’s a very good question. So many people have this roundabout thing with their skincare. I call it the “jar of broken promises.” Meaning, you’re constantly going to the drugstore or department store, spending a lot of money on products that aren’t necessarily doing anything great for your skin. Things to save on: sunscreen, moisturizer, and cleansers. For those items, you can go to the drugstore and get a reputable brand (CeraVe, Cetphil, Neutrogena, Aveeno) if you’re looking to save. To me, a moisturizer is a personal thing – what may feel good to me may not feel good to you. But if you want something that feels a little more elegant on your skin, you may want to splurge on a more pricey product.

As far as splurges, the Clarisonic brush is a great way to clean your pores out and to prep the skin for the good stuff you’ll want to use – antioxidants, peptides, growth factors. The things you want to splurge on are going to be things that are wrinkle reducers, antioxidants, or peptides. Retinoids are a very important part of building collagen and for cell turnover, and the ones you find in the drugstore are not necessarily going to do much of anything. When I have a patient in their 60s and 70s come to me and tells me she’s been using Retin-A for twenty years, I can tell. They have way less wrinkles than the average person their age!”

For those of us that suffer from hormonal / adult acne, is there anything we can do to help with those difficult breakouts?

Dr. Katz: “Adult acne is is multi-factorial, as is any type of acne. It is hormonal, but it responds to the same treatment that teenage acne responds to. Sometimes you have to go back to the basics. Get that benzoyl peroxide out, and that will help. I never recommend anything super fancy for that – there are plenty of options at the drugstore. At the same time, you want to make sure that you’re moisturizing your skin, as some of the medications can be a little more drying. We don’t only have to use topical medicines for adult acne. There’s also a drug called Spironolactone which is really helpful. It is a diuretic that has anti-androgen properties, which means it helps prevent a certain type of testosterone that contributes to hormonal acne. Whenever I see a patient that comes in with acne right along the jawline area, that’s a really good indicator that it is hormonally induced acne. Spironolactone may be really helpful for them.”

What is the best way to treat under eye circles?

Dr. Katz: “Dark circles are really tough because a lot of it is genetic, especially with certain skin types. For instance, people who have darker skin tend to have dark circles more genetically. But it is something we start to see with age, there are lots of things that contribute to that.  Our eye socket actually starts to deepen as we age – we lose bone in the orbital area. Our skin also gets thinner, just in general, as we get older. In terms of the darkness factor, there’s not much you can do. It’s tough. A good concealer helps. The best thing, honestly, is filler. Sometimes the darkness is also due to the shadowing that’s created by that loss of volume. If you put filler in, it gives your eye a less dark appearance.”

What is your number one product you use in your skincare routine?

Dr. Katz: “It’s hard to pick one thing because I try so many things to give my patients feedback. But what I always want to go back to is SkinMedica’s TNS Essential Serum. It is basically two things combined into one product. It’s got all your antioxidants, which is great for prevention and correction and prevention of sun damage. It also has growth factors. There are actually very few skincare lines that have a growth factor, and SkinMedica’s is the highest concentration. Growth factors build collagen. So I definitely see a difference when I use my Essential Serum.”

Which procedures/treatments are popular in your office right now?

Dr. Katz: “We do so much of everything, but maybe the chin area has become a popular thing to treat. There are two options to treat a double chin. Kybella is the injectable treatment, where we inject a medicine called deoxycholic acid into the fat and it helps dissolve the fat. The CoolSculpting Mini applicator is the other option we can use for the double chin. It freezes the fat cell.”

What is your favorite cosmetic procedure to do on patients?

Dr Katz: “Fillers. I love fillers. It really gives me the opportunity to be artistic, but at the same time give that instant change. It is instant gratification. I love showing someone half of the face when I’m done with half of something, just to so they can see what it’s really done for them. It’s really amazing what a little tiny bit of filler can do. There is skill to it, too.”

Skincare in Your 30s: A Q&A with a Dermatologist by popular beauty blogger Meg O. on the Go

I’d have to say that I think she’s amazing at injecting filler! So a post-filler Dr. Katz selfie is totally in order. Thank you, Dr. Katz, for answering all of my questions.

I hope I covered a lot of questions you may have regarding skincare in your 30s. If there is anything else you’d like to ask Dr. Katz, leave your question in the comments and I will pass it along to her!


  • Reply
    May 5, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Super informative! I love learning about skin care! Thanks for the info 🙂

    • Reply
      Meg O.
      May 8, 2017 at 1:48 pm

      Glad you liked it, friend!!

  • Reply
    Chas @ Haute Mommy Blog
    May 9, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Question! This whole part: antioxidants, peptides, growth factors…..can she/you recommend some product lines or products? I’ve used Retin-A but that’s about it & I don’t even know what category it falls under. I would also be curious to hear her thoughts on Rodan + Fields. I’ve been using it & have good results but I wonder if going back to Glytone would be better for these sunspots that have started popping up?

    Also sunscreen the tops of your ears! My doctor told me that mine “look pretty beat up”. 🙁

  • Reply
    April 2017 Beauty Favorites | Meg O. on the Go
    May 10, 2017 at 10:34 am

    […] Q&A with a Dermatologist […]

  • Reply
    May 10, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    yes yes yes. i’ve been trying to focus on a nighttime routine but trying to prevent wrinkles and also fight acne is 30something hell. totally looking up this acne solution.

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