Skincare in your Thirties!

Skincare in your Thirties!

Skincare in your Thirties!

My thirties have been hands down my favorite decade yet. You know yourself better, you are at a place in life where you’re more secure but also still constantly learning, you’re stable but still having fun… I love my thirties. My thirties have also been when my skin has really started to see those first signs of aging. Late thirties especially – I’m definitely seeing more fine lines, and firmness has become more of an issue. Our bodies change as we age and that is OK! But I want to make the most of what I have. I take good care of my skin and I’m proud of it.

For my most recent project with Sephora, we are talking about skincare in your thirties and the most important thing you can do for your skin right now and that’s RETINOL. (Or in this case, a plant-based retinol alternative!)

Skincare in your Thirties!

Your thirties are when you start to see the first signs of aging. More defined line lines & wrinkles, sun damage.. I could go on. I have said this over and over again and retinol is the best thing you can do for your skin at this stage.

Today I’m going to share a (clean!) routine that is both safe and effective and features a couple of my favorite phyto-retinol products. For the past 6 weeks I’ve been using this routine 2-3x a week and I love it. We’re going to chat about three products: KORRES Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser, Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum, and Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream.

Skincare in your Thirties!

KORRES Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser

What it is: A creamy, nourishing cleanser that lathers up and takes off all my makeup without stripping.

Why I love it: When I’m doing retinol I make it a point to use a gentler cleanser as my skin gets more sensitive and prone to redness. The greek yogurt is super soothing, too.

The other reason I love it (and this might sound strange) is how good it feels on my skin. I think with skincare I’m often so concerned with efficacy that I don’t always factor in how good some products feel on your skin. This cleanser is just really pleasurable to use. It smells amazing, it feels fantastic… all while also being very effective.

Skincare in your Thirties!

BIOSSANCE Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum

What it is: A plant-based retinol alternative! This serum contains bakuchiol which offers retinol-like benefits, with less visible signs of irritation.

Why I love it: This serum is really powerful. In my experience most bakuchiol serums work but aren’t quite as effective as retinol. Not the case with this one. It is amazing for dullness and uneven skin tone as well as fine lines and loss of firmness and elasticity! Besides Bakuchiol it also contains hyaluronic acid and squalane to provide moisture. It’s the best plant based retinol I’ve tried.

And because I love a good clinical study: the brand conducted one on 33 women (ages 30-60) and just after a week 100% agreed skin visibly improved without flakiness, redness, or irritation AND 100% agreed fine lines appear smoother, wrinkles appear softened, skin appears brighter, and skin elasticity improved.

Skincare in your Thirties!

BIOSSANCE Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream

What it is: An ultra hydrating, creamy eye cream with marine Algae Complex to help reduce the appearance of fine lines in as little as a week!

Why I love it: My under eye area can get so dry! This is normal as the delicate skin of your eye area has fewer pores. This cream is ultra rich and contains all sorts of good ingredients to help brighten and visibly lift. Over time the eye area is more hydrated and fine lines are less visible, but it provides a smoother, more lifted look immediately.

BIOSSANCE Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum

A big thanks to Sephora for sponsoring this post!

Leave a Comment


  1. Jessica C says 6.12.20

    Thanks for this post, Grace! I’ve learned so much about skin care from you. Is mid-late twenties a good time to start retinol? Maybe my question is, is retinol preventative or restorative? Should I hold off on using retinol until I see that I need it for fine lines and firmness? I’m 27 and use the Ordinary 5% Granactive Retinoid in Squalane and notice that it helps with skin texture but that’s all I’ve noticed so far.

    Also, I’m curious. Do you think that the best thing you can do in your twenties to prevent aging is wear sunscreen? That seems to be the universal answer but I still like gathering opinions!

    • Abby says 6.12.20

      I’m also curious about when is the right time (or too early) to start using retinol! I’m 23 and already thinking about this

    • grace at the stripe says 6.12.20

      Hi! OK so my advice is always to talk about a dermatologist, as you just don’t really know – I feel like everyone’s skin is really different and it’s hard for me to give advice. I personally didn’t start using retinol until I was 35. I think that was too old, but I also have pretty good genes and always wore a lot of SPF so I am lucky in that regard.

      THAT caveat aside, when I did an Instagram live with Olay and one of their in-house scientists, a follower asked this same question and she said 25 was not too young at all.

      So Abby, at 23, I don’t really think you need it. Jessica, maybe? It will definitely help with texture issues but if you don’t have fine lines/loss of elasticity/dullness etc. it may be too dramatic. I’m all for preventative skincare but am a less is more person. (Though it may not sound that way but I’m 38 now!)

      And YES – absolutely, sunscreen all the way. I would also say wearing less makeup and just making skincare a big focus (Masks! Regular exfoliation! Facials 2x a year!)

      I hope this answers your question. I’m sorry I can’t be more specific but it’s hard as I am NOT a doctor and can only speak to my own skin and the results I’ve seen!

  2. Leona says 6.12.20

    Thank you for sharing these, Grace. I like how you value your thirties and totally agree with you. Thirties is a critical age to prevent aging. What teeth whitening products do you use? You have perfect teeth and beautiful smile.

    • grace at the stripe says 6.12.20

      Hi Leona,
      That is so nice. I get my teeth whitened at the dentist (I go to Domino Dental in Brooklyn – there’s more info about the whitening service they do on their site) every 18 months or so… and I use Crest White Strips (the one hour express ones) probably every other month! And then I brush my teeth with the Oral B electric tooth brush (I think using a good toothbrush makes a difference) and use a Waterpik every night to “floss.” I’ve been lucky to have good teeth but have bad gums (I feel like it’s always one or the other) and the Waterpik has made a difference with that. (I also think it helps with whiter teeth as it gets the gum line so clean!)

      • Leona says 6.12.20

        It’s so nice of you sharing all of these!

  3. Erin says 6.12.20

    Hi Grace,

    Thanks for sharing! Could you discuss the difference between this biossance retinol alternative and the herbivore one you shared last summer? I’d be interested to know how they compare.


    • grace at the stripe says 6.12.20

      Hey Erin!

      First of all – sad news, the Herbivore product has been discontinued. I am not entirely sure why but I had reached out to the brand a while back and they told me, as I’d been getting reader questions!

      I think they are pretty similar in terms of results – I noticed the same brightness, help with texture issues, and reduction in fine lines. The biggest difference I would say is the texture of the actual product. The Herbivore felt more like an oil and sometimes made my skin a little greasy. I didn’t really care as my skin is pretty dry so greasy = glowy. This one is a lightweight cream and absorbs much better into my skin. I will typically leave it on for 30 min and then follow up with moisturizer. Hope that helps.

      They are both great products (so like with my Sunday Riley review, if you are using the Herbivore, don’t go throwing it out to buy this!) but when you run out, I’d try this instead.

  4. Ellen Bolen says 6.12.20

    Hi Grace – This is super helpful and I have found many of your reccs to be spot on! Curious if you are still using the farmacy cleansing balm and how the Korres cleanser compares.

    I *love* the weleeda lotion and the Olay retinol has been great.


    • grace at the stripe says 6.12.20

      hi Ellen! I’d use them interchangeably. I still LOVE the farmacy cleansing balm but have been using this instead. Truly love both, you cannot go wrong with either!

      • Shana says 6.14.20

        Super that was my question as well as I’m about to run out of the farmacy 🙂 I’ll give this one a try!

  5. Kate says 6.12.20

    Great post! Can you comment on any noticeable difference between results of Biossance squalene/lactic acid vs their squalene/phyto-retinol? Looks like both can be used daily… do you alternate? Thank you!

    • grace at the stripe says 6.12.20

      Hi Kate! They are different products – acid vs retinol!

      I tend to use acid (the Biossance lactic acid) 2-3x a week, retinol 1-2x a week, and have off nights (where I just wash, tone, apply Bader) in between!

  6. MIchelle Stewart says 6.12.20

    Cute tee shirt! Can you tell me where you purchased it? Thank you for all your posts.

  7. Breanne says 6.12.20

    Can you share a bit about why you were interested in a retinol alternative? I’m guess this would be great for pregnant women (unless it’s vitamin A), but what are the benefits of an alternative otherwise?

    • grace at the stripe says 6.12.20

      Hey Breanne,
      As a general rule I try to use mostly clean products. Retinol is something I make an exception for (and I still test regular retinols as well!) Hope that helps!

  8. Katy says 6.12.20

    How does this serum compare to the biossance squalane lactic acid one? (I know you don’t want to combine both), and I use a vitamin C serum in the morning. Would you alternate nights for the lactic acid and this one, or just pick one? Which is your favorite?
    Keep Glowing, I love your positive energy!

    • grace at the stripe says 6.12.20

      Hey Katy!

      Yes, absolutely! I answered this question in another reader’s comment but I alternate! Copying and pasting my response to her! LMK if you have any further questions!

      They are different products – acid vs retinol!

      I tend to use acid (the Biossance lactic acid) 2-3x a week, retinol 1-2x a week, and have off nights (where I just wash, tone, apply Bader) in between!

  9. miki says 6.12.20

    Retinol is simply the key!
    Miki x

  10. Maureen says 6.12.20

    I love the Biossance retinol too! Curious if you think the eye cream is more hydrating than the Glow Recipe Avocado sleeping mask?

    • grace at the stripe says 6.12.20

      Honestly have not spent much time with the Glow Recipe mask. Have I even mentioned it here? I can’t remember, and I don’t think I have as I don’t have a real opinion on it at this point in time. They sent it to me and I liked it the times I used it but I don’t really feel qualified to give an opinion on which is better. Love this one, though!

  11. Cassidi says 6.12.20

    Grace, you are my go to for all the things- especially skin care! I love this eye cream. It’s great for the mornings and perks me right up. I am going to have to try the cleanser because I’ve never tried it before.
    I did try this retinol and liked it, but the bootle made me feel like there so much left but I just couldn’t get it out!

    • grace at the stripe says 6.12.20

      Oh no! If I figure out a way to get more out at the end I will let you know!!!!

  12. Lisa Autumn says 6.14.20

    I just adore retinol products!

    Lisa |

  13. Tami says 6.14.20

    Might we all get an updated skin care routine for a.m. and p.m.? Love your blog as what you review and tell us all really resonates with my skincare regimen!

    • grace at the stripe says 6.14.20

      Hey Tami!

      I will do another post like that but in the meantime, know that my exact routine (morning and night) can always be found in The Beauty Hub! I update it constantly if / when I change up my routine. Just scroll down to the bottom and it’s all there under Current Routine. xo

      • Tami says 6.14.20

        O! Gotcha! I see that! Thank you so much – you really spell it out there. I am not much of a blog reader but I can’t get off of your site. Thanks again!