I thought the last year of my twenties would be one full of celebratory endings — a cheers to a chapter of my life full of late nights, un-chased tequila shots, and ‘forgetting’ to floss my teeth. Instead, this year has been one of accidental discipline. But, now with 30 a few weeks away (Dec. 26, to be exact), it’s time to stop making self-care an accident — especially when it comes to my skin. Developing a skin-care routine for my early 30s — beyond just sunscreen and face lotion — has been one of those chores I manage to remind myself about reproachfully when I’m trying to fall asleep, but never manage to actually get around to during the day. Not anymore!

According to Dr. Barbara Sturm, an aesthetics doctor and industry skin care favorite, your skin begins to change, losing elasticity and moisture. “Collagen production decreases in your late 20s, causing among other things the appearance of visible fine lines,” she tells me via email. “50 percent of the essential humectant hyaluronic acid in our bodies is found in our skin, but in our twenties, hyaluronic acid production also begins its long decline. Hyaluronic acid is a key ingredient for many skin functions and cellular health, but it is also necessary for collagen production, because without adequate hyaluronic acid, cells can no longer hold enough water to properly produce collagen.”