Women Share Their Biggest Physical Changes

As kids, all we ever wanted to do was to grow up. But when we finally do so and enter the adulting phase, we find ourselves asking this very question: “why did we want to grow up so quickly back then?” 

For many, turning 30 is a very daunting milestone in life. You’re no longer as wild and “YOLO” as when you were a teen, but you’re also not yet a dinosaur waiting for retirement. Plus, 30 is the age where people experience different changes in their body — and no, it’s definitely not similar to puberty. 

We asked seven women to share with us the biggest physical changes they realised when they turned 30, and what it’s like to deal with the insecurities and stereotypes surrounding their age. 

1. “I’ve discovered fine lines around my eyes and my pores becoming bigger”

physical change
Image courtesy of Jou Teng

“Since turning 30, I’ve discovered fine lines around my eyes and my pores becoming bigger. Sometimes, my mum will say, “wah, your face has lines now”, or my sister will also add on, “now you’ve reached the age”. 

I don’t feel the best of course, and they made me feel as if I need to do something to prevent these issues from worsening. Once I turned 30, I became more interested in skincare and finding products that help with anti-ageing. I started using eye cream more often too. 

Being 30 motivates me to live life to the fullest. As I’ve reached a new stage in life, I want to start it with a positive mindset. I’d say the feeling is something similar to the beginning of a new year, but slightly more ‘major’.” 

Advice to women who are insecure about their physical changes: “Try to see these physical changes as milestones in life. You’ve come so far, and there is nothing to be ashamed about.”

— Jou Teng, 30 

2. “I get uncomfortable hangovers after only a couple of drinks”

physical changeImage courtesy of Steph

“I believe society has conditioned us to think that our physical attractiveness depreciates as we age — nobody wants to feel less, and it can be quite daunting, especially if you’re still single.

But in the end, age is just a number. If you take good care of yourself, you’ll still retain your youthfulness. After all, vitality comes from within, not from how one looks.

For me, my biggest physical change is that my alcohol tolerance has dropped. My friends were rather shocked as I used to drink without hesitance. But now, I get uncomfortable hangovers after only a couple of drinks.

I feel that these are just signs that my body is giving me to remind me to take good care of it. My sense of self is pretty strong, so I generally don’t let people’s opinions affect me. If it’s an internal battle, I learnt to be kinder and honest to myself so that insecurity wouldn’t get the better of me.”

Advice to women who are insecure about their physical changes: “Learn to love every bit of you, the good and the bad. Nobody can love you more than yourself.”

— Steph, 34 

3. “My physical changes are mostly attributed to having a child”

“When I was in my early 20s, I used to think people in their 30s were damn old. And I didn’t want to grow old. I felt like there was a timer on how much “fun” I could have as a young adult. But truth be told, it didn’t pan out that way — adulthood hit me as soon as I started working in my 20s. 

Being in your 30s is fun as heck. We now make a little more money — enough to travel more and enjoy life a bit more. Responsibilities are there, yes, but life goals are clearer, and I quite like that. 

I think my physical changes are mostly attributed to having a child and not getting enough sleep because of said child for the past 2.5 years. I get random pains here and there, experience the inability to stay up and out past 11pm, and there’s a slower recovery after working out, drinking, or staying out late. 

If you have a healthy lifestyle, a lot of these won’t really be problems. But I think people in their 30s now look better than ever, even if they don’t feel so.”

Advice to women who are insecure about their physical changes: “There’s nothing to feel ashamed of because it’s a natural part of ageing.”

—  Amara, 34

4. “I’ve experienced a slower metabolism and got a few strands of white hair”

Krystal at the gym
Image courtesy of Krystal

“When my 30th birthday came up, I was not happy about the digit change. Exercise took a back seat because when I had tried jogging a few years back, my right knee would act up and it would require a few weeks to feel normal again. 

Since turning 30, I’ve experienced a slower metabolism, faster weight gain, and got a few strands of white hair. But I give myself breaks and know that I am doing my best to stay healthy and happy. 

During the pandemic, I took up brisk walking and gradually running. As I started running more, my right knee had the chance to slowly build muscle to support my movements. Now, it doesn’t hurt anymore when I run.

I’m fascinated by people slightly older than me who still look youthful. Skincare and health standards are improving now. Differences in looks are more about lifestyle and sun exposure than age.” 

Advice to women who are insecure about their physical changes: “Any exercise is better than sitting and worrying. It improves your dopamine levels and slowly builds your confidence!”

— Krystal, 36

5. “I felt like I lost my personality and my youthful energy”

Janice (right) participating in a marathon
Image courtesy of Janice

“Everyone kept telling me horror stories of the physical changes I’ll experience once I hit 30. There seems to be a preconceived idea that by this age you should be married and settled into your career, which I have acheived neither.

I get sleepy so easily now. It’s hard to stay awake late into the night and my post workout aches are far worse than what I experienced in my 20s. In my 20s, I was super hyper and always participated in activities until late into the night. 

I get pretty harmless comments like “wow, you’ve really calmed down” or “you’re not as hyper anymore” from the people around me. But it made me feel a bit bitter, almost as if I lost my personality and my youthful energy.

Now, I try to eat healthier, less sugary snacks and work out. I believe that actions solve everything, so I want to workout and focus on gaining more muscles.”

Advice to women who are insecure about their physical changes: “It’s valid to feel insecure, but trust yourself and your body. You can change your body again, just that it might be a little slower and require a little more effort.”

— Janice, 31

6. “My dark eye circles are more apparent”

physical changeImage courtesy of Jessica

“The 30-year-old mark made me more particular about refining my skincare regime as all my friends have invested in good skincare. Being tired more easily was definitely one thing, especially as I embarked on the sleep-depriving journey called motherhood. I’ve also felt that my dark eye circles are more apparent, but people were always kind enough to say I look fine. 

I started religiously applying moisturiser. Also, I try to prioritise getting enough sleep — though it’s tough.

I didn’t want to cause myself insecurity so I don’t compare myself to younger folks in terms of ageing signs. As for older folks, I only look to them for inspiration on how to maintain oneself well, rather than being defeated by how I’m not measuring up.

I think when you get older, you have less energy to worry about how others perceive you — that in itself is rather freeing.” 

Advice to women who are insecure about their physical changes: “Your body might not be perfect, but it is beautiful as it has brought you through so much in life.”

— Jessica, 33

7. “The weight gain over the years made me very self-conscious about my body and clothes”

physical changeImage courtesy of Aditi

“I thought I would be fitter by the time I was 30 because I started working out regularly in my early 20s. Unfortunately, I feel less healthy physically. Skin dehydration is also obvious on me now — one day of not following my morning or night skincare routine results in severely dry skin the next day.

“You look tired” has become a rather common greeting from the people around me. The weight gain over the years also made me very self-conscious about my body and clothes.

My friends and I share the problems that we face in our 30s and I realised that it’s pretty common among people my age. This makes me feel less lonely, although it doesn’t quite solve the problems.

I keep asking my husband if he still finds me physically attractive and his reassurance gets me going on days where I feel extra conscious about my weight. But I’d like to reach the point where I’m comfortable in my own skin and don’t need anyone else’s reassurance about my appearance.”

Advice to women who are insecure about their physical changes: “We should support each other and be more open to sharing how we feel, and not keep the emotional burden to ourselves alone.”

— Aditi, 33

Experiencing Physical Changes At 30 years Old Does Not Make These Women Any Less

These women’s experiences have shown us that though our bodies are always changing, we shouldn’t view it in a negative way. Ageing is simply a part of life that we should embrace and celebrate instead. 

Many of the responses also shared that the most common signs of ageing appear to manifest on their skin. Concerns such as wrinkles, age spots and dullness aren’t things that only ah-mas go through — sometimes, it starts as early as 30.

NIVEA’s Luminous630 Is The World’s No. 1 Spot Serum With Complete Solutions For All Skin Concerns

For ladies who are hoping to overcome their physical insecurities ASAP, rest assured that it is possible to age with grace. Previously, NIVEA released their Luminous630 Spot Serum Advanced Treatment which aimed to help with dark spots that are caused by DNA, hormonal imbalance and sun exposure.

Now, NIVEA has given the Luminous630 serum a new makeover and they’re back with two new serums: Anti-Age and Spot Serum and Post Acne Marks Serum. These mighty skincare products aim to provide solutions for all kinds of spots and skin concerns, so that they can address even deeper skin problems.

Deep wrinkles, sagging skin and loss of density begone. The Anti-Age and Spot Serum is perfect for those who are experiencing these changes on their skin. The product contains natural soy and squalane, which BTW, has been clinically proven to improve skin elasticity, as well as powerful anti-age ingredients that serve as a collagen booster. 

No need to worry if you have sensitive skin too — the serum is able to restore an even, strengthened and younger and luminous look without harming the skin due to the gentle ingredients mentioned above. 

Within just seven days, the serum will be able to densify the skin and fill in deep wrinkles. And another week of using it will bring about visible results by reducing age spots. 

Fun fact: local actress and singer Rui En also uses this product, citing visible reduction of age spots and fine lines after using it for just two weeks. So if you’ve ever wondered how you can get that radiant celeb glow, this serum might just be your answer.

If post acne scarring is your major concern, check out the Post Acne Marks Serum instead, which contains anti-spot ingredients that are proven to reduce marks by 71%.

Whether you’re approaching 30 and worried about signs of ageing or already going through some of these physical changes yourself, NIVEA’s Luminous630 Spot Serum Advanced Treatment is here to keep your insecurities at bay. 

Head over to Watson’s online store to get your hands on these serums and embrace your age with a new skincare routine today. 

Find out more about the NIVEA Luminous630 Range here! 

This post was brought to you by NIVEA.
Photography by Shawn Low.
Responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.