It’s a tough fact to face, but it’s true: once you hit your 40s, your skin, like a lot of things, starts to change. That means your skincare routine needs to change with it. Although the bad news is that your skin may not look as great as easily as it once did, the good news is that there’s a lot you can do to keep it looking its best--and its youngest! That’s why in this article we’ll discuss what changes happen to your skin in your 40s and what you can do to address those changes--from adjusting your skincare routine to making modifications to your lifestyle.
IN A NUTSHELL
Main Takeaways: Changes to skin in your 40s can be subtle, like a loss of radiance- or drastic, like the appearance of dark spots- but with a good skincare routine, you can work to diminish the look of just about any unwanted change.
Good to Know: Skincare isn’t the only remedy to aging skin. Lifestyle changes can help visibly improve the look and even feel of your skin if you’re now in your 40s.
What Changes Can Happen to Your Skin in Your 40s?
While you probably won’t see any changes right as the clock strikes midnight on your 40th birthday, chances are that as you approach 40 or shortly after, you’ll start to see your skin acting and looking differently than it usually does. Here are a few of the changes you might see in your skin after 40.
Dullness - You might find that your skin doesn’t have the same glow it once did. Unfortunately, once we turn 40, our collagen production decreases, causing our skin to lose its radiance.
That could be due to the fact that our cell turnover isn’t what it was in our 20s and 30s. Skin usually regenerates itself about every 27 days or so, but once we hit 40, it might take longer. That means that old, dead skin stays on the face longer, causing it to dull or even flake. It also means that makeup, moisturizer, and sunscreen won’t go on as effectively because it’s sitting on top of old skin.
Loss of elasticity - You may also find that once you hit your 40s, your skin just doesn’t pop back the way it used to if you tug at it or try to apply makeup (i.e. using an applicator to put on eye shadow). That’s because your skin also loses elasticity when you hit your 40s. That lack of elasticity translates to a sagging effect, which you may start to see at this age.
Increase in visible fine lines and wrinkles - For some of us, our 40s are when we really start to see the effect of late nights with little sleep, a little too much dehydrating alcohol, and OMG- let’s not even start to discuss what all those years of baking in the sun did! Yes, perhaps we had a little too much fun and now it’s really starting to show- especially around the lip and eye area, both of which are places that really develop wrinkles fast (and if you were a smoker, you definitely know what we mean about the lines above your lips).
Increase in visible dark spots or age spots - Yes, those little spots, caused mostly by too much time in the sun, start to come out like snails after a storm. OK, that’s a bad analogy but you get the idea. Even though we may feel way too young to have something called age spots, you shouldn’t be surprised if they suddenly show up in your 40s.
Skin feels and appears drier - even if you’ve always had oily skin, your skin can suddenly start to look and feel really dry and dehydrated. This is most likely due to the drop in estrogen women experience in their 40s and especially when they reach perimenopause (although if you haven’t been great about taking care of your skin and have indulged in a lot of behaviors that rob the skin of hydration--smoking, drinking, lots of time in the sun--it’s possible that that’s what’s causing the dryness). Don’t be shocked if your previously slick skin starts to feel more like a desert!
The Best Skin Care Routine for Your 40s
Although the changes to the skin in your 40s are numerous, so are the ways to keep your skin its absolute healthiest. If you’ve never really established a skincare routine, now’s the time! If you have, you might want to adjust it just a bit. Here’s how!
The start to any great skincare routine, no matter what your age, is cleansing. You’ve got to wash away all the dirt and oil and leftover sunscreen and makeup on your skin to make sure your skin care products work effectively. Now that you’re in your 40s or older, be sure to use a gentle but effective cleanser like our So Clean! natural facial cleanser.
Once you’ve cleansed the skin, it’s a good idea to exfoliate 1-3 times a week. Exfoliants not only remove the remaining dirt and oil out of the skin, they prep the skin for other products, such as your serums, moisturizers and makeup, so apply more smoothly and work more effectively. Exfoliating regularly also helps revive your skin’s natural glow by uncovering new, healthy skin!
Next, follow up with a few spritzes of a good toner that will hydrate the skin without stripping it. Our Rose and Shine natural rose water toner hydrates and smoothes the skin and has no added alcohol. Pro-tip: in addition to spraying it directly on your face, you can opt to spritz some toner on a cotton pad and press it into problem areas that are prone to wrinkles and dryness.
Use a brightening serum. As we mentioned above, as you get older, your skin loses its radiance, which is why it’s so important to restore it. A great brightening serum full of vitamin C, like Nectar of the C, is known for its ability to brighten the skin and work to diminish the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots! Another great serum option is a retinol serum. Retinol is an anti-aging antioxidant that will help protect your skin from environmental stressors trying to harm it. It’s also well known for its ability to keep the skin firm and tight--a super important attribute for those of us over 40!
We also highly recommend both a moisturizer and an eye cream. A moisturizer like our Crème de la Cream natural moisturizer will not only visibly reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles, it will help lock in moisture, using soothing ingredients like aloe vera and squalane. This moisturizer also includes coenzyme Q10, which is an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from environmental stressors.
5. Eye Cream
Because the delicate area around the eyes has little oil in it, it’s crucial to use a product like our Eyes Eyes Baby anti-aging eye cream. In addition to helping to reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness under the eyes, it also helps diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles and restores moisture to the skin.
Finally, liberal use of sunscreen is an absolute must if you’re not doing that already. Protect your skin health and prevent premature aging by wearing sunscreen daily on your face, neck and even your hands!
Pro Tips for taking care of your skin in your 40s
In addition to a great skin care routine, a few little extras can help improve the look of your skin in your 40s. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Get more sleep - We know you used to pull all-nighters and still woke up looking like an angel, but after 40, a lack of sleep really shows on the skin. To avoid the puffy eyes and dullness that comes with a lack of sleep, try to get at least eight hours in each night.
- Try to control stress - We know– this is much easier said than done. But the truth is, stress does a huge number on your skin, so anything you can do to help alleviate the daily stress in your life – take a walk, read a book, or watch a puppy video – when you feel your stress levels are elevating, you might see an improvement in your skin.
- Limit your sun exposure - We know there’s nothing more fun than a day at the beach, but too many of them and it can start to affect your skin. Try to limit the amount of sun you’re exposed to – not just at the beach, but anytime you go outside. Don’t forget, too, that wearing hats, clothing with UV protection, and staying in the shade are all great ways of protecting your skin from the sun! And remember, we know this has been said, but you cannot underestimate what a great sunscreen will do for your skin. Even if you’ve never used one before, it’s never too late to start!
So those are our tips for maintaining the best skin care routine for your 40s. To make it super easy for you, we’ve put together everything you need (minus sunscreen) in our Deluxe Skincare Set. We bet you’ll find it doesn’t take long before you see significant improvements in your skin!