I’m well aware that I’m getting older. It’s kind of hard to ignore, especially in the age of facebook. In the 10 years that I’ve been on Facebook, I’ve connected with many childhood friends. Some I haven’t seen since high school graduation, a long, long, long, long, long, long, time ago. Every now and then I’m amazed at how much they’ve changed. I sigh as I wonder what happened to their hair. Is that what skin in your 40’s looks like? Do I look like that?
When I look in the mirror, I don’t see those lines or thinning hair. I don’t see the parenthesis around my mouth or the pinched look between my eyebrows. Or do I? Am I so used to my face that I can’t see the changes? Geat, another thing to add to my midlife crisis list!
When strangers find out my age, they are always surprised. So I am aware that I have fared well in the aging department. But, when will it catch up to me? Should I be doing something for my skin right now? According to most magazines, I should’ve started 20 years ago. (sigh)
Yes, I know that I should lose a few pounds, get my diet in order and add some exercise to my life. But, that’s a separate discussion. Right now I’m worried about that line I see extending from the corner of my right eye. When my daughter pretended to give me a “make-over” some time ago, I noticed that my pores looked super large in her mirror. Such a cruel device that mirror is. After I washed my face my skin felt especially dry. And I discovered a black-head on my nose. Ok, it wasn’t alone, it had friends. Mean friends.
Following my make-over, I was hyper-aware of the skin on my face. The skin tone was different as was the elasticity. Time was marching on alright. Right across my cheeks, nose and eyelids. I don’t fear getting older. In truth it’s been liberating. With more birthday candles came the experience and wisdom that brought me to my IDGAD phase. And it has been pretty awesome!
Every birthday is a blessing. But in all honesty, I do not want to go into my 5th decade looking like thirsty Georgia clay! So, I did some homework and came up with a quick and simple skin-care regimen. I found a few good products, that I could afford on the regular, that would work well with and for my skin and body.
7 Steps to Better Skin in Your 40’s and Beyond
- Daytime Serum
- Wash Face Every Night
- Night Cream
It’s always best to start with a clean slate. A gentle cleanser for your specific skin type is a must! The common skin types are dry, oily, sensitive and combination (dry in some spots and oily in others). My skin type is combination. Thanks to peri-menopause the skin on my face is bipolar and has anxiety issues. With a little bit of research and trial and error, I found that Aveeno Ultra-Calming Hydrating Gel Cleanser does the job best. This product gently cleanses my skin without drying it out. My skin feels clean and hydrated when I’m done. The Aveeno gel is great for combination skin types and even acne-prone skin. I can find it at any local drugstore or supermarket and it comes with a reasonable price tag at $7.99.
Other cleansers that I’ve seen positive reviews about are:
- CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser (Dry Skin) $14.99 This fragrance-free cleanser rises thoroughly and cleans gently.
- Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser (Sensitive Skin) $27.00 It’s a little pricey, but a small bit of this gentle cleanser goes a long way and leaves your skin feeling hydrated.
- L’ Oreal Pure-Clay (Oily Skin) $6.99 This 3-clay daily cleanser removes dirt, oil and pollution without overdrying, leaving the skin clean and clear looking.
- Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser (Combination Skin) $16.00 Not only does it leave your skin feeling refreshed, but it removes makeup, dirt and oil from your pores without over-drying it.
2. DAYTIME SERUM
A good daytime serum with an antioxidant is the best choice. Antioxidants, my new BFF’s, help fight UVA and UVB free radicals by acting as a sunscreen and has been shown to help repair and prevent further skin damage. Vitamins C and E are the heroes in this story. For my combination skin, I use CeraVe Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum. It has ultra-gentle ingredients that don’t irritate my skin. It’s paraben-free, has no dyes fragrance or fillers and is approved by my bunny Mr. Nibbles because it’s cruelty-free as well.
Other Daytime Serums that I’ve seen good reviews about are:
- The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 (Sensitive Skin) 1oz, $13.00 Made in Canada, this serum helps hydrate dry skin and retain moisture.
- Neutrogena Hydro Boost Multivitamin Booster Serum (Dry Skin) 1oz, $13.00 This serum intensely hydrates and energizes the look of your skin.
- Hyaluronic Acid Serum for Skin (All Skin Types) 2oz, $15.00 Dramatically improves signs of aging, dark spots, blemishes and more.
- Eva Naturals Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum (All Skin Types) 2oz, $13.00 With the addition of Chamomile /Lavander this serum improves elasticity while antibacterial properties fight acne.
Oil production in the skin slows down after 40. So, many of us need to moisturize at least once during the day. You should use one that includes hyaluronic acid, the hydrating ingredient that replenishes from the outside in. And why not choose a moisturizer that multitasks by including a sunscreen. I use CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM. It moisturizes my skin throughout the day and provides me with SPF 30 protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Other Moisturizers that I’ve seen good reviews about are:
- Cetaphil Daily Hydrating Lotion w/ Hyaluronic Acid, 3.0 oz $12.00 This absorbs quickly and provides daily hydration. It’s great for use under makeup, is non-comedogenic and fragrance-free.
- Olay Complete Daily Defense All Day Moisturizer w/ Sunscreen SPF30 (Sensitive Skin) 2.5oz 12.00 Provides long-lasting hydration and includes vitamin E and aloe to help maintain healthy-looking skin.
- Neutrogena Oil-Free Daily Long-Lasting Facial Moisturizer & Neck Cream, 2.5 Fl. Oz $9.00 This moisturizer combines long-lasting moisturization with effective sun protection with SPF 35 sunscreen.
- L’Oreal Paris Skincare Active Daily Moisture Face Lotion (All Skin Types) 4 oz $6.00 Formulated with Pro-Vitamin B5, it provides all-day hydration, shields your skin with SPF15 protection and absorbs quickly to allow makeup to go on easily and evenly.
Everyone knows that what you put into your mouth has a big impact on the health of your body and that includes your skin. The food and drink that you consume also have a significant effect on how your skin ages.
Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids keep skin thick, supple and moisturized. Antioxidant-rich foods may also improve wrinkles, redness, hydration, blood flow and skin texture. Therefore, maintaining a diet with a good source of vitamins, minerals, and essential fats is vital in your 40’s. Especially with all the hormonal changes we are going through right now. In the article 8 Anti-Aging Foods For Glowing, Vibrant Skin written by Kellyann Petrucci, M.S., N.D. you’ll get an idea on how to reverse the signs of aging skin by reducing if not replacing the pro-aging foods like sugar and grains. And start increasing your intake of anti-aging superfoods.
Also, HealthLine has a great article on the best foods and drinks for healthy skin, written by Taylor Jones, RD. She explains why these 12 foods keep your skin healthy, strong and attractive.
5. FACE WASHING EVERY NIGHT
Your day should always start and end with a cleanser. Don’t face-dive into your pillow until you have said “nighty-night” to your face. From the moment you step through your front door in the morning, your skin is under attack. Not only does it have to put up with its own natural oils and sweat, but environmental dirt and pollution assault it as well.
This buildup of grime is likely to cause irritations, inflammation and other skin issues like rashes. Here are one dermatologist’s 4 Reasons to Wash Your Face Every Night. And if that article isn’t enough, try out this one about the microscopic mites that live on your face…
I turn back to the cleanser that I use in the morning, Aveeno Ultra-Calming Hydrating Gel Cleanser. If you’re into it, some facial cleansers have been imbued with the aromatherapeutic scent of Lavender to help you fall asleep better.
6. NIGHT MOISTURIZER
OK, we have gotten the grime of the day off of our bodies and faces. Now we must protect our skin with one quick final layer. Many of the daytime moisturizers have a nighttime counterpart that can be purchased as part of a set. CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion has an AM/PM bundle. I got mine from Amazon for $27.00. The night creams are usually a bit heavier in order to seal in moisture while we sleep and while our skin repairs itself. And again, if you don’t have sensitive skin, a moisturizer with a lavender scent can be a delight to the olfactory senses while aiding you in getting to sleep quicker.
Never underestimate the power of sleep. The amount and quality of your sleep can affect your skin. Some of your most important skin repair and recovery takes place while you are sleeping. During your slumber, your skin’s blood flow increases, it rebuilds its collagen and repairs the day’s sun damage. This article from the Alaska Sleep Education Center explains that “Beauty Sleep” is a real thing and that lack of it can ruin your skin. Dark circles, dehydrated skin and baggy eyes are just the beginning. Because sleep deprivation can inhibit wound healing as well as increase inflammation, you could be setting yourself up for disorders such as acne, eczema and psoriasis. So, don’t avoid the Sandman! Start counting those sheep.
Some additional things you might consider in addition to your new skincare regimen:
- Weekly face mask – There are formulas designed to hydrate the skin, smooth complexion, remove excess oil, pull out impurities and improve the appearance of your pores.
- Exfoliating 2x a week – a gentle scrub aids in cell turnover by removing the dead stuff.
- Limited screen time before bed – What if you fell asleep squinting at your tablet/phone? Remember how our parents warned that excessive “face making” would end in our faces freezing that way forever?
- Skin-friendly pillowcases and sheets – Invest in linen that’s designed to be skin-friendly, such as bamboo, silk and cotton.
- Wear sunglasses – The more you shield your face from the sun and squint less, the fewer wrinkles you will have.
- Stop smoking – Because seriously, do I really need to explain?
Consistency in your regimen is important. And a quick, simple routine with quality products makes taking care of your skin less of a chore and more a pleasure.
No, you can’t control your age and you can’t control your genes, but a great routine can make it easier for you to mentally transition through two of the toughest parts of the day. Those being, getting up in the morning and ending the day in calm gratitude without dragging all of the stress, grime, pollution, glitter and leftover slime under the covers with you. After a while, you won’t even think about the task. It will have become a healthy habit.
Are you someone who is looking for great skin in your 40’s and beyond? Do you have a good routine that you can share to make someone’s day and life a bit less stressful? Tell us in the comment section below.