Our 40s is the decade where the visible signs of ageing really start to show and the skin begins to lose collagen, elasticity and moisture. For some, it’s also the decade where we might start to experience hormonal changes leading up to menopause, which can manifest in many different forms. What may have once worked wonders for your complexion may no longer deliver the results it once did, so it’s key to update your repertoire to see you through this decade of change.
Those that invested in their skin health in earlier decades will see their hard work paying off with plumper, firmer complexions. And for those that didn’t – it’s never too late to start! The 40s are all about hydration and targeting any skin concerns created in the decades prior. It’s also the time to really embrace professional treatments to complement a targeted and corrective skincare regime. Our skincare routine may closely resemble one of the decades prior with a few key ingredients based swaps.
A basic skincare plan
In the morning
Step 1 Gentle, hydrating cleanser
Step 2 Antioxidant serum
Step 3 Eye cream
Step 4 Moisturiser
Step 5 SPF50 sunscreen
In the evening
Step 1 Oil cleanser
Step 2 Gentle, hydrating cleanser
Step 3 Hydrating serum
Step 4 Retinol serum
Step 5 Retinol eye cream
Step 6 night cream
Step 7 Face oil
Use a cleanser that contains gentle ingredients so as to not strip the skin. Sulfates and drying alcohols can cause dehydration, so it’s essential to avoid anything with harsh formulas. Instead look for soothing ingredients like vitamin E, glycerin and plant extracts. I recommend double cleansing each evening to gently and meticulously buff the skin of any makeup, debris, environmental pollutants and free radicals (unstable molecules that latch onto healthy cells and destroy them). First, massage an oil or milk cleanser into the skin to break down makeup and SPF, followed by a gentle hydrating cleanser to remove impurities from the pores.
As the rate at which our skin cells naturally regenerate slows down, dead cells can accumulate on the skin’s surface resulting in dullness and uneven texture. Encourage the renewal process by using a gentle exfoliator 2-3 times a week.
In the morning, incorporate an antioxidant serum. I particularly love vitamin C, it’s a hero antioxidant that brightens, evens skin tone as well as protects against free radicals. Your evening routine calls for two serums, a hydrating serum to quench the complexion and if you’re not already using a retinol (vitamin A) in your evening routine now is time to start. Retinol is clinically proven to help reduce the signs of ageing. It smooths fine lines by increasing collagen synthesis, keeping the complexion plump and full.
During our 40s we lose more moisture than ever before, so topping it up with both serums and moisturisers is essential. Look for lipid-rich occlusive formulations containing deeply hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, squalane, ceramides and glycerin to draw in moisture and trap it within the skin.
In our 40s, fine lines around the eyes can become more noticeable. The skin in this area of the face becomes thinner as we age, it’s also the only area of the face that doesn’t have any sebaceous glands, which are responsible for producing oils that keep the skin naturally hydrated. I suggest using a retinol-based eye cream morning and night, to quench and plump fine lines.
As always, your morning skincare routine should be concluded with the use of a broad spectrum SPF50+. Using this daily, without fail, is the best way to prevent signs of ageing from UV exposure. There are many multi-tasking formulations out there that do much more than just protect us from the sun, they can defend against UVB and UVA radiation, visible light, and infrared radiation, whilst plumping the skin with essential fatty acids.