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The Best Skin Care Regimen for Your 40s

Smiling middle-aged woman
February 2, 2017 Reviewed by Holly Dawsey 0 Comments

They say it takes about 20 years for environmental damage (think sun and pollution) and lifestyle factors like smoking, stress and even smiling to show on your skin. Enter your 40s. Maybe the expression lines on your forehead and around your eyes no longer relax or those pesky dark spots are starting to overstay their welcome. While you may feel like you’ve developed a solid skin care routine at this age, a few tweaks can make all the difference. Update your regimen now with stronger anti-agers that boost cell metabolism and stimulate fibroblast to lay down new collagen, and enjoy great skin for years to come.


At this age, dead cells are slower to slough off naturally and skin is more prone to inflammation. Not-so-fun fact: Studies show that all of the smog in the air causes inflammation in skin cells. The buildup of dead cells, dirt and toxins can contribute to dryness and dullness and even exacerbate existing spots and wrinkles. All the more reason to reach for a thorough cleanser at the end of the day.

Try one with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). AHAs, which include glycolic, citric, malic and lactic, are clinically-proven to loosen the glue-like substances that hold skin cells together, thus shedding the top layer of dull and damaged skin. BHAs not only exfoliate the upper layer of skin, but also penetrate deep through the epidermis to rid the dead skin cells and excess oil built up in the pores. The most common is salicylic acid.

Every few days swap your regular wash with a brightening  2-in-1 exfoliating cleanser, like Medik8 White Balance Cleanser ($57 in the shop) and for a mask treatment there's Prep Microdermabrasion ($80 in the shop).  


In the morning, use a moisturizer with SPF to prevent further damage and to keep the damage that is already lurking under the skin from surfacing. Prana Natural Defense SPF 25 ($35 in the shop) is lightweight moisturizer that provides protection against UVA and UVB rays. It also contains grape seed extract, green tea and vitamin E to help fight free radicals and stimulate collagen.

Before bed, reach for a hyper-hydrating night cream. Topping off your evening fixers with a night cream that’s loaded with moisture-binding humectants (glycerin, hyaluronic acid), natural oils, antioxidants and amino acids will aid in the skin’s natural repair process and create a useful barrier for skin. We like Ao Skincare Repair Night Cream ($85.95 in the shop), a restorative night treatment that hydrates and heals with natural botanicals like jojoba oil, manuka honey and bakuchiol. If you prefer a serum, try Your Best Face Restore Night Treatment Serum ($130 in the shop).


The changes in your skin may seem a little discouraging at this age. Pay close attention to these targeted treatments, and it will return to smooth and spotless in no time.  

Soften expression lines  

Expression lines are a sign of a life well lived. However, you may not want them permanently etched on your forehead or between your brows. A new class of highly advanced peptides, known as neuropeptides, work on our neurotransmitters to limit muscle movement and inhibit expression lines in a process known as exocytosis. ClarityRX Get Fit Serum ($105.75 in the shop) is formulated with no less than four neuropeptides, including Argireline, Syn-ake, pentapeptide-18 and SNAP-8. Simply Venom Day Cream ($59 in the shop) and Night Cream ($69 in the shop) use a combination of tripeptide actives to deliver wrinkle-relaxing results. 

Lighten dark spots

Dark skin pigmentation is accelerated by actions that increase the activity of melanocytes, such as hormonal imbalance, sun exposure and some medications. Vitamin C is a powerful ingredient you should add to your regimen if you haven’t already. It’s an antioxidant that neutralizes oxidative stress, accelerates the regeneration of cells and inhibits the enzyme tyrosinase, which is responsible for converting tyrosine into melanin. Two stable and potent formulas: Sciote Vitamin C 20% Super Serum ($85 in the shop) and  Your Best Face Advanced CE Concentrate ($50 in the shop). 

Upgrade your eye cream

If you've become particularly concerned about your eye area — it is generally the first to show signs of aging — give your eye cream an extra boost with retinol and antioxidants. This combo will keep the area taut, smooth and bright. Try Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic & Retinol Eye Cream ($68 in the shop). 

Mend broken blood vessels

If you’re starting to notice more redness, you’re not alone: It’s very common at this age. Prolonged exposure to the sun is the primary source of broken blood vessels on the face. Load up on sunscreen (we like Prana Reishi Mushroom Shield for skin that is prone to redness; $42 in the shop), then seek treatment from products with ingredients like caffeine, niacinamide, grape seed oil and perfluorodecalin. Try Medik8 Red Alert  ($60 in the shop) with cutting edge active teprenone.

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