Welcome to my new monthly series: Ask Sarah. In this column, I’ll be answering beauty and wellness questions submitted by our Pooshies. Up first is a skincare request from Krista Cormier, a reader based in Massachusetts.
What are your top skincare tips for entering your 40s?
Every decade comes with a new skincare mission. In our teens, it’s all about keeping acne at bay. Our 20s are about prevention: preventing fine lines, sun damage, and still, yes, acne. Our 30s are about recovery … and anti-aging. And our 40s? It’s about maintenance.
So, the best skincare advice I have for someone in their 40s would be to get on a skincare program that works for you and keep it consistent. Of course, the below tips and reminders will help too:
1. Know your skin. Know your ingredients.
By 40, it’s safe to say you know what your skin likes and doesn’t like. At this point, you and your skin should be besties. For example, my skin is not a fan of fragrance. I know this: fragrance and my face are major frenemies. So now I avoid fragrance in all skincare products. I also refrain from thick creams and non-cold-pressed oils. Both ingredients make my perioral dermatitis flare up, a lovely skin condition I recently acquired (part of the adult acne set … and here I thought I’d have grown out of acne by my 20s … SIGH).
2. Don’t skimp on the antioxidants.
Antioxidants aid in free radical damage and inflammation, two causes of aging. Like a green juice for your insides, your skin craves vitamins and nutrients. Feed it!
3. Hydration, hydration, and more hydration.
I can’t stress the need for hydration enough, especially as we mature. Your skin naturally loses moisture and elasticity and, if you’re anything like me, you spent a good portion of your teens and 20s stripping the oils to prevent breakouts. Well, surprise! Your skin is thirsty. Invest in a hyaluronic acid serum and follow it up with a face oil or moisturizer, depending on your specific skincare needs.
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4. Incorporate treatments into your monthly skincare routine.
This could be peels, lasers, microdermabrasion, LED lights, or micro-needling. Figure out what works with your skin type and concerns. Anything to boost that collagen (or, at the very least, keep what we still have).
5. Invest in ingestibles.
Healthy skin comes from within—cliché, I know. But also true. Make sure you’re getting your daily dose of vitamin C, zinc, and collagen. Clear your gut (this is a big one for me).
6. Retinol is a requirement in my book.
If you haven’t already added a retinol to your skincare routine, by 40 it’s time. Retinol helps with skin texture and tone, diminishing fine lines, discoloration, and even acne. It also helps to increase the exfoliation cycle, which is vital to maintaining healthy, happy skin. Be sure to dilute the retinol until your skin gets used to it. Rule of thumb: apply every third night, then every other night, and, for some without sensitive skin, work your way up to every night.
7. Sun prevention (and protection).
We say it often, but that’s because it bears repeating: UV rays accelerate aging. In your 40s, I suggest keeping your face, neck, chest, and hands out of the sun entirely. And always, always wear sunscreen—even on cloudy days.
8. Have a great dermatologist on speed dial.
Adult acne, perioral dermatitis, rosacea, eczema, skin cancer. Sure, it can happen at any age—including when you think you’ve grown out of every rash and skin issue you could have possibly encountered. Turn away from WebMD and call your derm. Bi-yearly skin checks are crucial, especially now.
Up next, discover more from the Poosh Shop here.