Skin Care for Women in Their 40s
Between fluctuating hormones that can cause acne and dropping estrogen levels, which can cause dryness, women in their 40s fight an almost constant battle to keep their skin moisturized and blemish-free. Fighting both acne and wrinkles requires a diligent skin care routine designed specifically to help aging skin maintain its resilience and vibrancy. By consistently using sunscreen, a habit you should have started years ago, and choosing the appropriate skin care products, you can keep your skin glowing—and people guessing about your “real” age.
Women in their 40s often need to change to new skin care products better suited to their maturing skin. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) suggests switching to mild, unscented beauty products instead of highly fragranced products such as alcohol-based toners and deodorant soaps, which can make your skin feel dry and irritated. They also advise incorporating products with alpha hydroxy acids and antioxidants into your daily regimen to help slough off the layers of dead skin that can dull your complexion.
While it may be tempting to overload on the virtually limitless array of anti-aging creams, lotions and cleansers available, Lance Brown, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the New York University School of Medicine, suggests keeping your skin care routine as simple as possible. Using a gentle cleanser in the morning and at night, a hydrating sunscreen in the morning, a moisturizing eye cream morning and night, a retinoid cream at night to slough off dead skin cells and a deep moisturizer at night is usually all you need to keep your skin in optimal condition.
Your daily home-care routine can greatly contribute to the quality and appearance of your mature skin, but visiting a dermatologist can also be an important aspect of skin care in your 40s. A dermatologist can examine your skin for signs of skin cancer—an important evaluation because your risk of skin cancer increases as you age--and he can offer pointers on the best skin care products and procedures for your skin.
Eating right and managing stress can help keep your skin looking its best. Dermatologist Nicholas Perricone advises a diet high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, including Alaskan wild salmon, flaxseeds and spinach to reduce your body’s production of inflammatory compounds and keep your skin smooth and radiant. The AAD cautions that stress can wreak havoc on your skin—it increases the production of the hormone cortisol, which can increase the oiliness of your skin and lead to acne and other skin problems. The group says some studies even show that stress can increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
Avoiding tanning beds and other artificial tanning devices is important at any age, but even more so as you grow older. Exposure to the UVA radiation in tanning beds can damage the DNA in your skin cells and lead to skin cancer, age spots, wrinkles and eye conditions such as cataracts and cancer of the eye.
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