Skin aging is something that is talked about a lot. No one wants their skin to age, and yet it is something that we are all faced with (pun intended). Our face is something that sees the sun every day. We can’t really cover it up like we can the rest of our body to guard it from the rays of the sun, so it is important to take steps to protect our face, especially after 40, to ensure it doesn’t age quicker than it should.
Do you have a skincare routine? You should! But that is not the only step we can help control the signs of aging skin. Nutrition also plays a key role in reversing damage and protecting our skin from further harm. If you haven’t developed a routine and you’re already seeing signs of aging like fine lines, sunspots, dry skin, etc. that’s OK, you can take steps now to make a difference in how your skin looks. Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way.
What do your cleansers look like?
If you are buying whatever cleansers are on sale, or heaven forbid, using bar soap to clean your face, then you are doing your skin an injustice. Dermatologists argue that you should choose a facial cleanser that is designed for your skin type. For all skin types, a foaming facial wash is great because it will remove dirt below the surface and will also remove makeup as you wash your face. You should also look for ingredients like ceramides, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E, which will help retain moisture without drying out your face.
It is a myth that acne goes away after puberty, some of us are unfortunate enough to deal with acne our entire lives. For those individuals who have more oily complexions and still deal with acne from time to time, you should look for a cleanser that contains salicylic acid.
Serums are vitally important and are often skipped. However, as we grow older, we can use all the help we can get. A skincare routine is a multi-step approach, and a serum should always follow a cleanser. Serums can help the skin by keeping it supple, youthful and radiant!
A balanced serum can:
- Help your skin heal internally for fewer breakouts
- Revive dull, dry skin back to life
- Give you a natural glow, without feeling oily
- Reduce inflammation and discoloration
- Leave your skin feeling soft
One of the reasons people don’t include serums is because they can get expensive, however, the benefits can far outweigh the cost. You should be investing in two different serums, one for the morning, that contains mostly antioxidants as they will help snuff out inflammation caused by free radicals, and one for the evening before bed. A nighttime serum should contain retinol. Retinol will help repair your skin and stimulate new growth while helping to firm the skin. After 40, we need all the help we can get with skin repair and firming!
Moisturizing your skin has never been more important. When we keep our skin moisturized it reduces the chances of skin problems; it helps maintain balance. We lose skin cells on a daily basis, and it leaves these areas vulnerable to the elements like sun, heat, dryness and cold. Keeping our face moisturized will give it a protective barrier against those elements. Not only that, but it will help fight wrinkles – that itself is a reason for me to use a daily moisturizer!
It is best to use a separate moisturizer for day and night, just like your serum. A daytime moisturizer should include sunscreen, which would give you extra protection against sun damage and reduce your risk of skin cancer. A nighttime moisturizer should contain retinol as I mentioned above, it is great for stimulating new growth and firming up that skin while you sleep!
Eye cream is something no one over 40 should be without. The skin under the eye is very thin and sensitive. We can do all we can to cover up our fine lines around our face, disguise how tired we are, and use our serums and moisturizer routinely, but the skin under our eyes can truly tell a story all their own. To prevent those dark circles, reduce fine lines, and prevent puffiness, we need to take care of our eyes.
If your eyes are continually puffy, look for ingredients like caffeine to help reduce the swelling. Caffeine will also help with dark circles. Hyaluronic acid and niacinamide will plump those fine lines and our friend retinol will boost collagen production to help firm the skin. If you do buy an eye cream with retinol, make sure you wear a sunscreen as retinol can increase sun sensitivity. This is a type of cream you don’t necessarily have to do double-duty on by buying two separate products, although you can find both daytime and nighttime eye creams. Daytime eye creams are typically “brightening” creams and nighttime eye creams have retinol. You will get best results if you use twice a day.
Taking care of your skin is not just a topical practice. You are what you eat! I always say, “eat real food.” This is also the case when trying to take care of your skin. If you are eating processed junk food and sugar, then your skin is going to reflect that with a duller complexion, and you will also have much more breakouts.
Good nutrition is essential for good skin. Shop organic and local when possible. Your local farmer’s market will have affordable fruits and vegetables along with other products that are organic and grown right in your area! It’s fun to see the various farms and what they provide each week. If you haven’t found a local market yet, check this link out – it helps find a farmer’s market in your area.
You should also be eating foods rich in probiotics and antioxidants. These foods specifically will leave your skin looking more radiant and support your immune system. A stronger immune system strengthens all your protective organs and what is your largest organ? Your skin! You can find high levels of probiotics in yogurt, kefir, kale, kombucha, and sauerkraut. If you cannot get your probiotics from a food source, you can find a probiotic supplement that will help you get the extra nutrition you need.
- There are many other things that you can do to help your skin.
- Drink lots of water; this will help keep your entire body hydrated, including your skin.
- See a dermatologist; this will help determine if you have any ongoing issues that may need to be addressed in addition to a daily skin care routine.
- Talk to your doctor about additional anti-aging supplements that can be taken to help overall wellness
- Visit an Aesthetician; see if Botox, dermaplaning, facials, or peels will be advantageous in addition to your skin routine
- Reduce your consumption of alcohol; alcohol is dehydrating and can lead to duller skin and puffy eyes.
- Prioritize sleep; a sleep schedule with proper amount of sleep will also help with skin regeneration.
As you can see, there are a lot of things we can do to help our skin after 40. This is not just for women, but men also – YES, men need to prioritize their skin! It may seem like a daunting task, and it may sound like a lot of work, but when you get a routine down, it is actually quite easy and you are worth it.