In our “Ageless Beauty” series, we’re celebrating the natural journey that comes with getting older, while also learning about affordable skin care, hair care, and makeup options that will keep us feeling healthy and beautiful.
With the right perspective, turning 40 can be a very exciting moment in a person’s life. Think about it: You take all the insight and experience you’ve already acquired throughout adulthood and enter a whole new decade filled with possibilities! While more women are embracing aging and as the stigma attached to it is, thankfully, becoming quite antiquated, there remain certain undeniable physical changes that just happen to come along when entering your forties. And one of these has to do with your skin.
“As you age, the body produces less collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. These are considered the building blocks for the skin’s supportive connective tissue,” explains New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Michele Green. “Your skin’s elasticity diminishes, and your cheeks, face, and neck start to show signs of laxity. Also, if you didn’t wear sunscreen, the effects of sun damage are now apparent.”
According to Dr. Green, as well as two additional dermatologists Allure spoke to for this piece, skin laxity, texture, and discoloration are just a few of the skin-related, perfectly healthy changes they find their 40-something patients asking about the most. Below, you’ll learn more about these common skin matters, and what products derms say you should add to your routine to help treat them and enhance your natural beauty.
Reese Witherspoon made a powerful point when, back in 2019, she told Allure that she felt like she “earned” the fine lines she’s acquired over the years. They are a sign of wisdom, after all. When it comes to age-related skin matters, wrinkles — and the ways in which women choose to embrace them — are most often the first topic that comes up with over-40 patients, whether it’s a case of the “11s” (deep creases that form between the eyebrows) or fine lines on the cheeks or in the eye area. Even if wrinkles are something you choose to treat, it’s important to keep your skin healthy and hydrated overall.
“AHA and BHA are all great categories for fighting against wrinkles,” explains California-based cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban. An AHA-based product, like No7’s Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum Activating Pads ($25 for 60), can work as a powerful skin exfoliant that loosens dead skin cells, brightens the complexion, and lessens the appearance of fine lines. Dr. Shamban also notes that an antioxidant like vitamin C, as well as moisture-binders like hyaluronic acid, are effective at plumping your skin at its cellular level.