It seems to happen overnight. Those tiny lines where you squint, smile, and frown suddenly decide they're not going anywhere. Of course in their own way, they're beautiful, since they represent a life well-lived. But not everyone wants them to stick around.
When you hit your 40s, skin is thirstier for hydration, and as estrogen levels in the body decrease, fine lines and wrinkles are more difficult to combat with creams and lotions. And even if you were diligent about sunscreen application in your 20s and 30s, dark spots can start showing up on your skin around this time, too.
But don't throw up your hands just yet. You can combat many signs of aging with a few quick fixes to your beauty routine.
Start with the best base
Your goal is to plump and soothe your skin, and your diet can play a major role. Choose foods that lower inflammation and hydrate your skin cells. Try cutting sugar and gluten out of your diet to immediately see a decrease in skin irritation, and add antioxidant-heavy foods into your diet. Two that are amazing for those in their 40s? Quercetin and curcumin. Quercetin is found in citrus fruits, apples, parsley, and capers. It’s not a superfood on its own, but paired with other antioxidants, it boosts their potency and strength, making your entire health regimen more effective.
Curcumin is a well-known anti-inflammatory compound that’s found in turmeric, and it's considered nutritional gold due to its cancer fighting and anti-inflammatory properties. Add turmeric and curry to your diet to get more of the skin-boosting benefits, or try curcumin in capsule form.
Overhaul your beauty arsenal
“It’s possible to have vibrant skin at any age, as long as you take steps to properly care for your skin,” says board-certified dermatologist Bethanee J. Schlosser. And as your skin changes, so should your beauty routine. Ditch anything with detergents or alcohol, as they can strip moisture from your skin and leave you with deeper lines and wrinkles. Instead of opting for a foaming cleanser, try a more creamy face wash that will melt away makeup and hydrate your skin simultaneously. Use a heavier, creamy moisturizer, too.
Fight dark spots with a skin brightening serum that will fade skin damage, and prevent more hyper pigmentation from cropping up by using a mineral sunscreen daily. Still searching for that glow that your skin seemed to naturally give off in your 20s and 30s? Try a vasodilator—a medicinal product that opens up your veins and arteries for better blood circulation—like peppermint oil topically on your skin. Increasing circulation increases your skin’s natural healing capabilities and gives a rosy glow to your cheeks.
Take a beauty pill
Boost your beauty factor with vitamin A. It's the active ingredient in retinol creams prescribed by dermatologists to help aging skin retain its suppleness and accelerate skin cell turnover, but why get an Rx if you can get vitamin A over the counter as a supplement? Swallowing a few capsules with your breakfast can give you the same benefits of retinol, without the drying and irritation that topical cream can cause.
It's a pretty simple formula: For fabulous skin in your 40s, remember that moisture is key, antioxidants are vital, and sun protection (as always) is mandatory!
Illustration by Karley Koenig