Tired of looking either run down, older than you are, or like your teenaged self when you’re actually in your 40s? Me too.
Over-40 skin care shouldn’t be so difficult. Let’s break down some common problems women can have with their skin care regimens after they turn 40.
I’m 49 this year… but my skin actually has no idea how old “we” really are. My face has decided that it will once again erupt, à la teenager, for no apparent reason. My dermatologist matter-of-factly calls this “menopause skin”.
I’m not even that age yet, but my skin is waving the red sheet like a matador begging to fight.
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What type of over-40 skin do you have?
One of the most important things when deciding the best plan of action for good over-40 skincare, is to determine your skin type. Or at least get as close as you can to what the dominant issues are. Most of us will have some combination of the following skin types.
You may struggle with the following skin issues:
- Acne break-outs
- Tight, dry skin
- Oily skin
- Red sensitive skin
Why is my face breaking out at 40?
Over-40 skin can rival any teenager’s acne nightmare. But why? “Why must I be-e a teenager in love?” (If you’re over 40, you’ll probably recognize that song by Dion & The Belmonts.)
Peri-menopause — which can last up to 10 years — leads up to actual menopause, and female estrogen levels decline. When estrogen declines, testosterone levels often increase in middle-aged women. This rise in testosterone causes skin oils to increase, which can clog pores and cause acne flare-ups.
Hormonal acne symptoms
- Red bumpy flare-ups around the nose, chin, and forehead.
- Increase in whiteheads and blackheads on your face.
- Small cyst-looking bumps.
- Break-outs on your chest, shoulders, and back.
As estrogen declines, slowly at first, we notice that our skin is changing… and not for the better. It may be drier, flaky, less elastic, and of course, we may have random hormonal acne breakouts due to these pre-menopause changes.
On your once-pristine nose, you may notice a whole colony of bumps have suddenly taken up residence. Your forehead may also display enough dots to make out a few constellations. I speak with authority on this one.
You will no longer need a magnifying glass to see your pores. Instead, you will pray that evidence of your lunch won’t be prominently displayed in their nice, concave caverns.
How to treat hormonal acne naturally
1. Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated helps since our skin is nourished from the inside out.
2. Eat foods rich in antioxidants. Tomatoes, sweet potatoes, grapes, berries. **Try this amazing anti-oxidant serum that’s brimming with vitamin C, for a topical and natural solution to breakouts!
3. Consider going dairy-free for a few weeks. Many cyst outbreaks can be attributed to an overload of dairy or the hormones in dairy.
4. This natural, vegan retinol cream packs a powerful punch against menopause hormonal acne. Retinol naturally encourages cell turnover so that fresh skin cells can surface. It’s a very effective acne tamer!
5. WEAR SUNSCREEN. Always…daily…don’t skimp. Sun damage only worsens already-aggravated skin, and skin cancer is rampant. My story may help convince you of the critical importance of daily sunscreen! This light-weight sunscreen is the only one I use for my face.
6. Clean and moisturize your skin every day. This is the soap-free wash my dermatologist always points me to when I have acne trouble. The products you use matter! Gentle is better when you’re facing frequent hormonal acne breakouts.
7. Try products with tea tree oil for a natural remedy. Shoot for 5-15% content in washes, soaps, or topical aids.
8. Manage your stress to lower cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone, powerful inflammatory, and enemy to troubled skin. Get out for some fresh air, try deep breathing and meditation, or spend more time cuddling with your fur baby. <3
9. Move more. Getting regular exercise improves circulation, which can settle down inflammation.
10. Nothing takes the place of a good probiotic! These good bacteria decrease inflammation in our gut and can ease inflamed skin.
Skin care for dry skin
Maybe your skin isn’t bumpy, but it’s really, really dry. Aging sometimes leads to a dry, dull complexion. This is cause for skin care solutions for a dry face.
Dry skin on face causes:
- An estrogen decrease leads to less collagen, which causes loss of elasticity and moisture in our skin.
- Lower elasticity combines with thinner, drying skin and increases lines and wrinkles as well.
- Some women over-treat their skin problems with harsh products, which further dries our facial skin.
- Many women overlook the fact that their bodies may be dehydrated, which is also a cause of dry skin on your face.
- There may also be increased facial dryness and itchiness due to reduction of surface blood vessels as we age.
How to treat dry skin on the face
1. Again … hydrate! Sip on luscious berry-infused water and you’ll look forward to your daily hydration practice! Moisture replenishment starts from the inside out.
2. Use SPF 30 or higher sunscreen every day. Sun damage is a major factor in dry skin on the face and ugly age spots! It also has a lot to do with your wrinkle count later in life.
3. Find a good vitamin A cream. Retinoids are derived from vitamin A and are the superheroes of anti-aging. This natural retinol cream is loaded with soothing organic skin nutrients!
4. Eat a diet high in vitamin A. If vitamin A can help on the outside, think what it can do from the inside. Go for oranges, carrots, fresh eggs, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe…yep, there’s an orange trend here.
5. A diet high in Omega 3s and 6s encourages healthy, glowing skin. Get a huge boost with a plant-based omega 3 and 6 daily supplement! Drizzle olive oil on your salad, put walnuts in your steel cut oats, and eat salmon or flax seeds.
6. To slow down free radical damage to your skin, try antioxidant creams with caffeine, grapeseed, and green tea ingredients. This luxurious dry skin treatment contains nourishing ocean extracts and natural vitamin C for ultimate moisture replenishment.
7. Stay away from petroleum jelly (aka- Vaseline). Petroleum-based moisturizers with ingredients like mineral oil, paraffin, and propylene glycol may work for a while, but they can cause clogged pores.
8. Give peptide creams a try. Since aging skin suffers from collagen loss which leads to dryness and wrinkles, it makes sense to try these amino acids that are the building blocks of skin proteins. They encourage new collagen growth…and that’s good news!
9. A coconut-water based foundation for your first makeup layer makes dry skin look fabulous and dewy while hiding fine lines.
10. Exfoliate twice a week. If your skin can tolerate it, try a gentle exfoliating mask or scrub to remove the top layer of dry skin cells. This can help your other skincare products penetrate better so they can do their jobs.
Oily skin care routine
Okay, forget about the dry skin. What about those of us who suffer the agony of oily, slippery skin? You know…the kind where you need to keep a compact handy at all times to dab that shiny nose.
A good routine for oily skin care is imperative when you’re trying to tame that “fabulous glow”.
The best skin care regimen for oily skin
1. Natural astringents are a great oily face treatment option. Aloe vera gel, or a freshly broken piece of home-grown aloe, does a nice job of soaking up excess oil. Dab a light layer on the face for oily skin. Or try this triple whammy oily skin treatment with aloe vera, witch hazel, and rose water!
2. Fuller’s earth mask. Fuller’s earth clay has a variety of minerals that are great absorbents. It’s affordable, natural, and can be bought in powder form. My favorite is the Metiista brand on Amazon that’s 100% natural clay and pesticide and chemical free.
Recipe: Mix enough rose water with Fuller’s earth to form a paste and apply as a mask. Leave for 20-25 minutes and then rinse. You can try this once a week.
3. Don’t use heavy liquid foundations. For oily skin, you are better off with foundations that are aerosol based or in a mousse formula. The light weight will help your skin breathe better and form less oils throughout the day.
4. Cornstarch…it’s not just for gravy anymore. Mix 2-3 Tbs. cornstarch and some warm water to make a paste. Apply to your face, let it dry, and then rinse with warm water. You can do this on a daily basis if it seems to help.
5. For a great natural toner, use witch hazel. It’s a super cheap astringent that can absorb oil, tighten pores, and give your skin a nice, fresh little zing! Apply with a cotton pad, let it dry, and rinse with water.
6. Try a nourishing cucumber rub. It’s affordable, smells great, and has vitamins, minerals, and potassium. Cut a slice and rub it thoroughly on your face. Keep it on overnight and rinse in the morning.
7. Hydrate. I know…sounding like a broken record. Even for oily skin, make sure you drink enough water. It really is part of a healthy skin routine. Hate the taste of plain water? Try fruit-infused instead!!
8. Eat plenty of foods that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Avocados are a fantastic source of this good-for-you fat. You can also dig into salmon, tuna, walnuts, and flaxseeds.
9. Clean your makeup brushes weekly. Use a gentle dish soap or simply soak for a while in hot water and then allow to dry thoroughly overnight. Better yet, alternate between a couple of makeup brushes so you can clean oil and dirt off more frequently.
10. Skip harsh, alcohol-based cleansers. A gentle cleanser for oily skin that won’t strip your natural facial oils is what you want! I know it may be tempting to power that oil away with ultra-drying compounds, but stripping your skin completely of its natural oils will backfire.
Best skincare for redness/sensitive skin
It’s bad enough to have red sensitive skin when you’re young, but combine that with aging skin that has lost elasticity, and it’s really no fun.
Sensitive and red skin types are often found in those with allergies, asthma, or a family history of sensitive or fair skin. Regardless, this is the most reactive skin, and it can be redder in appearance because of irritation or blood vessels that are closer to the surface.
Sensitive skin care tips
1. Begin with your diet. Stay away from spicy foods and don’t consume large amounts of alcohol. These contain histamine triggers that can cause more redness.
2. Avoid astringents like alcohol-based cleansers and ointments. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this near-five star gentle cleanser for red or sensitive skin.
3. Try virgin coconut oil for a nice moisturizer without the harsh additives. Research shows that using coconut oil twice a day for a couple of months can reduce dermatitis in sensitive and red skin types by up to 68%.
4. If you have large, red splotches or sore areas that do not go away, ask your dermatologist if it could be rosacea. This common skin disease mostly affects the cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead. It can resemble acne, but it’s best to know for sure.
5. Sensitive skin sunscreen is a must! This goes without saying, but fair, sensitive skin that is already irritated will not tolerate sun. Damage from sun exposure will include more inflammation, and who needs that?
6. Try some soothing botanicals. Green tea is a wonderful compound for soothing irritated skin. Brew organic green tea, chill it, then soak a cloth until wet but not dripping. Lie on the couch and rest it on your face for a lovely cooling effect.
7. Use natural oils with lipids in them. Jojoba oil, borage oil, and grapeseed oil all make great gentle moisturizers. Avoid any added ingredients such as color or fragrance.
8. Try a soothing rescue mask for those days when your sensitive skin flareups are particularly painful.
9. Like the oily skin folks, avoid heavy makeups and foundations. Red, sensitive skin will have less reactions to light formulas like mousse-based foundations. Be sure to shop for products that are specially made for gentle skin.
10. Try chamomile essential oil mixed with something gentle such as coconut oil. This can be very healing for redness and inflammation. **Never use it full-strength on irritated skin — it must be mixed with a carrier oil first.
There you have it… 40 tips for over-40 skin care.
No matter which skin type you have, I hope you’ve found some great skin care tips for your 40s and beyond. How to take care of skin after 40 years is an art form. Fabulous skin starts with dedicated skin care routines that are appropriate to your skin type.
Let me know in the comments what you find helpful and if you have additional tips!
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