You’ll find everyone now recommends that you start taking care of your skin in your 20s to ward off aging as much as you can. But in your 20s, you’re skin is still firm, supple, and resilient. Many of us just don’t start paying attention until our 30s, 40s, and beyond. Luckily, not only is it not too late to start, but nowadays, you can also repair your skin and bring back its youth.
The Major Problems at Forty
With time, skin loses its elastic fibers, collagen fibers, and ability to retain water, as well as its ability to repair itself. The end result is thinner, dryer skin with wrinkles that at first come and go and then become permanent and deep.
Dry skin is not only a cosmetic problem; it also feels tight, uncomfortable, and itchy. Dry skin cannot repair itself as well as moist skin. So moisturize often, especially in the winter months, when skin tends to get drier due to cold air and hot baths. My current love? CeraVe ($12.99, amazon.com). I tend to also like a thicker moisturizer at bed time, such as Elizabeth Arden’s Visible Difference Refining Moisture Cream Complex ($75.99, amazon.com) (side point: it has a very characteristic scent so if you prefer unscented creams, this product might bother you).
And don’t forget a gentle facial wash. Preferable to regular soaps are moisturizing cleanser, either liquid, like CeraVe’s Hydrating Cleanser ($11.21, amazon.com), or solid, like Aveeno’s Moisturizing Bar ($2.70, amazon.com).
Hormones, sun exposure, and previous skin injury all contribute to skin discoloration. Ambi has a 2% hydroquinone cream that works well for the face and body. Harder to treat problems require a doctor’s consultation as they may require stronger topical treatment or even in office services such as chemical peels.
Remember that Pigmentary changes can sometimes be an indication of an illness, so if you notice something odd, consult your dermatologist.
The Wrinkles and Volume Loss
New, fine lines benefit from daily topical retinols, such as FutureDerm’s own Time Release Retinol. Deeper wrinkles, depending on the location, benefit from either botox injections or fillers. Similarly, fillers can do wonders to thinning lips or sunken cheeks and temples. Just please do not be drawn in by creams that claim to bring back skin volume. I wish it was that simple!
Volume is not always lost, some areas gain new volume as facial fat shifts. The most notable problem is under eye bags. If on the milder side, this problem can be fixed with fillers underneath the bags to make the skin surface more even and the bags themselves less noticeable. Bigger bags are best removed, which is a simple and quick procedure done by your plastic surgeon.
This requires a visit to your dermatologist. Thermage can be suggested, but you might want more wallet friendly alternatives such as a series of peels, fraxel laser sessions, and PRP injections. At home, again, your best friend is your retinol cream, as well as alpha hydroxy acids such as seen in the Glytone skin care line ($43.93 for KP Kit, amazon.com), which has products for your face and your body.
The Stubborn Pounds
If you take really good care of your body and you just can’t seem to shake off those love handles, Coolsculpting or Liposonix might be good options for you. The idea behind these devices is so simple, and they do really work.
The Hair and Nails
These lose moisture with the years just like skin. Nails need to be moisturized along with hand moisturizing (I don’t necessarily think a special cuticle cream is essential). Cuticles are not meant to be pushed back! Ever! Hair should be washed 2 or 3 times per week, and trimmed every couple of months. And if you feel these guys need some extra love, then I recommend Nature Bounty’s Hair Skin and Nails ($7.63, amazon.com), with 5000 Biotin.
All of the problems that happen to your skin are greatly affected by the sun. So unless you start applying sunscreen religiously, any other measure you take to repair your skin is just wasted. It is as simple as that. Even hair can benefit from new hats with sun protection factor, which I think are absolute genius.
While you are taking care of your skin, remember that its health is a reflection of what is going on inside your body. All our organs gradually lose their regenerative capacity, but you can do a lot to slow that process down considerably. Eat right, Sleep right, exercise, quit smoking, drink plenty of water, and most importantly, always be happy!
Thank you so much for reading!