We’re all about sticking to a skincare routine, but as our skin changes, the products we use should change with it, too. And while everyone’s complexion concerns depend on their unique skin and skin type, once we hit our 40s, certain things become true pretty much across the board.
“The biggest impact in our skin is the drop in hormones. When our estrogen is lower, our skin gets thinner and loses elasticity,” says Los Angeles-based celebrity esthetician Olga Lorencin. “Additionally, our collagen production is significantly lower.” Here’s why that matters: Higher collagen production is what gives younger skin its bounce and resilience. As we age, that production slows, resulting in things like fine lines and wrinkles.
Luckily, maintaining a smart skincare routine can help you hit the brakes on those signs of aging—and our 40s are a key decade in doing just that. One thing Lorencin advises against? Shopping for the sake of shopping. “Buying random products is not a good idea,” she says. Instead, consider skincare products suited to your skin’s particular needs. And while she admits that “There is no universal protocol for someone in their 40s as every skin type needs its own unique system,” you can adapt the below guide as recommended by your dermatologist or esthetician.
The good news is that we’re here to get you started. Keep reading for Lorencin’s insight on the ideal—and even better, streamlined—skincare routine (plus IPSY product picks!) for both morning and night to maintain healthy, glowing skin in your 40s and beyond.
About the Expert:
Washing your face is and will always be a key component in your a.m. regimen. But because mature skin tends to naturally retain less moisture, you’ll want to avoid harsh cleansers that may strip away your skin’s natural oils. Instead, stick to a gentle cleanser that hydrates as it keeps you clean and refreshed.
IPSY Pick: We like AVETTE’s Fresh Clean Coconut Mild Foam Cleanser, which cleanses away dirt, oil, and makeup without over-drying skin, and has a low pH to help maintain the skin barrier. (Skin is naturally slightly acidic.) One reviewer loves its “beautiful creamy feeling” and says that “just a small amount went a long way.”
These aren’t your teenage toners. Water-based essences, first popularized in K-Beauty, add another layer of hydration to the skin, and again, won’t strip away those precious natural oils.
IPSY Pick: Try JAYJUN COSMETIC It Began Tansy All-in-One Essence, which has a soothing application as well as anti-inflammatory properties.
Next you’ll want to layer on a serum that moisturizes skin as it offers additional concentrated skincare benefits. Antioxidants help protect against free radicals from the environment—AKA one of the biggest external causes of skin aging.
IPSY Pick: AWAKE’s Glow Pill Super Serum is packed with niacinamide as well as vitamin B5 to help fade the look of dark spots and discoloration and boost hydration (which means more flawless-looking skin for you!). One Ipster said that it “leaves skin dewy and refreshed,” while another added that the texture “works great with my moisturizer.”
Oh, you’ve been using eye cream only at night? Big mistake. In the morning, an eye cream can do wonders for puffiness and dark circles (not to mention it feels super soothing on the eye area when you’re tired).
IPSY Pick: The caffeine in CLARK'S BOTANICALS Anti-Puff Eye Cream helps settle eye bags, while hyaluronic acid and peptides smooth skin.
Lorencin—and *checks notes* every other skincare expert on earth—recommends finishing with sunscreen. A combination moisturizer with SPF ensures that you both a) won’t skip the step and b) will get the right concentration of sunscreen when you apply it.
IPSY Pick: If you want a daytime moisturizer that offers sunscreen and then some, consider MURAD Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 | PA+++. Boasting a lightweight formula and SPF 30, this moisturizer also has vitamin C for brightening and ginkgo biloba leaf extract to protect against environmental stressors. There’s a reason one Ipster raved “This is my favorite spf everrrr.”
When cleansing at night, you may first want to use an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup, sunscreen, and other residue. (And no, it won’t clog your pores!) Then, follow with a gentle exfoliating cleanser, which is made with salicylic acid, lactic acid, and glycolic acid to polish your skin without harsh physical exfoliants.
When it comes to fighting wrinkles, nothing beats collagen-building retinol. You can find all sorts of retinol-spiked products, but serums will usually be the most concentrated. You can also look for ingredients like vitamin C and other antioxidants, which Lorencin calls “a great way to combat free radical damage.”
Just like in the morning, you’ll want to use a formula targeted to crow’s feet, puffiness, and dark circles—but your evening formula can be a little heftier.
IPSY Pick: SKYN ICELAND’s Icelandic Relief Eye Cream with Glacial Flower Extract has a dreamy texture and contains vegan stem cells to help stimulate cell turnover.
The perfect nighttime moisturizer should seal in all those anti-aging ingredients and hydrate skin, all while revealing a youthful glow when you wake up.
IPSY Pick: We like KATE SOMERVILLE’s Wrinkle Warrior™ 2-in-1 Plumping Moisturizer + Serum, which in addition to being lightweight, boasts a secret ingredient to help achieve that plump, smooth texture everyone wants: Sichuan pepper. Meanwhile, a triple hyaluronic acid complex targets fine lines and wrinkles. Ipsters call it a “hero product” and “a brilliant mix of wrinkle cream, moisturizer, and a serum.”
Next step: Wake up with bouncy, glowy skin.
Want in on all the Glam Bag fun? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started. Already an Ipster? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and Twitter @IPSY.