Turning 40 can feel like a punch in the gut—especially when your wrinkles and fine lines are reminding you of your age every time you look in the mirror. Where did the time go?
While you can’t halt the passage of time, you can slow down the aging process with your skin care regimen. In your 40s, the name of the skin care game is all about anti-aging ingredients that soothe dry skin, fight dullness and smooth out wrinkles.
Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Here’s everything you need to start a skin care routine in your 40s.
1. Upgrade Your Face Wash Routine
Splashing some water on your face before bedtime doesn’t count as a proper face wash routine. Although it’s certainly better than nothing, water alone won’t eliminate all the dirt and oil that accumulates on your face throughout the day.
To improve skin health and brighten your complexion, pick up a gentle daily facial cleanser for men that is formulated for all skin types. This way, it won’t matter if you have sensitive skin, oily skin or combination skin—your facial cleanser will be designed to tackle any and all skin types.
Start and end your day with your newfound facial cleanser and always use lukewarm water to rinse your face. Hot water can strip your skin barrier of the precious oils it needs to remain strong and healthy as you age.
2. Exfoliate Twice a Week
In your 40s, dull-looking skin can start to become a major issue. As our skin ages, it becomes less effective at regenerating new skin cells, resulting in a buildup of dead skin cells on the outermost layer of the skin.
This buildup of dead skin cells can result in dull, tired-looking skin that ages your face. One way to combat this particular skin problem is by using a gentle face scrub to slough away dead skin cells and brighten your complexion.
Exfoliating your skin comes with a second benefit: It maximizes the effectiveness of your anti-aging skin care ingredients by allowing them to penetrate deeper into the skin. Just remember to be gentle with your scrub technique and limit your exfoliation to no more than twice a week.
3. Hydrate Your Skin with an A.M. Moisturizer
As you get older, your skin doesn’t produce as much oil as it once did. Although you might initially believe this to be a good thing (no more acne breakouts, right?), it’s actually not as beneficial as you might think.
Your skin’s natural oils play a key role in fighting off free radicals, the molecules which damage skin cells and speed up the aging process. UV exposure is the primary creator of free radicals and main factor in the development of skin cancer, which is why using a men’s moisturizer with SPF is a must-have for guys at any age.
A good moisturizer will perform multiple functions, protecting skin from UV rays while doubling as an anti-aging cream. Apply it every morning—preferably, 20 minutes before you walk out the door.
4. Apply a P.M. Moisturizer Before Bedtime
If your morning moisturizer hydrates and protects, consider your P.M. moisturizer a rock star in rejuvenation. Bedtime moisturizers take full advantage of your skin’s nighttime regeneration process by ramping up the hydration for your skin.
When shopping for a men’s bedtime moisturizer, look for one that’s packed with antioxidants, peptides and collagen. These ingredients will help reduce wrinkles, improve skin elasticity and help repair sun-damaged skin.
5. Add a Peptide-Rich Eye Cream
As you age, the delicate tissues underneath your eyes can begin to weaken and sag. If you’re getting enough sleep at night and still waking up with bags underneath your eyes, skip the Botox and add an eye cream for men to your skin care routine instead.
The best eye creams for men are packed with peptides such as Argireline, a powerful amino acid that boosts collagen production for firmer, younger-looking skin. In a 2002 study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, Argireline was shown to be a safe and effective alternative to Botox, reducing wrinkle depth by up to 30 percent in subjects after a month of treatment.
Apply your eye cream morning and night. To reap the maximum anti-aging benefits, always wash your face before applying your eye cream.
6. Use Retinol to Combat Wrinkles and Boost Collagen
Retinol is an anti-aging skin care ingredient that is constantly showered with praise by dermatologists, and for good reason. Also known as vitamin A, this powerhouse ingredient seems to do it all–from brightening dull complexions to minimizing fine lines and wrinkles.
The only downside to retinol is that it can be irritating to sensitive skin types. While some redness in the beginning is normal, retinol can make some guys with hypersensitive skin bust out in a rash every time they use it.
To get around this problem, reach for a facial firming serum for men containing Retinyl Palmitate, which is just a gentler version of vitamin A. Retinyl esters such as Retinyl Palmitate are less concentrated and provide similar benefits without the harsh side effects.
7. Get Serious About Sun Protection
According to the American Skin Cancer Foundation, one in every five Americans will develop skin cancer by the time they reach age 70. Older men are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer than women, which is why getting regular skin screenings and applying daily sunscreen is vital for men in their 40s and beyond.
If you’re using a daily moisturizer with SPF, that’s great! Now, extend this protection to the rest of your body by applying daily sunscreen to any exposed areas of your body.
If you’re just now starting a skin care routine in your 40s, don’t feel guilty for getting a late start. Some guys never bother to get into the skin care game. And honestly, their skin looks terrible for it.
But you’re not going to let that happen, are you? By getting on a proper skin care routine and sticking to it, you can easily make 40 the new 30.