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Top Skin Concerns Over the Age of 40 & How to Address Them

Skincare over 40 should be an important part of your health routine. Learn more about the common skin concerns in your 40s and how you can help combat them.

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By Dr. Tiffany Libby, Board-certified Dermatologist & Director of Mohs Surgery at Brown Dermatology

Aug 8, 2022

Ask Your Doctor: A series where we turn to our brand expert and dermatologist, Dr. Tiffany Libby to answer your most asked questions about skincare - the do’s, the don’ts, and all her skincare tips and tricks. Dr. Tiffany Libby is a Board Certified Dermatologist and Moh Surgeon and Director of Mohs Surgery at Brown Dermatology.

Today, Dr. Libby will be discussing skincare over 40, the top skin concerns for aging skin, and the best skincare for your 40s and beyond to ensure you are on track to have radiant and healthy skin for years to come. Read on to learn more, and add these tips into your anti-aging skin care routine in your 40s!

Top Concerns for Skincare Over 40

Wrinkles/Sagging/Loss of Volume and Elasticity

The normal aging process subjects us to loss of fat and bone, as well as inherent changes within our skin such as decrease in collagen production. This is largely out of our control and is a process that is directly related to our genetics as well. Externally, UV radiation from the sun’s rays are responsible for up to 90% of visible signs of skin aging on the face. The most common signs are brown spots and dyspigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, and loss of skin elasticity and sagging. UV light has also been shown to break down collagen and elastic fibers in the skin. As these layers are broken down, skin becomes thinner, less elastic, wrinkles can form and skin can start to sag or droop.

The single best thing you can do to prevent forehead wrinkles from developing and existing ones from worsening is sunscreen. The sun’s UV rays are responsible for 90% of visible signs of photoaging like brown spots, fine lines and wrinkles. You should apply 2 finger-lengths of sunscreen daily to your face and neck and if outside, remember to reapply every 2 hours and use sun safe wear like wide-brimmed hats. Next up, in your AM routine, should be your antioxidant serum. Antioxidants help protect your skin and neutralize free radical damage caused by UV radiation and environmental factors that encounter your skin like pollution. I look for antioxidant serums that contain vitamin C, which helps stimulate collagen production as well.

At night, I recommend using products with peptides and retinoids. Copper peptides like those found in Reserveage Beauty’s skincare line have been shown to support collagen and elastin production. Copper peptides also help the production of glycosaminoglycans, like hyaluronic acid, which help keep skin hydrated and the skin barrier moisturized. Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives that help increase skin cell turnover and stimulate collagen production. Using a combination of products with these key collagen-supporting ingredients will help slow down the production of wrinkles from a skincare perspective.

This blog post addresses the causes and topical treatments of wrinkles, sagging, and loss of volume and elasticity, and I want to make known that there are many in-office procedures that will help achieve additional and often quicker results. However, as with all my patients, I like to recommend investing in a good anti-aging skincare routine in your 40s that addresses your needs and one that will help maintain, restore and rejuvenate your skin and prolong your time between in-office treatments.

Texture 

Uneven skin texture is a result of a buildup of excess dead skin cells on the surface of our skin. This contributes to dull skin, lack of radiance, and rough and uneven skin texture. External factors like excessive sun exposure, pollution, and smoking will further accelerate this and lead to irregular skin texture as well as other signs of aging.

The best way to treat uneven skin texture is by exfoliating and using products that increase the skin cell renewal and turnover process. Skin cells generally turn over (travel from the bottom layer where they are formed to the top layer where they are shed in ~40 days). This process slows down with normal aging, and contributes to why skin overtime and if not exfoliated properly, can look dull and feel rough. Chemical exfoliants like alpha-hydroxy acids (ie. glycolic acid, lactic acid) and beta-hydroxy acids (ie. salicylic acid) help dissolve away dead skin cells at the surface, which then signals to the skin to increase the skin cell turnover process. Retinoids also directly stimulate this process and help contribute to brighter, more radiant and smoother skin.

Pigmentation

Pigmentation like brown spots, sun spots, melasma and uneven skin tone can occur due to overproduction of melanin (brown pigment) from your melanocytes (pigment-producing cells). Many factors can influence this process such as excessive UV exposure, irritation/inflammation, and hormones (like during or after pregnancy).

The best way to treat this is going to sound repetitive, but it is with sun protection, to first prevent the external aggressors aka UV exposure. Use sunscreen and employ good sun protection habits to prevent the cycle from continuing.

Next, there are many topical treatments and in-office treatments to help rid skin of the dyspigmentation and even out skin tone. There are pigment-fighting ingredients like hydroquinone, arbutin, vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid), azelaic acid, tranexamic acid, kojic acid, and retinoids. These mainly work to target an enzyme called tyrosinase which is involved with pigment production, and these ingredients work to either inhibit or slow down its function, thereby creating less pigment. Copper peptides also have antioxidant properties and help minimize inflammation which contributes to pigment production.

Creating an anti-aging skincare routine in your 40s is one of the most important ways to invest in your health. Taking the time to find the right skin care products and practices can help you combat the effects of the common skin concerns above and can help promote more years of happy and healthy skin. From sun protection to collagen, use these tips for the best skincare over 40!