Visiting the Dermatologist: A Blog

Skin Care After Age 40: What You Need To Know

What do you need to know about skin care after 40? Every decade brings changes and new challenges. This means you may need to adjust your skin care treatment routine. Before you invest in a new cleansing, moisturizing, and toning regimen, take a look at the top questions patients over 40 have about how the skin changes over time and how to care for your complexion. 

How Does Your Skin Change As You Enter Your 40s?

The answer to this question isn't the same for everyone. Some people barely notice skin changes, while others may have more pronounced concerns. Common age-related issues that you may notice as you enter and move through your 40s include the appearance of fine lines around the eye, nose, and mouth areas, forehead furrows, loss of volume, and loss of elasticity or firmness. 

Why Does Skin Change As You Age?

Even though skin changes such as wrinkles or lost volume aren't desirable, these are natural parts of the aging process—and unavoidable. Genetics play a role in skin aging. But your family's history of wrinkling or an early loss of elasticity isn't the only reason why you may start to see changes as you enter your 40s.

Sun exposure, environmental pollutants, and lifestyle factors such as smoking can contribute to premature signs of aging. Ultraviolet light (UV light) from the sun breaks down the skin's connective tissue. Loss of these tissues (collagen and elastin) can lead to fine lines, deeper wrinkles, and sagging or thin skin. 

Along with UV exposure, hormonal changes can impact the skin's look and feel—especially for women. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), the hormonal dips that happen during menopause can lead to dry or thin skin. Women in the perimenopause period (the years before menopause begins) may experience this type of hormone-related change as estrogen levels fall. 

Should You Change Your Skin Care Routine In Your 40s?

Skin care treatment isn't a one-time or static routine. Your normal daily regimen should evolve over time, changing as you age. 

Now that you're noticing fine lines or your skin has less elasticity and volume, you may need to swap out a barely-there moisture routine for one that adds extra hydration. Moisturizers could include a daytime sheer product and a nightly deeper treatment. 

Not only should your daytime moisturizer add hydration, but it should also include an SPF ingredient to protect your skin from additional sun damage. If you're not sure which skin care products to choose or which treatments are the best options for your primary concerns, talk to a dermatologist. He or she can examine your skin and help you choose a cleanser, moisturizer, or more intensive treatment.