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A guide to looking after your skin during your 40s

An expert approved guide covering everything you need to know about the best skincare and treatments to go for in your 40s

By the age of 25, we lose 1% of our collagen each year. So by the time we reach our 40s, we notice this depletion of collagen through volume and elasticity loss. This is typically when people start seeking professional help, in addition to good skincare swaps. 

The experts say, this is the time when people amp up in-clinic treatments, but it can be difficult to know what to ask for. The most common concerns include volume and hydration loss, pronounced fine lines and wrinkles, and visible sun damage. The good news? There’s plenty you can do at home and in the clinic to improve these concerns should you wish to. 

We’ve broken down exactly what happens to our skin during this decade, which skincare swaps to make and the treatments that are truly worthwhile.

What happens to our skin during our 40s

So, what’s actually happening to the skin during this decade? This is where we tend to see visible signs of ageing due to “loss of volume and elasticity, as well as the diminishing of fat pads, which become very apparent, particularly in the mid to lower parts of the face,” explains Ridah Syed, Senior Medical Aesthetician at Skinfluencer London. 

We notice this the most in the jowls, marionette lines and more pronounced wrinkles, thanks to dehydration and depleted hyaluronic acid and ceramide stores in the skin, explains Ridah. “You may also start to notice sunspots, uneven pigmentation and even melasma,” she adds. This is especially true if you were a bit of a sun worshipper and skipped on that SPF. 

Skincare changes to make in your 40s

Skincare can have a big impact on overall skin health and also helps you get the most out of those in-clinic treatments. Ridah recommends first getting two types of cleansers: a gentle exfoliating cleanser (to promote cell turnover) and a mild hydrating cleanser (to replenish moisture loss.)   

It’s a good idea, after cleansing, to incorporate moisture-boosting ingredients like hyaluronic acid into your daily routine, both morning and nighttime. Ridah also recommends an emollient, containing glycerin or ceramides at night, to lock in moisture and encourage barrier repair. Barrier repair is so important because without a healthy one, it means that all of your other skincare and treatments aren’t going to work as they should. Barrier function also includes not overdoing it on the acid-based products or physical exfoliation. It’s always best to go low and slow with strength and frequency of products.

And last but by no means least, “if you’re not using a retinol-based product, now is the time to start,” says Ridah. Often people think it’s “too late” to start using a retinoid but you can absolutely see the benefits from it starting during your 40s. Known as the gold standard of topical skincare products, using a retinoid increases cell turnover, which in turn improves skin texture and tone and lessens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Don’t forget to continue applying SPF every single day — even when it’s cloudy outside. 

Treatments to consider during your 30s

Filler treatments 

If boosting volume loss is at the top of your agenda, Ridah recommends a filler treatment. “With expertly placed hyaluronic acid-based fillers dermal fillers, you can achieve chiselled cheekbones, define your jawline, or pucker your pout.” 

Now, this isn’t about over-filling your face but simply giving that refreshed look that so many of us are after. Going to a reputable practitioner will mean you won’t look overly filled, they can guide you through what you are and aren’t comfortable with and can give you realistic goals about what’s achievable with filler treatments. 

Profhilo Skin Booster 

For moisture loss, and generally “meh”-looking skin, you could try Profhilo Skin Booster, which is a deep hydration treatment that uses hyaluronic acid to rebuild collagen and plump the skin without the volume. 

 “It uses an injectable product of ultra-pure stabilised hyaluronic acid that initiates bio remodelling to counteract the appearance of ageing skin,” explains Ridah. “This deep hydration treatment works in both the dermis and epidermis by encouraging receptors in the skin to stimulate the production of four different types of collagen and elastin that is naturally lost over time,” she adds. 

For this reason, this liquid facelift provides significant tissue improvement to counteract skin laxity and restore firmness to the skin. “The recommended protocol includes two treatments spaced 28 days apart, followed by maintenance treatments every six months,” Ridah says.

Laser treatment

If sun damage is your main concern, you could try a laser treatment. Skinfluencer has an “Save My Skin (SMS)” treatment, which uses laser wavelengths to undo years of sun damage to the skin in just one treatment. “The dual light energy removes unwanted pigmentation, reduces vascular inflammation, and improves texture and tone,” Ridah explains. 

It’s important to make sure that the clinic you’re going to provides care for your skin tone. Not all lasers are suitable for darker skin tones and can cause more damage, so don't be afraid to ask for specific previous case studies from the clinic.

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