Forty Plus Skin Care

When you’re in your twenties and thirties, it doesn’t take much to maintain youthful and healthy looking skin. However, during your forty’s caring for your skin can be summed up in one word: defense. As you get older, the cells in your skin turn over at a slower rate, so nourishment and protection are essential to your skincare regimen.

As you approach forty and beyond, you may experience hormonal changes that can affect your skin. The coming of menopause causes a decline in the hormones estrogen and progesterone. This loss of hormone activity causes a slowdown in the synthesis of collagen, elastin, and other components of your skin matrix. The decrease in hormones also reduces sebum (skin oil), which causes thinning skin, dryness and sensitivity. For men, the loss of testosterone can have similar effects on the skin, but not as dramatic as for women.

As you age, your mature skin may be more prone to inflammation, which is not always visible to the eye. This inflammation is related to the aging process and the accumulation of harmful free radicals, leading to cell damage and further degradation of the skin matrix. As you get older, your immune system, including that of your skin slows down considerably so it takes longer to recover from or repair damage to your skin.

Some changes you may notice in your skin as you approach age forty and beyond:

• Uneven skin pigmentation
• Deeper wrinkling
• Thinning skin
• Less firmness and resiliency to your skin
• Thickening of your epidermis (outer skin layer)

The good news is that it’s never too late to repair and protect your skin! There are a number of things you can do to have the healthiest skin possible.

Healthy skin starts from the inside with a well-balanced, healthy diet that includes plenty of darkly colored (especially green!) vegetables and fresh fruit. Proteins from both animals and plants are essential to build and maintain strong muscle tissue, which is the structure underneath your skin. Carbohydrates provide the necessary complex sugars and glucose you need for energy. All of these nutrients are high in vitamins and minerals that help support your immune system and fight against free radical skin damage. Staying well-hydrated is essential to both your overall health and the health of your skin, so make sure you’re getting about eight glasses of fluids a day.

Both rest and exercise are important components to healthy skin. Make sure you’re getting enough quality sleep, because if you’re not, the first place it will show up is on your skin.

Moving your body is also an essential part of your daily routine, as it boosts circulation and relieves stress. Yoga, Pilates, or stretching are most beneficial for keeping your body limber. Raising your metabolism through more vigorous exercise is good for burning calories and overall conditioning.

A daily skin care program is essential, for both women and men. When selecting the best suited skincare products always consider the time of year and where you live, as both will impact your particular choice.

Using a product that contains AHA’s(alpha hydroxyl acids) is recommended as it helps to slough dead skin cells. Also, for men, shaving helps do the same thing. AHA’s and shaving are considered exfoliates, which speed up cell turnover. Topical vitamin A repairs abnormal cell production and accelerates healthy cell turnover while bringing collagen production back to some level of normalcy. Using vitamin E will help to protect and nourish your skin, and for added moisture hyaluronic acid is perfect. Look for peptides in the ingredient listing, as these help to nourish your skin and improve cell turnover. In addition, Rose oil is considered regenerating is particularly good for maturing skin.

A basic skin care regime for those of you in your forties and beyond includes the following components:

• Cleanse your skin both morning and evening
• Exfoliate at least three times a week
• Use a toner appropriate for your skin type
• Moisturize both morning and evening
• Apply a mask once or twice a week suitable for your skin type
• Use products that contain Vitamin C and /or nourishment as needed
• Apply sun protection containing Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide in the morning and reapply frequently during the day, especially if you’re going to be outdoors.