By the time you’ve hit your 40s, chances are you’ve been following some sort of anti-aging plan. The focus now should be on adding back-lost moisture and starting to rebuild collagen that’s diminishing. “You still want to make sure you protect your skin with sunscreen and antioxidants, but now is the time to step it up. Your skin needs—and can handle—stronger active ingredients,” says Washington, D.C., dermatologist Tina Alster, MD.
Erase Etched-In Lines and Wrinkles with In-Office Treatments
Nonablative fractionated lasers work wonders for addressing signs of aging. “You can start with a relatively mild treatment, like a Fraxel or Clear + Brilliant laser, and work your way up to the big guns if need be,” says Dr. Alster. “Deep lines and folds created by a shift in fat are addressed with fillers to lift the skin, making the fold disappear. Fine lines and wrinkles can also be treated with neuromodulators and fillers,” says Santa Monica, CA, dermatologist Ava Shamban, M.D.
Resurfacing the skin helps create new collagen production, as well as make the skin’s surface look better by evening out tone and texture and tightening enlarged pores.
What To Use: Have your doctor create a customized approach to anti-aging that includes a combination of skin-stimulating lasers and fillers and injectables.
Focus on Rebuilding Collagen with At-Home Tools and Retinol
Once you hit the 40 mark, collagen levels start to drop off, and one of the biggest collagen offenders is the sun. “Collagen breakdown becomes evident—you see it when you look in the mirror. If you started taking care of your skin in your 20s, your skin will be in better shape. It’s more that you see the effects in your 40s, especially if damage has already been done,” says Dr. Gmyrek.
“The best ingredient for stimulating collagen is retinoic acid. If you can’t tolerate it, try a DNA repair product or a product with growth factors and/or peptides,” says Dr. Alster. At-home devices and low energy laser treatments may also stimulate healthy collagen.
What To Use: From La Prairie comes its Anti-Aging Rapid Response Booster, a gel-serum that purportedly delivers anti-wrinkle peptides straight to where your skin needs them most. $290, neimanmarcus.com
Diminish the Look Of Lines and Wrinkles with the Right Moisturizer
Moisture levels drop as sebum production subsides, which means you need a moisturizer that works for your skin and what it craves. As you get into the throes of the aging process, you’ll see a noticeable difference in the texture of your skin, which can appear dry and rough. Dr. Shamban says to take into consideration whether or not your skin is sensitive, dry or oily, as well as the extent of sun damage that exists, in order to get your skin to an optimal level of hydration. “When skin is photodamaged, it has fewer lipids, especially older skin. Include products in your regimen that contain ceramides and lipids, so that your skin can benefit from all your other anti-aging efforts.”
You may have used gel-based moisturizers for years, and while they are effective, skin at this stage of the game needs more. “Start using a cream moisturizer instead. Skin needs that extra boost of hydration,” says Dr. Alster. “It won’t be too heavy for your skin.” Look for something that’s oil-free and noncomedogenic, especially if you still suffer from breakouts.
What To Use: Select products that contain humectants, which draw water into your skin, as well as emollients, which lock in moisture. Volanté Restorative Night Crème contains both to make skin softer, smoother and stronger. $95, volanteskincare.com
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