Skincare in your 40s

Photo: Alexandre Weinberger

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In Your 40s...
In this decade, dark-skinned women are usually just beginning to see fine lines, wrinkles, and other age-related issues like loss of volume, says Brooke Jackson, MD, associate professor of dermatology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In fair-skinned women, sun damage continues to show up as splotchiness and hyperpigmentation. And many 40-somethings contend with hormone-related problems such as acne and premenopausal dryness.

Your Face Basics

Use a milky or creamy cleanser morning and night. As long as it's gentle, any cleanser is fine, although if you're plagued by occasional pimples, try a face wash with salicylic acid.

Serum and Moisturizer
To repair and protect, look for a serum rich in antioxidants, like vitamin C or E, or epidermal growth factors to help stimulate collagen production, says Jackson. (If you've become particularly concerned about your eye area, give your eye cream an extra boost with a specialized serum containing the same ingredients.) Over that, layer a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 30 moisturizer.

Nighttime Treatment
It's worth it to spend a bit more on your bedtime regimen, says Jackson. Regular use of a prescription retinoid is like making a deposit in your 401(k): Retinoids boost reserves of collagen and elastin, preventing future sagging. Not only are they antiaging, they also reduce acne, a bonus for women still suffering through breakouts.

Try these 6 essential skincare products for women in their 40s

Next: Skincare advice for your 50s