Updated July 6, 2014. Intrinsic aging is determined by heredity, your genetic programming that controls the hormones responsible for aging. The skin will certainly behave differently under the influences of these hormones, but how do they affect it from ages 40-50? These are the peri-menopausal years, and this stage of aging can occur up to ten years before actual menopause. Peri-menopause is when the estrogen slowly starts to decline. Estrogen is very involved in the normal function of the skin. It directly affects the function of key cells in the skin, like the fibroblasts (produces collagen and elastin), keratinocytes (closely involved in skin protection) and melanocytes (involved in evenness of skin color, etc.). It also helps regulate hair follicle function (hair production) as well as sebaceous gland activity (producing skin oils). While the hormonal changes are gradual, many will notice an increase in lines around the eyes, between the eyebrows, on the forehead and around the mouth…
The environmental aging from sun exposure in your younger years is now becoming visible. Brown spots start to appear and around age 45, you can start to notice a loss of tone in the skin. Hormonal swings tied to aging account or an increase in facial hair (peach fuzz), especially on the cheeks and upper lip.
In the last one to two years of peri-menopause (age 48-49), the decline in estrogen accelerates. At this stage, many women experience menopausal symptoms.
The peri-menopausal years also trigger skin growths on the face and body. They begin as small, rough bumps and over time, they thicken and get larger. There are many names for these: seborrheic keratoses, actinic keratoses, skin tags, sebaceous hyperplasia, and they all can appear a bit different (some brown, some flesh color) but generally speaking, they are bumps, excess skin, enlarged oil glands and growths that protrude from the skin and become impossible to hide with makeup. Read: What Are These Bumps on My Skin?
Here are my tips for healthy and beautiful skin in your 40s.
Get serious about caring for your skin. By the 40s, hopefully you’re already committed to a good skin care home care routine and also adding in some of the extra steps such as using an eye cream, a skin serum, at-home peel (see Triple Berry Smoothing Peel) and mask to give your skin added results in keeping it smooth, supple and even-toned. By putting in the extra effort, you’ll get the reward of healthier, younger-looking skin down the road.
Look for ways to manage facial hair and peach fuzz. Waxing, dermaplaning or threading are all options to consider to keep visible hair less noticeable. These are all considered safe methods of hair removal and will not encourage increased hair growth.
Be sure to use high-performance ingredients in your skin care products. Keeping the skin looking younger longer is all about prevention, so now is a good time to introduce potent and proven anti-aging formulas that boost cell metabolism, plump skin and stimulate fibroblast to lay down new collagen such as peptides, retinol and red rice extract. Also, exfoliation using acids is very important for cellular turnover. If you’re not using a product with retinol, start using Advanced Resurfacing Serum now.
Keep the skin glowing by using skin care products containing vasodilators. This includes ingredients such as peppermint and ginseng, which work to give the skin a pick-me-up! Try Renée Rouleau Revitalizing Ginseng Toner and Mint Buffing Beads. When applied topically to the skin, these ingredients work to gently dilate the blood vessels, therefore, allowing the skin to accommodate more nutrient-rich blood. With continued use, you can get skin that glows!
Use a skin lightener to fade brown spots. Did you know that melanocyte cells decrease about 10% every decade after the age of 30 which results in irregular pigmentation? Using a natural skin lightener like Vitamin C&E Treatment is really important to fade brown spots. Also, researchers have found that when you use a serum containing BOTH vitamin C and E under sunscreen, it helps to provide four times the protection of sunscreen alone.
Schedule professional skin care treatments. Putting your skin in the hands of a professional is so important to the overall health of your skin. Skin care products at home can only do so much, and professional treatments like facials, chemical peels, Bio Visage and Bio Brasion all work to give your skin a boost of anti-aging results. These skin treatments are available at Renée Rouleau Skin Care Spas in Dallas and Plano, Texas.
Wear sunscreen every day, rain or shine. Research indicates that 78% of all sun damage incurred in lifetime is from incidental exposure. It’s all those times when you don’t think you’re getting sun because you aren’t out there long enough to actually get a tan! (The drive in the car, walking down the street…) Just because you don’t sunbathe doesn’t mean you’re not getting the UV damage. Wear a sunscreen built into your moisturizer, applied to both your face and neck, every day, 365 days a year, rain or shine, inside or out—and your skin will thank you for years to come! I highly recommend Daily Protection SPF 30 for those in their 40s since it’s very lightweight and will not clog the pores.
Limit dairy in your diet if you’re prone to cystic breakouts. Since most dairy cows are given growth hormones, the consumption of milk, cheese and yogurt become factors that influence endogenous hormones and mimic the hormones that trigger oil production in the skin to ignite the acne process. Hard, painful cystic bumps can appear in the chin and jawline area. Consider eliminating all dairy for two weeks to determine if this is the cause of your cystic breakout activity.
Use acne-spot treatments as needed for blemishes. By this time, regular consistent breakouts shouldn’t be as much of an issue but you may still experience monthly hormonal breakouts, particular in the form of cystic blemishes. Anti-Cyst Treatment is excellent for both preventing and treating monthly cystic breakouts. If you get a cyst during your menstrual cycle, apply Anti Cyst Treatment to the area most prone to getting these three days before your period begins and continue through the week. Even regular pustular breakouts can be prevented using this too. See my collection of acne spot treatments. It’s important not to switch up your entire routine to a routine focused exclusively for acne, especially if your breakouts are only occasional. You don’t want to dry out the skin which will compromise your anti-aging efforts.
Don’t neglect your neck. This area is often overlooked and will start to show the effects of aging and sun damage in your 40s. Applying sunscreen generously to the front and sides of the neck is one of the best ways to prevent premature aging, so be sure to get into this habit daily when performing your morning routine. In the evening, a skin serum with retinol will help keep this area looking smooth and even-toned.
Eat a diet high in antioxidants. The best antioxidants for your skin are found in grapes, berries, broccoli, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes. So eat up to keep your skin glowing and your body healthy.
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