How Do Hormones Affect the Skin in Your 40s?

Updated 12/1/17. 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 volume and tone in the skin. Hormonal swings tied to aging account for 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?

So now onto the good news. There are definitely actions you can take to improve all of this, I promise! It just will take some effort.

Here are my expert tips for getting radiant and smoother-looking in your 40s.

Get serious about caring for your skin. By the 40s, hopefully you’ve 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 and a skin serum every morning and night. (Here’s proof that a skin serum really works.)  You would also greatly benefit from using at-home peel (like Triple Berry Smoothing Peel) and mask for your skin type 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-acting and younger-looking skin quickly.

Look for ways to manage facial hair and peach fuzz. When the skin has a lot of light hairs, it’s not going to look as smooth or be light reflective like you’ll want it to be. Plus, liquid foundation makeup is harder to blend in when the skin is fuzzy. Waxing, shaving, 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. In fact, I shave my face.

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. These types of products will boost cell metabolism, plump skin and stimulate fibroblast to lay down new collagen such as peptides, acids, retinol and antioxidants. It’s never too late to start turning your skin around by introducing these types of products. Read the Beginner’s Guide To Using Retinol Or Prescription Retinoids and the Beginner’s Guide To Exfoliation to learn much more about how to get started.

Keep the skin glowing by using skin care products containing vasodilators. This includes ingredients such as vitamin B3, spearmint and ginseng, which work to give the skin a pick-me-up! 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 and oxygen. With continued use, you can get skin that looks radiant from inside out. Energy Boosting Toner and Mint Buffing Beads are both great for giving a fresh glow.

Use a skin brightener 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 underneath sunscreen, it helps to provide four times the protection of sunscreen alone.

Always choose products for YOUR skin type. Your friend may tell you about some fabulous product that she loves or you’ll read in a magazine about a product that a celebrity uses, but that doesn’t mean it will work for your skin. The main reason you may not show improved results is that they aren’t suited to your skin’s specific needs. If you’re still buying products based on the basic dry, normal and oily skin types (and your skin is anything but that!), look at these nine skin types or simply take this Skin Type Quiz. It will help you learn what your skin really requires for it to look and feel its best.

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, micro current, lasers and chemical peels all work to give your skin a boost of healthy aging results. Botox and dermal fillers are options, too but read this first.

Wear sunscreen every single day, rain or shine. Research indicates that 78% of all sun damage incurred in a 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. Driving in the car and walking down the street on a cloudy day are still very damaging to your skin. Just because you don’t purposely seek out a tan doesn’t mean you’re not getting the sun’s harmful rays. 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. It’s the easiest and most effective way to slow down how quickly your skin will visibly age.

Get adult hormonal breakouts under control. It is still very common to get breakouts in your 40s and it’s all hormonally induced—especially if they are hard, cystic bumps that develop deep within the skin and linger for weeks. Here is how to prevent adult hormonal breakouts.

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. Here are my expert tips to repair the look of sun damage on the neck and chest.

Eat a diet high in antioxidants. The best antioxidants for your skin are found in grapes, berries, broccoli, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes. Eat up to keep your skin glowing and your body healthy.

Want to learn more? Here are 34 helpful tips.

Read how hormones affect the skin in your teens, 20s30s, 50s and 60s.

Which skin care products are best for you? See our nine skin types or take the Skin Type Quiz and get products recommended.

Need expert advice from a licensed esthetician? Schedule a virtual consultation to get customized advice in person, over the phone or online via Skype or FaceTime.

For more expert advice check out the blog. Also, sign up for our skin tip e-newsletter, follow Renée Rouleau on Twitter and Instagram and join the discussion on our Facebook page. You’ll be your own skin care expert in no time. Get the #ReneeRouleauGlow!

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Content found on, including: text, images, audio, or other formats were created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.