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Common Skin Care Mistakes Women Over 40 Make & How To Fix Them
Wouldn't you love it if your skin could stay firm and supple forever? In a society that so covets youth, it can be a bit dismaying to see the natural signs of aging that show up on your skin as you breeze through your 40’s. Suddenly the skincare routines you've loved and trusted for years just aren't working anymore, and you’re at a crossroad where you simply don’t know what to do – but don’t fret! I'm excited to tell you it's not only possible, but easier than you might think to slow down and even reverse certain signs of aging, and it can be as simple as making small tweaks to your skin care routine!
Mistake #1: You’re Using the Same Minimalistic Skin Care Routine You Used in Your 20’s and 30’s. You've gotten very comfortable with your skincare routine over the years, but lately, you've noticed the skin care products you've used and loved just aren't quite working for you anymore. If this sounds like you, take a deep breath and relax! It simply means it’s time to step up your skin care game. One of my favorite ways to do this? By adding more antioxidant-rich products to your regimen! Antioxidants are a wonderful way to protect your skin from environmental stressors and free radical damage, which can accelerate the aging process.
Also, since your skin likely doesn't retain moisture like it once did, switching to a richer, more emollient lotion or cream morning and night will help to hydrate your thirsty skin, resulting in a more supple and luminous appearance.
Mistake #2: You’re Still Not Washing Your Makeup Off at the End of the Day. Not washing your makeup off is a definite of a no-no regardless of your age, but in your 40s, it becomes even more essential to remove dirt, oils, makeup, and other debris from your skin. Those free radicals I mentioned before? They can cling to your skin and cause damage as you sleep. Over time, that damage ages your skin. The solution is simple -- get in the habit of washing your face every night, no matter how tired you are. Believe me, I know it's often tempting to skip this step, but your skin and your mirror will definitely thank you down the line!
Mistake #3: You’re Not Wearing Sunscreen. You've heard me say it hundreds of times: damage from sun exposure is one of the leading causes of aging skin, not to mention skin cancer. Yes, we all love the sun, but in a perfect world, you’d be protecting your skin from its harmful rays each and every day. The reality, though, is that most people do not. While you can't reverse existing sun damage, you can begin protecting your skin from harmful UV rays moving forward, and even improve the appearance of your skin. The easiest way to do this is to select SPF products you know you will use on the regular, such as moisturizers and foundations that come loaded with SPF (a minimum of 30 would be my suggestion), and a trusted body sunscreen that you won’t mind applying each and every day!
If you've got the AM application, but not the reapplications, down pat, reach for a powdered SPF brush (I am currently using Eminence Organic's Sun Defense Minerals). This is just about the easiest option for taking your sunscreen on the go, and as a bonus, it works to freshen up your appearance as well!
Mistake #4: You’re Using the Wrong Products for Your Skin Type. It's so important that you choose skin care products for your skin type. Using the wrong products not only results in little to no beneficial effect but in more extreme cases, it can have negative effects on your skin. Choosing the wrong skin care products is a common mistake I see women making, and as you age, the right product selection becomes even more critical. If you're not sure whether a product is suited to your skin type and needs, never be afraid to reach out to an esthetician. He or she will be glad to help you select products that work best for your unique skin type, that will help to enhance your skin's natural beauty -- no matter your age!
Mistake #5: You’re Using the Same Products Year Round. Using the wrong products for each season isn't necessarily relegated to those over 40, but if you fall in that age group, the effects will be felt, and seen, much faster. Skin tends to change with the seasons. Summer warmth means more oil and sweat on your skin, while the winter months, with indoor heating, can dry your skin. It's critical that you change up your skin care routine accordingly. Use a slightly less emollient cream on your skin during the summer and switch back again when the weather cools. Your skin will look better, and your pocketbook will thank you. No more wasting money on products that don't deliver results!
Mistake #6: You’re Not Living a Healthy Lifestyle. Your skin reveals your lifestyle choices much more than might you think. In fact, lack of sleep, poor diet, and a sedentary lifestyle can all show up on your face. And not in a good way! I'm not saying you can never enjoy another sweet indulgence, but better choices in your diet and getting more sleep will keep your skin glowing and healthy. And as for exercise, moderate physical activity increases blood flow and replenishes your cells with nutrients. Plus, it makes you feel great! Just be sure to slather on a good sunblock if you head out for a walk or a run to avoid sun damage while outside.
Mistake #7: You’re Not Getting Enough Rest Each Night. I touched on this when I discussed lifestyle choices, but a lack of sleep has numerous harmful effects on your skin. You probably already know how sallow and dull your skin can look after a night of little sleep, not to mention under-eye dark circles and puffiness. But did you also know that lack of sleep results in higher levels of cortisol, a stress hormone? Cortisol can break down skin's collagen, leading to sagging skin and loss of elasticity. So turn off your electronic devices at least an hour before bed, do something to soothe and calm your mind, and head to slumberland. It's one of the best ways to keep your skin youthful looking and healthy.
Mistake #8: You’re Over-Treating Your Skin. Over-treating your skin? Is that even possible? I can tell you that indeed not only is it possible, but it's also quite common. Exfoliating, for example, is something many women can do a bit too much of, which can lead to damaged skin. Always follow the instructions provided with your skin care products, and when in doubt, ask your esthetician or dermatologist. They'll be happy to tell you when you can increase use of a product and when to cut back, and which products will be best for your skin type and needs.
Mistake #9: You’re Expecting Your Skin to Look 30 Forever. It can be dismaying to see the first signs of aging on your face. You're applying makeup and suddenly notice little lines around your eyes or on your forehead that you could swear weren't there yesterday. Think of your skin as a roadmap of your life experiences. Those little lines around your eyes may just show you love to laugh. They're not something you should look at as “bad”, regardless of what standards you are striving for. You can age gracefully, or you can fight it every step of the way. My best advice is to take the best care of your skin as possible, and revel in the small signs of a life well lived. You can't stop the clock, but you can most definitely age beautifully!
Always remember that the goal is not to remain young forever, but instead to enjoy your life, be happy, laugh a lot, love a lot, and with a little TLC, your skin can be healthy, youthful, and glowing well into your golden years!
I'm curious, what steps have you taken to change your skin care routines as you've gotten older?