The Dos and Don’ts of Skincare in Your 40s

Let’s be honest: Skincare in your 20s was a mixed bag. Sure, you probably enjoyed glowing, smooth skin, but youthful skin (and youthful bad habits) could also mean unpredictable breakouts and other issues. There’s something to be said for mature skin, laugh lines, and having a better idea of what to expect from your skin. Caring for your skin after 40 might mean some adjustments to your routine and foregoing some of the bad habits of your youth in favor of giving your skin the TLC it needs. If you’ve noticed your skin needs have changed over the years, read up on these skincare dos and don'ts to learn the best ways to update your routine and get the best results.

DON’T: Take Social Media’s Word for It

It seems like Instagram and TikTok are both packed with helpful skincare experts ready to assist you with your dermatology woes, but beware of taking advice from unverified sources. Anyone can market themselves as a skincare expert without having any real credentials, and it’s important to vet any source before you follow routines or try recommended products. Social media influencers are sponsored by brands, and while many influencers won’t tout a product they don’t truly believe in (we always encourage honest feedback from ours), that helpful recommendation might just be a cleverly placed advertisement.

Skincare Don'ts

DO: Talk to Your Dermatologist

If you want to update your routine as you age, the best source for products and ingredients is your dermatologist. Schedule an appointment at least yearly to talk about your skincare routine, have a skin health check, and get recommendations for issues like age spots, fine lines, and dryness. Your dermatologist is trained, educated, and experienced in creating a routine tailored specifically to your needs.

DON’T: Believe the Hype

“This Viral Product is Selling Out Everywhere!”

“The #1 Skin Care Ingredient That Will Transform Your Skin!”

“Erase the Signs of Aging!”

These claims sound like the key to your holy grail for skincare, but don’t believe the hype when it comes to marketing. Not all beauty and skincare companies are careful to make sure their claims match up to the science behind their products. And sadly, some products have very little science to back them up. If a brand promises overnight results or drastic changes to your skin, especially without citing any research, it should be a red flag.

Skincare Dos and Donts

DO: Look for Tried and Trusted Ingredients

Brands can promise the world and a perfectly porcelain complexion, but any product can be boiled down to its ingredients and how they affect your skin. As you age, your skincare needs change, so look for products with ingredients that address those needs. If you’re concerned about fine lines and wrinkles, a retinoid is almost always your best bet. Need extra hydration? Hyaluronic acid is a must-have. If your skin feels dull, a product with glycolic or lactic acid will help slough away dead skin, no hype or trendy buzzwords necessary.

DON’T: Change Everything at Once

While it’s true your skincare routine might need a few tweaks in your 40s, make sure you don’t overhaul everything all at once. It’s tempting to try new things, especially if they promise to address the signs of aging, but it’s important to spot test and add new ingredients into your routine gradually. Tossing all of your old products in favor of new ones could result in irritation and reactions, and it’s nearly impossible to isolate which product is the culprit when trying several at once.

DO: Make Gradual Changes  

It’s always best to go slow and steady when incorporating new skincare into your routine. As you age, your skin becomes more sensitive and less able to maintain its natural moisture barrier. Disrupting it with harsh ingredients could do serious damage, so start with one product at a time. Make sure you spot test in an inconspicuous area (try behind your ear or on your forearm) and wait 24 hours. If your skin tolerates the ingredient, you’re safe to use it on a larger area. Give your products a few weeks and then evaluate their effects before adding something else to build a skincare routine that safely makes a difference.