Now that your skin has settled from the transitional phase of aging to the early physical effects of aging, changes to the tone and texture of your skin, which are the result of years of sun exposure, are probably being seen. The skin starts to dull and that healthy glow that you knew as a teenager through your 20s is lost, partially because of decreased collagen and elastin that gets broken down by the sun and many other environmental aggressors like pollution.

A Dull Complexion

Why It’s Happening

Our skin cells don’t shed as quickly and as normally in our 40s as they did when we were younger. This results in more dead skin that sits on the surface, making skin look lackluster and highly textured. If you pair that with sun damage you have the perfect combo for looking far older than you are.

Rx

Regular exfoliation is a must, in the forms of mechanical and chemical exfoliation. A gentle scrub two to three times a week and a light AHA treatment gel can do wonders for sloughing off the old and bringing forward the new.

Age Spots

Why They’re Happening

The skin can’t repair itself nearly as well, or as fast, and sun exposure takes up to 20 years to show up on the skin, generally in the form of age spots. Friends of your sun exposed past start popping up in the form of brown spots ranging in small freckles to large masses of pigmentation.

Rx

Retin-A, hydroquinone, and antioxidants (especially topical vitamin c) can help, but light and laser treatments like fractional CO2 can really clean up sun-damaged skin, making it more even in tone and smoother in texture.

Why A Retinoid Is A Must

No matter your age, using a retinoid or retinol cream nightly can make a world of difference in how your skin ages. Despite the current condition of your skin, be it perfect or damaged, every 40-something woman should be using a retinoid. It’s a must—there’s nothing else with the same body of data that shows that over the years your skin is going to look that good and age that well. Retinoids help exfoliate skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation while keeping the skin healthy, hydrated and luminous.

The Start of Volume Loss

In your early 40s (and sometimes even in your 30s), small amounts of volume can be lost from the cheeks, lips and under the eyes, which gives a tired or sunken look. As fat moves down from the cheeks, the face loses the fullness that we associate with a youthful look.

Rx

Using tiny amounts of dermal fillers can inflate these features to how they looked five years ago

Inside Tip

To help stave off the effects of further volume loss, neurotoxins are a must; and it is most likely time to give skin a boost with chemical peels and even skin-tightening treatments. Sun exposure is not an option so use an SPF daily to the face, neck, and chest as well as any other exposed areas.