Source: Best Health magazine, January/February 2016
During your 40s, skin can begin to suffer due to lack of sleep, fluctuating hormones and resulting stress. ‘Wrinkles deepen and your skin becomes less firm because your levels of estrogen, which maintains collagen and elastin, are on the decline,‘ says Dr. Amy Wechsler, a New York-based dermatologist and author of The Mind Body Connection. Along with a less-defined jawline and the first signs of jowls, you’re likely to notice a loss of overall lustre and that feeling of having a healthy glow.
‘Topical vitamin A is the true workhorse of anti-aging,’ says Dr. Shannon Humphrey, a Vancouver-based medical director for Carruthers & Humphrey Cosmetic Medicine. ‘It regulates cell turnover, reduces pigmentation and stimulates new, superficial collagen.’ The sooner you introduce this reparative and preventive treatment to your routine, the more time you’ll have to improve your skin’s appearance over time, which will include an all-over plumping, smoothing and brightening effect.
Since different skin types tolerate vitamin A in different ways, start by using an off-the-shelf formula with retinol (a derivative ingredient that works when our body converts it to a vitamin A-based acid). Consider speaking to your dermatologist about upgrading to prescription-level vitamin A once your tolerance has increased and you’re ready to up your skin-smoothing game.
If you find yourself overwhelmed with commitments, try multi-tasking products: Consider a BB cream with moisturizer and SPF or use a cream that works while you sleep.
Now is the best time to target early signs of pigmentation, such as melasma (hormonally induced pigment changes) and sun spots. ‘Both types of discolouration can make the skin look dull and older than it is and are better addressed sooner than later and maintained so that it doesn’t take as much effort later on to achieve the same results,’ says Dr. Humphrey. She suggests introducing a naturally derived ingredient, such as licorice root, or a brightening and spot-correcting formula with hydroquinone. Click here for a quiz that will determine your skincare style!