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Get Amazing Skin After 40 — Because Age Is Just a Number

You may be in your 40s, but you can still have fresh, radiant skin. Here’s how.

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Beautiful skin, Tracee Ellis Ross

Own your look and your skin

Your 40s are great, with everything from work to your personal life reaching new heights. But, while your life is picking up steam, your skin is slowing down. “After the age of 30, you’re losing one per cent of your collagen per year,” says Charmaine Cooper, Dermalogica education manager. By 40 that 10 per cent deficit leads to a change of tone and lustre. You’ll also notice more dehydration, lack of oil production and deeper lines, she says. Don’t be discouraged, though, there are lots of products to keep skin healthy and vibrant.

Our skin-spiration? We love Tracee Ellis Ross, 45, and her dewy skin.

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Jars of skin creams and candles

Tip 1: Bring your A game

For all types of changes (think: fine lines, uneven skin tone, reduced firmness), the pros call upon vitamin A, available in variably potent forms as retinol, retinal or retinoid. “Retinol is a quintessential ingredient for anyone that’s concerned with aging,” says Cooper. “It’s one of the most brilliant vitamins that gets in there and helps speed up cell renewal. It’s also going to help [stimulate] the dermis to create more collagen.”

Widely suggested as an overnight treatment, timing is everything when it comes to retinol. It’s not recommended for pregnant women, and when using it, patience wins. “When you start using vitamin A, or anything that helps firm or promote collagen production, you can’t just use it for a few weeks. You won’t see the full manifestation until about six months in,” says Cooper.

An acclimatization period is also necessary. “The trickiest thing is that it can be irritating,” says Dr. Marcie Ulmer, a cosmetic and medical dermatologist at Pacific Dermatology in Vancouver. “Start low and go slow.” Work it into your routine once or twice a week at bedtime for the first few weeks then increase the frequency as your tolerance grows, and pair it with a nourishing moisturizer to offset side effects like flaking.

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Skin, woman with eye cream dotted under her eyes

Tip 2: Focus on your eyes

The furrow of the brow, across the forehead, and around the eyes are areas of expression where fine lines now become more prominent, says Dr. Sonya Abdulla, who treats patients at Dermatology on Bloor in Toronto. She recommends looking for products that aim to repair and rejuvenate, like ones containing growth factors. “They are certainly playing a role and we’re seeing them across the board, from Vichy Liftactiv Eye Supreme to SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex,” she says.

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Woman in bath towel applying skin cream

Tip 3: Do the dew

As you begin to add new products to your regimen, don’t forget the basics, like daily moisturization. Well-hydrated skin is healthy skin; creating a strong lipid barrier that keeps moisture in and irritants out.

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MVP (Most Vital Product): Moisturizer with SPF

A remarkably lightweight texture that doesn’t skimp on plumping and protection.

Olay Regenerist Whip Moisturizer SPF 25, $40.

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skin, MyChelle Remarkable Retinal Night Cream

MVP: Night cream

Delivers a potent dose of vitamin A while also hydrating deeply.

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MyChelle Remarkable Retinal Night Cream, $51 at Murale.

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skin, NeoStrata AquaYouth Filling Anti-Wrinkle Cream

MVP: Anti-wrinkle cream

Two forms of hyaluronic acid help plump skin quickly with long-lasting nourishment.

NeoStrata AquaYouth Filling Anti-Wrinkle Cream, $49.

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skin, Olehenriksen Banana Bright Eye Creme

MVP: Eye cream

Its vitamin C blend illuminates darkness and softens fine lines.

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OleHenriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème, $48 at sephora.ca.

Originally Published in Best Health Canada