When it comes to taking care of your skin (and yourself) now is the time to be serious! In your 40s your skin is going to be changing and you’re going to need a plan to address those. It’s not too late to start a great skincare routine and take better care of yourself to look and feel younger. Below, I have compiled a list of what you can do for your skin from the inside and outside to look and feel your best. So, keep reading because you wouldn’t want to miss this!

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lady washing her face

1. Start your skincare routine with a gentle cleanser

There will be several changes in your skin in your 40s. Dryness, thinner skin, and a weaker skin barrier are just a few of those changes, so you will want a cleanser that addresses those issues. The best cleanser for the job is CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and glycerin.

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2. Use an exfoliating or hydrating toner

Depending on whether you have dry skin or may be dealing with some acne, is how you will choose which toner to use. If you have dry or sensitive skin, Then Mario Badescu Witch Hazel & Rose Water Toner is the one for you. If you still deal with acne or need just a little extra exfoliation, but not too much, then Chantecaille Purifying and Exfoliating Phytoactive Solution is what you should use.


3. Use an antioxidant serum during the day

You’ll want an antioxidant serum that protects, rejuvenates, and reduces signs of aging and photodamage. The serum that does all this and comes most recommended is Skinceuticals C E Ferulic Serum.

4. Retinol is used at night

Retinol will replace the antioxidant serum step for your night routine. If starting retinol, start with a low concentration one to two days a week and gradually increase in strength and frequency. If you have been using retinol for a while and would like something stronger, you can go to a dermatologist for a prescription.

Even if you haven’t been using retinol up to this point, it’s not too late to start. Retinol can diminish fine lines and wrinkles by increasing collagen production and decreasing the breakdown of collagen. Skin cell turnover is also increased by the use of retinol, which in turn will correct sun damage and improve skin texture and discoloration.

Learn about how to incorporate retinol in your routine here.

5. Use different moisturizers for day and night

Even though you don’t have to stick to this, you still may want to use a light moisturizer for the day and one more heavy-hitting at night. If you just want to cut down on the products you have on hand, then CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion or Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream are two of the best choices.

If you are like me, you prefer to use different moisturizers for day and night. I use a light moisturizer and separate SPF for the day and a more powerful moisturizer that repairs and rejuvenates my skin at night. So, if you want to take the same approach, La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer is the one for the day, and CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream for the night.

woman with sunscreen on shoulder in shape of sun

6. Protect Your Skin from the Sun

Even though you may be seeing some damage from the sun already does not mean you don’t still need to protect it. I know you have those with skin that looks like wrinkled leather, well that is damaged from the sun and maybe over tanning in a tanning bed. Wearing SPF will protect your skin from getting anymore damage and there are some that have the ingredients to help reverse sun damage.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios HA Mineral SPF 30 Sunscreen Moisturizer is one of those that not only protects your skin from the damaging effects of the sun but also has anti-aging benefits and 12 hours of hydration. No matter what sunscreen you choose, it should be SPF 30 or above and protect from UVA and UVB rays.


7. Exfoliate 2 to 3 times a week

Cell turnover slows as you age and if you don’t exfoliate regularly, it can lead to dull, dry, flaky, irritated, uneven skin, and also clogged pores. You can also be using the best products in the world but they won’t live up to their potential if you’re piling them on dead skin cells.

You don’t want to use just any exfoliator, though. You’ll want to avoid using harsh, over-aggressive scrubs because these can cause tiny tears on the skin. Instead, look for enzyme, chemical, or fine-grain mechanical exfoliants.

Award-winning Tracie Martyn’s Enzyme Exfoliant is a gentle scrub and a mask for all skin types with all the anti-aging benefits. This non-irritating exfoliant will remove embedded impurities, environmental pollutants, and dead skin cells. It also minimizes fine lines and pores along with revitalizing and brightening the skin.


8. Should be using an Eye Cream

Since you are in your 40s now, you’ll want an eye cream that you can use all around your eyes. If you want to firm, lift, and de-puff your eyes, then Caudalie Resveratrol-Lift Firming Eye Gel Cream is the eye cream you are looking for. This fragrance-free formula will visibly reduce the appearance of wrinkles along with smoothing and redefining the contour of your eyes with patented Resveratrol, hyaluronic acid, vegan collagen alternative, and peptides.


9. Start using a Neck Cream

Even if you extend your facial products down your neck, the skin on your neck is much thinner, so you would need a thicker cream, especially for your neck. You can think of it the same as the skin around your eyes, the first to show signs of aging. So, of course, it’s going to need the same special attention!

If you are in need of an instant lift, then Dermalogica Neck Fit Contour Serum is the one to try. This serum visibly lifts, tightens, smoothes fine lines, and helps strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier.

If you’re in a hurry for a tighter neck, then DefenAge 6-Week Perfection Neck Tightening Cream is just what you’re looking for. Get a more youthful neck and keep it that way with the first signs of improvement showing in just one week!

10. Massage Your Face Daily

By massaging your face daily, you will be increasing your blood flow to your face, which increases oxygen and collagen production. This will rejuvenate your skin and brighten your complexion. Facial massages are also considered a natural alternative to Botox!

You can massage your face while cleansing or by using your favorite serum, oil, or moisturizer. The best kind of oil to look for would have vitamin C, Rosehip Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, or vitamin E. Indie Lee Overnight Face Oil has all these ingredients. If you need to learn how to do your own facial massage, there are plenty of videos on YouTube with facialist Abigail James showing you how.


11. Take a Collagen Supplement

By age 40, you can be losing about 1% of the collagen in your body each year. The loss of this protein is what makes your skin lose its structure and causes wrinkles. If you include foods such as eggs, bone broth, beef, fish, chicken, and dairy, you may not need a supplement. However, before adding a supplement, you should talk with your doctor.

12. Consider Omega-3s or Fish Oil Supplements

Even though they are more well-known for their heart health benefits, they also have benefits for your skin and hair. Omega-3s are healthy fats that are found in some seed and plant oils, walnuts, seafood, and fatty fish. Studies have shown that they help protect skin against dryness, redness, and itching, along with increasing the skin’s resistance to sunburn and helping to reduce acne. Talk with your doctor first.

Mediterranean diet chart

13. Try a Mediterranean Diet

Very well-known as one of the healthiest diets on the planet, it is highly beneficial for your skin and general health. The diet consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fish, and olive oil, along with very small amounts of unprocessed meats, dairy, and eggs. Most of the foods in this diet have anti-aging benefits like nourishing and protecting your skin.

14. Eat foods high in antioxidants and probiotics

Just in case you are not one to want to try changing your whole diet, you can still at least add foods that will nourish your skin from the inside out. Food such as Greek yogurt, blueberries, almonds, kale, eggs, and watermelon are just a few you could add to your diet.

15. Drink Plenty of Water

Over half of the human body is made up of water. Keeping yourself hydrated does benefit your whole body, not just your skin. As you age, your skin won’t retain as much moisture. So, keeping yourself hydrated on the inside will help your skin hold on to more moisture.

16. Stop Smoking

Do I really need to explain why?

17. Cut out sugar and Lower salt and alcohol intake

If you can’t cut these out, at least lower the amount you consume. Sugar destroys collagen through a process called glycation, simply put.

While you need some iodized salt in your diet for thyroid function, too much can dehydrate your skin.

Dehydration can also occur with too much alcohol.

18. Start Dermaplaning

You don’t have to go to a professional, you can do it at home and it’s fairly easy to learn. Dermaplaning gets rid of any peach fuzz you may have on your face along with dead skin cells. You will be amazed at the instant glow your skin has once you have done this. Your skin will also look and feel so smooth!

The Finishing Touch Flawless Dermaplane Wand is what I absolutely have to recommend here, especially if you are a beginner. It comes with a guide that shows you how to use the wand, lights up so you don’t miss anything, and has a guard on it to protect your skin. A lot of the other dermaplaning tools don’t have the guard on them, making it extremely easy to knick your skin.

19. Sleep is Very Important for Your Skin

Even though you have heard one million times to get enough sleep, 7 hours is really the bare minimum you should get each night. Your skin does its best and hardest work at night because the blood flow to your skin increases at night. Your skin can then rebuild collagen, repair damage, regenerate skin cells, and your skin is more receptive to your products at night.

20. Sleep on a Silk Pillowcase

Silk pillowcases will help protect your skin along with helping to keep your face moisturized where cotton soaks up the moisture from your skin. There are natural proteins in silk that help with fighting aging. Sleep comes more easily on silk than on cotton because the silk glides and drapes around you where cotton will crinkle, rub, and irritate your skin.

So, you may want to make all of your bedding in silk to benefit all of your skin!

21. Go See a Dermatologist

Once you turn 40, among the other appointments you will be scheduling is one with a dermatologist. They will probably want you to have skin checks annually or more often if you have any skin issues. You can also ask them about a more precise anti-aging regimen or get a prescription for a stronger retinoid if needed.

22. Get Yourself an At-Home Anti-Aging Device

There once was a time when you had to go see a professional in order to do certain treatments for your skin. That’s not the case anymore. However, with so many at-home anti-aging devices, which one should you choose?

Honestly, anything with LED is the way to go. LED can penetrate your skin and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin to give you your bounce and firmness back.

LED Esthetics has the Glotech Mask Lite and the Glotech Mask Pro to meet any of your skin’s needs. Both have the Red and Blue LED wavelengths that penetrate your skin to address wrinkles, fine lines, acne, enlarged pores, inflammation, discoloration, and more.

It is used by some of the most famous and youthful celebs, like Kim Kardashian and Kate Hudson. I even have one for myself and love it!

When you shop, use code Siobhan10 to get 10% off your entire order!


Your skin will go through some changes in your 40s. By following the steps above and making any lifestyle changes you need to make, you can keep your skin looking and feeling younger.

Take a picture of yourself on the day you start either your new routine, stop smoking, or change your diet and see what a difference in your skin there will be. I would love to hear from you!

All questions, comments, or suggestions are welcome!


4 thoughts on “How To Keep Your Skin Looking Younger In Your 40s

  1. When I turned 30, everyone kept asking me what my secret was to looking so young. At the time, I thought it was all just good genes and maybe a little luck. But, now that I’m in my 40s, I realize that there are certain things I’ve been doing all along to help keep my skin looking its best.

    One of the most important things is always wearing sunscreen, even on cloudy days. I used to think that I didn’t need to worry about sunscreen as long as I wasn’t out in the direct sun. But now I know that UV rays can penetrate through clouds and cause damage to your skin. So no matter what the weather is like, I always put on sunscreen before leaving the house.

    Just because you’re hitting the big 4-0 doesn’t mean your skin has to show it. Following a few simple tips can help keep your skin looking younger and more radiant than ever before.

  2. Hey Siobhan!

    It’s always a good idea to be proactive when it comes to health things. Prevention is better than cure, as they say!

    These are some good tips, but I’m a little confused on why you’d need different night and day creams. Wouldn’t they be doing the same thing? Also, how young can you be to be implementing these strategies?

    My aunt once showed us this technique where she took a scraper and scraped her face, which supposedly stimulated all the nerves or something and promoted healthy skin. Do you know anything about that? Thanks,


    1. During the day your focus should be on protecting your skin and at night it should be on repairing and rejuvenation. You can start an anti-aging routine as early as your 20s. I am not familiar with scraping but I will do some research to find out more.

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