40s & 50s Skin Care
The process of aging tends to be oversimplified and reduced to anti-wrinkle regimens and creams that promise more than they actually deliver. For women, especially, aging is more than crow’s feet and laugh lines. The skin you have in your 40s and 50s is strongly affected by perimenopause, the years of hormonal changes that occur before menopause is completely reached, and the effects these changes have on your skin are complex.
Perimenopause can last up to a decade and it the result of a slow decline in estrogen production by the ovaries. This process comes with a variety of complicated symptoms that range from weight gain to fatigue and trouble sleeping, and your skin is not exempt.
As estrogen declines, so does the physiology of your skin. Below, we'll examine some ways in which a woman's skin is affected during her 40s and 50s, and provide some resources to help you reduce the overall impact that perimenopause has on your skin.
You may have already noticed that the fat distribution of your body has shifted and that weight gain is more rapid now although your diet hasn't changed much. As you age, you will notice less supportive fatty tissue in your face and neck and more on your hips, butt and stomach. While you can't actually replace the fatty tissue on your face, a skin tightening serum can produce skin firming and toning results to counteract sagging from lose skin.
Collagen is a protein that helps skin maintain its strength and elasticity, and as we age, we produce less of it. While this change is completely natural, factors like perimenopause and sun exposure can greatly exacerbate the effects or collagen loss. We recommend wearing a daily sunscreen, avoiding prolonged sun exposure, and trying a product that helps stimulate collagen formation such as a light TCA peel or a specially formulated night time cream. While nothing can reverse the effects of aging, these types of products can offset the reduction in skin-firming collagen due to estrogen decline.
You might not feel like a teen anymore, but during your 40s and 50s, it could appear that your skin is trying to relive the past by producing excess oils leading to frustrating breakouts. This sudden change occurs when estrogen levels decrease below your body's testosterone levels, giving testosterone its chance to shine, literally. Elevated testosterone leads to excess sebum secretion, resulting in the oily skin you thought you'd left behind.
We recommend tackling this problem using cleansers containing salicylic acid which penetrates deeply to dissolve oil and impurities without over-drying skin.
However, if your oily skin has become unmanageable, your doctor might prescribe you an anti-androgen medication like Spironolactone, a drug designed to decrease testosterone levels.
As with skin at any age, we recommend that you continue to take the usual precautions and keep up your regular skin care routine. Your routine should involve twice-daily cleansing, toning and the application of a serum and moisturizer. Don't know the difference? Learn more about serums versus moisturizers here.
To improve cell turnover, we recommend regular exfoliation, which you can kick up another notch by introducing the use of an acid peel.
Skin Obsession offers a variety of at-home peels ranging from light "lunch time" peels to deep peels designed specifically for advanced users and critical problem areas. Learn more about our peels here!