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Whenever I tell someone I’m turning 40 this year, I get the same response. “Wow, you look great. Not that 40 is old or anything, but really, I thought you were early thirties.” Before you roll your eyes at this smug beauty editor’s brag, this is not my point. Forty, it seems, is significant. You never had people telling you how great you looked at 30, or that you appeared ten years younger. This is the beginning, whereby your face is a true reflection of how well you look after yourself. It might be an uncomfortable truth, but it is a truth.
Forty though, for me, doesn’t feel so bad, although it’s not as though I devoted much time to thinking about it. You just never do, when you’re finding your feet during your twenties, or even when you observe those in their forties as you navigate your thirties. As you enter a new phase in your life, smart skin care choices and makeup that works for you will keep those “You look so great” comments coming. Here are some strategies for dealing with the big 4-0.
Active life: The skin’s framework starts to weaken in your thirties, so it’s important to use plenty of active ingredients to strengthen the collagen and epidermal structure. Try Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, an anti-ageing day cream brimming with oceanic actives.
Defy gravity: As your face begins to droop, there is no greater instant fix than a well-drawn brow to lift the features. You may need to try a lighter shade; darker is not always better. Try Hourglass Arch Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel, for fuller-looking arches.
Glam glow: When your skin starts to change, so too should the texture of your makeup. The products you’ve used for years, including that matte finish foundation, may no longer be a blessing. Look for concealers and foundations with hydrating qualities, anti-ageing ingredients and a luminous finish. Try Perricone MD No Makeup Foundation, a skin-perfecting base with a glowy finish.
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Smooth operator: Every bit of exposure you’ve had to harmful UVA and UVB rays in your youth creeps up on you as the years pass. Opt for a high-strength, antioxidant rich formula to even out skin tone and banish pigmentation. Try Dr. Dennis Gross C + Collagen Brighten + Firm Vitamin C Serum, a high-performance elixir loaded with rejuvenating actives.
White walkers: There’s no sugar coating this: grey, white hairs can be jarring, but in between colour appointments the latest in hair makeup can really keep you covered. Try Bumble and bumble BB. Colour Stick, which is akin to a crayon for your mane.
Skin cycle: The natural rate of cell renewal is slowing down, and sloughing off dry skin is harder, but, at the same time, skin is more delicate. Now is the time to add a retinoid product into your PM regime. Try Kate Somerville RetAsphere 2-in-1 Retinol Night Cream, a game-changer which balances retinol and hyaluronic acid.
Lid love: The upper eyelids start to droop a little as cell structure becomes more compromised. Opt for a high-potency eye cream to lift and smooth. Try Verso Super Eye Serum, or Perricone MD Acyl-Glutathione Eye Lid Serum. Both help to reverse the visible signs of ageing around your peepers.
Lip lock: Lips experience fine lines and wrinkles too, as well as a loss of volume. Add a plumping lip serum to your regime and strengthen the lip line by sharpening the cupid’s bow. Try Verso Lip Serum, which uses retinol and hyaluronic acid to plump pouts.
Red alert: Stresses like lack of sleep and toxins can cause inflammation in the skin, which is exacerbated in your forties when your body is not as fast at recovery. Keep your complexion calm with soothing mists and creams that minimise blotchiness and redness. Try Origins Mega Mushroom Skin Relief Soothing Face Lotion. This lotion uses mushroom botanicals to calm redness and irritation.
Words by Emma StrennerJuly 2018