Skin is constantly changing. From the products we use to seasonal changes to, of course, aging, our skin has different needs at different times in our lives. This is especially true for women over 40, who typically begin to notice that skin is more sensitive and dry. It isn’t always easy to anticipate changes — or know how to deal with them. If you’re guilty of the following skin care mistakes, don’t worry. You’re not alone, and there are simple fixes.
1. Not using a face and body moisturizer
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the skin begins to lose the ability to hold water during perimenopause, so it can become dry. It’s common to see dry patches, redness, irritation, or even flaky skin. Moisturizing should be a part of your daily skin care regimen. Look for a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid and/or vitamin E, which help maintain your skin’s moisture barrier. Avoid moisturizers with artificial dyes and fragrances, since these can be irritating. Use your moisturizer in the morning, at night, and after bathing. If you continue to struggle with dryness, see your dermatologist.
2. Forgetting a vaginal moisturizer
Vulvar and vaginal moisturizers are often overlooked. As much as 60 percent of postmenopausal women experience vaginal dryness, though few talk about it. If you’re in that number, look for a high-quality, water-based moisturizer with hyaluronic acid and vitamin E. Make it part of your regular skin care routine.
3. Using the same products you’ve always used
Skin changes with age and so should the products you use. Women over 40 commonly face dryness, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and even hormonal acne. Retinol, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and vitamin C are all powerhouse ingredients for mature skin.
4. Neglecting to use SPF
Age spots and sun damage are among the most common skin challenges after 40, and wrinkles and fine lines grow deeper with age. Finally — and most alarmingly — the risk of skin cancer increases with every birthday. This is where SPF is critical. Always use a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher on exposed skin, especially your face. See your dermatologist regularly to check your skin for any irregularities.
5. Falling asleep with your makeup on
If you’re like a lot of women, you may be juggling a demanding career, children, hobbies, or all the above. At the end of a long day, you may feel too tired to remove your makeup before bed. But it’s important that you do, considering the consequences: Sleeping in your makeup leads to dull skin, acne, infections, and prematurely ages your face. In other words, failing to remove your makeup can exacerbate many of the skin issues that age causes in the first place. To avoid sleeping with your makeup on, abide by a simple skin care routine: makeup remover, gentle cleanser (yes, you need to remove your makeup before cleansing), and moisturizer.
Elevate your skin care regimen
We all make skin care mistakes, but most are correctable. Whether it’s moisturizing, removing your makeup every night, or choosing the right products for your skin’s changing needs, now is the time to up your skin care game.