The largest organ in your body is counting on you to take care of it each day — your skin!
As estrogen levels decrease in your 30s, 40s, and 50s, your skin becomes more dry. You will notice more fine lines and wrinkles as collagen production declines as well. Many women report seeing fine lines at age 25. Let’s put better habits into place and prevent premature aging!
As you’re aging, it’s important to update your beauty routine to adjust to the changes in your skin due to decreasing hormones. Just as you need to approach your eating, sleeping, and exercise routine differently with menopause, your skin is no different. Let’s look at improvements you can make to your routine.
Six-Step Skin Care Routine
- CLEANSER: Start your day by washing your face with a mild, soft cleanser. Use cool to warm water. Hot water will further dry out your skin. I use the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser. It’s inexpensive, cleanses, and helps moisturize my skin. To be honest, some mornings I just rinse my face with cool water since washing it can dry it out. At night, I use the CeraVe cleanser as well. However, 2-3 times a week, I use a Turmeric & Vitamin C Face Scrub to deep cleanse, improve circulation, exfoliate dead skin, and ultimately, improve my complexion. Removing the dead skin cells (along with blackheads and whiteheads) will help your skin feel softer and smoother. You can choose to either exfoliate in the morning or evening a few days a week. Exfoliating will also allow for better absorption of products. It’s important to moisturize after exfoliation. Take a break from exfoliation if you notice your skin becoming red and irritated.
- TONER: This is a water-like product to be used after cleansing to remove excess dirt, oil, and makeup. It helps lower the pH of your skin and doesn’t need to be washed off. This step makes everything else work better on your skin.
- SERUM: This product brightens and hydrates! The most popular serums are Vitamin C, niacinamide, anti-aging, and hydrating serums. Use one and apply before moisturizer for better penetration to the skin.
- MOISTURIZER: This step cannot be skipped. Moisturizer traps water in your skin, giving it a more youthful appearance (I want that!). At night, I use CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream. It’s affordable and contains hyaluronic acid, which helps skin stretch and flex helping to reduce skin wrinkles and lines (yes, please!). It’s also non-greasy and fragrance-free. During the day, I apply the Elta MD Skincare UV Daily with 40 SPF sun protection.
- SPF: During the day, every day, it’s essential to apply sun protection after moisturizing if your moisturizer doesn’t contain at least 30 SPF. It’s important to remember that when sunlight hits the skin, it damages healthy cells (no thanks!). For further protection, wear a hat, UPF or SPF clothing, and limit your time in the sun.
- EYE CREAM: I like the CeraVe Eye Repair to help with dark circles and puffiness applied twice a day.
MASK: Once a week I like to apply a mask to help with exfoliation, pore-clearing, and hydration. I like the DRMTLGY Pumpkin Enzyme Mask. Ideally, I apply this and take a nice bubble bath to feel like I’m at a spa (who doesn’t love this feeling?). It’s a 4-in-1 self-warming pumpkin mask that helps reduce the appearance of large pores while also hydrating, cleansing, and providing gentle exfoliation (no need to use an additional exfoliator the same day). I find it very relaxing!
UNDER-EYE PATCHES: I like to use the DERMORA eye gels when I wake up and need an extra boost to get rid of under-eye puffiness and dark circles (maybe from not getting a good night’s sleep). You can also try your own homemade cool cloth to apply to your skin for a few minutes.
Common Ingredients to Look for in Anti-Wrinkle Creams or Serums
- Retinol is a product made from Vitamin A compounds. This ingredient reduces fine lines and wrinkles by helping to increase the production of collagen. This ingredient can help fade age spots, soften rough patches of skin, and stimulate the production of new blood vessels which improves skin color. This ingredient can make you more sensitive to the sun so be sure to use SPF 30 each day. Do not use this product while pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) when added to a wrinkle serum and used regularly, reduces damage from the sun and pollution as well as reduces skin discoloration. It also helps the skin produce collagen, the most abundant protein in the body.
- NIACINAMIDE is related to vitamin B-3, Niacin. Apply it two times a day to reduce signs of aging and skin discoloration. It’s usually found in serums, masks, moisturizers, and anti-wrinkle creams.
Ingredient Combinations that Don’t Mix
Because many creams and serums can contain similar or the same ingredients, it’s important to know which ones should not be used at the same time:
- Retinoil or retinol and alpha hydroxy acid
- Retinoil or retinol and Benzoyl Peroxide (found in creams for acne)
- Retinoil or retinol and Vitamin C
- Retinoil or retinol and salicylic acid
- Soap-based cleanser and vitamin C
Lifestyle Choices to Improve Skin
How you cleanse and moisturize your skin is so important but you also need to look at other habits. Skin is taken care of from the inside out. Additional practices to improve your skin in midlife:
- Nourishing your body with a nutrient-dense diet — healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and lean protein such as chicken and fish. See my blog ‘Seven Foods to Eat During Menopause’ if you need more suggestions.
- Applying SPF Daily, limit sun exposure, and no indoor tanning machines! Use a bronzer or self-tanner for a natural glow without damaging your skin.
- Sleeping 7-9 hours each night.
- Staying hydrated with 8 cups of water a day. Reduce or stop alcohol consumption since it has no nutritional value and overindulgence dehydrates the skin.
- Stopping smoking helps improve circulation and improves blood flow to your face (along with many other health benefits).
- Managing the stress in your life will allow room for the self-care needed to improve your overall health and ultimately how your skin looks.
Skincare for the Whole Body
Since the skin is the largest organ in the body and changing hormones (peri-menopause and menopause) means drier skin, it’s important to moisturize all over. Ideally, moisturize when your body is damp after your shower, slather on some moisturizer, and let it absorb into your skin before getting dressed. Jergens makes wonderful, affordable, light creams for hydrating.
Remember, hot water after a shower or bath strips all the oils and moisture from your skin. It’s important to replenish by moisturizing.
Take care of your skin from the inside out each day. You deserve it! Don’t forget a trip to the dermatologist yearly for a skin check or more frequently if you notice new imperfections showing up.
Reach out for more information on how I can support you in your journey for better health in midlife!
I’m a registered nurse for over 24 years with a Masters Degree in Nursing (Education). I am also a Certified Women’s Health Coach specializing in helping women navigate changing hormones in their 30s and beyond after my own difficult experience through menopause. I believe women should truly thrive in midlife and not just survive!