Skin Deep – Great skin care advice for women at forty

Be Happy!

Today Women at Forty welcomes a new contributor, Jeffrie Ann Hall. Jeffrie’s an Esthetician specializing in Anti-Aging Skin Care for women 40+.  Through her blog Beauty-and-the-blog, and sales of innovative science based skin care, Jeffrie focuses on helping women stay fresh and vibrant at all stages of life. In her first post she covers everything from microdermabrasian to chemical exfoliation, and shares  some secrets about facials and finding ingredients that will slow the onset of wrinkles…

So you’re 40…

So you are 40. And when you look in the mirror do you feel like saying “hi mom”? Seeing little lines and sags creeping up that you never thought would happen to you? And OMG, that’s mom in the mirror. Not that your mom isn’t lovely, mine is. But maybe you aren’t exactly ready for your face to start showing its age. I wasn’t! And I still am not, even now that I am way past 40.

Well, sit tight because we have an advantage that our moms didn’t have. Skin care for women in the 40+ group now offers so much new technology, product and ingredient advancements. The number of products and choices can be confusing and mind boggling though.

So I am going to give you a few tips and recommendations for keeping your skin glowing and fresh. Plus tell you what ingredient you need to look for in skin care to slow the onset of wrinkles, and improve the appearance of the ones you may already have. By the way, I am an Esthetican (facialist) with advanced training from The Aveda Institute in Minneapolis.

The importance of exfoliating

The first thing you absolutely must be doing is exfoliating your skin. Dead skin cells must come off in order to glow. There are a number of ways to do this. What you choose will have much to do with your skin type and how much time you want to spend on this step. There is manual exfoliation which involves you spending time with a product that has mild abrasives in it. Think “at home microdermabrasion kit”. In my skin care experience this is best for medium to fair skins. There are also various scrubs with particles that gently remove dead skin cells. You will need to gently massage these products with very light pressure over your entire face. These are generally recommended for strong, thick and oily skin, any ethnicity. Just be sure to stay away from scrubs containing nut shells. Those are fine for your body but a major no-no for the face!

You can also choose to do a chemical exfoliation using products that contain one of the three effective ingredients that remove the dead cells from your skin by dissolving them. These are Alpha, Beta and Poly Hydroxy acids. This works well for all skin types and only requires a few seconds to apply the product. The difference between the three is that Alpha works best for mature skin that lacks radiance, Beta is best for skin that is oily, and Poly is the best choice for sensitive skin. They all work well and are great for any ethnicity. I personally use the Alpha Hydroxy. And keep in mind that Alpha and Beta come in different strengths, start low and build up.

Exfoliation is the number one most important thing to do for your skin at and after 40 to keep a radiant glow. The aging process involves a gradual slowing of the natural sloughing of dead skin cells and regeneration of fresh new cells. Exfoliation helps to keep this process working at a faster rate. And if you aren’t removing these dead cells, anything else you use on your skin is just sitting on top of dead skin. It’s not penetrating, it’s a waste.

The truth about collagen and elastin

Next you need to consider what is in your treatment serum, if you use one, and/or your moisturizer. The most important thing to remember here is that collagen and elastin molecules are too large to enter your skin’s pores. You will not be adding collagen or elastin to the structure of your skin. Just using a very expensive moisturizing ingredient. What needs to be in your product whether it is a serum or a spa-facial moisturizer is Peptides. Peptides are amino acids that have the capability to get into the skin. They are “cell communicating”. Peptides can restore normal function in the skin to keep producing collagen and elastin naturally, from the inside out. Wrinkles are really only symptoms of the aging that is going on at a deeper cellular level.

A good facial is also another great tool in keeping fresh and glowing skin. You can go to the spa and pamper yourself or it can be as simple as giving your skin a good steaming and applying a moisturizing masque. If your skin tends to be oily, use a clay masque followed by a moisture masque.

When at the spa, go for things that are not too exotic. These are generally just money makers for the spa. Stick with the basics. A good Esthetician can customize a basic facial to meet your needs. Anyone who says they can’t is just looking to make extra money.

There are also a variety of tools you can use for an at home facial. My personal favorite is Galvanic Therapy. This is low level electric current that actually pushes moisture, peptides and nutrients into your skin. It also increases the efficacy of any skin care you use, allowing it to penetrate deeper into the layers of the skin. Galvanic also has the ability to firm the skin as well as giving it a lift. I used to do these facials in the spa when I was still working in one. Now I can do this at home as there is a home version that is very effective. I do it twice a week for 15 minutes and am very happy with how my skin looks!

And by the way, nearly any facial is fine for any ethnicity as long as it is tailored to your skin type, meaning dry, oily or sensitive.

If you are interested in more information on how the skin ages, what products I recommend, what to avoid, or some advice, visit me at my own blog, It’s all about Anti-Aging and Skin Care Solutions.

Photo: Jeffrie Ann Hall – happy and beautiful!

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  • Grace

    Great post Jeffrie. I'm surprised to find that I'm still having he occasional breakout even at this age. Any recommendations?

  • Hi Grace, Gosh, I am so sorry I didn't respond to this earlier! What was I thinking? I get caught up in my own site, I guess….
    Anyway. It is very common and normal to still have breakouts over 40. At this stage of life our bodies are gearing up for menopause, so our hormones are fluctuating. This “perimenopause” stage can start as early as 35!
    With this fluctuating of hormones lots of un-fun things happen. Acne or occasional breakouts being one, and I at 54, still have that occasional breakout.
    A couple things to help. Exfoliation is one. Use a BHA product as it cleans the inside of your pores as well as removing the dead skin cell build up on the surface. Another thing is to try is topical spot treatments. There are many different ones to chose from, some containing benzoyl peroxide and others salicylic acid. You would need to experiment to see which works best for your skin.
    For concealing these pesty breakouts, find a concealer that matches your skin tone exactly. Apply with a clean cotton swab by pressing the product directly onto your offender. Then with the other end of that swab, very lightly dab on translucent colorless powder or a powder foundation that matches your skin. I find this generally works very well and lasts all day.
    Hope this helps. I have a post on BHA and AHA products that I use daily for exfoliation on my blog. I have tried a lot of them and the recommendations I have there are the best I have found, to date.
    The post is here:

  • Grace

    Thanks JeffrieAnn – I’m bad about sticking to a skin care regimen and I definitely don’t exfoliate as often as I should. I’ll check out the products you recommended.

  • womenatforty

    Thanks JeffrieAnn! We've posted your new link on our Facebook Fan Page. Join us there to check it out.

  • All women will love to look beautiful regardless of her age. These are really good tips to look gorgeous at any age. Thanks for sharing good tips here.