Skincare Changes I Have Made in My Forties

I am well and truly DEEP into my forty something decade as of this month, but seeing it in black and white in my title still kinda freaks me out! Which I know sounds super immature, but like, I don't feel forty something yet either (I think this is the great mystery of getting older, few people feel their age, we just have to uh, roll with it I guess).

"Age is just a number" and all that jazz but I would be lying if I didn't admit to getting a tiny bit more fussy in recent years about the aging process/my approach to looking after my face in particular.

I do try to be as self accepting as possible, but it doesn't mean I won't still occasionally try to change things if I feel they are not working for me anymore.

My main skincare concerns so far this decade are:

-Uneven skin tone, thanks to a bit of pigmentation/sun damage I presume, and the dreaded thread veins, which I have been intermittently getting zapped with lasers for the past few years now.

-Sinking cheeks/jowls. Basically the whole lower half of my face!

Enough people are kind enough to say I don't look my age that I just sort of shrug and get on with my day instead of falling into a pit of despair over my lost youth. I know I look fine to good "for my age" but it also makes me feel a bit odd about not ageing the way I should be ageing, like in an elegant French way where I just add more eyeliner like Carine Roitfield or cut bangs (this would be a disaster on my curly hair but I have felt very wistful urges for a dramatic hair transformation this decade) or whatever else sophisticated modern women do to feel comfortable in their skin as they grow into middle age. I want to feel my age in some respects, I don't feel ashamed of it.

There are changes afoot inside and outside my body and it's quite unsettling at times to feel like you have no control of these things. So I don't see the harm in trying to make myself feel and maybe look a little bit better if I can.

Skincare Changes I Have Made in My Forties


1. Be GENTLE(R)! In my thirties if I wasn't attacking my skin with a Clarisonic or several masks and scrubs a week I felt I was not doing my best. Turns out abrasively "caring" for my skin probably was not doing it any favors, as despite having oily-ish skin, I also have sensitive skin that started throwing vein parades and acne parties all over in my late thirties. Oh well, at least I was wearing sunscreen!

So basically, with the caveat I still have sebum control issues, I use gentler products. Out with the vigorous brush cleansing, in with the hot cloth and (non drying) foam cleansers. I occasionally use a scrub but mostly use a gentle yet acid type exfoliating toner (I like the Nip/Fab sensitive wipes). 

I can totally tell that my skin cell turnover has slowed this decade, as my nose pores will get blocked up semi-regularly if I am not exfoliating enough, which was never a problem for me before. I have resorted to charcoal nose strips once or twice a month to try to combat this (and squeezing, ugh I do love to squeeze and yes I know, so bad for my skin! Must do better!).

I try to use soothing masks and moisturising masks where possible, but I do still go for a charcoal or mud mask maybe once or twice a month.

My favourite masks I have tried recently are:

Superdrug Charcoal Mask: It's very similar to the L'Oreal one but hasn't dried out as quickly, and actually leaves my skin feeling less tight than the L'Oreal one, so yeah, I dig.

Temple Spa Be Calm Mask: This is just lovely and soothes any redness or irritation, great for sensitive skin and all natural ingredients to boot. I tried this in a spa/sample kit a little while back. It's not cheap, but it is good quality stuff (I know it's a "people sell this on Facebook" thing and yes that's how I was introduced to it but I did really like everything I tried/am considering a few repurchases).

I am also a fan of the Garnier Face mask sheets. They and their ilk are cheap and cheerful and still feel like a nice treat for the skin. I also tried some French pharmacy onces awhile back (I forget the brand sorry) but you can often get two or three mask treatments out of a sachet style mask from  a high quality brand (Escentual is particularly good for French pharmacy products, not sure about outside the U.K.).

2. Treat Yo'self. Ok for me this mainly involves the vein zapping, it's not cheap unfortunately and is probably money that some women might spend on massages or other facial treatments, so I do go for those things less often than I might otherwise. Saying that I just realized I actually haven't been in about a year so I do think I deserve a little treat! 

My favourite facial I ever had was done by my same beautician who zaps my veins (which is highly unglamorous and scabby, I keep meaning to blog about it but also it's gross!), she only does one brand of facial and it's the relatively not super common Guinot. 

The Guinot Hydradermie Lift facial (which I must stress, paid for by me, not an ad), is the only thing I have ever had done to my face that made me think "Holy Shirtballs would you look at that!" Of course they advise you do it weekly (LOLOLOL I'm not a millionaire!). I will say that my face was truly tightened and my skin looked and felt so smooth and even in tone and yes, visibly more defined/lifted, for a week/ going on two afterwards. You do feel like Joan Crawford or something having electric currents zapped all over your face with these metal balls (it's seriously painless though).

I would definitely recommend it for special occasions/ a treat, or if you are just feeling in a funk if you can find a qualified therapist. (This is just my personal experience having it done once, I have seen this treatment top various best facial lists though for whatever reason it still has a sort of "best kept beauty secrets" vibe to it), like it's never been hip or trendy but again, it's FRENCH, they spend their lives on their skin, they know what they are doing!

3. Try New Things/Change it Up: I have finally caved and bought a jade face roller (well mine is actually rose quartz - er I hope. Who knows, it's probably just glass as I bought it on Amazon but it feels nice ok), which came with a matching Gua Sha massage tool, which is a more "serious" face massage tool. I found some videos on YouTube for how to do it but this one was my favourite. I also highly recommend the neck massage video by the same account, it feels so relaxing.

As far as I understand, you are encouraged to use these tools with oils and or/serums as they encourage them to penetrate your skin. I am enjoying the face rolling, it feels lovely and cool on my skin. I don't honestly know if it is doing anything but the idea of stimulating and massaging your face/neck area like you would any other area of your body to aid the skin's health and circulation appeals to me.

So far I have been using:

Rosehip Oil: New to me, but liking it a lot so far. Rosehip Oil contains vitamin a,b,c,d, and B-carotene, all antioxidants good for you. It's supposed to be good for pigmentation and acne/scars as well. It's also super light and non greasy which is a bonus for me as my skin is combination and I have to be careful not to overload it.

And a teeny drop of Argan Oil! Honestly I want to buy something more obviously associated with skincare but I had this stuff handy, If you are anything like me you might use this oil for your hair, but the latest bottle I bought just wasn't doing me any favors on the hair front, it's organic though and I have read it's ok to use it on your skin. Argan oil is high in vitamin E, essential fatty acids and (again) antioxidants.

I am currently in the market for some sort of serum that won't irritate my skin but silicones tend to break me out so I am trying to slowly add ingredients to the routine so I know if something isn't agreeing with me. I am definitely interested in more organic, thoughtful, less mystery ingredients type skincare lately.

4. Break the Rules!: i.e., Do what works for you, even if it goes against the grain/common advice, whatever. For me this means in the past year I have mostly stopped using eye cream at night (GASP!). I am not saying anyone else should do this, for me it just became more trouble than it was worth. When I use eye cream at night, more often than not I wake up with SUPER puffy eyes.

I do think I have a particular sort of lymph drainage/puffiness problem, but my eye doctor also nags me not to use heavy eye creams because they clog the pores on my eyelids and lead to these really unattractive lumps (I forget what they are called?!). So yeah, less eye cream for me. I feel like my regular lotions and potions sort of creep up to the crow's feet area anyway, and I do still use eye cream when putting on concealer otherwise it looks awful. My main reason for using eye cream was to try to minimize dark circles and honestly I never found one that did anything so I'm not really missing it.

I feel like this applies to other areas of skincare too: basically, just listen to your skin. Don't cleanse in the morning if your skin feels dry, maybe just a splash of water and some toner (if you use it). Don't use tons of heavy moisturizers if your skin doesn't agree with them, don't skip toner because a book told you to or do skip it if it dries out your skin.

It's totally ok to buy a cream aimed at women ten or twenty years younger than you if your skin likes that cream, there are no laws against it!

Ok that's about it I think! I feel like there is a sort of playbook that beauty/skincare companies expect us all to follow blindly sometimes, and for me personally it has not always worked. It's ok if your skin doesn't agree with retinols or acids, you can treat it gently if that is what works for you and it's all good.

I feel like if I have learned anything about this stuff it's that there is no real correct way to do it. Of course I do still like to try the things that everyone says works, it's natural, but more importantly listen to and respect your skin when it tells you something is or isn't working.

How about you, have you changed anything about your skincare regime with age? Please do tell in the comments! ;-) 


  1. I've just been trying to be more consistent with my skincare, and drinking more water. My goal is also to replace all my stuff with cruelty free items but I haven't done that much research on that yet.

    1. Yeah I am working on the cruelty free thing, some of the products I mentioned here are (Superdrug, Temple Spa, not sure about some), but not everything, so I never know if I should mention it as I'm not entirely cruelty free if that makes sense. Consistency is big, I totally let the slip sometimes, I do drink a lot of water but mostly at night which drives my husband nuts for obvious me getting up to pee a lot reasons. ;-0