For those of us over 40, it’s no secret our skin has changed and continues to change. Dryer in places it wasn’t before. More fine wrinkles where there were none before. So, it would make sense that while our skin is changing MAYBE our make-up / cleansing process might should change as well.
Here are some tips on what to TOSS and what to REPLACE it with. Good to know!
Let’s get started:
1) Toss: Gritty scrubs
Aging skin is more sensitive, meaning it can’t handle the harsh exfoliants it once did.
“The skin turnover time slows from 28 days in your 20s to more than 40 days after you hit 40,” Ellen Marmur, MD says. “It takes skin longer to recover.”
When your skin needs a brightening boost, opt for masks, washes, or serums containing gentle chemical (rather than physical) exfoliants like the fruit enzymes in Mychelle Dermaceuticals Fruit Fiesta Peel ($30, mychelle.com).
2) Toss: Alcohol-rich toners
Most toners are alcohol-based and meant for oily or acne-prone skin, but they strip natural oils, which can leave normal skin Sahara-desert-dry. As you age, it becomes much more important to moisturize because your skin loses water more easily, Marmur explains, so your post-wash product should be a hyaluronic acid gel or serum, instead of a harsh toner. If you love the super-clean feel or zit-fighting effects of using a toner, look for one that doesn’t contain alcohol. We like Captain Blankenship’s Aloe + Rose Facial Toner ($24, rodales.com), which pairs acne-clearing witch hazel and white willow extract with soothing aloe vera and hydrating glycerine.
3) Toss: Super sudsy cleansers
Washing with regular, non-moisturizing bar soaps and foaming face washes strips away essential skin nutrients, which contributes to dry skin and may result in decreased elasticity over time, says Marmur. Both are rich in surfactants, the molecules that get rid of grime but can also steal away skin-smoothing oils from your skin’s surface. Look for a non-foaming cleansing oil, cream, milk, or balm, all of which are designed to leave your skin soft and hydrated. (You should still scan the label for sneaky sulfates before you buy.) Try Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser ($10, burtsbees.com), which is full of emollient botanical oils like coconut oil and olive oil. Marmur (who is a Dove spokesperson) recommends the Dove White Beauty Bar ($3 for 2, walmart.com) for body use, because of its highly moisturizing formula. (Love coconut? Check out these 10 amazing beauty tricks with coconut oil.)
4) Toss: Cake-y concealer
The skin around the eyes becomes increasingly delicate and thin as you age, so if the concealers you’re using to disguise dark circles are too heavy, they’ll end up highlighting lines and creases. Opt for a creamy or liquid formula, which can counteract that dryness, says makeup artist Sandy Linter, a Lancôme beauty expert. After you’ve applied a touch of concealer (over your foundation), take a cotton swab and gently pick up any excess product that might have settled into lines, Linter says. Tip: smile broadly before doing so to spot your lines.
5) Toss: Shimmery Eye-Shadow
The last thing you want to do is make fine lines and crêping around the eyes more obvious, and this is exactly what shimmery and frosted eye shadow does. The reflective particles on your lids can bring attention to signs of aging, says Jo Levy, director of artistry at Rouge Bunny Rouge. She suggests choosing cream or matte eye shadows with a velvet or satin finish that will minimize discoloration and fine lines. We like bareMinerals 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow ($18, bareescentuals.com), which also offers damage-preventing SPF.
6) Toss: Metallic blush
True, a glow on the cheeks looks healthy, but blush with heavy shimmer tends to settle into lines on drier, more mature skin. Levy advises switching to a satin finish or demi-matte (sheer coverage) cheek color, since their subtle sheen is more flattering on aging skin. And be mindful of where you apply it.
“For 40-plus women, I never apply blush on the apples of the cheeks,” says Linter. “I apply the blush a touch higher, at the highest point of the cheekbone, which creates a more youthful look because it lifts the face.”
Try MAKE Satin Finish Powder Blush ($25, birchbox.com)
7) Toss: Waterproof Mascara
“Studies show that after 40, we lose more eyelashes and they grow slower, ultimately leaving shorter, thinner lashes,” says Marmur. “Waterproof mascara is difficult to remove and pulls out those already-fragile lashes.”
Opt for water-soluble or washable mascara instead of pool-proof versions, and always use an oil-free makeup remover to clear away remnants of your lash-wear, either before or after your shower. We like Dr. Perricone’s No Mascara Mascara ($30, perriconemd.com), which won’t smudge or budge even on oily skin, but easily washes off come evening.
8) Toss: Too-dark or Frosty Lipstick
Dark lips may look glamorous on the runway, but in real life, it will only exaggerate the lost fullness on the sides of the mouth that comes with age, Linter says. (You can thank the same slimming effect you love in your little black dress.) To fake fullness, swipe a deep rosy lip color onto your lips. Linter uses Lancôme Le Crayon in Cherub ($25, lancome-usa.com). For extra dimension, apply a thin gloss, like MAC Clear Lipglass ($15, maccosmetics.com) to the center of your lower lip. Alternately, shades with a frosty finish, especially lighter hues like pinks and peaches, not only look dated (think J-Lo, circa 1995), but they’ll also emphasize signs of aging around the mouth, cautions Levy.
“Switching to a cream-based lipstick with a satin finish or a lip-gloss with shiny finish looks most flattering because it makes lips look soft and full,” Levy says.
Try Ilia’s Tinted Lip Conditioner ($26, iliabeauty.com), which leaves lips with a subtle sheen and is hydrating enough to nix the need for chapstick.
9) Toss: Matte Foundation Powder
Trying to zap shine with a heavy powder isn’t the best idea—just like heavy concealers, these formulas tend to settle in creases.
“A matte powder with high coverage can look overdone and cake-y on skin after 40, even if you naturally have an oily complexion,” says Levy.
Your youth-boosting alternative: Try a translucent finishing powder like NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder ($36, narscosmetics.com) to minimize shine and set your foundation or tinted moisturizer. The super-fine texture of translucent powders keeps them from settling into fine lines.
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