Right now on the newstand the models on the cover of three top magazines are over 40– Julia Roberts in Elle and the two Jennifers, Aniston and Lopez, in Glamour and Bazaar. Its not just that these women look great for 40. Ladies, this is what 40 can look like today.
And this is true despite the fact that 40’s are the start of true aging. Up to this time, beauty problems were pseudo-aging from external factors such as sun exposure, cigarettes, alcohol use, stress and diet. Now there is internal aging that affects how we look. Our skin is getting drier and losing the ability to hold onto moisture. Fat pads under the eyes are shrinking which can increase under-eye shadows. As the circulation starts to slow down, there is a decline in natural radiance. Smile lines appear when you are not smiling and squint lines frame the eye when its not sunny.
Stress seems to play a big role in aging in the fabulous forties. Problems in a marriage, children, aging parents, a mid-life career crisis, and even real health issues are part of the forties landscape. Its not uncommon to look in the mirror and literally feel older overnight.
Now is the time to introduce your skin to Retin A. Start slowly with a gentle formulation like .o4% Retin A Micro and work up to using it 3x/ a week at bedtime. The other four nights use a moisturizer with soy, green tea or peptides. As effective as they are, AHA’s and vitamin C may be too irritating in the first six months on Retin A.
Prescription retinoids restore radiance and healthy pink color. Different types of lasers will make quick work of other sudden signs of aging. I used a YAG laser to vaporize large freckles and the IPL ‘lunchtime laser” to clear up dark patches and enlarged pores. Fraxel is among the newest lasers which has a big impact with a short healing time. The goal here is to mop up signs of aging that have appeared as well as prevent further problems. According to noted derm, Dr Neil Sadick, Fraxel lasers reduce the appearance of fine lines, age spots and best yet, stimulates new flexible collagen. This slows down the appearance of sagging and wrinkling. Nice! Fraxel laser treatment is near the top of my anti-aging to-do list and I’ll post my experiences.
Sun protection continues to be important. Try to routinely use a broadspectrum 30-50 SPF sunblock. If you are having laser treatments, you need to switch to a mild physical sunscreen with zinc oxide like Neutrogena for Sensitive Skin SPF 30. Lasers also require stopping Retin A days before and 3 days after the treatment.
Next: Daily skin care and a few homemade products for the Fabulous Forties