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Why Your 40s Is Your Skin’s Tipping Point

by kelly / September, 23 2020 01:30

Photo of a woman sitting in the sun happily with her two young sons

Today we’re talking about what happens to your skin in your 40s. We’ll cover the other decades in the future but for now I’m being selfish and talking about the 40s. That’s because I’ve now entered my glorious 40s. While your skin does start to show the signs of aging in its 40s, fortunately it’s not too late to keep your skin looking youthful for years to come.

The Signs Add Up In Your 40s

In our 40s many of us begin to notice the signs of aging – like wrinkles, fine lines, spots, blotchiness. That’s because around 40, according to dermatologist Dr. Kenneth Howe, our skin hits a “tipping point”.

You see, our skin ages over time but we tend not to notice until it becomes obvious enough for us to really see, usually around our 40s.

For example we start to lose collagen before our 40s but don’t see all that collagen loss accumulation until our 40s. According to dermatologist Dr. DiAnne Davis “we all start losing about 1% of collagen every year over the age of 20 and we definitely start to see those changes by 40.” Collagen is important to our skin because it helps our skin look young and healthy. Collagen plays a role in strengthening our skin and benefits our skin’s hydration and elasticity.

In our 40s we see that the loss of collagen finally adds up and leads to rougher and drier skin – skin that’s not as plump as it was in our 20s.

Another cumulative type of skin aging that becomes more apparent in mid-life is sun damage. As we age our skin’s antioxidant response decreases so our natural defenses against sun damage weaken. All of this shows up as dark spots, uneven color, fine lines, and wrinkles on our skin as we age.

Reverse Skin Aging With Sunscreen

The sun is a big factor in how our skin ages – not only does it cause sun damage but it also weakens the collagen in our skin that is already declining in our 40s. According to dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, “UV light is the biggest environmental factor that leads to both premature aging and skin cancers.”

What’s one of the best ways to defend against this? Sunscreen! According to Dr. Zeichner:

“Sunscreen has been proven to lower the risk of developing skin cancer, prevent premature aging, and even reverse signs of aging. This is likely because protected skin can better repair itself.”

And you need to wear the sunscreen every day, not just when you’re heading out to the beach. Why? Well, much of the sun damage we accumulate is from incidental exposure – you know, when you’re just out walking the dog, in the car to run errands, or outside gardening.

The best thing to do is to apply your sunblock in the morning before you head out and then reapply it throughout the day. Also don’t forget to practice other good sun protection habits which you can find on our blog post: “Top 5 Sun Protection Tips”.

More On Skin Aging

Ok, so it might sound like all bad news. But aging is not the worst and there are always degrees to it. I like to call it aging gracefully. And remember sunscreen is a fantastic anti-aging fighter.

If you want to know more about your skin as it ages check out our Anti-Aging blog posts.

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