Getting older is a gift, but that doesn’t mean we have to take the myriad visible side effects of aging lying down! As we navigate our 40s, it becomes apparent that current skin concerns differ from those of previous decades. It’s always good to take stock of your skin’s present situation, assess its needs, and be open to starting fresh with a new routine. That’s why we tapped an expert to give us the scoop on the best anti-aging serums for your 40s.
And while we can’t get enough scientifically-backed expert advice, at the end of the day, you’re the one who lives in your skin and knows what it needs. Not everyone has the same issues and concerns, so take what applies to you, trust your gut, go slow, and nourish your skin with high-quality products and good ingredients.
If ever there were a time to invest in one or two good products, it’s now. And a great serum is a good place to start. Use your 40s as the decade where you commit to self-care and indulge in a skincare routine that feels good for you—you just might be surprised with the results (physically and emotionally).
Featured image by Teal Thomsen.
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After speaking with dermatological nurse and celebrity aesthetician Natalie Aguilar, it’s clear that there are a lot of amazing serums out there that do some serious heavy lifting. You don’t necessarily need to have a time-consuming, 10-step skincare routine to get the skin of your dreams. The best anti-aging serums for your 40s do all the work for you. Read on for Aguilar’s tips on how to find the best anti-aging serums for your 40s!
The most common skincare concerns in your 40s
Before deciding what anti-aging serum is right for you, it’s important to understand the various issues that arise in your 40s. At the top of the list? Dehydration. Aguilar notes that a decrease in estrogen production, natural oil production, cell renewal, and sun damage all lead to dry skin. Dryness makes fine lines and wrinkles more apparent, visibly aging skin. Plumping skin with moisturizing serums and creams is absolutely key in one’s 40s.
Serums deliver a high concentration of active ingredients deeply into your skin, which is why they’re a great anti-aging tool.
It makes sense that we start to see drastic changes in our skin at this time. Aguilar tells us that by the time we reach our 40s, it’s been 15 years since collagen production has begun to slow down, giving us a visible reminder that it’s time to get serious about our skincare. We start experiencing a loss of volume, elasticity, and hydration—and previous sun damage begins to appear in the form of spots, fine lines, and wrinkles.
Aguilar goes on to explain that as we age, we naturally lose fat, collagen production slows down, and the number of bone regenerating cells in the face decrease. Yes, you read that right, bone loss. So as the structure that holds the skin taut begins to diminish, it’s imperative that we supplement the skin.
Key Ingredients To Look For in Serums
- Vitamin C increases brightness and evens out skin tone.
- Hyaluronic acid plumps the skin, diminishes fine lines and wrinkles, and restores a healthy skin barrier by binding water to the skin and preventing further dehydration.
- Retinol increases cell turnover and stimulates collagen production.
- Peptides make up proteins in our body, including collagen in the skin. Using a peptide serum can signal to your skin to boost its production of collagen.
- Epidermal growth factors (proteins that stimulate cell growth) help thicken skin and boost collagen production. They stimulate the skin but are far less irritating than many retinoids.
Aguilar’s Pro Tip: As the skin begins to naturally thin, it’s important to avoid harsh, exfoliating products that can weaken and amplify signs of aging. That means aggressive exfoliants (chemical or physical scrubs) that can cause increased irritation, inflammation, and dryness.
Water-Based vs. Oil-Based Serums
Aguilar was quick to remind us that people in their 40s can still experience breakouts. Therefore in general, water-based serums are more appropriate at this time. However, those who have extremely dehydrated or dry skin would likely benefit from oil-based serums. It’s a good reminder that it’s best to continue to use products based on your individual unique skin type while also focusing on your skin’s concerns and needs for your age.
The Best Anti-Aging Serums for Your 40s
PCA Skin Exlinea Peptide Smoothing Serum
According to Aguilar, this advanced neuropeptide spot treatment contains three potent peptides to help lift, tighten, and firm skin for a younger-looking, more defined facial contour. It strengthens the skin by improving epidermal thickness and increasing moisture and hydration retention.
Doctor BABOR Pro’s EGF Growth Factor Serum
The EGF serum by Doctor BABOR Pro boasts a contracted formula of three biomimetic peptides. Aguilar explains that these luxurious peptides help support the growth of the skin’s natural epidermal growth factors and fibroblast growth factors to help stimulate the regeneration and formation of collagen and elastin.
Matriciel Visage Serum By Biologique Recherche
Aguilar is a huge fan of this beautiful serum. It boasts an array of hyaluronic acid that promotes plumping, softness, and hydration alongside arctic glycoproteins and rye extract to improve the skin’s texture and increase volume and radiance.
Olay Regenerist Fragrance-Free Regenerating Face Serum
Formulated with an amino-peptide complex, this serum is designed to deliver moisturizing ingredients 10 layers into the skin’s surface.
Dr. Barbara Sturm Anti-Aging Serum
The hardworking trifecta of purslane, skullcap, and hyaluronic acid is responsible for this serum’s efficacy. Purslane stimulates and supports skin health and rejuvenation. Skullcap strengthens the skin’s barrier function to protect against free radicals. And hyaluronic acid provides both immediate and long-term hydration. Say goodbye to wrinkles, dry skin, and dull, uneven texture.
Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum
This serum boasts a formula that contains brightening vitamins, balancing minerals, moisturizing fatty acids, nourishing omegas, antioxidants that fight free radicals, restorative phytoceramides, phytonutrients, and more! You can’t go wrong with this transformative serum.
Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum 2.0
This multitasking serum is infused with micro-smoothing technology that reduces visible signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles, loss of firmness and elasticity, and dryness.
Sunday Riley Juno Antioxidant and Superfood Face Oil
We can’t get enough of Sunday Riley’s products. They’re the real deal, and this face oil is no exception. It’s a nourishing oil that restores the skin’s natural moisture barrier with a unique blend of antioxidant-rich, superfood seed oils that leave you looking radiant.
Caudalie Resveratrol Lift Instant Firming Serum
This supercharged serum is packed with antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, peptides, and more that work to leave skin looking and feeling bright, smooth, soft, and youthful.
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
Pure vitamin C provides anti-aging benefits, brightens skin, and helps protect against oxidative stress while vitamin E replenishes skin lipids and fights free radicals. Ferulic acid, a plant-based antioxidant, enhances the antioxidant benefits and stability of vitamins C and E, which makes it possible for all ingredients to work at the highest possible level. The most impressive part is that once it’s absorbed, this vitamin C serum can remain effective for up to 72 hours. Wild!
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate
For its comparatively reasonable price point, this serum is remarkably effective. Squalene, lavender, and evening primrose oil come together to deeply hydrate the skin while you sleep so you can wake up to a smoother-looking complexion that is positively glowing.
Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum
If you have sensitive skin then you’ll want to proceed slowly with this powerful AHA/BHA serum. It resurfaces congested skin with the help of an AHA blend and salicylic acid. They work to resurface and exfoliate the skin while loosening sebum that clogs pores.
Sunday Riley A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum
This Sunday Riley serum works quickly to balance and soothe skin while encouraging quick cell turnover that leaves skin brighter, smoother, and more radiant.
Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum
This lightweight serum works quickly to help soften, smooth, and brighten skin thanks to a blend of vitamin C, AHAs, and Japanese Angelica root extract, an edible plant that has been used in herbal medicine for centuries. It helps to reduce dark spots, discoloration, and scarring, as well as diffusing hyperpigmentation.
Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum
This clinically proven retinol eye serum prevents and corrects the look of wrinkles, elasticity, and dryness. Murad’s innovative technology prolongs visible benefits while also hydrating, lifting, and firming up the skin.
iS Clinical Active Serum
This face serum is designed to reduce the look of hyperpigmentation, redness, and acne, leaving you with a clear and healthy complexion. It works quickly to smooth away fine lines and wrinkles while softening the skin’s texture and leaving it plump and hydrated. It’s the best of both worlds.
This post was originally published on July 17, 2021, and has since been updated.