best skincare routine for 40s

This is the best skincare routine for your 40s, according to a content creator 

As my 45th birthday approaches, and I’m in the midst of one of my decluttering sprees, I have come to realize that my skincare seems to have come a full circle—from the absolute minimalism of my teenage years to the experimentation of the 20s, the multi-step elaborate routines of the 30s, to a certain minimalism in my 40s as well.

And while I have accumulated a whole lot of bottles & jars of lotions and potions along with fine lines and freckles, I have also summed up my skincare into 4 “mantras” that I live by. The best skincare routine for your 40s can be effective if you are aware of what you are putting on your face. These are my “secret codes” to ace the skincare game no matter what your age. So, let’s spill the tea (and maybe some glycolic acid) on these four golden skin care guidelines that’ll keep your skin healthy & radiant.

best skincare routine for your 40s

Best skincare routine for your 40s

Rule #1: Consistency is key 

I realized the importance of being consistent with my skincare routine, though a very basic one, right from my teenage years. Though I would be out in the sun all day, with the city pollution attacking my skin, I never had any acne because I religiously followed two things; applying sunscreen every day & washing my face as soon as

I got back home so that the dust, pollution & grime didn’t get time to settle into the pores and make me break out. Every day, every night. This is something I stick to even now because I firmly believe that no matter how minimal your routine and how basic the products you use, consistency is the key ingredient in maintaining a daily skincare routine for glowing skin.

Rule #2: Less is more

We see those ads on TV, or as is the case these days, influencers on Instagram, slathering on dollops of cream and loads of lotions on themselves, and we feel the need to do the same but it isn’t what you should be doing. Putting on too much of a product can actually clog your pores and prevent the product from working effectively. Using less quantity and adding more only if needed is the way to go, whether it is skincare or makeup. Skincare in 40s in not a hard task, it’s just about quality over quantity.

In recent times, there has also been a plethora of acid-based products hitting the market, all claiming to gently exfoliate the skin and add radiance. However, no matter how gentle, an acid is an acid, and if you go overboard with acid-based products, they can destroy your skin’s natural barrier making it sensitive and prone to dermatitis. Unfortunately, I learned this lesson the hard way. Being an influencer, with several new products to try out, I started using one acid-based product every day; glycolic on one day (sometimes in the morning as well as at night), vitamin C on the other, and a peel on the weekend.

I would never combine multiple acid-based products, yet, these AHAs were there every day, nibbling away at my over-exfoliated skin, wreaking havoc with my skin’s barrier making it sensitive and resulting in me getting dermatitis. I learnt my lesson and ‘less is more’ became my mantra. Less in the number of products as well as the quantity used. You can build a daily skincare routine for glowing skin with products that suit your skin type and texture.

Rule #3: K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple, Silly 

Who doesn’t remember when the 7-step K-beauty skincare regime became a rage? A multiple-step skincare routine that involved layers of essences, toners, serums, moisturizers, and sunscreens and claimed to give you glass skin. I embraced this multi-step routine with gusto and ordered loads of Memeboxes each with Korean products according to a different theme with ingredients like snail mucin, bee venom, donkey milk, coffee, etc.

My skincare routine became overly elaborate and I forgot the fact that I live in a hot, humid city where layering so many hydrating products would just end up making my skin feel sticky and icky. Never having got acne as a teen, I was shocked when my skin started breaking out into acne which just wouldn’t subside.  The best way for skincare in 40s would be to keep it simple.

In desperation, I cut down my routine to just 3 basic steps: cleanse, moisturize, and use sunscreen, and voila, my poor tortured skin started healing again. Since then, my skincare routine has become very minimal with the addition of just a fortnightly peel or a weekly mask. In fact, it is also easier to stick to your skincare routine (remember consistency is key) if it is simple and doesn’t involve too many elaborate steps. 

Rule #4: Get your beauty sleep 

If you have been consistent with your skincare routine, eating healthy and staying hydrated, and yet your skin isn’t looking healthy and radiant, chances are, you aren’t getting adequate and sound sleep. Sleep deprivation can cause extra dryness making the skin look dull, it can also hamper collagen production causing fine lines and wrinkles besides giving you dark circles. Cotton and other fabrics too can be rough on the skin and affect the texture which is why sleeping on silk pillowcases is recommended. Skincare in 40s is dependent on a lot of factors, and sleep is the most important one.

But I am not talking about just the actual sleep part. I am also talking about the pre-bedtime routine. Having a calming soothing routine before you go to bed also helps stimulate melatonin that in turn, improves the quality of your sleep. For me, my night time skincare routine is non-negotiable. No matter how tired I am, I never skip it. I also find it very therapeutic; the application of the cleansing balm, the gentle massage to remove the makeup, and the fragrance of the facial oil, all of these make skincare a very sensorial experience that de-stresses me after an exhausting day. Waking up with hydrated, plumped and radiant skin is the icing on the cake. 

While these were the four skincare mantras that I live by and that will help everyone get good skin, no matter their age, it is also important that you don’t neglect or self-treat any skin issues. Always consult a dermatologist and let the pros handle it. Retinol is another ingredient that I stay away from despite being in my 40s. I believe it is an extremely potent ingredient that can cause more harm than good if not used in the right and prescribed manner, and should be included in your skincare routine only on the recommendation of a dermatologist. The best skincare routine for your 40s is incomplete without ensuring a sound sleep.”

4-step best skincare routine 40s

No matter what your age, follow this simple four-step routine for skincare for your 40s for healthy skin and a radiant glow:

  1. Cleansing balm/oil: Use this at night time to remove the day’s makeup, sunscreen, dirt, dust, sweat, and sebum. Some of the ones I love are the Plum E-luminance Cleansing Balm, The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Balm, See Love Cleansing Oil, Clinique Take the Day Off and Eve Lom Cleansing Balm.

2. Face wash: Your daily skincare routine for glowing skin begins with religiously washing your face in the morning to remove any dirt, oil, or impurities. You need a gentle face wash for the morning as well as for the night time second cleanse. Choose one based on your skin type and preference for foaming or non-foaming, but make sure that it is gentle and won’t strip your skin of its natural moisture. A couple of my favourites are the Dot & Key Ripe Face Cleanser, Bioderma Atoderm Cleansing Gel, and Innisfree Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam. 

skincare in 40s

3. Moisturiser – You can add a serum to your skincare routine if you wish or you can go right in with the moisturizer. There is a huge range available in different textures and with different ingredients to address various skin concerns so take some time out, check out the ingredients and see if they suit your skin’s requirements, and then select a moisturiser. For very dry and sensitive skin, my personal favorite is the Bioderma Atoderm cream. I also love the Sulwhasoo Ginseng cream and the L’Occitane Immortelle Creme. 

skincare in 40s

4. Sunscreen: This is an absolute must in everyone’s skincare in 40s , no matter what the season. Our Indian skin is more prone to the photo-aging effects of the UVA rays rather than the burning effects of the UVB rays so ensure that the sunscreen you use has PA+++ mentioned. The Neutrogena Ultrasheer sunscreen has been my favorite for years and I also love the Dr. Sheth’s Ceramides and Vit C Sunscreen, Daughter Earth Sunny Dip sunscreen and the Bioderma Photoderm. 

best skincare routine for your 40s


  • Dollie Solanki

    Dollie, a content creator since 11 years, is a self-proclaimed beauty geek who loves to read up on ingredients before applying anything on her face. She believes that age is no bar when it comes to experimenting with makeup, and while she loves playing with colour and glitter, it’s skincare and fragrances that ignite her passion. In her 40s, her idea of therapy is a relaxing skincare routine at night. Besides juggling her roles as a mother of two teenage boys and a content creator, she is also the CMO at Dragon Hill, a premium menswear brand.

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