If you follow me on instagram, perhaps you’ve seen my stories where I make a more regular appearance than I do here on my blog where you see my professionally captured mug with full makeup. We all know that’s me putting my best foot forward, and it’s not my every day look. (At least I hope you know that!) I’ve made a few changes in my habits and skin care over the last year or so that have really changed my appearance and given me a much healthier glow which also results in more confidence appearing on camera. Additionally, I also have started to truly care about the ingredients that are in my skin products; after all our pores are just openings on our bodies. Do we really want to dump toxins and carcinogens into them? I will be 41 in just a couple of months, so while it’s hard to reverse the effects that years of improper sun care and ignorant bliss have done, I am definitely making progress and working to prevent more damage. I’ve had a few lovely people reply to my stories just to comment on my skin and ask me what I am doing, and I have promised them that I would put together a post sharing what works for me. While I’ve titled this “Skin Care for the 40-ish Woman” I truly believe these are products that younger and older women could benefit from. (This post contains affiliate links. I do earn a small income if you purchase items through these links and I truly appreciate your support which helps me keep this blog running.)
I am going to take you through a day in the life of my skin care. Let’s start with the morning routine, shall we? Because of circumstances, I do not immediately wash my face when I greet each day. I get out of bed around 5:30 and head out for a run or morning walk with the dogs, do a quick workout, and get the older kids out the door. During that time, Wilder wakes up, Chris takes his shower, and eventually, when he’s out, it’s my turn. So by the time I hit the shower, I’ve already been awake for a few hours. I read sometimes around the holidays that we shouldn’t wash our faces in the shower because the water is often too hot. I honestly don’t like to wash my face before my shower, so I start the shower slightly warm, wash my face with Rooted Purifying Facial Cleanser. This brand is sold solely at Grove Collaborative, an online store I love because they take care of researching ingredients for you. However, when in doubt I also love to use the Think Dirty app to check my products for toxins. To be perfectly honest, I do not love the scent of the Rooted facial cleanser, but I do appreciate its mild cleansing power and the fresh and clean feel it leaves me with. Its chock full of antioxidants and vitamins as well. Additionally, a portion of their proceeds goes towards the Look Good Feel Better Foundation which helps people with cancer cope with the skin issues that arise from treatments. This brand is one that is good for me and good for others, which is something I can get behind.
Once I’ve washed my face, I honestly crank up the heat in the shower. 😉 Every few days, I use a facial scrub as well. I use the Beautycounter nourishing cream exfoliator which is super gentle. It has tiny little soft round “beads” that exfoliate skin cells without being too rough on the face. It’s a bit pricier than some other products that I use, but since I only use it every few days and just a little bit at a time, it can last me 6 months to a year easily.
As for body wash and scrubs, a few years ago I discovered Java Skin Care, which is organic, cruelty free, made in the USA, and its made with coffee which naturally is full of antioxidants. I use their body wash daily. I don’t personally believe we need a good scrub every day, so I alternate using a loofah each day. Another Java skin care product I use about once every other week is their body scrub. They actually recommend twice a week, but I find once every other week works just fine for me, which also gives it a longer life span in my home. Also worth mentioning and probably goes without saying is that their products smell amazing! I am a coffee lover though, so I am sure I am slightly biased by my passion.
After rinsing everything off in the shower, I step out and dry off, making sure to pat my face with the towel first, and then pat the rest of my body dry. As skin ages it loses elasticity so patting dry is really important. You don’t want to be rubbing and moving your skin around because unfortunately it might not go back to where it began. Once I’ve patted dry, it’s time to moisturize! I am going to start with the body and then move into my face routine.
During the more humid weather months, I like to keep it really simple. I buy the tubs of Cetaphil and our whole family can use it. I am not a fan of perfume or perfumed lotions, and Cetaphil is mild and unscented. Sawyer especially has struggled with dry skin and this lotion works really well for him. When the air is dryer, like Sawyer, I suffer from really dry skin. I have found that the only product that keeps my skin feeling smooth and soft all day long is Java Care’s body serum. With this product, a tiny bit goes a long way. While it goes on smoothly and similarly to baby oil would, it doesn’t make my skin feel greasy but instead soft and moisturized. In the winter months, especially post shave, this product is amazing. My shins tend to get dry and itchy, but this serum is my saving grace.
As for facial care after washing, I know so many people use toners. I honestly used one for a while, but then I read something (I have no idea where!) about how aging skin sometimes doesn’t respond well to toners. Yes, there are toners out there made for anti-aging, but I decided just to skip using mine and see what happened. I haven’t used it since the fall and I feel like my skin is looking better than it has in a while. I’ve made other changes as well so I can’t say it’s just the lack of toner, but clearly, it’s not messing anything up!
I start with my eye area, and I recently discovered an inexpensive product that I think has made a vast difference. I had been searching high and low for something that was natural and safe to use and that would not cost me $60 or so as most of the eye creams I was finding did. In my quest, I came across Queen Bee Peeper Keeper eye balm at Amazon. The reviews were excellent and at only $17 for a little tub, I thought it couldn’t hurt to try it. You guys, this product has made SUCH a difference!!!! I have fine lines around my eyes, and one line across the ridge of my nose that will never go away, but I have definitely seen a reduction in these lines. I simply apply a tiny amount with my index finger in small circles around my eyes. It is slightly greasy, so bear in mind that a little goes a long way and you will want to give it some time to set in before you apply makeup. In case you’re wondering, this product has not caused any breakouts either.
After applying my eye balm, I then moisturize with Rooted’s daily moisturizer. I love this moisturizer because it’s not too heavy and won’t clog pores. Additionally, after I apply it and let it sit for a minute, I apply my FAVORITE product, Beautycounter’s Dew Skin which moisturizes extra, gives me a little glow, and provides SPF. It’s the one item I won’t leave my house without putting on because it just balances my complexion and offers protection. It’s a bit pricier, but it immediately makes me feel like I look a million times better with just one pump. I even wore this when I went hiking last weekend and a gentleman who wasn’t much older than us passed us and said, “Good morning, girls!” as opposed to ladies. There’s magic to it for sure.
Beyond my morning skin care, I’ve also written my 5 minute makeup routine for you which you can check out here.
OK, so let’s talk about night time care! At night I am generally tired and the last thing I want to do is wash and take care of my face, so I have a super quick routine I follow. To save time and also effectively remove makeup, I’ve taken to using towelettes and there are two different kinds that I like to use. I most often use Burt’s Bees towelettes for sensitive skin. I don’t consider my skin sensitive, but I ordered this one because I assumed it would be rather mild which it is. On days that my skin feels dryer I like to use Yes to Coconut towelettes which are a little more moisturizing. Both of these effectively and mildly remove my makeup. For tough to remove makeup (such as liquid eyeliners which I rarely use) a little coconut oil on a cotton swab does wonders!
After removing all makeup, I use my Queen Bee Peeper Keeper eye balm again (so yes, I use it twice a day). Finally, I use coconut oil in a very small amount and I rub it over the rest of my face very minimally, avoiding my hairline where I tend to get zits if I use too much in that area. I personally love Grove Collaborative’s skin superfood, but Amazon carries some great brands as well. In addition to using it on my face, I have started using it on my chest and I’ve noticed a big difference in the size of my morning chest wrinkles… come on, you know you get them, too! Anyhow, they are much less noticeable now.
In addition to all of the things I put on my face and body, what I put in my body also has an effect on its appearance. To be 100% transparent with you, moving with 3 kids across states was stressful. Selling, packing, buying a new house…. stressful! Last fall during the process, I began an evening wine ritual… Feed Wilder for the last time, then bring it on! I was far from excessive at just a glass a night, but I could see that it was deepening my wrinkles. For lent this year, I decided to give up wine and break the habit. Now, I enjoy it on special occasions and my face looks so much better! It’s amazing what just a little amount of alcohol was doing to me. Seeing that difference is motivation enough to only have wine at those special moments in life. I am also supposed to tell you that drinking 64 oz or so of water a day will make a difference, but to be perfectly frank, I have never been a huge water drinker. I am not even close to regularly reaching my daily intake goal so I just can’t say if it will do anything for you. I assume the alcohol was dehydrating me, so water, in turn, should hydrate and help.
Now, if you’ve read all of this, thank you so much for sticking with me! I hope that you’ve found some useful tips. I am no dermatologist, but what I am is a regular 40 year old woman who cares about what I put on my body and what I look like. (Call me vain if you will, but don’t we all want to be the best looking version of ourselves?) Over the last couple of years, I’ve tried and tested loads of products, and throughout it all, I’ve filtered them down to find the ones that really help me, are within my budget, and are safe to use. I do want you to understand we are all different and our bodies might respond differently to certain things, so I cannot guarantee you will love these products as much as I do, but I hope you will give them a chance. Maybe you’ll find some new favorites for yourself. While some might find a gentleman calling her a “girl” derogatory, this 40 year old found it encouraging and much better than being ma’amed at any day! I would like to continue being called a girl well into my forties and fifties. 😉