My Top 5 Best Anti Aging Skin Care Products for 40s

I’m such a huge skincare junkie. My mom started giving me skincare products to use when I was in my puberty and she has instilled in me the importance of taking good care of my skin to be able to age gracefully. As we get older it’s perfectly normal for all of us to show signs of aging. It is part of life, but if we can delay those aging signs to pop up then of course that would be so much better. I followed 10 step Korean skincare routine for years, but this year I turned 40 and I decided to streamline my skincare routine to the basics and also it’s time to level up my skin care to products that are catered specifically for anti-aging, so I decided to share with you my new favorite best anti aging skin care products for 40s.

My Top 5 Best Anti Aging Skin Care Products for 40s
Must-have anti aging skin care products for 40’s

My Best Anti Aging Skin Care Products for 40s

Perfect for those who want to keep their skincare routine simple. These are my holy grails and I use these after my cleanser and toner. Disclaimer, I’m not a skincare professional, these are just products that I love and worked for me so I want to share them with all of you.

1. RETINOL

When it comes to topical vitamin A, tretinoin is the gold standard. The only problem is that it’s a prescription medication. Your next best bet is retinol.

Retinol promotes skin renewal and enhances collagen production, this makes it a great anti-aging skincare product that must be used at night. When you hit your mid-30s, cell turnover slows down making your skin dull and dry. With retinol, it exfoliates your skin revealing brighter and smoother skin. It also helps smoothen fine lines and wrinkles, fade dark spots, and even acne scars. Retinol also regulates oily skin and keeps pores from clogging, which prevents blackheads, cysts, and pimples.

tretinoin vs retinol

Both belong to a medication class called retinoid which is a derivative of vitamin A that promotes faster skin renewal. Tretinoin’s active ingredient is pure retinoic acid which is more potent and works faster. It’s only available with a prescription from your dermatologist. The result is faster and more effective especially for those who are treating acne, but most users can experience reddening, itching, and peeling especially those with sensitive skin.

Retinol, on the other hand is also a retinoid but once applied to the skin it will still need to be converted by your skin to retinoic acid for it to work. The result is not as fast as tretinoin, but is also as effective and the good thing is the side effects are minimal and tolerable by more people, which is why most top skincare products have retinol in their ingredients. Retinols are available over-the-counter and here are my top favorites:

The Ordinary Retinol 0.5% in Squalane

  • The most affordable retinol that you can get right now. It’s great for those who are newbies to retinol, it’s non-irritating but if you have sensitive skin, it’s best to get The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalene

L’Oreal Paris Retinol Serum for Face, Night Serum 0.3% Pure Retinol

  • Another good starter retinol with 0.3% pure retinol, hyaluronic acid and glycerin.

CeraVe Anti Aging Skin Renewing Retinol Serum

  • Lightweight retinol serum formula with retinol, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and ceramides. It helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improves skin texture and radiance. They also have a Resurfacing Retinol Serum variant for acne prone skin. It has licorice extract and it reduces the appearance of post-acne marks and pores and helps restore the protective skin barrier. 

Paula’s Choice CLINICAL 1% Retinol Treatment

  • With peptides, vitamin C & licorice extract, this high strength 1% retinol formula is for experienced retinol users. It delivers fast result.

Take note that when introducing retinol to your skincare routine, make sure to do it slowly. In my case, I used it twice a week at first then after several weeks I increased it to every other day. Some people can tolerate retinol daily but in my case my skin gets super dry and red when I use it daily, so I just stick to my every other day retinol routine.

Retinol also makes your skin sensitive to sunlight, so use it at night only and make sure to use sunscreen in the morning.

2. VITAMIN C

If you want anti-aging skincare that brightens your skin then add topical Vitamin C to your skincare routine. Vitamin C helps boost collagen in your skin to make it look more plump and healthy and diminish fine lines and wrinkles, and it also evens your skin tone. A potent antioxidant, Vitamin C protects your skin from sunburn, photoaging, hyperpigmentation and more. Topical vitamin C prevents sun damage so using it in your morning routine is a must to fully reap its benefits.

CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum

  • My favorite! A lightweight and hydrating formula, it has 10 percent l-ascorbic acid formula. I like the formulation of this product and it is mild and great for my sensitive skin. I have tried different vitamin C serum, but I always go back to this product because it’s effective and is affordable. The packaging has a plus point for me too because it doesn’t oxidize or degrade fast compared to those in bottle formula where in the product turns into dark brown after a few months.

La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C Face Serum

  • An effective vitamin C serum with 10% Pure Vitamin C, Neurosensine + Salicylic Acid. A little pricey but the consistency is good and easily absorbed by the skin. It’s also non-irritating for sensitive skin.

Glossier Super Glow Vitamin C Face Serum

  • 5% Vitamin C derivative MAP + Magnesium PCA formula to energize skin and make it look even. With Jojoba Oil, Shea Butter, and Sunflower Seed Oil and Evodia Rutaecarpa Fruit Extract condition and nourish skin. Because of its lower formula, this product doesn’t oxidize fast and is good for those with oily skin.

L’Oreal Paris Skincare 10% Pure Vitamin C Serum

  • This is another great product from L’Oreal. With 10 percent pure vitamin C serum, this potent product is also infused with hyaluronic acid for added hydration.

Take note that some users experience irritation with vitamin C. The key is finding the right product with the right concentration or formula that your skin will love. In my case, I have sensitive skin, so what I do is mix my vitamin C serum with my light moisturizer.

3. PEPTIDES

When I turned 40, I noticed that my skin dries up easily. Even with the thickest moisturizer, my face is still not hydrated enough. It may be because of hormones, but what worked for me is adding peptides to my anti aging skincare routine.

Peptides are amino acids that are important building blocks of certain proteins that are the foundation of our skin like collagen and elastin. Without peptides, our skin loses firmness, so wrinkles and fine lines, and textures start to show. Since peptides trigger collagen production in the skin, your skin becomes firmer, tighter, and younger-looking, so it’s a must for me to use a serum or moisturizer that contains peptides in my anti aging skin care routine.

You can use peptides on its own or mix it with your moisturizer.

The Ordinary Buffet 

  • My favorite! It’s affordable and as long as you use it religiously it works. It helps restore skin’s elasticity, keeps skin hydrated and even helps reduce inflammation for those with sensitive skin.

Paula’s Choice BOOST Peptide Booster Serum

  • A concentrated dose of eight highly-targeted peptides, hydrating amino acids & repairing ingredients that’s still lightweight on the skin. It helps make skin firmer & reduce fine lines.

Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream

  • If budget is not an issue this is my best choice when it comes to skin peptides. I definitely saw immediate results with this product. My skin tone improved and the texture of my skin is smoother and hydrated. It’s lightweight and fragrance-free. The downside is it’s a small tub and mine only lasted for a month.

4. MOISTURIZER

When it comes to moisturizers, I want to keep it simple. I have dry skin, so I want a hydrating one and fragrance-free.

I also use my face moisturizer in my eye area because I don’t use eye creams. I don’t think there’s a need to waste money on expensive eye creams when a good moisturizer can do the same thing to your eye area.

Day Moisturizers

If you don’t like the sticky or greasy feeling of moisturizers in the morning I suggest that you get facial lotions. It’s light, spreads easily and even great under makeup.

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion

  • Non-greasy moisturizer that’s lightweight and quickly absorbed by the skin. They also have one with SPF30

Neutrogena Hydro Boost

  • If you have oily skin, you will love this water gel moisturizer. It absorbs quickly and won’t make you look greasy.

EltaMD Skin Recovery Light Moisturizer

  • A light moisturizer that helps repair skin barrier. If you’re suffering from irritation and your skin gets red easily this is a great moisturizer that you should try.

Night Moisturizers

If you have super dry skin, try these cream moisturizers. My tip is that you put two layers of it at night.

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

  • My go-to moisturizer. This is the best for my skin and I always go back to this when I feel like my skin is feeling extra dry or sensitive.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream

  • Hydrating moisturizer for people with sensitive skin. Great for repairing skin barrier.

Aveeno Calm + Restore Oat Gel Moisturizer

  • A calming and hydrating moisturizer with prebiotic oat. It’s fragrance free, paraben-free, alcohol-free, dye-free, phthalate-free.

5. SUNSCREEN

If there’s one skincare product that you shouldn’t skip on your anti aging skin care routine it’s SUNSCREEN. Protecting your skin is very important. Sun exposure exposes you to UVA and UVB rays which are the main cause of premature skin aging, wrinkles, fine lines, pigmentation and more.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50

  • A mineral sunscreen that has a tint which gives you a matte finish with a healthy glow. You can skip foundation with this sunscreen and if you’re worried about white cast caused by sunscreen then this tinted version minimizes that white cast.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-in Milk Body & Face Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 100

  • I love this! This sunscreen is velvety & fast-absorbing with lotion consistency that hydrates the skin. This award winning sunscreen gives SPF 100 protection. Water resistant (80 minutes).

EltaMD Skincare UV Daily Broad Spectrum SPF 40

  • A lot of dermatologists recommend this anti-aging sunscreen. A broad spectrum SPF 40 sunscreen. It’s moisturizing so it’s perfect for those with dry/combination skin. Only downside is that this has octinoxate which is not reef safe.

Supergoop! Mattescreen 100% Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 40

  • One of the best sunscreens right now! This sunscreen doesn’t just protect you from the sun but also acts as a primer and with the tint you don’t need to put foundation. Water- & sweat-resistant formula that’s easily absorbed by the skin.

Isntree – Hyaluronic Acid Watery Sun Gel

  • My favorite! If you like Korean sunscreens, then you should not miss this beautiful daily sunscreen. With SPF 50+ PA++++ protection, this gel sunscreen has ceramide and eight kinds of hyaluronic acid to moisturize and firm skin. I love how this glides on the skin and it’s lightweight and calming as well, making it perfect sunscreen when you’re just staying indoors.
Neutrogena

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen

  • I’ve been using this for years. Although, I like many new sunscreens now, I still aways have this sunscreen for days that I know that I’ll stay out in the sun longer or in the beach, because it works and it’s affordable so you can keep reapplying every few hours. It’s water-resistant and non-greasy. It gives a matte finish. If you have sensitive skin, you should skip this because it stings the skin a bit.

What are your skincare must-haves? What do you think o my fave products? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below.

5 skin care must-haves for 40’s

Make sure to check out our other beauty tips and skin care tips:

Natural Beauty Tips for Women Over 40

10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine

Best Natural Skin Care For 40 Year Olds

Rilastil Skincare Review

Laneige Skincare Review