7 Things Skin Care Pros Want You To Do Before 40

Any dermatologist or aesthetician will tell you it’s never too late to start caring for your skin—yet the earlier you develop a regimen, the better. Generally prevention is more effective than correction. That means incorporating certain habits and ingredients into your morning and nighttime routines in your 20s and 30s so that by the time you reach your 40s, you’re more likely to have tighter, brighter, healthier skin.
It’s important to use brightening and anti-wrinkle products even before any deep-set lines or sunspots show up because microscopic changes like excess pigment and loss of collagen start in our 20s and progress so slowly that you don’t usually see them until your 30s and 40s. By then, they’re much harder to treat.

At the same time, there is so much skincare advice in the world that distilling the most important habits to take on before 40 can be tricky. When developing a skincare routine in your 20s and 30s, skin care pros agree that you have to adjust to what feels doable and fun to you personally—otherwise, you won’t stick with it, and it won’t work.
Adopt skincare habits that are enjoyable to you, if your skincare routine is not enjoyable, continuity is difficult. Choose products of high quality. And select your active ingredients carefully.

What are the most important skincare products, ingredients, and habits to adopt before 40? Keep scrolling to read seven things dermatologists and aestheticians want you to do before you enter your fifth decade.
1. Get Acquainted With Vitamin C
All agree that the antioxidant vitamin C is one of the most important ingredients to start using in your 20s and 30s, as it helps prevent dark spots before they happen and support collagen before you lose it. Vitamin C is a terrific skin brightener with firming benefits since it boosts collagen and has antioxidant and UV protection benefits as well.

Doctors also recommend looking for a high-potency vitamin C serum with antioxidant boosters ferulic acid vitamin E. Apply your vitamin C in the morning before moisturizer and sunscreen for extra protection.

2. Exfoliate Two or Three Times a Week
As if the existential stress of getting older weren’t enough: maturing skin thickens, becomes dull, drab, and lifeless, and pores become accentuated. Why does this happen? As we age our dead skin cells don’t shed as fast as they did in our younger years. That makes the skin start to look dull and the texture rough. Additionally, excess pigment is stored in dead cells, so your skin tone can look discolored or uneven.

Fortunately, exfoliating two to three times a week can help solve or at least stave off some of these concerns. Incorporating exfoliation, both chemical and physical, can help shut down the problem before it begins and help maintain your youthful glow. Bonus: Regular exfoliation also helps your other skincare products (like your vitamin C serum!) penetrate better.

3. Make Sunscreen the Centerpiece of Your Routine
I’ve said it before, and I’ll never stop saying it: If you incorporate one anti-aging skincare product into your everyday routine, let it be sunscreen. It’s never too late to begin wearing daily SPF. Even if you have been a lifelong sun seeker, it is never too late to prevent further sun damage.
Consistency is the key with sunscreen—you really do have to apply at least SPF 30 every day (and ideally throughout the day, too) to keep your skin glowy, youthful, and, most importantly, safe. Apply sunscreen on all exposed skin surfaces every day with commitment to consistency. This includes hands, exposed forearms, neck (front, sides, back) and décolleté in addition to face.

We know that most people, us included, are turned off by applying sunscreen to the face every day because most formulas are thick, chalky, and break you out. But we promise, Rhonda Allison sunscreen products will impress you. All contain zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide – both physical sun blocks that protect your skin from the damage of UVA & UVB. Need to refresh your protection during the day, puff on a mineral powder. Easy to use and it continues your protection.

4. Embrace Moisturizing Emollients
Skin gets drier, flakier, and duller as we age, meaning you should get in the habit of protecting its moisture barrier early on. There are a few truly effective moisturizing ingredients we always recommend, including moisture-trapping lipids, which mimic the natural lipids in the skin that make babies’ skin so soft and silky but that deteriorate over time.

Sodium hyaluronate, a derivative of hyaluronic acid, is the other moisturizing ingredient all skin care professionals recommend, as it re-creates the lubrication of the hyaluronic acid that our skin produces naturally. Hyaluronic acid is also a moisture magnet. It’s great for hydrating dry, aging skin and reducing wrinkles, and it especially does wonders for the aging eye area. Try spritzing on a mist like Cucumber Spritz and top it off with hyaluronic serum to stay moist all day.

5. Start Getting Head-To-Toe Skin Checks
Looking younger is cool and all, but making sure your skin is protected against skin cancer is way, way cooler. That’s why it’s smart to make an early habit out of getting full-body exams by a dermatologist once a year, or more if melanoma runs in your family. Now is the time to get a baseline skin evaluation from your dermatologist to make sure there are no early signs of precancerous skin changes. It is always much easier to catch something in its early stages than suffer the consequences later on.

6. Incorporate Retinol Into Your Routine
Just as vitamin C should have a place in your morning routine, retinol should have a place at night. Skin care pros agree that your 20s are the perfect time to start using a high-quality retinol at night, as the vitamin A derivative works preventatively to fight wrinkles and boost collagen production.

Retinol is a bit of a finicky ingredient, so make sure to choose a product that comes in an opaque, well-sealed container and don’t expose it to sunlight, as it’s not photo- or sunlight-stable or leave the cap off allowing it to oxidize and lose its potency. Also, because retinol can be irritating on the skin, use it one or two nights a week to start, and then work your way up to nightly use.

7. Care for Your Skin Morning and Night—and Remember, If Nothing Else, Wash Your Face!
Just like brushing your teeth, it’s not enough to care for your skin only once a day. Because skincare during the daytime is all about protecting your face, and skincare at night is all about repairing it, establishing a routine before you go to bed and when you wake up (incorporating the ingredients and the advice above, of course) is key.
And whatever you do, be sure to cleanse your skin, morning and night. If you only have the energy to do one thing before bed, let it be to remove the excess dirt, makeup and sunscreen from the day. Unwashed skin means clogged pores, a dull uneven complexion, and overall faster aging. So start here, and work your way backward.

Past age 40?
It’s not too late to start a skin care regimen that will give you the best skin possible. I didn’t begin really concentrating on my skin until I was past 50! Skin care is a process, so commit to doing a little bit each morning and night, throwing in the use of an exfoliant a couple of times each week, and a nourishing mask once or twice a month and you will begin seeing changes in your skin. Using quality products makes a difference too because those have a higher concentration of active ingredients and few if any harmful fillers, artificial colors, fragrance and parabens.

Also, give the product you are using enough time to begin to see changes in your skin. Ideally, you should give products about three months (three cycles of cellular turnover) before making a change.

Not sure where to start? See an aesthetician (shameless plug) for a skin analysis and suggestions for products chosen specifically for your  skin. Regular skin care both at home and in the salon will give you the beautiful, healthy skin you desire.

Any dermatologist or aesthetician will tell you it’s never too late to start caring for your skin—yet the earlier you develop a regimen, the better. Generally prevention is more effective than correction. That means incorporating certain habits and ingredients into your morning and nighttime routines in your 20s and 30s so that by the time you reach your 40s, you’re more likely to have tighter, brighter, healthier skin.
It’s important to use brightening and anti-wrinkle products even before any deep-set lines or sunspots show up because microscopic changes like excess pigment and loss of collagen start in our 20s and progress so slowly that you don’t usually see them until your 30s and 40s. By then, they’re much harder to treat.

At the same time, there is so much skincare advice in the world that distilling the most important habits to take on before 40 can be tricky. When developing a skincare routine in your 20s and 30s, skin care pros agree that you have to adjust to what feels doable and fun to you personally—otherwise, you won’t stick with it, and it won’t work.
Adopt skincare habits that are enjoyable to you, if your skincare routine is not enjoyable, continuity is difficult. Choose products of high quality. And select your active ingredients carefully.

What are the most important skincare products, ingredients, and habits to adopt before 40? Keep scrolling to read seven things dermatologists and aestheticians want you to do before you enter your fifth decade.
1. Get Acquainted With Vitamin C
All agree that the antioxidant vitamin C is one of the most important ingredients to start using in your 20s and 30s, as it helps prevent dark spots before they happen and support collagen before you lose it. Vitamin C is a terrific skin brightener with firming benefits since it boosts collagen and has antioxidant and UV protection benefits as well.

Doctors also recommend looking for a high-potency vitamin C serum with antioxidant boosters ferulic acid vitamin E. Apply your vitamin C in the morning before moisturizer and sunscreen for extra protection.

2. Exfoliate Two or Three Times a Week
As if the existential stress of getting older weren’t enough: maturing skin thickens, becomes dull, drab, and lifeless, and pores become accentuated. Why does this happen? As we age our dead skin cells don’t shed as fast as they did in our younger years. That makes the skin start to look dull and the texture rough. Additionally, excess pigment is stored in dead cells, so your skin tone can look discolored or uneven.

Fortunately, exfoliating two to three times a week can help solve or at least stave off some of these concerns. Incorporating exfoliation, both chemical and physical, can help shut down the problem before it begins and help maintain your youthful glow. Bonus: Regular exfoliation also helps your other skincare products (like your vitamin C serum!) penetrate better.

3. Make Sunscreen the Centerpiece of Your Routine
I’ve said it before, and I’ll never stop saying it: If you incorporate one anti-aging skincare product into your everyday routine, let it be sunscreen. It’s never too late to begin wearing daily SPF. Even if you have been a lifelong sun seeker, it is never too late to prevent further sun damage.
Consistency is the key with sunscreen—you really do have to apply at least SPF 30 every day (and ideally throughout the day, too) to keep your skin glowy, youthful, and, most importantly, safe. Apply sunscreen on all exposed skin surfaces every day with commitment to consistency. This includes hands, exposed forearms, neck (front, sides, back) and décolleté in addition to face.

We know that most people, us included, are turned off by applying sunscreen to the face every day because most formulas are thick, chalky, and break you out. But we promise, Rhonda Allison sunscreen products will impress you. All contain zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide – both physical sun blocks that protect your skin from the damage of UVA & UVB. Need to refresh your protection during the day, puff on a mineral powder. Easy to use and it continues your protection.

4. Embrace Moisturizing Emollients
Skin gets drier, flakier, and duller as we age, meaning you should get in the habit of protecting its moisture barrier early on. There are a few truly effective moisturizing ingredients we always recommend, including moisture-trapping lipids, which mimic the natural lipids in the skin that make babies’ skin so soft and silky but that deteriorate over time.

Sodium hyaluronate, a derivative of hyaluronic acid, is the other moisturizing ingredient all skin care professionals recommend, as it re-creates the lubrication of the hyaluronic acid that our skin produces naturally. Hyaluronic acid is also a moisture magnet. It’s great for hydrating dry, aging skin and reducing wrinkles, and it especially does wonders for the aging eye area. Try spritzing on a mist like Cucumber Spritz and top it off with hyaluronic serum to stay moist all day.

5. Start Getting Head-To-Toe Skin Checks
Looking younger is cool and all, but making sure your skin is protected against skin cancer is way, way cooler. That’s why it’s smart to make an early habit out of getting full-body exams by a dermatologist once a year, or more if melanoma runs in your family. Now is the time to get a baseline skin evaluation from your dermatologist to make sure there are no early signs of precancerous skin changes. It is always much easier to catch something in its early stages than suffer the consequences later on.

6. Incorporate Retinol Into Your Routine
Just as vitamin C should have a place in your morning routine, retinol should have a place at night. Skin care pros agree that your 20s are the perfect time to start using a high-quality retinol at night, as the vitamin A derivative works preventatively to fight wrinkles and boost collagen production.

Retinol is a bit of a finicky ingredient, so make sure to choose a product that comes in an opaque, well-sealed container and don’t expose it to sunlight, as it’s not photo- or sunlight-stable or leave the cap off allowing it to oxidize and lose its potency. Also, because retinol can be irritating on the skin, use it one or two nights a week to start, and then work your way up to nightly use.

7. Care for Your Skin Morning and Night—and Remember, If Nothing Else, Wash Your Face!
Just like brushing your teeth, it’s not enough to care for your skin only once a day. Because skincare during the daytime is all about protecting your face, and skincare at night is all about repairing it, establishing a routine before you go to bed and when you wake up (incorporating the ingredients and the advice above, of course) is key.
And whatever you do, be sure to cleanse your skin, morning and night. If you only have the energy to do one thing before bed, let it be to remove the excess dirt, makeup and sunscreen from the day. Unwashed skin means clogged pores, a dull uneven complexion, and overall faster aging. So start here, and work your way backward.

Past age 40?
It’s not too late to start a skin care regimen that will give you the best skin possible. I didn’t begin really concentrating on my skin until I was past 50! Skin care is a process, so commit to doing a little bit each morning and night, throwing in the use of an exfoliant a couple of times each week, and a nourishing mask once or twice a month and you will begin seeing changes in your skin. Using quality products makes a difference too because those have a higher concentration of active ingredients and few if any harmful fillers, artificial colors, fragrance and parabens.

Also, give the product you are using enough time to begin to see changes in your skin. Ideally, you should give products about three months (three cycles of cellular turnover) before making a change.

Not sure where to start? See an aesthetician (shameless plug) for a skin analysis and suggestions for products chosen specifically for your  skin. Regular skin care both at home and in the salon will give you the beautiful, healthy skin you desire.