The Regimen

9 Things You Should Know About Skin Care by the Time You’re 40

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By the time you reach your fourth decade, you know a whole lot about a great many things. You’ve logged some travel miles, put a few relationships and jobs in the rearview mirror, replaced house parties with dinner parties, maybe begun a family. You know the difference between chartreuse and yellow, the multiple uses of baking soda, and that it’s only Champagne if it comes from France. But how much do you know about your skin and how to care for it? Especially as its needs evolve and change? Here are nine things you must know by year 40 to keep your skin at its prime.


1. Prevention is easier than correction

Defending skin from wrinkles and sunspots should be part of your routine long before you begin to see any signs of aging. Loss of collagen and the changes to the skin from photodamage start in your 20s and begin to appear in your 30s and 40s. By that time, these issues are harder to treat. Start early and stay consistent with your ageless routine to give your skin an advantage over the effects of time and environment.


2. Exfoliation is everything

Cell turnover slows with age. The accumulation of dead cells doesn’t just have a dulling effect on the skin. It’s also a contributor to breakouts, and magnifier of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles. Plus, excess pigment resides in dead cells. Removing the dead skin helps peel away blemishes, lift excess pigment, reduce the appearance of fine lines, and brighten dullness. As a bonus, with cellular debris cleared, your serums and other products can be more easily absorbed.

There are two main types of exfoliation: physical or chemical. Physical exfoliation involves the use of a scrubbing agent—granules or a buffing pad. Chemical exfoliation is the process of using topical agents—retinoids, alpha hydroxy acids, enzymes, or peels. The best approach involves both physical and chemical. Incorporate acids into your routine along with a scrub like Buffing Grains Exfoliating Cleanser, which can be added to any cleanser. Mandelic Acid 3-In-1 Exfoliating Cleanser is another great choice, particularly for dark or acne-prone skin.


3. Retinol is king

Keeping skin glowing, radiant, and youthful is all about cell regeneration. Vitamin A (retinol) is the king in this realm. It accelerates cell turnover and boosts collagen production to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve skin texture, firmness, and tone.

But not every vitamin A product is the same. When it comes to non-prescription retinoids, some can’t do what they claim. Vivant’s patented vitamin A propionate (developed by Dr. Fulton, the co-developer of Retin-A®) has a smaller molecular structure than other retinols so it can get to the deeper levels of the skin where others can’t reach. Shop Vivant’s vitamin A collection here.


4. Toner is not optional

The benefits of a toner don’t end with pH balancing and pore refining. A toner is the ultimate optimizer. It removes dead skin cells to clear the way for better absorption of follow-on products, so when you apply your serum after using a toner, it will be better able to reach the cellular level where it can get to work to produce positive changes in your skin. If you skip the toner, you undercut the effectiveness of your serums and other products. Try Vivant’s Normalizing Tonic with glycolic acid and witch hazel to increase radiance and resist breakouts. 


5. Serums are your friends

Lightweight and highly concentrated with active ingredients, serums are formulated to target specific skin care concerns like acne, aging, or discoloration. These regimen workhorses are defenders and rejuvenators supporting healthy skin structure, texture, and tone.

Derm-A-Renew is an excellent place to start. Along with its retinoid muscle, it packs the punch of peptides. This daily regenerator accelerates cell turnover, stimulates collagen production, improves elasticity, reduces redness, and promotes a youthful glow. 

See our complete collection of serums here.


6. Sunscreen is mandatory

If you do nothing else for your skin, protect it from the damaging rays of the sun. The earlier, the better. The sun is the biggest contributor to visible signs of aging. If you’ve avoided a daily sunscreen because you think it will be thick, greasy, or comedogenic, we have good news. Vivant’s Day Treatment Lotion SPF 15 offers daily UV protection and moisture in one in a super, lightweight formula that won’t clog pores or leave you shiny. Put it on under makeup, alone, or mix it with a little mineral powder to make a light foundation.


7. Every regimen needs a vitamin C serum

Antioxidant vitamin C is one of the most important ingredients to start using in your 20s and 30s because it protects against photodamage and supports healthy collagen. It’s a skin brightener with firming benefits that are augmented when paired with vitamin E as in Vivant’s Pure C + E. No matter your skin type or age, this potent protector is a must-have. Use it daily to defend against pollutants, photodamage, UV age acceleration, and oxidative stress.


8. You should have an aesthetician

Find a good esthetician and visit frequently. A professional facial or peel provides deep cleaning and rejuvenation that goes beyond what you can achieve with home care. Once a month for a facial is ideal. If time or budget is an issue, try to get in at least three to four times a year. Peels, which can provide rapid rejuvenation help to diminish fine lines, fade excess pigment, peel away acne and reduce scarring, are best done in a series to see the full benefit.


9. Consistency is key

Using all the right products won’t bring the results you want if you don’t use them consistently. Whether your skin care issue is acne, discoloration, or aging, if you want to keep your skin in peak condition, daily maintenance is required. A four-step regimen includes a cleanser, toner, serum, and SPF. Using all four steps consistently will maximize the benefits because each step enhances the next. Rule of thumb: your morning routine is about protecting your skin, nighttime routine is about repairing it. Both are essential.


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