Around the age of 40, a woman’s skin starts to change because of hormonal alterations that can cause moisture loss, pigmentation changes and sensitivity. A variety of treatment options, such as plastic surgery, laser treatments and chemical peels, can help renew the skin, but there are also less costly skin care products that can make a dramatic difference in the skin’s appearance.
Sunblock is on the top of the list. One of the biggest causes of wrinkles is photo damage from sun exposure, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Using a broad-spectrum sunblock, one that blocks both UVA and UVB rays, is the best prevention for premature aging of the skin. It also protects again skin cancer.
The AAD recommends wearing a sunscreen if you are going to be exposed to the sun at all; UVA rays can still burn through glass. Reapply sunblock every two hours, and choose a waterproof brand that will have better staying power if you sweat.
Menopause causes changes in the skin’s moisture content and pigmentation. Using a good moisturizer that contains anti-aging ingredients will lock moisture into the skin and help reduce fine lines and dark spots.
Antioxidants can help reduce fine line and wrinkles. Vitamins C, E and A are all effective treatments for photoaging, according to the Center for Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery in Washington D.C. There is some evidence that combining vitamins can boost the individual anti-aging effects of the vitamins. A good facial moisturizer containing a combination of these vitamins will protect the skin from oxidative stress while helping to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
As skin matures, pigmentation spots can occur on the skin. These are caused by hormonal changes, photodamage from the sun and naturally occurring pigmentation such as freckles, according to the AAD.
A 2009 study published in the "International Journal of Molecular Sciences" noted several agents that are effective at treating skin pigmentary abnormalities. These ingredients can be used in cosmetic and therapeutic treatments. The most popular of these agents include kojic acid, azelaic acid, gentisic acid, niacinamide, salicylic acid, linoleic acid and alpha hydroxy acids. Look for creams containing these ingredients to reduce hyperpigmentation in the skin. They can be used for an all-over or spot treatment.
- American Academy of Dermatology: A Closer Look at Aging Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology
- PubMed; "Journal of Drugs in Dermatology"; Topical Vitamins; C. Burgess; July 2008
- PubMed Central: "International Journal of Molecular Sciences"; Mechanisms Regulating Skin Pigmentation: The Rise and Fall of Complexion Coloration; Jody Ebanks et al.; September 2009
Caroline Thompson is a professional photojournalist who has been working for print and online publications since 1999. Her work has appeared in the "Sacramento Bee," "People Magazine," "Newsweek" and other publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in photojournalism from California State University at Hayward and a personal trainer certification from the university's Health and Fitness Institute.