Beauty beyond 40: Your guide to anti-ageing treatment options in your 40’s

by Marina Zarganis

They say that life begins at 40… I wish someone had told my skin that. I’d be a wrinkle free, flawlessly radiant nine-year-old by now. 40 odd years of environmental assault on the skin is as tale-telling as a Town Crier shouting out a public announcement that I am well into my ‘middle-ages’... and I’m not talking about medieval England in the 1400s. I am talking about pigmentation, age spots, those lines on my forehead - and the fact that I can't draw on a winged eyeliner without it looking like a folded origami crane.

For women, our 40s can bring about a whole host of changes. Some are totally welcome; like finally being able to have the bathroom neat and tidy and all to yourself - no kids clothes dumped on the floor. Or accepting a last-minute invitation to a girly lunch with your girlfriends without needing to reorganise a million other ‘priorities’. Some changes, however are not so welcome (and there are a few... pause… blink… blink…) but I’m going to focus on skin.

In addition to a lifetime of environmental damage that has been accumulating on our skin, as we enter the menopausal stage of life in our 40s, declining ovarian function and a drop in estrogen levels can also have a big impact. Although fine lines and wrinkles have most likely already made an appearance during our 30s, the drop in estrogen now also brings a loss of volume and elasticity, causing the skin to look saggy, drier and more lacklustre. And to add insult to injury, due to our fluctuating hormones, Acne can rear its ugly head again, appearing around the mouth and the jawline.

Right at the prime of life - suddenly carefree (and slightly cashed up) - when we should be feeling great about ourselves, celebrating our fabulousness and most definitely and unapologetically taking and posting copious amounts of selfie’s (right?)... we get… well, “saggy”.

Or do we? If there is one thing I have finally come to realise in my ‘middle age rebirth’ is that most things in life happen by choice. And when it comes to ‘saggy’... sister… I choose ‘No Way’! There are a number of targeted products and treatments that can not only slow-down the effects of environmental and biological ageing in a 40something year old skin but can, in some cases, also complete reverse damage that has already been done.

Keep in mind that, when choosing to say ‘No Way!’ to skin sagging, wrinkles and pigmentation, the most successful plan of action is one that involves a mix of in-salon treatments with a supporting home-care routine using a good quality cosmeceutical skin-care range.

Here are a few of my favourite, recommended go-to treatments and products you can use at home or enjoy in-salon to keep yourself looking radiantly youthful, well in to your 40s:

For Pigmentation and Dullness:

Sun exposure + hormonal changes = hyperpigmentation. There are different types of hyperpigmentation, but it’s basically an over production of skin pigment (the stuff that gives our skin its colour) and can be brought on by various reasons such as excessive sun exposure, medication as well as hormonal changes such as during pregnancy or menopause… often it's a combination of some or all of these reasons. The Hyperpigmentation process begins at the base layer of the skin and accumulates at the surface, appearing as dark blotches, spots (often referred to as age spots) or freckles. Sometimes whole patches of darkened skin can develop on the forehead, cheeks and around the mouth… this is called melasma.

If you don’t have any pigmentation (hands-up emoji!!!) but your skin just looks a little lacklustre… that’s because the skin’s cellular turnover slows down with age. Without new fresh skin cells effectively pushing up through the various layers of the skin, the spent and dried up old cells are just hanging out at the surface… looking dull and grey.

ASI VitaA Skin Peel - this advanced skin treatment uses retinoic acid (a form of vitamin A) to improve the overall condition of the skin by removing the initial buildup of pigmented or dull skin cells laying on the surface of the skin while accelerating your skin’s natural metabolism to boost the production of new healthy skin cells. It’s the perfect first step choice if you want a ‘quick start’ to skin rejuvenation.

I personally love this treatment for it’s (almost) immediate results. You will get some post treatment skin flaking, but this is all part of the process and is soooo satisfying to see all that old pigmentation just peel away.

Vitamin B3 Complex - also known as Niacinamide, clinical studies have shown that vitamin B3 can significantly decrease hyperpigmentation by acting as a melanin inhibitor and disrupting the transfer of pigment to surrounding skin cells. Including a serum such as ASI’s Vitamin B3 Complex into your daily skincare routine means that you can keep hyperpigmentation in check and reduce the chances of it bouncing back after your VitaA Skin Peel.

And, of course, it goes without saying that you MUST use a sunblock every day! Did you know that it only takes around 6 minutes of sun exposure to set off the chain of events within your skin cells that lead to pigmentation? That’s just a walk to the clothes line or taking out the bins. Use the B3… use the sunblock… sweet!

For Dryness and Dehydration:

When it comes to dry and dehydrated skin the first thing to note is that the two are very different issues. Dryness refers to a lack of natural oils in the skin while dehydration refers to a lack of moisture (water). Water and oil… two different things. You can be one or the other, or you can be both.

While dry skin (lack of oil, remember.) is considered a skin type, a dehydrated skin (lack of moisture) is considered a condition. But age and a change in hormones can definitely affect both.

If you are unsure if your skin is dry or dehydrated… or perhaps - por que no los dos (that’s ‘both’ in Spanish) then I highly recommend you get your skin professionally analysed. Knowing exactly what your skin needs will save you from wasting $$ on inappropriate skincare. Today’s digital skin analysis equipment is amazingly accurate and super detailed. Plus your results can be documented and emailed to you so you can track your progress as you use the correct skin care.

Hydrafuse with 20% Vitamin C - this super hydrating cocktail will nourish and renew both dry and dehydrated skin by delivering concentrated hyaluronic acid, vitamins, antioxidants, essential fatty acids and skin brighteners directly into the skin via tiny infusion channels created by a dermal stamping device. The very fine needle punctures, also activate the skin’s natural healing response, promoting new collagen formation and increasing elastin levels to firm, plump and correct skin imperfections such as scaring. Your skin may look flushed for up to 24-48 hours (you can wear some mineral make-up to cover any redness if needed) but the results are amazing! In just a couple of days your skin will look dewy, fresh and revitalised. And with regular treatment, smoother and rejuvenated as well.

Multi Peptide Serum by ASI - to keep your skin youthfully hydrated at home, be sure to include some hyaluronic acid into your home care routine. ASI’s Multi Peptide Serum contains highly active peptides and grown factors as well as Hyaluronic Acid to give your skin a regular dose of hydration as well as simultaneously increasing the formation of collagen and elastin. Simply massage a couple of drops into freshly cleansed skin then top with your favourite moisturiser for all-day skin hydration.

ASI Daily Moisture Rejuvenating Day & Night Treatment - if your skin is feeling dry then you may be lacking essential fatty acids. In the skin, EFA’s form the skin’s natural defence barrier (called the Acid Mantle)... it not only helps to maintain hydration levels in the skin but also acts as an anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory shield that protects the skin from environmental aggressors. Your skin needs a healthy amount of EFA oils to function correctly. These oils act as the skin’s natural ‘filtration system’, allowing essential nutrients to gently flow through the intercellular spaces throughout the various layers of the skin. ASI’s Rejuvenating Day Cream and Rejuvenating Night Treatment are formulated with Avocado and Macadamia oil. Healthy EFA’s that will strengthen your skin’s protective barrier by boosting its natural EFA levels at the surface. Using nanotechnology these EFA’s encapsulate ASI’s active ingredients and deliver them to the parts of your skin where they are needed the most.

For Fine Lines and Wrinkles:

Natural ageing together with a lifetime of facial expressions and involuntary muscle movements contribute to the formation of wrinkles, skin creases and expression lines that can make us look much older than we feel. To smooth out fine lines and to prevent deeper wrinkles from developing prematurely (or at all), anti-wrinkle and dermal filler injections can be used to give immediate rejuvenating results.

Anti-Wrinkle Injections - used to soften and control expression lines such as the frown lines between the eyebrows or the horizontal lines that develop across the forehead, this quick and effective procedure is an affordable way to rejuvenate the face. Your skin will look ultra smooth and refreshed and best of all, regular treatment will assist in preventing new wrinkles from forming down the track.

Dermal Filler Injections - Made from non-animal derived hyaluronic acid (HA) - a gel-like substance naturally found in the body and essential for maintaining skin firmness and elasticity, as well as helping to keep the skin hydrated - Dermal Filler Injections are now one of the most popular forms of non-surgical skin rejuvenation treatments. With the ability to correct and smooth existing wrinkles, restore lost volume to reverse skin sagging and hydrate and plump to improve tone and elasticity, Dermal Fillers can literally turn back time on your skin.

Injectable wrinkle treatments are one of my favourite in-clinic procedures and I always get the ‘omg, how do you keep yourself looking so young?’ from friends and family whenever I’ve had a little top up here and there. The specialised team of experienced Dermal Nurses at Brazilian Beauty have been trained to assess your anti-ageing needs using a balanced, total face rejuvenation approach, combining various injectable techniques to create a natural looking result. You’ll look and feel fabulously youthful and your friends and family will be wanting to know your secret to looking young too!

Vitamin A Skin Corrector - Using Vitamin A on your skin at least a few times a week will improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as firm and smooth the skin by enhancing collagen production and boosting hydration. Pigmentation and age spots will fade and, if you suffer from Acne; Vitamin A will actually decrease the oil production that feeds the p-bacteria, reduces blackheads and congestion and increases the rate of wound healing to help with scarring.

Look for Vitamin A serums or creams that contain Retinyl Palmitate and lower doses of pure Retinol for a gentle, controlled approach to skin repair and rejuvenation. Be sure to introduce Vitamin A slowly into your routine. Start with one or twice a week (at night only) and increase up to 3 or 4 times a week as directed by your skin therapist.