Not to alarm you, but the 40s are when you’ll start noticing the biggest changes in your skin. Lines get deeper and those cute little freckles start to look more like big ol’ sunspots. And why does everything feel so dry? Luckily, a few simple tweaks to your skin-care routine can go a very long way in ensuring that you age as gracefully as Cate here.
1. Gentle cleanser. Skip those foamy or gel cleansers and try a micellar water instead. This French staple is made up of tiny oil molecules suspended in a base of soft water that sweeps away all traces of makeup and dirt without stripping away natural oils.
2. Vitamin C serum. Not only does it help to fight free radicals and prevent sun damage, but it also helps to lighten existing spots and blotchiness. Layer it under your SPF every morning.
3. Sunscreen serum. Yup, you read that right. With the liquid consistency of a serum, this Korean import sinks into skin immediately with zero tackiness or noticeable cast. Plus, it offers both UVA and UVB protection and an SPF of 50. Apply it every single day--rain or shine, indoors or out--and don't be stingy about how much you use. Aim for a quarter-sized amount for your face alone.
4. Retinol or retinoid creams. Long considered the gold standard in anti-aging by most dermatologists, this vitamin A derivative helps to increase cell turnover (which slows down as you age). What this means for you? Brighter and plumper skin. See your derm for a prescription retinoid. Or if you have sensitive skin, look for over-the-counter retinols at drugstores instead. Layer it over your moisturizer to further minimize irritation.
5. Multitasking moisturizer. Look for creams with antioxidants like vitamins C and E--which help neutralize free radicals and prevent further damage--and peptides, which stimulate new collagen growth (key to plumping up slack skin).
6. Caffeinated eye cream. Blood circulation slows down as we age, which can cause fluid to pool under your peepers and make them look puffy--and permanently exhausted. Caffeine helps to constrict blood vessels and tamp down any puffiness. Couple the right eye cream (Olay's has caffeine and those aforementioned peptides) with a light massage to help release the fluid so you look well rested.
7. And if you really want to get glowing, see your derm for a professional-strength peel to remove dead skin cells, which treats any unevenness in both texture and tone. A little rejuvenating never hurt anyone.