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Intérêt routine de soin après 40 ans.

40, 50, 60 years old: Is it too late to start taking care of your skin?

In order to limit skin damage related to aging, it is beneficial to establish a consistent skincare routine that is tailored to your skin type. However, many people over the age of 40 wonder if this can still have beneficial effects on established signs of aging. Let's explore the scientific literature together to answer this question.

Published June 13, 2024, updated on June 14, 2024, by Marie, Scientific Editor — 6 min read

Taking care of your skin after 40: is it still beneficial?

A natural and ongoing process, skin aging is the result of intrinsic factors (decreased cell regeneration, oxidative stress, hormonal changes...) and extrinsic factors (exposure to sun, tobacco, pollution...). The first signs of aging typically begin to appear in one's twenties and gradually become more visible over the years. Thus, by the age of 40, the skin is often marked by time in a seemingly irreversible manner. However, this is not necessarily true.

Even though the aging process cannot be halted, it is still possible to limit future damage and mitigate existing signs by starting to take care of one's skin.

Protecting your skin from the sun: a necessity that continues after 40 years.

It is dangerous at any age to expose oneself to the sun without protecting one's skin. If childhood and adolescence are considered the most critical periods for the development of future melanomas and carcinomas, the impact of UV received in adulthood should not be overlooked. Another negative effect of the sun is that it is one of the primary causes of skin aging. Its mechanisms of action are numerous and manifest at the macroscopic level as a loss of skin firmness, the appearance of brown spots, and vascular disorders.

From the age of 40, photoaging is often quite pronounced. However, a study shows that it's not too late to start applying sunscreen with an SPF 30. This is what 32 volunteers aged 40 to 55 did in 2016. A dermatologist then evaluated several parameters of photoaging and noted significant improvements, detailed in the table below. The daily application of a sunscreen for a year helped to reduce existing signs of aging and limit their progression, thus showing that it's never too late to start protecting yourself from the sun.

Clinical Parameters of PhotoagingImprovement of Clinical Parameters After One Year
Pigment Spots50 %
Skin Tone Uniformity 34 %
Skin Texture 40 %
General Appearance of the Complexion 27 %
Crow's Feet Wrinkles25 %
Effets de l'application quotidienne d'une protection solaire pendant un an sur différents paramètres du photovieillissement.
Source : SOUTHALL M. & al. Daily use of a facial broad spectrum sunscreen over one-year significantly improves clinical evaluation of photoaging. Dermatologic Surgery (2016).

Proper hydration: a key step in a skincare routine, even after 40 years old.

Skin hydration is also essential at any age. Indeed, the skin is daily assaulted and exposed to temperature variations, wind, pollution... By weakening the hydrolipidic film and the skin barrier, these external elements harm the skin's softness and suppleness and accelerate the formation of wrinkles. To limit water loss and counteract the effects of dehydration, it is essential to hydrate the skin daily with a cream enriched with hydrating active ingredients like hyaluronic acid, regardless of one's age.

A recent placebo-controlled study involving 76 women aged 30 to 60 examined the effects of applying a cream containing 0.1% hyaluronic acid to the face twice daily. After 60 days, scientists noted a significant improvement in various skin parameters. A 10% increase in hydration was measured, as well as an 11.7% decrease in the depth of crow's feet wrinkles.

Incorporating tensor active ingredients into your skincare routine: a good idea to limit skin aging.

After 40, it may sometimes seem futile to start using firming agents such as retinol, bakuchiol, or coenzyme Q10. In reality, it's not too late to incorporate them into your skincare routine. By accelerating cellular renewal, which slows down with age, and by stimulating collagen synthesis by fibroblasts, these active ingredients help to reduce the appearance of established wrinkles and make the skin firmer.

A recent clinical trial was conducted with 41 women aged between 35 and 55 years. Over a period of 12 weeks, these participants applied a formulation containing 0.1% retinol, every other day for two weeks, then daily for the subsequent ten weeks. The analysis of facial wrinkles showed a significant reduction in the visibility of wrinkles following the treatment, by approximately 63.7% for the cheeks and 38.7% around the eye contour.

At 40, 50, or 60 years old, it's never too late to start taking care of your skin.


  • PAVICIC T. & al. Effectiveness of cream-based new formulations of hyaluronic acid of varying molecular weights in anti-wrinkle treatment. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology (2011).

  • PIOT B. & al. Effect of the sun on visible clinical signs of aging in Caucasian skin. Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology (2013).

  • MAJMUDAR G. & al. A comparative study of the effects of retinol and retinoic acid on histological, molecular, and clinical properties of human skin Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology (2015).

  • SOUTHALL M. & al. Daily application of a broad-spectrum facial sunscreen over a one-year period significantly improves clinical assessment of photoaging. Dermatologic Surgery (2016).


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