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Take Care of Your Neck in Your 40s! – Decades of Skin Care – Tiffany Clay, MD


I commonly have patients who come in and say, “I just turned 40, what should I be doing?” We simply add on to what you did in you 30s.

Your routine should already include a cleanser, moisturizer, antioxidant, sunscreen with SPF 30, an eye cream, and a retinol.

Start your 40s by taking care of your neck. The neck often gets neglected until it’s too late and the lines and sun-damage have set in. Each morning apply a thin layer of sunscreen to the neck. Since 90% of skin aging is due to sun exposure this is really important and you’ve done most of the work already. To put the icing on the cake, you may add a targeted night cream to the neck. These night neck creams help reduce pigment and also firm the neck and jawline. A few examples include Revision’s Nectifirm and Isdinceutics Age Contour.

You’ll want to start using a moisturizer with more hydrating power. With age our we lose collagen (which contains lots of hyaluronic acid) and lowering estrogen levels means less moisture in the skin. Hyaluronic acid molecules attract and hold water on the skin. Hyaluronic acid and other hydrating serums will help replenish lost moisture which will plump the skin and any fine lines.

Exfoliate more often. Your nightly retinoid/retinol is doing a decent job however increasing exfoliation will increase skin cell turnover helping you keep that youthful glow. Less is still more. Avoid scrubs and heavy manual exfoliation and lean towards acids that exfoliate. Think glycolic acid, salicylic acid or even a gentle exfoliating mask. Chemical peels are also great ways to exfoliate however you may be limited to doing these in the fall and winter to avoid excess sun exposure.

Make more collagen. The retinoid/retinol family is your top collagen producer but in your 40s it needs help to maximize growth. You’ll get out what you put in. Add serums or creams containing growth factors, peptides, and stem cells. These can be incorporated into your nightly routine prior to applying a retinoid or morning routine after your antioxidant and before your sunscreen.


Cheers to being 40 and fabulous.

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