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1. Wear sunscreen. Even after age 40, sun damage can accelerate the formation of dark spots and fine lines. Wear sunscreen with at least SPF 15 every day.
2. Cleanse gently. Deep-cleaning facial cleansers with ingredients that wash away oil can be too harsh for older skin that is becoming dry. Switch to a creamy cleanser instead.
3. Tune in to hormonal changes. The ones we associate with menopause can make your skin behave differently, or cause dark spots and sudden acne where there once were none. See a dermatologist if you notice any changes.
4. Watch moles. All the sunning you did in your younger years can show up now as precancerous moles. Start seeing a board-certified dermatologist for a yearly mole check.
5. Avoid product overload. Anti-aging products can work wonders, but if you pile an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) over a retinoid over a Vitamin C, for example, you could be left with irritated, inflamed skin. Figure out which anti-aging product works best for you and stick to it.
6. Ask for professional help. A good cosmetic dermatologist can tell you which products will work best for your skin, and offer prescription medications for conditions such as rosacea, eczema, and hyperpigmentation.
7. Add moisture. Hormonal changes can also cause skin to lose its natural moisture. Replenish with a thicker, richer moisturizer.
8. Don't fear oil. While it may have caused you to break out earlier in your life, your skin produces less oil as you age, so foundations and moisturizers containing oil may not cause pimples anymore.
9. Exfoliate. Since skin cells don't slough off as quickly after age 40, help them along by exfoliating. You can exfoliate physically, with a gentle scrub, or chemically, with an AHA face cream.
10. Don't be afraid of dermatological procedures -- but don't rush into them, either. Botox, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion can add life and vitality to your skin. But before you jump in, be sure you understand them and their possible side effects fully.