At a glance
My 100% no BS anti-aging skincare plan now that I’m 40, plus a roundup about the skin aging process and the different anti-aging treatments available.
At the end of 2018, I turned 40. Which means that I will finally be able to try out a lot of anti-aging treatments in order to tell you more about them here! You know me, any situation I can use as a pretext to try as many products as I can is a good one, and of course, my motto in life 😉
Just so we’re clear, getting older doesn’t scare me. When I talk about anti-aging treatments that I can’t wait to try, it’s not because I have the illusion that these products will help me to look young forever but rather, as a true beauty addict, I’m excited to experiment new textures and formulas!
I certainly don’t aim to look younger than my age, I’m totally OK being 40. But I want to have the best skin that I can get for my age!
I’m quite passionate with the topic of anti-aging and I want to share what I do to take care of my skin because I know that a lot of people are interested too (I definitely have a lot of questions about it here or on social media).
I think there has always been a lot of hypocrisy about anti-aging treatments. Everybody wants to age gracefully, but few people are willing to admit that this requires time, perseverance but also a certain amount of money.
In 2019, I’m completely fed up with reading in all the beauty interviews that the ultimate beauty secret is to drink 3 liters of water a day and sleep as much as possible. Of course it helps, but honestly, let’s be realistic, it’s not enough! (and you spend a lot of time in the bathroom)
Last week, I read one article that inspired me to write this one: “The Best Skin-Care Trick Is Being Rich” in The Atlantic. If you can, please give it a read, it’s quite refreshingly sincere and it changes from the usual hypocrisy of women’s magazines on the subject of anti-aging!
This piece inspired me to be completely transparent in my anti-aging approach because I’m also very curious to know the truth about what other people do to take care of their skin!
And actually, if you don’t already know her and are interested in the topic, I strongly encourage you to watch this YouTube channel I love, from the fabulous Angie (her channel: Hot & Flashy). She talks about skin aging in a very serene and positive way!
So today, I wanted to tell you what I plan to do to maintain my forty-year-old skin, both in terms of cosmetics and deeper anti-aging treatments.
Let’s first take a look at what skin aging is, what treatments exist and then I’ll give you my own complete anti-aging plan for my 40 years old skin!
Signs of skin aging:
Bad news, skin aging starts quite early! The first signs of aging appear around the age of 25.
This is all very gradual and depends on many things:
– your genetic capital. This is very unfair, but some genetic lottery winners will age more slowly and better than others.
– your lifestyle: a lot of sun, stress, pollution exposure (and/or smoking) with little sleep, an unbalanced diet and no sport, doesn’t help your skin keep a fresh and youthful appearance for very long…
– an inappropriate or insufficient skincare routine. Compared to the two previous reasons, this one has less impact but still, it still has a role to play, so you might as well put all chances on your side with a routine that suits you!
So, here is what happens when your skin ages:
– the renewal of skin cells slows down: young skin renews itself completely in 28 days on average. When you get older it increases to 5-6 weeks. This results in a loss of radiance, and a less smooth and even skin texture.
– about your skin’s texture: your pores also widen as you grow older due to the loss of firmness of the skin. Its appearance is therefore, less smooth and with an uneven aspect,
– the color of the skin also changes: it usually becomes paler, and its pigmentation is less even (there may also be some dark spots and hyperpigmenatation,
– it also dehydrates more easily, which can lead to the formation of wrinkles and fine lines,
– your skin becomes more sensitive with age. Redness is more frequent, blood vessels more visible,
– it loses its elasticity, which leads to the formation of wrinkles and fine lines,
– the skin loses volume and density. This is due to a decrease of its fat layer (= the fat cushion that supports the skin in its deeper layers) but also due to bone loss (the body’s bone density decreases). The skin lacks support because the bone structure and fat don’t carry it as much, and it becomes more saggy in appearance.
Yes, this is all a little depressing, I know!
This is what my forty-year-old skin looks like (these photos are makeup and filter-free):
So, let’s look at the solutions available to slow down the inevitable ?
The different treatments for skin-aging:
Obviously, I talked about it earlier, if you have a healthy lifestyle, it definitely helps! Reducing stress, eating well, drinking plenty of water, sleeping well and exercising regularly… All these healthy habits play an essential role in the appearance of the skin.
Regarding more cosmetic solutions, there are plenty of them! The anti-aging business is flourishing and it’s not about to stop with the boom in social media that is pushing everybody to look at themselves under a microscope.
Of course, obsessing about youth is not really something to celebrate, but since I like to see the glass half full, the advantage is that we now have access to a super wide range of treatments to take care of our skin!
And unlike a few years ago, these are more and more affordable.
First, with skincare products that are increasingly sophisticated and affordable (I’m thinking about The Ordinary products for example or even Maelove, which I mentioned last week, but also K-Beauty in general).
There are now also many ‘at-home’ anti-aging devices. These aren’t really new technologies (micro-current, LED, radio-frequency…), I remember using some of them when I was working in a spas and beauty salons (it was a long time ago!) but you can now use them in the comfort of your own home and at whatever frequency you want, which definitely counts regarding the results.
Anti-aging injection procedures are also cheaper than before, and more and more common (again, is this good news? I guess it’s debatable).
That being said, I also believe that you must keep in mind that all these treatments are complementary and that each has a very specific action on the signs of skin aging.
Expecting a cream to lift your skin is clearly unrealistic (yes, even if it cost you $500). A cream is effective on the upper layers of the skin, but, as we saw earlier, the loss of firmness is more likely to occur in the far deeper layers of the skin. So unless you inject it intravenously (please don’t!), its lifting action will always be very limited!
When you start taking care of your skin, it’s important to know what to expect in order to better target your treatments according to your needs and expectations. If you’re well informed, you choose your treatments much better (and it also saves you from throwing hundreds of euros out of the window because your expectations are unrealistic ?).
Here is a short guide of what does what and which treatments for what results.
With all these lotions, essences, serums, masks and anti-aging creams, you can still do a lot of things!
– To boost the slowing renewal of the skin, there are lotions or serums with exfoliating acids and/or retinol (I will probably talk more about it in the future).
– To improve the texture of uneven skin, acids and retinol are still your best bet but also, for example, niacinamide products (I mentioned this when I reviewed the Paula’s Choice’s 10% Niacinamide Booster).
– To correct the skin pigmentation, daily sun protection is a must, but there are also many very effective anti-dark spots ingredients (such as niacinamide again, but there are others).
– To treat more intense dehydration, I personally really like hyaluronic acid-based essences (such as my beloved Hada Labo for example) but in terms of moisturizing products, you’re definitely spoiled for choice: lotions, essences, serums, oils, creams, masks… there is something for everyone!
– To slow down the loss of elasticity of the skin, nothing beats prevention in my opinion! With daily sun protection for example, but also the use of products rich in antioxidant ingredients (such as vitamin C, but also green tea, resveratrol, and even retinol…. there are plenty!).
Non-invasive beauty devices (LED, micro-current, radio frequency…):
At-home beauty devices allow you to go a little further in the treatment of signs of skin aging.
Like cosmetics, depending on the technology used, they can help with:
– the renewal of the skin that slows down,
– the uneven texture,
– more intense dehydration,
– skin sensitivity.
But they definitely make a big difference in the loss of elasticity of the skin (and therefore the wrinkles and fine lines) and its lack of firmness.
Indeed, most of these devices treat the deeper layers of the skin and even in some cases, the subcutaneous muscles, which makes it possible to be effective on the skin’s firmness (the muscles help to support the skin, so it looks firmer if your muscles are toned), something impossible with a simple cosmetic product.
Most are not cheap and it’s also necessary to be very consistent in their use to see good results. These are important things to consider before investing in these types of products, in my opinion!
Deep facial anti-aging massages:
I’m talking here about deep massages, which helps to tone the subcutaneous muscles, and which therefore make it possible to have an action on the general firmness of the skin. I’m not talking here about the superficial massages that you usually receive when you go for a facial in a beauty salon, where the primary purpose is relaxation.
To be honest, I’m not very familiar with these techniques. I received an aesthetic training but it was precisely more focused on relaxation than anti-aging (mainly due to regulations in France).
I know that some people are specialized in these deep skin massages, and that there are also techniques like facial yoga that you can do on yourself and that give good results if you are consistent (once again), but I haven’t tried myself.
Procedures and aesthetic surgery:
Cosmetic medicine provides much more immediate results than the other methods I mentioned earlier. It works very effectively on the appearance of the skin (irregular texture, pigment spots etc) but also the loss of elasticity of the skin (= it smoothes out wrinkles and fine lines) and the loss of skin volume (= it gives your skin a plump and firm appearance).
All these procedures are performed by qualified medical staff.
Some of the different procedures that exist:
Non-surgical cosmetic procedures:
Non-surgical procedures are often preferred over cosmetic surgery because:
– the results are immediate,
– the recovery period is very short (a few days) or even immediate,
– the cost is much lower than surgical cosmetic procedures.
Some examples of non-surgical cosmetic procedures:
– Hyaluronic acid injections: the procedure consists of injecting hyaluronic acid into wrinkles to smooth them out, or into the areas of your face that you want to reshape to restore volume.
– Botox injections: a toxin secreted by bacteria is injected into specific facial muscles. The toxin paralyzes the muscles to prevent the appearance of wrinkles on the face.
– Peeling: during a peeling, an acid preparation is applied to the skin of the face to exfoliate it and reveal a layer of new skin.
– Microdermabrasion: a jet of aluminum oxide crystals is propelled onto the skin using a tube and an apparatus that creates a vacuum. The crystals attach to dead cells plus debris and are then sucked up.
– Dermabrasion: a rotating wheel is applied to the skin of the face to remove the surface skin layers. As the skin heals, a new layer of new skin appears.
– Laser skin remodeling: the skin is exposed to laser light, which reshapes it and gives it a younger appearance. Laser skin remodeling can be used to treat wrinkles and pigment spots, among other things.
There are others, I don’t know them all.
Surgical cosmetic procedures:
Surgical plastic procedures require incising the body and modifying or removing parts of it. These methods can change a person’s appearance more radically and in most cases permanently.
However, they have some disadvantages:
– they must be performed in a special sterile environment to prevent infections,
– they usually require anesthesia to avoid pain,
– they often require several days, or even weeks, of healing and recovery;
– they can be very expensive.
Some examples of the most common surgical anti-aging cosmetic procedures:
– face lifting,
– eyelid remodeling,
– eyebrow remodeling,
– remodeling of the forehead…
Concerning all these operations (surgical or not), I won’t be able to tell you about them from experience, because I’ve never experimented them.
The results you can expect:
As you can see, depending on the treatment you choose, the results may take some time to be visible.
You can choose a soft, more progressive approach that accompanies skin aging without trying to erase it. In this case, cosmetics, and especially patience, are your allies. The results on the skin texture and radiance are good but it’s necessary to give time to the treatments to be effective.
It’s also possible to add non-invasive treatments (with beauty devices, and/or deep massages) that will have an interesting result on skin firmness. Again, being consistent is key to amplify the results!
Finally, aesthetic medicine has the advantage of being effective immediately on all signs of aging, so for impatient people, it’s an interesting solution. I would like to point out that, except for plastic surgery, non-surgical procedures don’t last forever. After a few months to a year at most, you have to start again!
My anti-aging plan:
I’m 40 and I’m quite satisfied with how my skin looks today. So my plan is to keep on taking good care of it so that it can look as good as it can, for my age.
I don’t want to look younger than I am, I’m quite happy to be 40. So at the moment, I’m not particularly interested in aesthetic medicine. I think about it from time to time but I always end up changing my mind, thinking that I don’t need it.
Let’s wait and see, I don’t rule it out completely, I think it’s good to have choices!
What I did until now:
I started to protect my skin rather young. I always hydrated it a lot but I became interested in antioxidant ingredients when I was 25.
At the time, I lived in Paris with a lot of pollution, I smoked, I used tanning beds from time to time (I know… sob) so I told myself that I had to compensate with a solid skincare routine!
So I used treatments rich in vitamin C and E during the day, with daily sun protection (at the time, it was in my foundation, I now know that it was not enough but I guess it was better than nothing!) and I systematically removed my makeup every night, and followed with a good moisturizer!
When I was in my early thirties, I started to add more to my routine. I added a serum morning and evening (moisturizing in the morning and anti-aging in the evening) and above all, I started using exfoliating acid treatments much more regularly!
If I had to summarize my anti-aging treatments from 25 to 35 in 3 steps, it would be:
– to protect the skin with antioxidant ingredients and daily sun protection,
– to moisturize, moisturize, and moisturize again,
– to stimulate the renewal of my skin and its radiance with exfoliating acids.
What I’m doing now:
I moved to a less polluted city, I quit smoking and I don’t use tanning beds anymore (thank God!!!!) but I still hydrate, protect, and exfoliate my skin with acids.
I added more corrective anti-aging treatments to my routine because prevention is no longer enough!
Regarding retinol, I would really like to take the time to talk about it in detail in a future article because there is a lot to say and quite frankly, I still need to do a lot of research on the topic. The retinol I’m currently using is not tretinoin (aka the most effective form of vitamin A, but also the most irritating and available on prescription only). All this is still quite new to me, so I’ll probably write an article for you after testing a few more products so I can tell you about my experiences!
And a few weeks ago, I also decided to invest in two beauty devices that I’m using almost every day at the moment:
– a LED mask, to stimulate collagen production, smooth out wrinkles, and fine lines and increases the complexion’s radiance,
– and a massage device that uses a micro-current technology to stimulate my face muscles/ the firmness of my skin.
I’ve been testing them for some time now and I’ll review them in a few months!
What I plan to do later:
Probably not much more than what I already do (it’s quite a lot already!). I will probably try to use a stronger form of retinol (and why not, if I can handle it, tretinoin).
I like the idea of laser treatment to give the skin a radiant glow, but I haven’t really looked into it at the moment.
Regarding injectables and plastic surgery, I don’t feel the need now but later, who knows? ?
And what about anti-aging food supplements?
I know it’s a very trendy topic right now, but I honestly don’t know anything about it. I haven’t done any research so I have no idea if it works or not!
If you have any information, please feel free to share them in the comment section! ?
As you probably understood, I’m not really one to let my skin age in peace! I like the idea of taking care of myself, and I don’t mind investing my time and money in taking good care of my skin.
I’m well aware that I am a privileged person, I probably have more resources and time than the average person, and I know that what I do will seem excessive for some people. But I assume that everybody has their own way of looking at (and doing) things.
What is infuriating though, is the hypocrisy of certain brands and people they use to promote their products. You are probably, like me, sick of seeing celebrities and influencers promoting some new “miracle skincare product”, even getting endorsements from magazines, when everybody all knows full well that these same people spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on cosmetic procedures but never mention it. They blatantly lie and try to give the impression that a single cosmetic treatment can miraculously transform their skin. I’m just so fed up of all the lies, this kind of advertisment is not relevant anymore!
After reading the article in The Atlantic I mentioned above ( The Best Skin-Care Trick Is Being Rich), I discussed the topic quite a bit with a French blogger friend of mine who had a pretty interesting opinion about it.
She basically told me that people with means can afford to be lazy because they have access to effective treatments with immediate (but more expensive) results.
But for people with fewer means, we both agreed that it is still possible to have good results on your skin in terms of anti-aging treatments! To do this, you need to be well informed (= not blindly believe in the miracle claims of brands and invest in products that contain the right ingredients, those that are recognized as scientifically effective), start taking care of your skin as soon as possible and above all be very consistent in your treatments.
Changing the way your skin looks takes time and let’s be honest, money (but not as much as you think).
When you’re well informed, I am convinced that you can really find effective and affordable skincare gems. As my friend told me during our discussion, “Knowledge is power!”.
And it’s kind of my goal here, on BTY ALY, to share my experience and inform you as best I can so that you have all the cards in hand to choose the best possible treatment for you!
So, I’m curious to know if you have any favorite anti-aging treatments (or which one you’re interested in)! Are you planning to use some of them or have you decided to let your skin age in peace? ?