Women over 40 need to wear sun protection daily, avoid harmful and irritating products and use a retinol product. Exfoliating the skin and eating a healthy diet are also ways for women over 40 to maintain healthy skin.
The sun causes premature wrinkles and skin cancer. Women over 40 can prevent further wrinkling from the sun by wearing sunscreen daily. They should wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 to protect against skin damage.
Products that irritate the skin also contribute to aging, so women should avoid products that contain harmful ingredients such as alcohol, menthol, sodium lauryl sulfate, phenol and witch hazel.
Retinol products help women over 40 repair some of the damage their skin has accrued over time. Retinol improves skin texture and increases firmness. Women who are new to retinol may want to start with a lower concentration and apply it every other day. Retinol products are strong and cause irritation at first, so it is useful to buffer them with other antioxidant-rich products to minimize the initial irritation.
Women over 40 should also use exfoliants and vitamin C. Exfoliants increase the skin's radiance by gently sloughing off dull, dead skin cells. With the dead skin cell layers gone, the skin repairs its protective barrier more quickly and efficiently. Vitamin C improves collagen production and evens out the skin's complexion.