Coming of Age: The Best Men’s Skincare Routine For Your 40s

This is the decade when how well you took care of your skin in your twenties and thirties will reveal itself. Sunspots? Wrinkles? It’s time to begin correcting.
Written by Jeannine Morris Lombardi
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Coming of Age: The Best Men’s Skincare Routine For Your 40sJoackim Weiler/Unsplash

When should I start getting Botox®? Is it time to incorporate retinol into my skincare routine? What is a “mommy makeover”? How about a “daddy do-over”? Do I really need to, as the saying goes, sacrifice my ass for my face? Should I swap my hyaluronic acid fillers for something a bit more permanent?

When it comes to beauty and aesthetics, there is no such thing as one -size -fits-all. But there are some tried and true principles that will keep you looking and feeling your best. In this series, Coming of Age, The AEDITION answers your most pressing questions about the best treatments, procedures, and practices — from surgery and skincare to health and wellness and everything in between — to consider at any age.

It’s true what they say — men look better with age. Hey, George Clooney! One reason for this is that, thanks to testosterone, their rate of collagen and elastin breakdown is much slower than women. They also have stronger muscles in the face, which tend to hold their structure longer. But that’s not to say guys get off scot free. “The forties is when accumulative sun damage starts to show up and manifests as hyperpigmentation, deep lines, and uneven texture,” says Dendy Engelman, MD, a board certified dermatologist in New York City. As such, the name of the game is correction while adding some aesthetic tweaks.

The Best Men's Skincare Routine for Your 40s

As we’ve laid out in our guides to skincare in your twenties and thirties, there is a basic cleansing and moisturizing regimen that will serve you at any age. There are certain additions to that core, however, that will address the age-related skin concerns that come with a new decade. In your forties, you’ll want to switch out your moisturizer for one with peptides, level up your nighttime eye cream, and embrace the power of retinol.

Morning Routine:

  • Gentle Cleanser
  • Antioxidant Serum
  • Eye Cream with Caffeine
  • Moisturizer with Peptides
  • SPF 30+

Nighttime Routine:

  • Cleansing Oil
  • Eye Cream
  • Retinol or Retinoid
  • Moisturizer with Peptides

While it may seem like quite a few products to invest in, many can pull double duty in the morning and evening. The one exception? Products with vitamin A derivatives like retinol or retinoids are best used at night because they increase the photosensitivity of the skin.

The Best Skincare Ingredients for Your 40s

When it comes to maintaining the quality of the skin, it’s not just the types of products you use that matters. The ingredients in those products are what will help treat and correct the skin concerns you have at any point in your life. Once you reach your forties, more visible signs of aging become, well, visible. Here are some tips on what to look for on the label:


Not just for your morning coffee, caffeine also deserves a spot in your skincare regimen. The best place for? Around the eyes, because it helps reduce puffiness by constricting the blood vessels. The result is a brighter and smoother eye area that will instantly make you look more youthful and alert — regardless of how much sleep you’ve gotten. We like First Aid Beauty Retinol Eye Cream because it combines caffeine with the power of a microencapsulated retinol that is safe for daytime use.


This superhero ingredient isn’t just for your eye cream. The entire face can benefit from either a retinol or retinoid. Dr. Engelman recommends a mild retinol (in the form of 0.1 percent Differin Gel) beginning in the twenties because it serves as a very effective acne treatment. Now though, it’s time for something a bit stronger. You can ask your dermatologist for a prescription-strength retinoid or try an over-the-counter retinol. We’re fans of the SkinCeuticals 0.5 Retinol Refining Night Cream. When starting a retinol regimen, use only a pea-sized amount twice per week. As your skin begins to tolerate it, you can add additional nights. Remember, it’s meant to be a treatment, not a moisturizer.


Peptides are amino acids your skin needs to stay healthy and youthful. “Known as the building blocks of protein like collagen and elastin, they help to rid fine lines, strengthen your skin’s barrier, and lock in hydration,” explains Amy Spizuoco, DO, a board certified dermatologist in NYC. When a moisturizer is infused with both peptides and hyaluronic acid (HA), like in JAFRA Royal Men Age Defense Hydrator, you’re guaranteed a real hydration boost.

If You’re in the Market for a Professional Treatment…

Besides keeping up your brightening laser treatments and chemical peels, you may want to consider adding a wrinkle-reducing injectable like Botox®. Not only does Botox® (and it’s fellow neurotoxins, Dysport®, Jeuveau®, and Xeomin®) help to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, but it also helps to prevent new ones from forming. “My rule of thumb for Botox® is: If you can see the lines when you’re not making the expression, it is time,” Dr. Engelman says.

All products featured are independently selected by our editors, however, AEDIT may receive a commission on items purchased through our links.

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JEANNINE MORRIS LOMBARDIis a contributing writer for AEDIT.

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