May 19, 2024


Fashion Your personal

Expert beauty advice for woman in their 40s

xx - Getty
xx – Getty

Here on the Telegraph beauty desk, we always try to promote beauty advice that will apply to you, whatever your age. However there are definitely certain ingredients and skincare advice that applies to different stages and ages, as well as some key make-up tricks to make the most of your features in every decade.

We’ve spoken to a few of the leading experts in the industry to help with some bespoke advice for each age group – to make you look and feel like your most beautiful self. This week, we’re deep-diving into your forties. 

The magic trio

The basics for skincare, according to the dermatologist Dr Hiva Fassihi, are sunscreen, retinol and antioxidants (such as vitamin C). But above all, a broad spectrum SPF 50 year-round. The Anthelios SPF 50 Fluid by La Roche Posay, £17.50, is a good bet. If your skin is on the drier side, use water based hyaluronic serum for deeper hydration. 


A brilliant Vitamin C for beginners is the Vitamin C Repair Serum by Balance Me, £30. If you have already been using vitamin C and want to try something stronger, try the 35{f2a9790f1f5b326f5addd27543ef870bdef34be2bb42188b5ff1576c2dc9b21c} Vitamin C+ Perfecting Serum by Allies of Skin, £140. As for retinol, Berri suggests “start with a low percentage and slowly build up to higher strength.” The Retinol 0.3 by SkinCueticals, £65, is a good product for retinol beginners.  

Regulate hormonal changes 

“In our forties we often start noticing a few more areas of concern, especially as we approach menopause,” says the aesthetic doctor, Dr Sophie Shotter. “One thing that many people don’t realise is that without oestrogen our fibroblast cells cannot make collagen. This is why after a certain point, no matter how much retinol you use you won’t get the same results.” 


Dr Shotter recommends the serum and night cream by Emepelle, a brand that is especially formulated for women over 40. “It is an oestrogen receptor activator, which switches back on our fibroblast cells and allows us to produce collagen again,” she adds. Aside from collagen, women over 40 can also develop more pigmentation, so if you’re seeing a dermatologist, it may be time to ask for a prescription pigmentation regulator and prescription retinoids.

Exfoliate often, but not too much 

“The key to looking younger for longer is to exfoliate, hydrate and protect,” says facialist Asses Berri. She also suggests spending as much time on your neck and decolletage as your face. 

To gently exfoliate the skin, try Miracle Glow Peel by Secondage Skincare, £25. Apply the product all over the face, neck, décolletage and leave on the skin for 15 seconds. Gently start to massage the skin for three minutes, then rinse with water or remove with hot flannel or cloth.


Following exfoliation, Berri recommends facial massage, to get the blood circulation going. “Massage helps to tone skin and adds glow and radiance,” she adds. We really like the Active Botanical Serum by Vitner’s Daughter, £175.

Tweakments to help 

In your forties is typically when cosmetic doctors see women and men coming through their doors. “As we age our skull also changes shape and we lose facial volume – both bone and fat,” says Dr Shotter. “We often start to see a slight looseness around the jawline, or a deepening nasolabial fold – the line from your nose down to the corners of your mouth.” 

Whilst Botox is still very popular, many women start to explore filler treatments in their 40s to address these more structural changes in the face. Treatments such as Ultherapy can help to boost collagen levels more aggressively. Asses Berri also suggests laser facials, microneedling and professional skin peels.   

Make-up tricks in your forties

“Skin and makeup infusing into one is the emphasis here, with natural definition and tonal colours,” says make-up artist Lan Nguyen-Grealis. “Make-up looks good if it’s more lived in and soft with only subtle hints on highlight, flush, and lips. This is the time to avoid any bold eye looks as it can be quite ageing.” 


Nguyen-Grealis suggests playing with washes of deep muted tones over the eye, and by using long-lasting kohl pencils smudged in the lash line can help with definition. As for lashes, “opting for natural individuals instead of too much mascara is a good way to open eyes without having to add too much eye make-up,” says Nguyen-Grealis.

For lips, use a lip liner as a lipstick to define lips and pop a bit of balm on top for a youthful finish. To finish the skin, use a pressed powder only for the T Zone area to let the natural bounce of dewy skin to come through.