When it comes to the women I look to for great skin inspiration, it turns out they all have one thing in common: They are all firmly in their 40s. While you might expect that celebrities and fashion girls in their 20s would be stepping out with the most glowing, youthful-looking skin, I've found that it's actually 40-something celebrities like Drew Barrymore, Victoria Beckham and Kate Moss who have the kind of radiant complexions that I covet.
Since turning 30, I've been stricter with my skincare routine than ever before—making changes to the products that I previously swore by and embracing ingredients like retinol to help retain some of that natural 20s glow. But what if it's already too late to lay the foundation for great skin in my 40s?
Thankfully, there's one lady who I knew would have the answers: Nichola Joss. As well as being the go-to facialist for Kate Moss, this skincare expert is also the beauty therapist of choice for other celebrities in their 40s such as Hilary Swank and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Plus, 30-something celebs like Scarlett Johansson and Gisele Bündchen swear by her expertise for maintaining their great skin too. In fact, Meghan Markle raved to Birchbox about Joss being "one of her favourite aestheticians." Basically, if you want to know how to get amazing skin, then Joss is your go-to.
I caught up with Joss to get the full lowdown on creating the best skincare routine for your 40s, the prep steps that we should all be taking in the decades before and the mistakes that we're making in our 20s and 30s that might be affecting our chance for glowing skin in our 40s.
Keep scrolling to find out what they are and to shop Joss's product picks.
The Common Skincare Mistakes to Stop Making Right Now
The first thing I wanted to know was what I might be doing to my skin now that could stop me from enjoying glowing skin once I hit 40. Turns out there are plenty of mistakes that we're all making in our 20s and 30s that could be hindering our chances.
"Over-stripping [your skin's natural oils and using aggressive peels which will stress the skin out," are two of the biggest skincare mistakes, according to Joss. As a long-term acne sufferer, I can definitely say that I'm guilty of spending a lot of my 20s attempting to remove excess oils from my skin through a combination of double-cleansing and harsh toners. I can safely say that since embracing oils and serums in my late 20s and since turning 30, my skin is finally showing signs of improvement.
"Not wearing sun protection and anti-pollution products to safeguard [your skin]" are two other common mistakes that could prevent you from enjoying good skin long-term, explained Joss. I'm truly passionate about wearing SPF every day (mainly because every skin expert and dermatologist touts it as being the most important product we can wear on our face), but products that protect against city living are still a fairly new trend. I'll definitely be looking into products that protect against pollution as a matter of priority.
Don't worry, though—it's not too late. Joss recommends that you make sure you are cleansing your skin correctly and are protecting and nourishing the skin with a mix of SPF and active serums now to stand you in good stead down the line.
The one thing that basically none of us are doing as part of our home skincare routines that could really help with great skin in our 40s? Facial massage.
"As soon as you have a skincare routine in your 20s you should introduce massage—not only in the evening to remove tension and stress from the day but to allow the muscles to behave more youthfully," explained Joss. "Adding the massage technique to your morning cleanse also helps to awaken your skin."
If you're not sure about how to get totally hands-on yourself, then investing in a facial tool like a jade roller or gua sha can really help to stimulate your facial muscles and release tension in your face.
So assuming we've been cleansing, wearing sun protection and applying serums properly in our 20s and 30s, what changes can we expect to be faced with once we do hit our 40s?
Joss is pretty conclusive on this one: loss of muscle volume. Effectively, the reason that ageing skin is often associated with a lack of firmness and definition is the reduction in our muscle mass.
"Add an element of daily massage,which will stimulate vitality and health in muscle tissue—adding natural volume and tone," advised Joss. "For loss of elasticity, add active products, peptides and antioxidants into your daily skincare routine as well as a daily massage routine to help firm the skin."
While great skin is often a long-term game, I'm all about making one small tweak that can make a big difference. So with that in mind, I asked Joss what ingredient we should all start using now for great skin.
"For your skincare, antioxidants; and for your internal bodycare, probiotics," said Joss. That means look out for ingredients like vitamins C and E, green tea, niacinamide and grape seed when you're choosing your skincare products.
As for the probiotics, look for a "good all-around immune support supplement," advised Joss.
The #1 Piece of Skincare Advice for Women in Their 40s
Surprisingly, when asked what her main piece of skincare advice was for women in their 40s and beyond, Joss was clear: It's about what's going inside your body just as much as what's going on the outside.
"Make sure that your beauty routine not only includes specific anti-ageing skincare but that you are introducing skincare ingredients into your diet," said Joss. "Fresh vegetables, good fats, co-alkalising greens, chaga mushroom tea (which is rich in antioxidants), skincare supplements and probiotics."
Finally, of course, introduce massage, she says.
Keep scrolling to shop Nichola Joss's product picks for the best skincare routine in your 40s:
Boasting all of the antioxidant benefits in the form of vitamins A, C and E, this luxurious mask removes impurities from the skin while minimising pigmentation for a more even skin tone and supporting the skin's natural collagen for a plumper, fresher-looking complexion.