The Ultimate Korean Skincare Routine for Your 40s

Skincare Routine for Your 40s

Our skin needs change drastically as we age, so it is important to choose a skincare routine that reflects our age and the current status of our skin. From combating acne in our teens and early 20s to preventative measures in the 20s and 30s to caring for and nourishing the skin in our 40s, it is essential to choose the right products in order to keep our skin looking and feeling healthy. If you are still using products that have been mainstays on your bathroom shelf for years, it is definitely time to update your routine! 

In this guide, The Ultimate Korean Skincare Routine for your 40s, we are focusing on a skincare routine with deep-seated Korean beauty ideals: products and regimens that are designed to work for the long haul. The idea is that, rather than reaching for harsh products that promise (probably fleeting) overnight results, this routine is about slowly and emphatically moving your skin in the direction of your desired results- no matter what type of skin you have or skin conditions you are working with. Consistency is the name of the game in K-beauty, so you will need to commit to this routine day in and day out to get that hydrated, healthy, glowing skin you’re after. So, without further adieu, here is the ultimate K-beauty skincare routine for your 40s.

Common Skin Concerns in Your 40s

skin concerns at 40s

Generally speaking, once you’ve hit your 40s it’s time to focus on combating dryness. A mixture of premenopausal-related hormone issues combined with slower collagen production directly affects skin thickness and hydration, which means you have got to up your game when it comes to hydrating and moisturizing. The most common skin-related complaints of the 40s are the deepening of fine lines, dryness, the appearance of sunspots, and a loss of firmness of the skin.

A Korean skincare routine for your 40s is all about layering up the anti-aging products! Hyaluronic acid is a key player for hydration, Retinol at night time for increased cellular turnover, serums brimming with antioxidants to combat free radicals, and chemical exfoliants to remove dead skin cells and reveal that new, glowing skin below.  It may sound like a lot, but each of these products steps up to perform a specific job and all of them work together in harmony to keep your skin looking and feeling young and healthy.

Morning Routine:

  • Cleanser

At this point in time, you don’t want to do anything that will strip your skin of its natural oils, so a creamy or milk-based face wash is your best bet. A gentle facial cleanser is essential to wash away any sweat or dirt and debris that have built up overnight. 

  • Toner

Following your cleanser, we suggest implementing a toner to balance the skin’s pH levels, add some hydration, and assist in the absorption of your next products. We are partial to our dr. dream®  Advanced Facial Treatment Toner as it gently primes the skin for serum application, improving its permeability and ability to absorb active ingredients. 

  • Daily Antioxidant Serum

daily korean skincare

The third step in your skincare routine should be a nourishing, concentrated serum. Since your skin is now producing less sebum (the oil released from your pores that gives you some protection against environmental stressors), the best skin serum for daytime will be brimming with antioxidants. Antioxidants like vitamins C, E, and b5 fight off free radicals that damage healthy skin cells. You can also choose a serum that targets specific concerns- wrinkles, dehydration, or dark spots, to name a few. Serums absorb quickly and deeply, leaving you a fresh blank canvas to layer on your moisturizer, sunscreen, and if you choose makeup as well. We suggest dr. dream® Advanced Facial Treatment Serum, a highly concentrated gel-type serum that effectively promotes the stimulation of collagen to restore softness and suppleness to the skin. 

  • Eye Cream

Antiaging eye cream

At this point in time, you’ll want to start paying special attention to your eyes, as they are particularly susceptible to age-related dark circles, wrinkles, and sagging skin. Implement a hydrating under-eye cream to combat these common issues. Ingredients like caffeine are great at reducing puffiness and dark circles, while niacinamide helps to alleviate fine lines and arginine aids in the production of collagen. 

  • Moisturizer

Don’t forget to seal it all in with a light layer of moisturizer for all-day hydration!

  • Sunscreen

Ok, you know this already, but it bears repeating: sunscreen is non-negotiable. Every. Single. Day. SPF will stave off the appearance of dark spots, fine lines, and of course, wrinkles. Find a sunscreen that blends well, doesn’t leave you feeling greasy, and is easy to wear under makeup so that you have no excuse not to put it on each morning.


Nighttime Routine:

  • Cleanser

Your daytime cleanser is perfect for nighttime use as well. The only difference will be if you choose to do a double-cleanse or add an oil cleanser to the mix to help remove makeup before bed.

  • Exfoliate

Exfoliation is still important in our 40s, but forget the manual exfoliators you may have used in the past. As we age and our skin thins, abrasive scrubs, and masks are a no-go. Now it’s all about chemical exfoliation. Try to incorporate an acid-based exfoliator 2x per week to shed dead skin cells and promote cellular turnover, boost circulation, clear out pores that block product absorption, and give the skin a healthy, oxygen-boosted glow. 

  • Toner

For the pH-balancing properties, use your toner in the morning as well as at night.

  • Serum: A Nightly Retinol Treatment

Retinol treatment serum

Another anti-aging staple in this K-beauty routine is going to be your nightly retinol treatment. Retinol is a game-changer when it comes to stimulating collagen production and softening fine lines. Start slow, as in every 3-4 nights, since retinol can be harsh for sensitive skin. Especially so if you are opting for a powerful retinol cream or serum. Gradually increase to nightly usage as your skin will tolerate. Note: You won’t use your retinol treatment and your chemical exfoliator on the same night!

  • Sheet Mask

Korean sheet mask

On nights you feel the need for an extra dose of hydration, definitely reach for a moisturizing sheet mask. Sheet masks are great because you can choose one that is truly personalized to your skin type and condition. 

  • Eye Cream

Get a double dose of your daytime eye cream to lock in moisturize the sensitive under-eye area.

  • Moisturizer

Seal it all in with a thick nighttime moisturizer!

As the needs of your skin change with age, it’s important to update your skincare routine to match. But one thing is true of every age: taking care of your skin through healthy habits like limiting sun exposure, eating a healthful diet full of nutrient-rich foods, and drinking a sufficient amount of water, combined with lifestyle choices like daily physical activity, not smoking and getting plenty of sleep are ways to treat your skin (and the rest of your body!) with respect in your 40s and beyond.

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In 2008, a leading group of medical experts specialising in dermatology and plastic surgery debuted their brainchild at Dream Medical Group in Seoul: Dr. Dream Dermatological Skin Care.

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