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Joanna Vargas has the magic touch—she's responsible for the red carpet glows of everyone from Debra Messing to Mindy Kaling to Jenna Dewan, using brilliant signature services like her Triple Crown Facial, a microcurrent tightening and lifting treatment that's deserving of a blue ribbon. And unsurprisingly, Vargas, a woman in her 40s, has skin people in their 20s would kill for.
We know that as we get older, our skin composition changes (read: less collagen, thinner skin, the development of fine lines and wrinkles), but it seems that Vargas has beat these odds and found the key to the fountain of youth. As such, we thought we'd tap her for the skincare practices she personally swears by, particularly for aging skin. Below, she shares her best secrets.
The Most Common Skincare Mistakes
"Not using sunscreen. People wonder why Julianne Moore has such great skin. While her facials are extremely important, her lifelong use of sunscreen is really her biggest anti-aging secret." Vargas admits.
Moreover, she cites harsh exfoliation as another common misstep. "Over-exfoliating is another mistake I see repeatedly. Somehow, women have gotten the impression that the more they use retinol, glycolic, and scrubs, the better. However, we really need to understand that the skin can only take so much of that stuff. I see time and again women who come in with red, inflamed skin who think they need more peels and microdermabrasion. The skin thins over time with all of that, and I think we can all agree that once you reach the point of inflammation you really can't expect anything good to result."
If you over-exfoliated, try repairing your skin with niacinamide, a skin-firming, barrier-repairing ingredient.
How to Adjust Your Skincare Regimen After 40
"It's important to keep the skin its healthiest in order for it to look its best," Vargas laments. "After 40, your skin often lacks the ability to produce natural oils to keep the skin looking hydrated and fresh, so you need to add a moisture barrier in order for the skin to stay glowing, even in summer."
That said, Vargas also recommends a moisturizer that causes a bit of cell turnover, but also contains anti-inflammatory ingredients (it's helpful if you have thinner, more sensitive skin). For this, she recommends her namesake brand's Daily Hydrating Cream.
- When you wash your face in the morning, stay away from extreme temperatures on your skin, as it may dry it out.
- Follow with a brightening, protective serum layered with a hydrating serum. Vargas recommends something with vitamins C and E, as well as hyaluronic acid.
- Apply a nutrient-rich, emollient moisturizer to seal it all in along your face, neck, and chest.
- Never go to bed without washing your face. Vargas uses her Vitamin C Face Wash ($40), which is a foaming exfoliating cleanser.
- After cleansing, apply a serum to help with cell turnover (if you're going to use retinol, make sure the formula also offers soothing, hydrating ingredients as well).
- Follow with a moisturizer and sleeping mask if you feel you need extra hydration or exfoliation.
The Treatments to Try
"Invest in LED light therapy—it's amazing for women to maintain collagen production, reducing surface damage and sun damage," Vargas suggests. She's also a huge fan of microcurrent. "It’s great for people of any age," she says, adding, "and, above all, make sure to visit your dermatologist once a year for skin cancer checks. And, if you can afford it, make an appointment for a laser treatment yearly."