Ladies, the rules have changed. Just like we can't stay out all night tossing back cocktails and expect to emerge like the unblemished butterflies we did in our 20s and even 30s, now we also need to rethink our skincare. 


We’re playing a different game these days, and not even the best makeup can help us if we don’t nail down the fundamentals. Thankfully, changing up our approach to skincare doesn’t mean rethinking our whole lives. With a few simple and effective adjustments, we can play to win. 


Just follow these tips. 


1) Protect yourself. It doesn't matter if it is overcast or sunny, you need to be protecting your skin from the sun. Wear sunscreen anytime you are out during the day - on any part of your body that is exposed (i.e. face, arms, hands, legs, feet, etc.). Wear a hat if you are out and about midday.  Sure, a little vitamin D is good for you, but - while you may think a tan is the way to a healthy, even glow - the sun is your friend like a fine wine is your pal: a little is good, but too much will lead to regrets. 


2) Lay off the sauce. And speaking of wine, ease up on the booze. Alcohol can will will dehydrate your entire body, making your skin appear dull, increase the appearance of wrinkles, while also making you look puffy. No one is saying you have to teetotal your way through life, but be aware of the damaging effects of alcohol on your skin so you can imbibe more wisely. (And if and when you do, drink plenty of water before, during and after.)


3) Moisturize! There are no shortages of age-defying skincare and makeup brands out there, so use them to plump up your skin. If you're really committed to arm-wrestling the hands of time, look for products with hyaluronic acid, which comes highly recommended by dermatologists.


4) Use retinol. Boosting collagen, accelerating cell turnover, reducing fine lines and unclogging pores: these are the most alluring benefits retinol cream - even when used just a few times a week. While the stuff prescribed by your dermatologist is undoubtedly the most potent (and thereby effective), you can still enjoy visibly impressive results with over the counter brands. 


5) Take it off. Take it all off. Talking about makeup here. No matter how tired you are, if you want to rest assured you're giving your skin the TLC it needs, never go to bed without removing your makeup. It needs a chance to breathe and rejuvenate, free and clear. The process doesn't have to be a long and tedious. Use cleansing clothes for those nights you can hardly keep your eyes open. 


6) Shed your skin. Nothing instantly brightens your complexion like exfoliating. Do it everyday to slough off dry, flaky skin. You don't even have to buy any products. Use sugar (white or brown) and a little olive oil to make a paste, hop into the shower and then apply it to your face and body, rubbing in firm, but not aggressive, small circular motions with a washcloth or shower glove. You can also use a washcloth and coconut oil for a one-step DIY exfoliant


7) Hit the hay. There are a lot of great things about getting older, but the changes in our sleep patterns aren't usually one of them, and unfortunately, a lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your complexion. When we don't sleep enough, our bodies produce more cortisol - the stress hormone that can cause us to look (and be) pale, bloated and fatigued. Don't lie down and accept it. 


Your body recalibrates itself through hydration and releases more growth hormones when you snooze, which helps repair damaged cells - including skin cells. No sleep means no repair, and when left unchecked, this will accelerate the aging process big time. Make adjustments to improve your sleep hygiene, and then enjoy some beauty sleep. 


Like I said, it doesn’t take long to make these changes. It’s just a matter of having the information, and putting it into place. Our skin can be just as radiant as ever, so use these tips and let it shine.