The Beauty Balance Podcast With Dr. Usha Rajagopal: Skincare For Women Over 40

Haute Beauty caught up with Dr. Usha Rajagopal, a San Francisco board-certified plastic surgeon with over 20 years of experience, who dishes on the ultimate beauty gift guide for women over 40 including the must-have skin products and treatments.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Sunblock: I usually recommend sunblock SPF 30-50 on a daily basis if you’re out in the sun. If you’re in the water, I recommend SPF 100 and reapplying every 1-2 hours. That goes for both men and women.


Retin-A/Retinol: The second great product we can start using when we’re quite young is Retin-A or Retinol based products. Retinol is a non-prescription slightly milder form of Retin-A but both of them work well to help prevent fine wrinkles to improve overall skin quality and texture. However, Retin-A can be harsh for some people so it can create more dryness to the skin. It’s important that you start out slow and always use sunblock with it. I recommend Retin-A to be used at night time and sunblock during the daytime.

Vitamin C: The other really good ingredient is Vitamin C because it’s an antioxidant. Not only does it help improve the skin’s defense, but it also is a sun protectant.

DefenAge: There’s a really simple skincare regimen that I really love and highly recommend for women over 40 is the Defenage. It helps with wrinkles and improves the quality and clarity of my skin. I use it twice a day and works quite well.

Hydroquinone: For women of color, the skin tends to get more hyperpigmented in patches as they get older. So you don’t have the clear and even skin tone you had during youth and it does tend to get a little patchy due to hormonal changes. Sunblock is huge and a short burst of prescription-strength hydroquinone is also amazing. I do use hydroquinone once or twice a year and my favorite brands are from the ZO or Obagi line. The hydroquinone is not for prolonged use but for short term use.

Latisse: As you get older you start experiencing loss of hair. For example, with my eyelashes and eyebrows losing hair, I started using Latisse more regularly and I noticed that it does promote hair growth and thicken my eyelashes.

Non-Invasive Beauty Treatments:

Intense Pulse Light (IPL) or Broadband Light (BBL): These treatments work best on lighter skin tone. They even out skin tone and are great for brown pigmentation or sun damage so you can get more clear skin. If you want something stronger then you will need to go for the fractionated laser treatments. This is primarily for lighter skin tone and with the IPL it’s a simple out-patient procedure. You don’t have to take any time off but your skin will look a bit irritated for the first week.

SkinPen Microneedling + PRP: Another treatment with little to no downtime. Microneedling can be combined with PRP (Vampire Facial) and other growth factors and serums to improve the quality and boost collagen production of the skin. These are nice treatments to do on a regular basis.

Botox + Fillers: My two favorite aesthetic treatments are Botox and fillers. I get Botox done regularly in my upper face (between glabella, forehead, and eye area) and lower face (corners of my mouth, depressor anguli oris, and platysma bands). These are great treatments to do when you get older. I use all hyaluronic fillers that are available now both in the cheek and nasolabial fold areas. Fillers are a great non-invasive option for women beginning to age. These are my go-to regimens and I believe have helped me tremendously over the years.

For more information, visit Dr. Usha Rajagopal, MD's social media: