What’s The Best Over 40 Skin Care To Brighten Dull Skin?

Cynthia Bailey, MD|January 13, 2012

Ask a dermatologistDear Dr Bailey I am 42 with quite good skin and not a big problem yet with wrinkles.  I do suffer from tight feeling skin and lumpy skin with blackheads.  My skin mainly looks very dull and uneven.  My skin is quite tolerant. I'm confused what products would be best. I am ordering some of your body care products but would love to know what skincare products would be suited for me to order. Many thanks for your help. Kind regards Helen W Hello Helen, One of my favorite places to start with skin care that brightens skin and decreases blackheads is glycolic acid.  It also helps to even skin color and reduce wrinkles, which are otherwise part of everyone's future as our skin ages. The simplest way to add glycolic acid to your skin care is to use one of my Glycolic Acid Anti-Aging Kits such as this one for 'normal' skin.   I have different kits based on skin type (normal and combination, oily or dry).  These kits come with the Buf Puf Facial Sponge that gives an instantly brighter exfoliated look to skin.  Patients love this product combo.

Glycolic Acid Anti-Aging Kit For Normal Skin

Best glycolic acid skin care products for normal skin

Remember, it's also important to use a mineral sunscreen every day to help prevent darkening of uneven hyperpigmentation and worsening of wrinkles.  My favorite mineral zinc oxide sunscreen is Citrix, which I've personally worn every day for years. The product sequence of this regimen is: Morning:

  1. Cleanse with Glytone Mild Gel Wash and the Buf Puf Facial Sponge
  2. Apply Citrix Sunscreen


  1. Cleanse with Glytone Mild Gel Wash with or without the Buf Puf
  2. Apply the Glycolic Acid Anti-Aging Face Cream 15%

Eventually, as skin adjusts to the glycolic acid, it's often possible to apply the Glycolic Acid Anti-Aging Face Cream 15% under the Citrix Sunscreen during the day too.  It takes at least few weeks for skin to adjust and be ready for twice daily glycolic acid so I typically start patients once a day. For the ultimate state-of-the-art skin care regimen though it's possible to use the Glycolic Acid Anti Aging Kit and an Antioxidant Kit. This gives all the benefits of antioxidant skin care (reduces inflammation and potential free radical skin damage, reduces wrinkles by acting on at the cellular level in your skin and further evens skin color), includes the Citrix Sunscreen mineral sun protection, plus you're getting the skin brightening and blackhead reduction that comes from the glycolic acid products. For example, a person with normal skin would use the Glycolic Acid Kit for Normal Skin that I mentioned above, and an Anti-Aging Antioxidant Kit

Anti-Aging Antioxidant Kit

The product sequence of this regimen is: Morning:

  1. Cleanse with Glytone Mild Gel Wash and the Buf Puf Sponge.  Twice a week use the Replenix Scrub in place of the Glytone Gel Wash
  2. Apply Replenix CF Cream
  3. Apply Professional Cell Repair Serum
  4. Apply Citrix Sunscreen


  1. Wash with Glytone Mild Gel Wash without the Buf Puf sponge
  2. Apply Replenix CF Cream
  3. Apply Glycolic Acid Anti-Aging Face Cream 15%

With this regimen, the Glycolix is not added during the day because the Professional Cell Repair Serum is applied instead. The final option to this regimen is to add a moisturizer during the day if you find that there are parts of your skin need even a little more 'thirst quenching'.  For blackhead prone skin I like the Daily Moisturizing Face Cream for Oily to Normal Skin (not to be confused with the one that has glycolic acid!).

Daily Moisturizing Face Cream for Oily to Normal Skin

This moisturizer goes on just before the Citrix during the day.  At night the Glycolix with glycolic acid doubles as your moisturizer. These are the building blocks of complete skin care; the products each play a role in improving your skin problems by fighting the signs of aging, protecting your skin, keeping your pores clean and giving you instantly improved skin appearance.   Equally importantly, all the products and ingredients are compatible so you're not wasting your money on products that counteract each other.  Building skin care regimens like this is what I, as an MD skin care professional, do all day - and I love it! Thanks for a great question. Cheers, Cynthia Bailey MD, Dermatologist If you have questions about skin care or skin health please send them to me using the Contact Dr. Bailey button at the top of the page. Disclaimer: Please realize that availing yourself of the opportunity to submit and receive answers to your questions from Dr. Bailey does not confer a doctor/patient relationship with Dr. Bailey. The information provided by Dr. Bailey is general health information inspired by your question. It should not be a substitute for obtaining medical advice from your physician and is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific medical problem (and is not an extension of the care Dr. Bailey has provided in her office for existing patients of her practice). Never ignore your own doctor’s advice because of something you read here; this information is for general informational purpose only.

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