Some of the most enviable stars have turned 40 recently or will soon, and they're un-freaking-believably gorgeous. There's no way we weren't going to hunt down what they did in their 20s and 30s to stay so hot. Check out our picks for The Best Anti-Aging Products Out There.
1. They are obsessive about sunscreen.
We've all seen pictures of these stars diving off yachts in Saint-Tropez or walking on the beach in Malibu, but they're also militant practicing safe sun. "They don't live in a cocoon to avoid rays, but they also don't lie out in the sun for hours, and believe me, they are always putting on sunscreen," says New York dermatologist Albert M. Lefkovits, who treats celebrities and supermodels.
These celebs even go one step further, according to their derms. They wear sunscreen inside. UVA rays have a scarily remarkable way of finding your face through windows and by reflecting off shiny surfaces, point out the pros.
Another obsession: Sunglasses. "Large lenses with UVA/UVB filters ward off sun damage, and they prevent you from squinting, which causes crow's feet," says Dr. Lefkovits.
2. They were the first to fall in love with retinoids.
Every time you invest in a jar of cream, you take a leap of faith that it'll actually do what it claims to. But there have been many studies proving the benefits of retinoids - vitamin-A derivatives that speed up cellular turnover - and these glowing 40-and-over celebrities are now walking billboards for this magic ingredient.
"The first prescription retinoid, Retin-A, became available in the early 1970s as an anti-acne remedy," explains Jessica Wu, a dermatologist in Los Angeles. "The stars who are now in their 40s started using Retin-A as teenagers to control their breakouts."
Decades later, dermatologists realized the antiaging benefits of retinoids, such as encouraging collagen production, reducing fine lines, improving elasticity, and plumping the skin, Dr. Wu continues. "Renova, a more moisturizing version of a prescription retinoid, was launched as an anti-aging cream, and these stars transitioned over to that." Now, you don't even need a prescription to get an over-the-counter version of the cream that still contains enough of the ingredient to make it effective.
3. They're exfoliating queens.
"My clients have always gotten facials once a month to exfoliate their skin, and then they maintain results between appointments with an at-home scrub," says med-spa owner Kate Somerville, founder of Kate Somerville Skin Health Experts, whose clients include Felicity Huffman, Kate Walsh, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
The secret these celebs know: Old, dull cells are the enemy. To look glimmery and dewy, you have to be diligent about stripping off that top dead-cell sludge through derm-abrasion, peels, or scrubs. This allows products to penetrate better, explains Dr. Lancer, and it increases blood flow, which brings more oxygen to your skin's surface and spurs collagen production.
"I've been giving celebrities peels for years," says Dr. Wu, who uses a combination of salicylic acid and enzymes to dissolve the top layers of skin. "They got peels in their 20s to unclog pores and prevent acne. In their 30s, peels helped get rid of uneven pigmentation problems. Now in their 40s, peels help remove any sun-damaged skin and give them that glow." Find out how to get amazing skin at any age.
4. They never tolerate a skin freak-out.
Since the day they booked their first Hollywood gig, these women have had to show up to work with a perfect face. "The first sight of a pimple, a rash, or any other type of inflammatory reaction sends them, and always has, straight to the dermatologist's office," says dermatologist David Colbert, founder of the New York Dermatology Group and who treats Rachel Weisz, Naomi Campbell, and Edie Falco. These acne fighters get rid of zits fast.
This OCD attention has paid off big now that dermatologists are linking inflammation to premature aging. "If your skin is flushed and inflamed, there's an overload of blood flow, which eventually shows up as visible blood vessels or red blotches on your skin. Inflammation can also cause swelling," explains Dr. Lefkovits. Biggest rule: Don't pick at your pimples; it prompts inflammation. Instead, treat a blemish with an acne spot-treatment that contains salicylic acid.Beauty Products Celebs Can't Live Without Hair That Gets You What You Want
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.