Want to cop a glowing complexion and ward off age-related issues - like fine lines and wrinkles? Don't wait until you have 40 candles on the cake. Act now!
Your Age: 18-25
Your skin's characteristics: Because your oil glands are working at full speed, your skin is supple and naturally well moisturized. Your cells regenerate regularly, giving you an even texture and a pretty, rosy glow. But as you probably also know, there's a downside: Excess oil production sometimes causes breakouts and a shiny look.
Your skin strategy should be:
Suds up with a mild cleanser to remove makeup, oil and dirt without stripping your skin. A good pick: Dior Rinse-Off Cleansing Foam, $28. If you have greasy skin, use a foaming oil-free face wash. Try Noxzema Continuous Clean Foaming Cleanser, $4.
- Go for an oil-free moisturizer (with SPF during the day). Pick one that has antioxidants like vitamins C or E - or better yet, a combination of both. The free-radical fighters help prevent and repair sun and environmental damage. We like American Beauty Youth-Full Anti-Aging Face Lotion SPF 15, $25. Avoid pore-clogging heavy creams.
- Keep blemishes at bay by exfoliating one to two times a week with a gentle scrub. If you're prone to breakouts, try a benzoyl peroxide system like Proactiv. Just have a lone pimple or two? Dab on a salicylic acid spot treatment. It'll zap your zits pronto. A new one: Aveeno Clear Complexion Correcting Treatment, $14.
- Now that you've got your skin under control, check out these 20 Sexy Ideas for Long Hair!
Your Age: 26-30
Your skin's characteristics:Finally! Your skin's oil production is under control. Except for the occasional zit, you should be in the clear, so to speak. Hate to break it to you though, your collagen production and cell renewal is slowing down, so environmental issues can play a heavier role since your cells aren't regenerating as often.
Your skin strategy should be:
- Switch to a cleanser with salicylic acid and gentle sloughers. It will prevent sporadic breakouts and get rid of dullness-causing dead skin cells. A new one that does both: Olay Total Effects Anti-Aging Anti-Blemish Daily Cleanser, $7.
- Throw in a deeper exfoliating treatment weekly. Glycolic peel and microdermabrasion kits remove damaged surface skin, revealing a fresher layer underneath and also stimulate collagen production. Try Lancôme Resurface Peel, $145, or Clinique Turnaround 15-Minute Facial, $34.50.
- Keep sweeping on an antioxidant-laced oil-free lotion (with SPF in the a.m.). But at night, pick one that also contains retinol, which encourages cell renewal and actually teaches your skin to exfoliate more efficiently on its own. Retinol needs to be used in the p.m. because sunlight harms its effectiveness. Our pick: L'Oréal Revitalist Double Lifting Pump, $16.59.
- Make sure you are smoothing on a serum twice a day. Most can deliver more potent levels of age-fighting active ingredients (including antioxidants) than a regular lotion. We love Chanel Rectifiance Intense Serum, $85; Alaur Clock-Stopping C, $95; and Murad Cellular Serum, $44. A new antioxidant to check out is idebenone - derms report that it's extremely powerful. A great serum with it: Elizabeth Arden Prevage, $150.
- Follow your a.m. serum application with an SPF lotion that will also treat pigmentation probs. We like Good Skin All Bright Moisturizing Sunscreen, $12.
- Layer a heavier moisturizer and eye cream at night (read: ditch the oil-free stuff!) over the serum to boost hydration. Look for hefty doses of retinol and hyaluronic acid, a plumping agent that attracts moisture from the air to the skin. Try Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Intensive Night Cream and Eye Cream, $17 each.
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.