The 5 Healthy-Skin Rules We Follow

By Heather Muir, Allure magazine

Now that it's November, there's a reason to celebrate-one that doesn't involve a countdown to turkey (or to holiday gifts: But Santa, if you're listening, I'd like a vintage vanity this year). November, it turns out, is National Healthy Skin month. We know it's hard not to get overwhelmed with the hundreds of skin-care products that line store shelves-and the seemingly infinite information that comes with each of them-so we put together a list of five simple rules we use to keep our own skin supple, glowing, and young-looking.

1. Make SPF Your BFF:
Ward off future skin damage (think wrinkles and sun spots) by rubbing on a broad-spectrum formula that contains Helioplex, Mexoryl, or Active Photobarrier Complex-they offer the longest-acting protection-has an SPF of at least 30 (the new everyday standard), and contains antioxidants. We love Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 30.

2. Exfoliate often:
Sad but true, cell turnover starts to slow down around age 30, which can leave skin dull, so it's key to use products that speed up the process, like an at-home peel with alpha hydroxy acids. We like Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel.

3. Rely on retinol:
It's the one anti-aging ingredient pretty much every dermatologist recommends. Why? When used correctly-applied nightly for two months straight-retinol builds collagen to smooth out wrinkles, and, by sloughing off the top layer of skin, it can help fade dark spots. Use a pearl-size dot to avoid irritation (you can also dab a mild cream on top). It's important to look for the word "retinol" on the ingredients panel-other versions aren't as effective. Try RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream.

4. Mix ingredients to fight acne:
For the best results, take a combination approach to combatting acne by using a salicylic acid wash to unclog pores, and a benzoyl peroxide lotion to reduce inflammation and bacteria. Our blemish-prone staffers rely on the Proactiv system.

5. Get a checkup:
You schedule yearly visits to the dentist, eye doctor, and gynecologist, don't you? Well, your skin needs attention, too. See a dermatologist annually for a full-body examine; the doc will check any moles that have gotten darker, bigger, or more textured. Find one in your area on the American Academy of Dermatology's web site.

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Photo Credit: WWD