Age brilliantly

Get beautiful, radiant skin with expert dos and don'ts for every decade. (Hint: using the same old cleanser year after year doesn't cut it
By Catherine Franklin and Kate Daley

In your 20s
Find a Routine
Trust us — treat your skin with a little TLC now and it will thank you later. To make that dewy complexion last, slather on some sunscreen every day, and always wash your face before bed. If breakouts are an issue, don’t touch those spots! Instead, look for products that are oil-free and non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores) or that contain salicylic acid (which helps prevent pimples).

Your Biggest Dos
From the dermatologists: Eighty percent of premature aging is sun-related. The best way to combat it is to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen: use minimum SPF 30, and SPF 45 if you’re outside all day.

From the esthetician: Lightly exfoliate once a week to enhance your skin’s natural renewal process. And customize your daily skin-care ritual so it matches your skin type.
If you have sensitive skin, use gentle, unscented products that won’t irritate it. Choose water-based moisturizers or gel creams if you’re prone to acne or have an oily complexion.

From the cosmetic surgeon: As you approach 30, consider using a prescription skin-care line that contains higher concentrations of active ingredients.

But don’t do this
Never use tanning beds or lie in the sun without protection. If you crave that glow, buy a self-tanner — if you do it right, the results are incredibly realistic, giving you the look you want without the damage.

Best-Kept Secret
We tried it, we loved it
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, $150
Research shows that vitamins C and E are powerful antioxidants that can actually prevent damage caused by the sun. A couple of drops of SkinCeuticals’ Vitamin C E Ferulic antioxidant serum increases the skin’s ability to reduce the effects of free-radical damage. And the best part is that it’s designed to deeply penetrate the skin so it keeps on working for up to five days after you apply it. It isn’t a replacement for your daily hit of SPF, but it is one powerful ounce of prevention.

In your 30s
Target Trouble Spots
Even if you take great care of your skin and always wear sunscreen, sun damage and fine lines are starting to show up. You may notice your complexion appears blotchy or uneven and expression lines are forming on your forehead and around your eyes. Zero in on problem areas with products that contain more antioxidants, which even out your complexion, protect your skin from environmental damage and fight wrinkles.

Your Biggest Dos
From the dermatologists: Use a product that contains vitamin C during the day — it protects your skin from environmental pollutants. Consider adding a night one that contains vitamin A (available by prescription only) if you’re really concerned about wrinkles and you don’t have sensitive skin. Or try vitamin A’s drugstore derivative, retinol. Both help keep
acne at bay and also fight fine lines.

From the esthetician: Choose a cleanser that contains a gentle exfoliant and use it two to three times a week. Make sure to moisturize,
and use lots of sunscreen for day.

From the cosmetic surgeon: Photo Facials and Intense Pulsed Light Facials firm up skin, target brown spots and discoloration, and have a quick recovery time. Consider a series of five treatments, one every three weeks for 15 weeks.

But don’t do this
Never use products containing harsh physical exfoliants, such as apricot seeds or walnuts. They damage skin by creating microscopic tears on its surface.

In your 40s
Get Serious
Signs you began to notice in your 30s become more prominent in your 40s. Because cell turnover decreases with age, your skin takes on a dull-looking complexion; a loss of volume in your cheeks can accentuate lines around your nose and mouth; and you may notice slight drooping around your jawline as your skin loses elasticity. In addition, a loss of fat in the subcutaneous layer leaves your skin more fragile.

Your Biggest Dos
From the dermatologists: Try an at-home micro-dermabrasion kit. Exfoliating on a regular basis will help brighten skin. It’ll also help prep it for the ingredients you’ll apply afterwards: antioxidants such as coffee berry and vitamin C; glycolic acid and retinol products, which can also help stimulate collagen and lighten sun spots; niacinamide also helps with skin tone, texture and uneven discoloration.

From the esthetician: Start using a rich, moisturizing night cream that has an alpha-hydroxy in it. At the spa, try glycolic-acid treatments to increase cell turnover. (Be sure to use extra sun protection when doing any exfoliating treatment — it can make skin more sensitive.) If you have darker skin, ask your doctor before trying any acid-based treatments.

From the cosmetic surgeon: Try neuro-modulators or neurotoxins — a.k.a. Botox — every six months to a year. (Don’t eliminate your wrinkles; just aim to soften your lines.) Using dermal fillers such as Restylne or Jurederm along the cheekbones will subtly support the face structure.

But don’t do this
Make sure you’re not shopping blindly. Check out your doctor with your province’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, which can tell you if they’ve been sued. And be sure to ask your doctor about the risks of any procedure.

In your 50s
Up the Ante
Age, hormonal issues and years of sun damage combine to make your skin dry. Dilated capillaries increase and wrinkles deepen on the areas of your face that have repeated muscular action. Along with the breakdown of collagen and elastin that leads to density loss, there are also some integral bone changes, which can lead to sagging.

Your biggest dos
From the dermatologists: Since skin becomes drier at this age, try heavier creams or lotions that contain hyaluronic acid, which help it retain moisture, and use a moisturizing mask once a week to work against the appearance of wrinkles by plumping up the skin. For deeper creases on your face, try a routine with retinoid products. Hydroquinone products will help treat age spots.

From the esthetician: As skin starts to lose plumpness and tone, it’s also more susceptible to irritants. Look for ingredients such as vitamin K, azulene and anti-glycation serums that help replace collagen. Use a rich cream cleanser and an alcohol-free toner with maple, orange or green-tea extracts.

From the plastic surgeon: Injectibles, lasers and radio-frequency procedures can keep your skin looking five to 10 years younger. Or try strategic surgeries: speak with
a professional about small nips and tucks on the brow and upper and lower lids, and about mini facelifts, which take a minimum of 10 days of recovery. Just remember that less is more.

But don’t do this
People with sensitive aging skin should avoid micro-dermabrasion and other harsh products. Instead, make sure your skin is hydrated, using delicate balms and rich creams.


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