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Anti-aging Skin Care in your 30s

Problem: Fine lines; uneven skin tone

You can thank three decades of sun exposure for these.

lf you aren't already using a daily moisturizer or foundation with an SPF of 15 or higher, start slathering it on. Look for a product labeled "broad-spectrum," meaning it protects you from both wrinkle-causing UVA rays and burning UVB rays.

You should also incorporate a few other age-busting ingredients such as antioxidants into your routine. Environmental assaults create free radicals - molecules that break down collagen and elastin, the supportive fibres that make your skin firm and elastic. When the fibres start to disconnect, skin wrinkles and sags. Antioxidants destroy free radicals, protecting existing collagen and elastin and stimulating the production of new collagen.

Dermatologists have been buzzing about the effectiveness of idebenone, a synthetic antioxidant, vitamins C and E, and green or white tea. Whatever product you go with, experts recommend giving it a 3-month trial period: If your skin feels softer and looks brighter, you'll know it's working.

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as glycolic acid (from sugar) and lactic acid (from milk) can also help by sloughing off the dead cells that make skin look dull.

If after 4 to 6 weeks you're not happy with the results of a nonprescription AHA product, your dermatologist may recommend an in-office procedure that uses a blend of more-potent ingredients. The most effective combination is a solution of 20 to 70 per cent AHAs plus a prescription vitamin A derivative (Retino A), which helps the acids penetrate better.

Problem: Wrinkles around the eyes

The eyes have it - thinner, more-sensitive skin, that is. While regular facial moisturizers can keep the skin supple, eye creams usually contain lower concentrations of active ingredients and fewer preservatives, so they are gentler.

Make sure the cream you choose (see wrinkle cream reviews) includes the basics, such as sunscreen and antioxidants. If you need a little extra help, look for ingredients like caffeine and magnolia extract to reduce puffiness; coneflower to cool and soothe or vitamin K to lessen dark under-eye circles.

Problem: Breakouts

Upto 50 per cent of women over age 25 have adult acne. Hormones are the problem. When levels of androgens, the testosterone-like chemicals responsible for acne, rise - just before your period, for instance, or whenever you are particularly stressed ­ your oil glands go into overdrive, causing clogged pores and sometimes leading to acne flare-ups.

If you have always been pimple-prone, you may find that the pattern of your breakouts is changing as you age (adult acne tends to appear on the lower part of the face) and that the treatments you used when you were younger don't work as well.

To target breakouts without overdrying your skin, wash your face twice daily with a gentle nonsoap lotion and avoid harsh toners that contain alcohol. Use a noncomedogenic (non-pore-clogging) moisturizer with moisture-attracting humectants like glycerin and hyaluronic acid, but stay away from pore blockers such as mineral oil and lanolin.

Prescription retinoid creams, such as Retino A, clear pores and fight wrinkles at the same time. If your skin doesn't respond to these chemicals, the dermatologist may decide to prescribe stronger remedy.

Oral antibiotics can kill acne-causing bacteria, while birth control pills can control breakouts by decreasing oil production.

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Anti-aging skin care in your 40s

Anti-aging skin care in your 50s

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