Skin Care At Every Age

Dr. Murad
Skin Care At Every Age
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The options in the skin care aisle today can be so overwhelming--how's a girl supposed to figure out what she should be using? As our skin ages, it has different needs and requires different types of products. Follow these tips to learn the skin care routine that's right for your age.

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You are never too young to take care of your skin. Now is the time to start a healthy skin care regimen--if you do it now, your complexion will thank you later. Products that are a must include a good cleanser, a treatment product and a moisturizer with an SPF--you should follow the Cleanse/Tone, Treat/Repair and Hydrate/Protect system for healthy, radiant skin.

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Teens tend to experiment with makeup and with their constant busy schedules, they often forget to wash their face at night. Your skin should be washed both day and night to remove the dirt, excess oil and debris that can clog pores, leading to breakouts. Try a cleanser with salicylic acid to help combat breakouts, or a gentle cleanser infused with fruit enzymes for natural exfoliation.

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Studies show that a majority of sun damage occurs by the time you're 18, so sun protection is a must! Teens should look for sunscreens that do more than just protect from sun damage. Moisturizers with SPF protection that also contain antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and hydrators will help strengthen the skin's barrier, making it better able to defend itself.

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Most signs of aging begin to emerge when people are in their 20s with the appearance of fine lines, dry skin, and a tired complexion. To ensure skin continues to look young and supple, embark on an anti-aging skin care routine now. Use products that incorporate alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA's), vitamins A and C, as well as glycolic acid to keep skin smooth and radiant.

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It's true that you are what you eat and your diet can make its way to your skin. The work/life balance for 20-somethings can be erratic and some turn to fast food diets for a quick, inexpensive meal. It's better to incorporate natural fats like nuts, olive oils and seeds, as these promote glowing skin, and strong hair and nails, while naturally lowering triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels that can affect your health later in life.

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Using tanning beds significantly accelerates skin aging, which isn't something most young people take into consideration, which, when they're older, they'll wish they had. If you insist on having a tan, the only safe alternatives are self-tanners and bronzers or, my personal favorite, a healthy appreciation for your skin's natural coloring.

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Balancing work, family, friends and personal duties can cause exhaustion, making dark circles under the eyes appear more prevalent. Help erase the tired look by using a product with lightening agents, like hydroquinone, to help lessen the appearance of the dark areas.

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Help your skin turn back the clock with your food vices. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which act as an antioxidant that protects the body from aging caused by free radicals. Red wine contains resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant that can slow the age-related deterioration of cells. Always in moderation, of course.

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The skin around your eyes will likely be the first place that fine lines appear and begin to "age" your skin. Help diminish them by using an eye cream both day and night to hydrate the skin around the eyes and increase suppleness. Try using an eye cream with a broad-based SPF during the day, to protect against both UVA and UVB radiation, and a moisturizing eye cream in the evening.

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Women in their 40s are starting to deal with the thinning skin that comes with age, as the supportive subcutaneous fat--which supports our skin--depletes causing pores, follicles and oil glands to appear more prominent. That's why exfoliation is key for a healthy complexion. Exfoliating with AHA's or a cleansing brush will help unclog pores and reawaken the complexion.

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Internal skin care is just as important as topical skin care products because topical products can only aide the 20% of skin that's on the surface; internal will take care of the other 80%. So don't forget to take daily vitamin supplements! A supplement regimen should include a complex of amino acids, glucosamine, vitamin B6, antioxidants, including grape seed extract, and vitamins A, C, D & E.

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The dcollet is one of the areas that shows a woman's true age, due to the delicate nature of the thin skin on the neck and its constant exposure to the elements. Start using an anti-aging product specifically formulated for the neck, from your jawline all the way down to your chest. Look for one that includes phytoestrogens, retinols and licorice root to help smooth, plump and erase discoloration.

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Menopausal women in their 50s are dealing with hormonal aging that appears in the form of deep wrinkles, a lackluster complexion, and dry, sagging skin. Products with ingredients that plump the skin, like hyaluronic acid and retinol, will help offset the effects of this aging and restore a more youthful complexion.

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After the age of 20, we all lose one percent of our natural collagen (Ed's note: Eek!), so by the time you're in your 50s, your collagen levels are depleting fast. Incorporate foods like carrots, sweet potatoes and oranges into your diet, as these are packed with vitamin A and C, both of which help restore and give life back to damaged collagen.

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