|Make daily sun protection a habit. Studies show
that if you apply sunscreen every day, your skin will begin to repair itself.
And until you've cleaned up your sun-protection act, trying to reverse the
damage is like spinning your wheels. "Because UVA rays are out in full force all
year long, even small doses of sunlight, like those you get by stepping outside
to run an errand, can undermine your effort to repair photodamage," explains
Helene R. Rosenzweig, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at UCLA
School of Medicine. And if you think you're safe in the car, think again. Though
windshields do protect against a significant amount of UVA and UVB rays, none of
the other car windows filter UVA, unless they're specially treated.
Add a retinoid to your skincare routine. Retinoids,
the anti-aging forms of vitamin A, work by normalizing the rate of skin-cell
production. Benefits appear after a month of use. Expect to feel softer skin and
see fewer fine lines, less blotchiness, and smaller pores. Dermatologists often
recommend Renova, a prescription formula ($60 for a six-month supply). For
patients who have minimal sun damage or don't want to put up with the irritation
you can get from Renova, they suggest retinols, a milder, slower-acting version
of vitamin A available over-the-counter. Note: Because Renova works by thinning
the top layer of the skin, it can leave skin more susceptible to burning, making
sunscreen critical. If you want to join the A team and you have sensitive skin,
start by using an OTC retinol, such as Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle
Cream ($12.99) or L'Oreal Line Eraser ($15), every third day and work up to a
daily application of Renova.
Feed your face with vitamin C. Vitamin C lotions
help to fade brown spots by suppressing the production of the skin pigment
melanin. In some users, it may boost collagen levels, helping to soften fine
lines. (Unfortunately, there's no way to predict who will see C's anti-aging
effects; Lupo advises giving a vitamin C product a 30-day trial.) Try: Cellex-C
High Potency Serum ($85) and Guinot Paris Newlight Lightening Lotion ($27). You
can, however, count on vitamin C to neutralize free radicals, the unstable,
skin-sabotaging molecules triggered by sun exposure. So wear vitamin C under
your sunscreen. Some new creams combine vitamin C with sunscreen. Two to try:
Revlon Vitamin C Absolutes Daily Radiance Cream SPF 15 ($14.95) and Lustra AF
SPF 15 ($57; available by prescription) with hydroquinone (to even skin tone),
vitamin C, glycolic acid, and Parsol 1789.
Mine the benefits of copper.
Turns out there is something you can do about sagging. The newest anti-ager
is a patented ingredient called copper peptide. Recent research has found
that this mineral is a powerful antioxidant that may stimulate production of
collagen and elastin, the fibers that keep skin firm and supple. Check out
Osmotics Blue Copper Firming Elasticity Repair Cream ($55) and Neutrogena
Visibly Firm Night Cream ($20).
pucker back in your lips. Thinner lips are a sign of sun-induced
collagen loss. Collagen injections are not beneficial to health. Rather,
slick on a lip plumper. Products such as Paula Dorf Perfect Illusion ($20;
call 888-472-8523) fill out your pout by attracting and holding water.
Results last anywhere from a few hours to a full day.