1. Make SPF Your BFF: Ward off future skin damage (think wrinkles and sun spots) by applying 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 and contains antioxidants.
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.
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.
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.
5. Get a checkup: See a dermatologist annually for a full-body examine; the doc will check any moles that have gotten darker, bigger, or more textured.