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October 22, 2010

Splurge vs. Steal: Beauty Bargains

model with great skin

model with great skin

Photo Credit: Jason Lloyd Evans

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Splurge Facials: Face time with your dermatologist or aesthetician means money well spent. "The skin cycles once every 28 days, leaving complexion-dulling dead cells in its wake," says Chicago-based dermatologist Dr. Carolyn Jacob. "Monthly dermabrasion or facial appointments are ideal to slough away the cells and keep the skin looking as fresh as possible." If monthly appointments are too much of a commitment, "going once every two to three months also has benefits," she adds.

New Skincare Advances: As for at-home products, growth-factor-rich eye creams and moisturizers are expensive but can be beneficial for reversing the signs of aging in post-20s skin.

Supplements: Jacob recommends investing in pharmaceutical-grade omega-3 fish-oil gel caps and vitamin D supplements. "These strengthen the skin and promote better internal health, too," Jacob explains.

Steal Daily Staples: "I don't think you have to buy fancy products," says dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman. "Use the money you save to treat yourself to a treatment or filler." In particular, she recommends buying inexpensive cleanser because it spends very little time on your skin before it washes down the drain. "I put my cheapo cleanser in a crystal pump so it looks beautiful."

MC RECOMMENDS: Skin Effects by Dr. Jeffrey Dover Glycolic Cream Cleanser, $13.

Tried-and-True Ingredients: At drugstores, look for proven ingredients like retinol, antioxidants, salicylic acid, niacinamide, soy, and sunscreen with UVA/UVB coverage.

MC RECOMMENDS: Advanced Home Actives Brazilian Peel, $78 for set of four.

Fancy Face Oils: We found skin-plumping, ultra-nourishing power in these under-$40 bottles.

MC RECOMMENDS: Kaé Vitality Day Serum With Rose, $38; Melvita Calendula Oil, $19; Pratima Kapha Essential Oil for Oily Skin, $34.

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