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March 2, 2012

Anti-Aging Time Management

It's a given — wear sunscreen. It's your best defense against the UV rays that break down collagen faster than you can say "wrinkle cream." But there's more to saving face than SPF. Here's what else you can do and how to find the right fix for your needs and schedule. The winter doldrums are the perfect time to plan your spring skin "awakening." Alene Dawson counts us off.

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Wrinkles aren't the only indicator of age. A recent study conducted by the University of Goettingen and the University of Vienna suggests that discoloration may be just as incriminating, because an even skin tone is equated with youth, health, and fertility.


3 months: Eat right. Dermatologist Dr. Howard Murad says that to protect skin from spots, work from the inside out: "Up your internal SPF by eating raw fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants, like pomegranates, goji berries, tomatoes, broccoli, strawberries, and green tea." The more consistent you are, the better your skin will look. The goal: a lifetime habit of good eating, and great skin.

1 month: Mix in vitamin C. Ingredients like hydroquinone and kojic acid have been Rx mainstays for years, but the newest and more gentle way to an even skin tone is vitamin C — now delivered in high-tech "activated" but stable serums. Shiseido and Kiehl's have just debuted formulas that utilize the ingredient, alongside extracts like peony and angelica root, which together break up spot-causing melanin.

2 weeks: Resurface lightly. As an alternative to lasers and traditional ablative treatments that can take a month to heal, some derms are turning to plasma skin resurfacing, Portrait PSR3 (starting at around $2,500 for a full face treatment), a newly FDA-approved technology that uses high-energy ionized nitrogen to remove brown spots and kick-start a clear complexion overall. Expect redness and tenderness for about 14 days.

5 minutes: Try blemish balms. Also known as BB creams, a phenomenon in Asia, they're hitting the U.S. market full force. The idea? They instantly cover and treat skin imperfections, such as acne, dark spots, and scars. Dr. Fredric Brandt's new one-shade-fits-all formula adjusts to your skin tone after you apply it; Garnier's version comes in two shades and boasts mineral pigments.


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