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Great Skin at Every Age

The Martha Stewart Show, March February 2007 2007

No matter how old you are, follow these suggestions for healthy, vibrant skin.

Tips for Those in Their 20s
At this age, you need to develop great skin-care habits:
-Wear sunscreen every day.
-Completely remove makeup at night.
-Acne at this age is caused by stress and hormone fluctuations -- don't pick at your face if you have blemishes.
-Start incorporating moisturizer into a daily skin-care regimen, along with gentle exfoliation using a simple washcloth.

Tips for Those in Their 30s
Your skin will still be pretty good through your 30s, but you'll probably need to add a few more steps to your daily routine:
-Apply a moisturizer during the day and an overnight treatment, like an under-eye cream.
-Hormones may cause a discoloration called melasma, which can be prevented by using sunscreen.

Tips for Those in Their 40s
-Long-term effects of sun exposure from early in life start to show in the face as small lines and wrinkles. Fat in the cheeks also starts to deteriorate, and that youthful plump starts to disappear.
-As for the daily regimen, by now you should be using cleanser (taking into account that skin is dryer and more sensitive), gentle exfoliate (like a salicylic acid product), moisturizer, and sunscreen.
-Light chemical peels can help promote new skin growth, and light dermatology procedures can help skin stay softer and can fill the space left by deteriorating fat cells in the cheeks.

Tips for Those in Their 50s
In addition to the increase in wrinkles and lines, you might also start noticing discolorations around various parts of the face and body:
-Broken blood vessels are quite common, but you can have them removed.
-Liver spots and sun spots on the hands are also able to be removed by a dermatologist.
-Many women also notice dry, flaky spots on their bodies at this time -- it's likely an actinic keratosis, and you can use prescription creams to treat these and get skin back to a clean slate.
-A note on menopause: As a result of the hormone fluctuations, skin becomes thinner and skin-cell turnover time isn't as fast, as older cells stay on the surface for longer. To help, gently exfoliate daily, or get peels every month or so to get rid of those layers to stimulate new cell growth. Also, skin gets dryer and more sensitive, so you should add more moisturizer now.

Tips for Those in Their 60s, 70s, and Up
As you get older, there's more skin laxity -- you have more degeneration of the fat in the face, you lose volume, and the skin starts to sag. Stress the use of moisturizers and sunscreens, and use a good cleanser to take off makeup. As we get older, we tend to wear more makeup more heavily, and you may not have taken off all of it before going to bed. Get a really good magnifying mirror, and use solvent removers to really make sure skin is clean each night.

Special Thanks
Special thanks to Dr. Catherine Orentreich for sharing these skin-care suggestions.