Q: I'm only 27, but should I be thinking about starting an anti-aging regimen? I want to preserve my skin, but I don't want to use anything heavy that will cause me to break out.

A: You should absolutely think about taking measures to prevent wrinkles when you're in your 20s, says Adrienne Denese, M.D., Ph.D., founder of the Manhattan Anti-Aging Clinic. "When you're young, you lay the groundwork for everything -- lines, discoloration, broken blood vessels -- that appears on your face when you're older," she says. "You can have the skin you have now for the next decade if you take care of it." Here, measures you can take to ensure a lifetime of healthy skin.

- Shop with care. Since most anti-aging products are formulated for mature skin, which tends to be drier and thinner, they often can be too heavy for younger women with active oil glands. Instead, look for oil-free moisturizers or lightweight gels and serums. Good bets: DDF Ultra-Lite Oil-Free Moisturizing Dew with aloe and glycerin ($30; sephora.com) and Mario Badescu Skin Care Herbal Hydrating Serum ($30; mariobadescu.com) with ginseng, gingko and vitamin C.

- Wear sunscreen religiously. If you're not wearing sunscreen every day, there is little that anti-aging products can do for your skin. If you use a moisturizer in the morning, it's important to choose one with built-in sun protection; otherwise, applying sunscreen over a moisturizer can dilute the SPF by half. Two moisturizers to try: Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 ($12) with vitamin E and pro-vitamin B5, and Dove Essential Nutrients Day Lotion SPF 15 ($7.49; both at drugstores).

- Nourish your skin. Lightweight antioxidant-rich gels or serums will give your skin a dose of much-needed nutrients and help protect it from stress and environmental factors. Editor's picks: Peter Thomas Roth Power C 20 Anti-Oxidant Serum Gel ($85; peterthomasroth.com) with 20 percent vitamin C, and Chanel Hydra Sérum Vitamin Moisture Boost ($55 for 1 ounce; gloss.com) with vitamins B5, E and F.

- Protect your eyes. One of the first areas to show signs of aging, the skin around the eyes needs extra hydration even if the rest of your face doesn't. Editor's picks: The new Clarins Eye Revive Beauty Flash ($42.50; clarins.com) with olive-leaf extract, white tea and wheat proteins, and N.V. Perricone, M.D. Cosmeceuticals Vitamin C Ester With Tocotrienols Eye Area Therapy ($45; sephora.com). For extra hydration, follow with Clinique Moisture Surge Eye Gel ($26; clinique.com), which is perfect for oilier skin types.

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