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Great Skin: In Your 40s

 

Deep wrinkles and loss of elasticity and firmness are the biggest complaints of women in their 40s. The cause: cumulative photoaging.

Switch to gentle, moisturizing skin-care products.
Once lipid levels in the skin start to decline, water evaporates more readily from the skin, making it more sensitive to harsh detergents—which is why you should use products with skin-hydrating ingredients like glycerin, vitamin E, aloe, soy and copper.

Make peels a regular part of your routine.
To help get rid of surface dryness and restore radiance and smoothness to the skin, dermatologists administer peels (typically using glycolic or trichloroacetic acid) and microdermabrasion—a treatment where microscopic particles of sand or salt are directed at the skin to gently peel away its outer layer. You'll need a series of six treatments over the course of six months (at a cost of about $150 each) to see a dramatic difference.

Talk to your dermatologist about anti-aging treatments. Injections of collagen—the fibrous protein found in the connective tissues of skin and cartilage— can plump up smile lines and wrinkles around the lips for about six months, at a cost of about $350 per visit. (Possible side effects range from redness to swelling at the injection site.) Then there's the CoolTouch Laser ($200-$1,000 per five- to 10-minute treatment, depending on the size of the area treated. It smoothes lines by simultaneously delivering a very high amount of energy (absorbed by the deeper layers of skin) and a cooling spray to prevent damage to the skin's outer layer (why there's virtually no redness or blistering after the procedure). This deeper "wound" seems to stimulate the growth of new collagen.

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