Healthy Skin Makeover

The Ultimate Expert Tips for Staying Young

youth-secrets
Isabelle Cardinal
Whoever coined the phrase “Youre only as old as you feel” had it so right. If you feel younger than you are, the number on your drivers license (who needs to see that, anyway?) loses much of its sway. And, fortunately, turning back the clock has never been easier. To fend off—even reverse!—the signs of aging, try these decade-by-decade tricks.

Your 30s
Defend your face
Take decades of environmental exposure, add a quickening rate of collagen breakdown, and behold: In your 30s your face may show more sagging, fine lines, and early wrinkles than youd like, says Bobby Buka, MD, a New York City dermatologist.

His turn-back-the-clock recommendations: Use a strong sunblock every day, eat lots of vitamin C–rich citrus (the vitamin helps prevent collagen loss), and apply cream with a retinol or retinoid (a vitamin A derivative) every night to promote skin-cell growth.

Dr. Buka often prescribes tretinoin 0.25% (also known as Retin-A, about $20 for a months use). Or try this nonprescription version: RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 ($19.99; drugstores).

Baby your breasts
Lets face it: Pregnancy, breast-feeding, and simple gravity can be a bit of a downer for your girls. But the right bra—fitted with the help of an expert—can make all the difference. (See Health.com/bra for fitting tips.) What else can help your breasts as the years go by? Remember to work your pecs at the gym. “Toning the pectoral muscles wont revive sagging tissue or skin, but youll look better with definition in that area,” says Colette Cole, a senior personal trainer and director of the Female Focus Program at the Cooper Center in Dallas.

Make sure to pump that iron while wearing a supportive sports bra that limits bounce, which can put stress on connective tissues and lead to even more sagging. Compression sports bras are recommended for small-busted women. Women who wear a C-cup or larger should opt for an encapsulation bra—try the Asics Abby Bra ($42). Also, its best to replace your sports bra every six months if you use it frequently.

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