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Beauty for your age

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You only get one face, and time can be cruel. Fortunately, there are plenty of products that can help women of any age keep skin looking young and healthy.

No matter your age, if you have only one item in your beauty arsenal, it should be sunscreen. About 90 percent of the aging and damage to our skin, comes directly from the sun.

"If you avoid all of that damage, then you don't have to worry about what products you need to use to fix it," says Dr. Bishr Al Dabaugh, of Michgian Dermatology in Flint Township.

Look for at least SPF 30 on the lable. While you are at it, make sure there are no ingredients that may clog your pores and lead to breakouts.

"If your skin is prone to that, you are going to want to stick with a product that's non-comedigenic or non acne forming."

And, Dr. Al Dabaugh cautions, don't assume your age makes you immune to acne, "Some people think they're going to outgrow their acne from their teens, when in fact, a lot of people actually start their acne in their 20s, especially women. "

Thank your hormones for that.

In your 30's, think "retinoids". Available by prescription- they can improve your skin's appearance and help with wrinkles.

Retinols are in the same family, and show up on a lot of non-prescription labels. Dr. AlDabaugh says, buyer beware when it comes to over the conter versions of anything typically available at prescription strength, "You're going to have to look at how well you trust the brand. So some brands are very tightly controlled, they have good manufacturing guidelines. And others are less known, or they're imported from out of the country. There are a lot of these fake brands out there that you need to be careful where your source is."

Exfoliation- sloughing away the dead skin cells on the surface- is a "do" at any age.

In our 30s, 40s and 50s exfoliating the skin can take away dullness and help even skin tone.

Glycolic acids are great exfoliants, and are available by prescription. You will also find them in lower levels in over the counter brands.

Exfoliation is good but, Dr. Al Dabaugh says, don't over-do it.

"You're going to tear the natural barriers off your skin. Your skin has barriers for a reason- to protect you and to hold in moisture- so you don't want to over-dry yourself."

Also try to wash your face with a gentle cleanser twice a day.

As for the rest of your body- moisturize. There are plenty available with SPG too.

The best advice? Find what feels great on your skin. Find a product you like, and use it regularly to keep your skin moisturized.

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