When you were a pimple-prone teenager, you probably couldn’t wait to get past that frustrating phase of facial eruption, but every life stage—from college kid to working mom to retiree—comes with its own set of skin challenges.
Age is actually only one of the factors that affect your complexion. Stress, lack of sleep, diet, travel and climate also influence the state of your skin and how best to take care of it. The good news is that you can easily manage your skin challenges at each stage and maintain a healthy, glowing complexion throughout your life.
If you’re college-bound, stress from exams, pulling all-nighters and crashing without washing off your makeup can bring on breakouts. Pounce on the occasional pimple by using products that contain salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. If your acne is severe, head to a dermatologist who may prescribe you retinoids like Differin or topical antibiotics, which will help clear up your complexion.
For workaholics with demanding jobs (and frequent fliers), you may be logging more hours in an airplane seat than your desk chair—and your skin can suffer as a result. Cabin air has only 20 percent humidity, which can cause parched skin. It also has lower air pressure so your body absorbs less oxygen, which can make you look and feel tired. Nourish skin by applying a rich moisturizer while you’re mile high. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and steer clear of alcohol and salty snacks.
Juggling work and family often means that beauty sleep is a pipedream. A lack of shut-eye because you’re burning the candle at both ends can exacerbate under-eye circles and cause puffiness by restricting blood flow. While there’s little you can do to eliminate under-eye shadows (a combination of retinol and vitamin K creams may help), eye cream made with caffeine will deflate some of the swelling so you’ll look more well-rested than you actually are.
If your kids are all grown and you’re ready to cash in your 401k and retire, there’s still one area in your life that requires work: your skin. As you age, your sebaceous glands produce less oil, so it’s important to lock in moisture. Drink plenty of water and avoid harsh soaps or cleansers. Use warm (not hot) water when you wash your face or bathe and then apply a rich, emollient cream for a hydrated, glowing complexion in your golden years.
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