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Beauty for a Lifetime

How to look your best during each decade of your life

Your 40s continued...

Solutions, says experts, include products aimed at helping to increase cell turnover, like alpha-hydroxy acids and wrinkle-fighting ingredients like retinol.

"The 40s is definitely the time to start using a retinol product," says Antell. "The professional versions are the strongest so you're going to see the most dramatic results, but even some over-the-counter solutions can work well."

Retinoids work by helping to stimulate collagen production, so fine lines and wrinkles are less noticeable, he says.

Fox says home peels are also appropriate for 40-plus skin. They can help remove dead skin cells and encourage new cells to come to the surface.

Depending on how quickly your skin is aging, Fox says, don't be afraid to look toward professional treatments to help increase your window of youth.

"This is the decade when you should seriously consider some of the less aggressive but very helpful dermatologic procedures such as Thermage (a radio frequency treatment) or Fraxel (a laser) to tighten the skin and/or stimulate collagen production," says Fox.

Additionally, many women in their 40s experience hormone-related skin problems, including adult acne. But, Fox says, don't borrow your teenage daughter's acne products until you consult a dermatologist and a gynecologist. "Adult-onset acne can sometimes be the result of a gynecological problem like an ovarian cyst, so that should always be ruled out first," says Fox.

Next, he says, check with a dermatologist about whether your "pimples" are really acne.

"Many women confuse acne with rosacea, another skin problem that can occur in the 40s and 50s," says Fox.

While the breakouts can look similar, Fox says, they may require different treatment.

Makeup tips: Toss away your cakey face powder, Fazio says.

"This is the decade when skin is really dry, and most powders will dry it further and accentuate fine lines and wrinkles," she says.

If you must use powder to tame oily areas, choose one that is finely milled, and apply it sparingly, using a brush instead of a puff.

Your 50s

Depending on what you did to care for your skin in the decades leading up your 50s, you could end up needing a little -- or a lot -- of extra care.

Brush Up on Beauty

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