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Best Anti-Aging Makeup

It promises to take off years -- in some cases, within minutes. Here, top pros weigh in on what really works.

Your Concern: Lines

What the derms say: Retinol is among the most popular of the line correctors finding their way into foundations and concealers. And though derms generally agree that adding this form of vitamin A to makeup may increase cell turnover and collagen production (the basics of de-wrinkling), there's no research on how effective it is. "Making retinol stable and effective once it's exposed to sunlight is tricky," says Dr. Derick. "So you don't want to bank on a foundation alone." In other words, don't quit your night treatment. Whether it's applied in the morning or in the evening, retinol can be sun-sensitizing, so daily SPF is a must. In the A.M., first apply a moisturizer with SPF 15 or higher. Or opt for a foundation with retinol and built-in sun protection, like L'Oréal Paris Visible Lift Serum Absolute SPF 17 ($15, drugstores).

Keep in mind that retinol may be irritating, particularly if you're using other retinoids, such as Retin A or Renova, at night. "You don't want to overtreat problem areas. If you start to see flakiness or redness, switch back to a nontreatment foundation," says Dr. Colbert.

Other wrinkle fighters are making their way into makeup, too. Among the most promising, say some dermatologists, are peptides. "These small proteins are key actors in collagen synthesis, and they enhance the performance of antioxidants," says Dr. Colbert. Speaking of antioxidants, he notes that these can also boost the performance of your makeup: "They act like molecular garbage collectors, absorbing the toxic byproducts of skin's ordinary functions that otherwise accumulate and damage cells." Try Mary Kay Timewise Luminous-Wear Liquid Foundation ($20, marykay.com) and Almay Smart Shade Anti-Aging Concealer ($9, drugstores), both with a blend of peptides and antioxidants.

What the makeup artist says: Most anti-aging makeup contains light-reflecting particles that create an instant optical illusion. "Luminosity definitely softens the appearance of lines," says Ahnert. But not alone: "Look for sheer and creamy formulations. Powder, in addition to emphasizing dryness, can crease and cake up, calling attention to wrinkles," she says. For the area that tends to bother women most - the outer eye - highlighter is a particularly good crow's feet camo. Try Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Conceal and Brighten, with a peptide-packed concealer on one end and highlighter on the other ($35, Sephora). Dot it along the tops of your cheekbones and pat it in to blend. This should be a final flourish; applying makeup over it would wipe away your handiwork.

Your Concern: Uneven or Dull Complexion

What the derms say: Whichever you're dealing with (maybe both?), SPF can be as valuable an addition to your makeup as complexion-evening and -brightening ingredients, says Dr. Derick. Hyperpigmentation in particular, whether in the form of age spots or larger dark patches, can become pronounced with the slightest exposure to sun, adds Dr. Colbert. Try Neutrogena Healthy Skin Compact Foundation SPF 55 ($14, drugstores), the brand's first makeup to incorporate its broad-spectrum sunscreen ingredient, Helioplex. Both derms like soy for fading and brightening purposes, and certain antioxidants, such as goji berries, for boosting the skin's radiance and natural UV defenses - with the caveat that in a makeup, the exact level of penetration and efficacy of these ingredients hasn't been determined. Try Aveeno Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 with soy and light-reflecting mica and silica ($15, drugstores) or Maybelline New York Age Rewind The Eraser foundation with SPF 18 and goji berries ($13, drugstores).

Brush Up on Beauty

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