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Your Face in Your 20s continued...

This is also the decade when many women begin to see facial hair, often on the upper lip, around the perimeter of the face, or on the brows.

Dermatologist Joel Schlessinger, MD, says young women also need to be on the lookout for melasma -- a brown discoloration that appears across the cheeks or forehead. "This condition is typically due to a combination of sun exposure, pregnancy, and hormones [including birth control pills] plus exposure to certain antibiotics such as minocycline or tetracycline," says Schlessinger, director of Skin Specialists P.C. and LovelySkin.com in Omaha, Neb.

Best Self-Care: To keep your youthful glow, Marmur says avoid the sun and be scrupulous about wearing sunscreen when you are outside. "What you do in your 20s will reflect how you look in your 40s, 50s, and beyond -- and wearing sunscreen is key," she says. Sunscreen can also help reduce the risk of melasma or help keep it under better control.

Goldberg says to begin using moisturizers regularly but to choose a "light" product -- one that is gel- based and oil free, particularly if you are still suffering from breakouts you experienced as a teen.

Marmur also suggests this is the decade to begin using retinol-based skin care products. "You should use them twice a week beginning in your 20s," she says.

Best Pro Care: If you find yourself still having to deal with some acne leftover from the teenage years, there are professional treatments that can help skin clear quickly. Goldberg says a combination of lasers and other light devices offers a new kind of one-two punch that clears skin with the speed and thoroughness of the acne medication Accutane but without the health risks, including pregnancy-related problems.

"One type of laser works like an antibiotic to inhibit growth of bacteria linked to acne, and the other type helps to actually shrink the oil glands for that 'Accutane-like' effect," Goldberg says.

If melasma is a problem, Marmur says a chemical peel or Fraxel laser resurfacing may help.

 

Your Face in Your 30s

While you'll still retain much of your youthful look, this is the decade when you may notice your skin looks 'tired' and less radiant.

Goldberg says you'll also begin to really notice crow's feet around your eyes, plus previous sun damage may exacerbate the start of small brown spots. You may also begin to see dilated blood vessels, particularly around the sides of your nose.

You should be prepared for the start of the "dreaded 11's" -- that pair of lines that pop up between the brows -- as well as shadows forming in the triangular area between your nose and the corners of your mouth.

"Both the '11' lines and the nasolabial lines around the mouth will appear and deepen during this decade," says Marmur.