Q: I have rosacea, so I can't use retinoids or exfoliators on my face. How can I keep my skin looking youthful?
A: You're right to avoid using a prescription retinoid (the potentially irritating vitamin A derivative that diminishes fine lines and helps regenerate collagen); most people with rosacea have sensitive skin, says Diane Berson, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College. As an alternative, you might try over-the-counter products containing retinol, a milder retinoid. Also look for cleansers and moisturizers containing salicylic acid, which helps unclog pores and exfoliates. Every three to four weeks, you could get a salicylic acid peel (cost: around $200), which has the immediate effect of smoothing and tightening, and the long-term effect of improving skin tone and texture and reducing pigmentation and fine lines.
Keep in mind: Don't forget to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily—it's especially important if you have sensitive skin.
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