Skin beauty
 For many of us, the way our skin looks in the morning dictates, like the weather, what kind of day we might have. We get out of bed, skip (or stagger) over to the mirror, and peer at our reflection as if we were peering out the window. What did the day blow in? A clear, calm complexion? A shower of breakouts? A mist of fine lines? A gloomy new cumulus of dark spots?

We can't control the weather, but we can take charge of our skin. On that front, right now, there is very good news. A great-looking complexion is more achievable than ever, and that doesn't mean you have to devote your life to it or spend a fortune. Moisturizers have improved: Hyaluronic acid, immensely helpful in carrying moisture to the skin, has made formulas more smoothing and effective. Active ingredients like retinol, antioxidants, and peptides intensify the potency of all kinds of products, says Mary Lupo, MD, clinical professor of dermatology at Tulane University School of Medicine. And many of the newest formulas penetrate better because ingredients are delivered in smaller molecules.

To help you in your quest for brighter horizons complexion-wise, we talked to top dermatologists across the country about what it takes to get gorgeous skin, and came up with this straightforward, thorough, easy-to-follow, bottom-line guide for every age.

No matter your age, try our decade-by-decade guide to beautiful skin!