Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Vitamin A derivatives, like retinol and retinyl palmitate

Increase collagen production to minimize lines and wrinkles, and speed cell turnover to even out discoloration caused by UV damage.

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RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream ($22; drugstores) contains a potent concentration of retinol. Start by applying it every other night until you can tolerate using it nightly.

To keep your hands looking youthful and reduce the appearance of age spots, try LdeL Skincare Cosmetics Retinol Anti-Aging Hand Cream ($13;

Moisturizing hyaluronic acid and glycerin in Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream ($22; drugstores) make this retinol treatment gentle enough for the sensitive skin around the eyes.

Photo: Getty Images

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
Glycolic, lactic, citric, and malic acids

Loosen the bonds between the dead cells in skin's uppermost layer so they can be shed, improving texture and adding radiance.

Clockwise starting top left:

A night lotion with glycolic acid and powerful moisture-retaining humectants, like Olay Regenerist Night Resurfacing Elixir ($32; drugstores), is a gentle option when your skin is dry.

To smooth away little bumps on your arms and legs, try AmLactin Moisturizing Body Lotion ($16; drugstores). Lactic acid sloughs off dead skin cells that may be causing the bumps, and helps skin retain moisture.

The pads in Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Face Peel ($78 for 30 applications; are packed with AHAs, plus anti-inflammatory ingredients to combat irritation.

Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Hyaluronic Acid
Sodium hyaluronate or hyaluronan

Draws water to the skin to moisturize and temporarily plump.

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If your skin is very dry, layer a rich cream, like Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream ($39;, over a hydrating serum (like the one above). A double dose of hyaluronic acid repairs skin quickly.

To get rid of flakes and rough patches, apply Neocutis Hyalis 1% Hyaluronate Refining Serum ($95; for physician providers) in the morning and at night—especially if you're using a retinoid product, which can be drying.

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum Infusion ($62; softens skin around the eyes to help reduce the appearance of crow's-feet.

Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Vitamins C and E, ferulic acid, green tea, idebenone, and coenzyme Q10

Fight free radicals (skin-destructive molecules produced by UV rays, pollution, allergens, and other irritants) to help prevent lines and wrinkles.

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If you haven't been loyal to sunscreen and are now seeing the effects, try the antioxidant-rich formula of SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic ($146; It contains vitamins C and E, and ferulic acid to effectively repair sun damage.

Delicately scented Nivea Skin Firming Body Lotion ($10; drugstores) improves skin's texture with antioxidant coenzyme Q10.

A blend of antioxidants idebenone and green tea in Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Eye Serum ($100; helps reduce puffiness and fight fine lines in the eye area.

Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Physical blocks, like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, and chemical blocks, like avobenzone and oxybenzone

Provide protection against skin-damaging UV rays to help prevent uneven skin tone, brown spots, and wrinkles.

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A few swipes of the peppermint-and-vanilla-flavored EltaMD UV Lip Balm SPF 31 ($10; for physician providers) give lips a glossy finish—and skin-cancer protection.

For your body, try L'Oréal Paris Sublime Sun Foaming Lotion Sunscreen SPF 50+ ($11;, a lightweight mousse packed with moisturizing ingredients.

Some physical blocks are chalky, but the light formula of La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral ($33; absorbs quickly and has a mattifying effect on skin.

Rules of the Anti-Aging Game
1. If your skin is sensitive, choose products containing hyaluronic acid. Tread lightly with AHAs and retinoids, which can cause irritation with overuse.

2. Apply retinoids only at night; they are sensitive to sunlight and could lose potency if applied in the morning.

3. AHAs might deactivate retinoids; if you use them both, apply the AHA in the morning and the retinoid before bed (or, if your skin is sensitive, on alternating days).

4. For the most effective protection against skin-damaging free radicals, use a mix of antioxidants—morning and night.

5. Apply all treatments right down to your collarbone—except retinoids, which can irritate the thin skin on your neck. Bonus points if you include your hands.

6. Unless the stars are out, wear sunscreen. And reapply often.

Next: 6 things women with gorgeous skin do every day