What Are Your Skin Treatment Options?
If you wish your complexion looked a little fresher, or your skin felt a bit firmer, you have more options than ever—from makeup and creams to needles and lasers to scalpels and sutures. How far should you go? Your face, your call.
Photo retouching simulates product/treatment results.
Easy Does It: Makeup and Creams
Concern: Crow's Feet and Forehead Lines
A retinoid cream will help your skin build collagen and soften lines around the eyes and on the forehead. Prescription formulas (brand names include Retin-A and Renova) yield improvement in two to three months; an over-the-counter retinoid (retinol) will also smooth lines, though results are less dramatic.
Cost: $46 for 20-gram tube of generic tretinoin (brand name Retin-A); $21 for Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night.
Concern: Droopy Lids
Slightly arched brows make your lids look more lifted. Tweeze any hairs below your browbone, then dip a stiff, slanted brush into a brow powder (two shades lighter than your hair color) and fill in your arches with short, feathery strokes.
Cost: $7 for Sally Hansen Raise Some Brows Slant Tip Tweezer; $14 for Nyx Eyebrow Kit.
Concern: Undereye Circles
The fat pads under your eyes thin with age, creating shadows. A creamy concealer one shade lighter than your skin tone helps illuminate your undereye area.
Cost: $35 for Mally Beauty Cancellation Conditioning Concealer.
Concern: Nasolabial Folds
Nasolabial folds (the lines running from the corners of the nose to the corners of the mouth) are the result of volume loss in your cheeks. They'll be less noticeable if you create the illusion of higher cheekbones: Blend a cream blush above the apples of your cheeks.
Cost: $10 for Revlon Cream Blush in Berry Flirtatious.
Concern: Slackening Jawline
There's no cream that can lift or tighten a sagging jawline. But here's a surprising solution: Invest in a new haircut. A chin-length style that's slightly shorter around the face than in the back will give your face a lift. A few shorter layers at your crown create height that offsets drooping in your lower face.
Cost: $50 to $500 for a great haircut.
Concern: Brown Spots
You can fade brown spots with a lotion containing hydroquinone. A 2 percent concentration is available over-the-counter; for more significant lightening, your dermatologist can prescribe 4 percent. (Both concentrations yield results in about a month.) Supplement the lotion with a retinoid cream to speed cell turnover and slough away surface pigment. And if you don't want the spots to return, sunscreen is a must, every day, rain or shine.
Cost: $39 for Glytone Fading Lotion; $30 for 28.35-gram tube of prescription hydroquinone; $10 for Coppertone Oil Free Foaming Sunscreen SPF 75.
Next: What injections and lasers can do
Photos: Philippe Salomon