The Skin Scientists: Macrene Alexiades, M.D.
Assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine and director of her own research clinic and private practice in New York City
With three degrees from Harvard, including a Ph. D. in genetics, Alexiades is a veritable superwoman of anti-aging science. Her two decades of research on stem cells and plant, human, and skin biology have led to breakthroughs in reversing the skin's aging process. She developed the first comprehensive classification and grading scheme of skin aging that is now used for FDA approvals of products and skin-related procedures.
"Mineral oil, shea butter, and petrolatum feel rich on your skin, but they can actually block the absorption of the product's active healing ingredients, such as peptides and small molecular-weight hyaluronic acids. Instead, opt for products that contain dimethicone, a silicone-based humectant that provides moisture but still allows the other ingredients to do their jobs.
"And apply moisturizer within three minutes of cleansing. Lab data shows that's all the time you have to seal the maximum amount of moisture into your skin." Try L'Oreal Paris Youth Code Day/Night Cream, left ($25, at drugstores).
Wash Before You Crash
"Most cosmetics contain sugar-type molecules, which can grow yeast when left on the skin overnight, leading to flakiness and itchiness. That's why you should always wash your face before you go to bed."
Get Your Beauty Sleep
"Your skin does its repairing at night. Help it along by slathering on resveratrol before going to sleep. It's a powerful antioxidant that protects and repairs cell DNA. Found in the skin of red grapes, it activates anti-aging genes and can reverse existing damage, so you'll see improved skin tone and texture and fewer fine lines and wrinkles." Try Serious Skin Care X5 Intense Resveratrol Concentrate ($35, hsn.com).
The Laser Wizard: Neil Sadick, M.D.
Dermatologist at Sadick Dermatology in New York City and clinical professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College
Sadick's extensive research has pioneered one of the most talked-about anti-aging skin-care technologies of the past decade: non-ablative lasers. The tricked-out machines treat discoloration, sun damage, and wrinkles without burning the top layer of skin and subjecting patients to weeks of hiding out.
"Photodynamic therapy with intense pulsed light (IPL) delivers the best results. The red and blue LED light (a broad-spectrum light source) penetrates pores to shrink sebaceous glands, decrease inflammation, and remove bacteria. Breakouts, redness, and irritation are visibly improved after just one treatment, but you should aim for one session every three to six months, depending on the severity of the acne." Each session costs around $400 to $700.
"Lasers are the best way to erase signs of aging. But you can prevent yourself from needing laser treatments by using products that contain three key ingredients: retinoids, antioxidants, and peptides--RAP. While antioxidants fight the free radicals that cause wrinkles, inflammation, and other skin damage, retinoids and peptides are growth factors that stimulate cells to produce the collagen that keeps skin looking young.