"Apply a retinoid two or three nights a week, and choose a slow-release formula to minimize irritation [try Roc Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream, $30, at drugstores]. On alternate days, use a peptide-based product [try the antioxidant-packed Avon Solutions A.M. Ageless Results Day Cream SPF 15, $15, avon.com]."
Smooth Things Out
"You can temporarily improve the appearance of cellulite with light-based treatments such as VelaShape and SmoothShape, which combine suction, massage, infrared light, laser, and radio frequency to melt localized areas of fat and recontour the skin's surface. Most people get four to six weekly treatments [about $300 each] and then one maintenance treatment every three months."
The Skin Shrink: Amy Wechsler, M.D.
Assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and adjunct assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College
As one of only two American doctors who are board certified in both dermatology and psychiatry, Wechsler has an insightful approach that goes beyond skin deep: She unearths the causes of her patients' skin woes by asking about their lifestyles. Then, in addition to treating the surface problems, she prescribes tactics for reducing stress and getting more shut-eye to prevent the issues from recurring. Her revolutionary book, The Mind-Beauty Connection, established the link between premature aging and psychological issues such as stress and depression.
Make Over Your Mood
"People with happy, low-stress lifestyles have thicker, brighter, clearer skin, while those who are stressed or depressed overproduce hormones such as cortisol, which leads to dark circles and premature aging. But you can fake it till you make it with microdermabrasion, which sends a signal to the epidermis to make healthy new skin." Try Patricia Wexler M.D. Resurfacing Microdermabrasion System (bbw.com for info).
"The endorphins and oxytocin released during sex create healing molecules in the body that help repair the skin, increase cell turnover, and even work to reverse the aging process."
Don't OD on Exfoliants
"Salicylic and glycolic acids are great for keeping skin clear and smooth, but you don't need them in your cleanser, toner, and cream--all that acid will overdry and irritate your skin. Here's a hint: If your face stings, you're using too much. To get rid of dead skin and clear your pores, just use a toner with salicylic acid every other day."
The Holistic Healer: Tieraona Low Dog, M.D.
Clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and director of the fellowship at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine
Low Dog is best known for integrating botanicals into mainstream medicine, and her holistic prescriptions go beyond a quick fix. They often include diet and lifestyle tweaks, natural herbs and botanicals, and even spirituality teaching through tai chi and other methods. No wonder she served on the White House Commission of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Feed Your Skin