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5 Skincare Products Every Woman in Her 20s and 30s Needs

Anti-aging product sales are at an all-time high, but it's not just because of the baby boomers.  Women of all ages have flocked to the beauty counter in recent years not just to look better or younger, but to preserve their looks for longer.  Below, some of the ingredients and products you need:

1.)  NIA 24 Physical Sunscreen SPF 30 (for normal skin types) 

Applying vitamin B3 to the skin has been shown to be able to increase NAD levels in the skin, according to the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. Increased NAD levels have been reported in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology to repair damaged DNA within the skin, and to stimulate energy metabolism and promote skin turn over. 

Studies aside, I can tell you from personal use that this sunscreen works.  At first, your skin may get a little red and irritated – that is the adjustment period to the nicotinic acid.  However, after 3-5 days, your skin looks smoother and clearer than ever.  The concentrated nicotinic acid really makes a tremendous difference in the way your skin looks and feels.

2.)  FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5

This retinol gel is the over-the-counter equivalent of Retin-A Micro: microencapsulated, time-release, concentrated retinol that works on your skin for a full eight hours.  It really works – many bloggers have been reporting smoother skin after using it even just a single night.  It's also lightweight, so it works really well under other moisturizers. 

3.)  Olay Regenerist

When people see a low price point, sometimes they don't trust it.  Yet Olay Regenerist is one of those drugstore products that delivers.  The key?   A high concentration of niacinamide, which has been shown to fight fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmented spots, red blotchiness, and skin sallowness (yellowing) (Dermatologic Surgery, 2006).  It's also an excellent hydrator of medium consistency.  

4.)  Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads

Once a week, in lieu of retinol, I love to use these alpha and beta hydroxy acid pads.  Alpha hydroxy acids are water-soluble, while beta hydroxy acids are lipid-soluble (i.e., oil-soluble). This means that those with dry skin benefit more from alpha hydroxy acids (which are hydrating, contrary to popular belief) and those with oily skin get great benefits from beta hydroxy acids.  Yet together, you get a nice one-two hydrating-cleansing punch from these pads.

5.)  Skinceuticals CE Ferulic

I've always talked this stuff up all over the internet, and for good reason:  Skinceuticals CE Ferulic contains 15% vitamin C as L-ascorbic acid, as well as vitamin E.  Whereas vitamin C works better against UVA rays, vitamin E works better against UVB rays (Acta Dermato-Venereologica). Vitamin C works particularly well when paired with vitamin E because they have a synergistic relationship (Cosmetic Dermatology). Essentially, when an antioxidant is depleted, it can borrow an electron from the other antioxidant and vice versa.  By using the two together, you get a boost in your sunscreen protection as well as skin brightening, wrinkle-fighting effects – and that's always a great thing.

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