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updated 9/26/2010 1:30:41 PM ET 2010-09-26T17:30:41

Look sun-kissed
"A little tint takes years off your face by evening out your skin tone," which a recent study found is a key marker of youthfulness, says Ranella Hirsch, M.D., a dermatologist in Cambridge, MA. Her favorite for a natural look: Olay Complete Touch of Sun Daily UV Moisturizer + A Touch of Sunless Tanner ($15; drugstores), a lotion with a low level of self-tanner.

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Eat a skin-saving breakfast
The first meal of the day for New York City derm Doris Day, M.D., includes almonds. "They contain essential fatty acids, which help put the brakes on inflammation that accelerates fine lines, sagging and blotchiness." Not feeling like a nut? Salmon, tuna and halibut are good lunch/dinner sources.

Spray away dryness
To keep her skin supple, L.A.-based derm Jessica Wu, M.D., sprays it several times daily with La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water ($8.50; drugstores). (She often spritzes her face when stuck in traffic!) Bonus: The water is packed with minerals like selenium that protect against UV damage.

Pour on the protection
To ensure she layers on enough sunscreen ("the best way to keep skin youthful"), Garland, TX-based dermatologist Lisa Garner, M.D., president of the Women's Dermatologic Society, fills the hollow of her palm (about ½ teaspoon) with a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to coat her face, neck and ears.

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"I usually have to apply two coats to finish what I've squeezed out, but that's how I make sure I'm covered."

Zen your skin
If anyone has stress, it's doctors. High levels of tension can spike hormone production that leads to breakouts or aggravates conditions like psoriasis. "Controlling stress keeps your skin calm — but that's easier said than done," says Annie Chiu, M.D., a derm in L.A. Taking a 10-minute time-out to apply a face mask and relax on her bed works for Chiu. Another trick: Ban the 'Berry. "I turn off my cell phone after 8 at night. Every little bit helps!" she says.

Protect with powder
Sunscreen stops working in less than 3 hours, so reapplication is key, says Washington, D.C.-based derm Elizabeth Tanzi, M.D. For easy touch-ups, she uses powder sunscreen. "It's light, so makeup stays intact." Her fave: Colorescience Pro Sunforgettable Powder SPF 50 ($60; colorescience.com).

Develop a bedside manner
"I often find it difficult to stick to my anti-aging regimen at bedtime," says Francesca Fusco, M.D., an NYC derm. To avoid missing her evening routine, she stores these products in a pretty makeup case she keeps on her nightstand. "So if I've forgotten — or was just too tired to apply products at the sink — I can do it easily while in bed." Her must-haves: Renova (an Rx retinoid), EpiCeram (an ultrahydrating Rx moisturizer), SCO lip balm, Earth to Skin Care Cracked Heel Renewal, Creative Nail Design Solar oil (to soften cuticles), and Listerine White Strips.

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Wear your veggies
Frozen peas help soothe itchy, irritated eyes for Jeanine Downie, M.D., a derm in Montclair, NJ. "Once I get home from work, I remove my makeup and put a bag of frozen peas on my lids for about 5 minutes." The cold helps reduce swelling and pigmentation, a side effect of repeated irritation from her eczema. Unlike inflexible ice packs, a bag of peas easily conforms to the shape of the eyes for a faster effect.

Avoid impact
"The repeated jarring of high-impact cardio like running can weaken collagen and lead to sagging," says Oakland, CA, dermatologist Katie Rodan, M.D. "So until a 'face bra' is invented, I'll stick to cycling and the elliptical machine."

Strike a pose
Most derms will bend over backward for great skin. Hema Sundaram, M.D., a Washington, D.C.-area dermatologist, bends forward. Yoga moves "like Child's Pose, Downward-Facing Dog and Sun Salutations improve circulation — the boost of oxygen is what gives skin that lovely yoga glow." Another reason to take to the mat: New research finds regular yoga practice may reduce the inflammation and stress that speed skin aging.

Lather with care
"Mild cleansers are one of my best secrets," says Chicago derm Jonith Breadon, M.D. She's partial to CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser ($11; drugstores), which contains ceramides — fatty materials that help retain moisture.

Cut back on the sweet stuff
The breakdown of sugars, called glycation, damages the collagen that keeps skin smooth and firm. To prevent this natural process from careening out of control, Naila Malik, M.D., a derm in Southlake, TX, sticks to low-glycemic carbs like whole grains; they're naturally low in sugar, and the body processes them slowly to limit the loss of collagen.

Pump iron to plump skin
"I am religious about strength-training, and I always tell patients to do it more as they get older," says Patricia Farris, M.D., a dermatologist in Metairie, LA. The payoff: firmer skin from the neck down, the result of having better, more supportive muscle tone. "It's like adding volume to the face with fillers, except on your body," says Farris.

Skip sodium
Diet soda is a vice that Audrey Kunin, M.D., a Kansas City, MO, dermatologist, just can't quit—she downs up to six cans a day. When she realized that all the sodium in soda (anywhere from 25 to 50 mg per can) made her eyes and jawline puffy, she switched to a brand that doesn't punish her skin: sodium-free Diet Rite soda. "It satisfies my cravings and my skin looks much better."

Tea up
In her teens, Amy Wechsler, M.D., an NYC derm, started drinking green and black tea for the taste. Now she drinks three to five cups a day to safeguard her skin. Research suggests that both types of tea contain protective compounds — like EGCG and theaflavins — that help prevent skin cancers and the breakdown of collagen, the cause of wrinkles.

Copyright© 2012 Rodale Inc.All rights reserved. No reproduction, transmission or display is permitted without the written permissions of Rodale Inc.

Video: 10 things that are ruining your skin

  1. Closed captioning of: 10 things that are ruining your skin

    >>> this morning on today's health, ten things ruining your skin. aging is inevitable, but you can slow down the pace . here are skin remedies is dr. susan taylor, dermatologist. good morning.

    >> good morning.

    >> we know the damage the sun can do. harvard medical school says it is still the biggest cause of damage to the skin.

    >> people don't realize exposure while driving in the car, while walking down the street is significant. the rule is you have to apply sunscreen every day and you have to apply it every two hours because it wears off after two hours. don't forget to use spf 30. no excuses. there is a sunscreen for everyone. if your skin is dry, you can use a moisturizing sunscreen. if it's oily, use gel. there are sprays, sticks.

    >> even sensitive skin , you name it.

    >> right.

    >> we know stress is a big skin-buster. what can we do to alleviate that?

    >> first of all, find out what's right for you. it might be yoga, exercise, meditation. so it's going to be different for everyone. what you have to realize is that when you're under stress the body releases neuropeptides. they can act on the skin making acne worse, eczema worse, psoriasis worse. also adrenaline is released causing blood vessels to constrict depriving the skin of oxygen and nutrients.

    >> everything flares up then.

    >> you need to relieve it.

    >> compounded with stress is lack of sleep.

    >> that's right.

    >> one other thing to do is trying to get more sleep.

    >> you need seven to eight hours of sleep. that's hard for many people. if you get six, try to add another 30 minutes . that's a real simple thing to do. what you have to realize is that stress can have profound effects on the skin. it can cause skin cells to reproduce abnormally. that could lead to precancers for example and shorten the life span of cells.

    >> 15, 30 minutes makes a big difference.

    >> goes a long way.

    >> okay. let's talk about dehydration. if you're drinking alcohol or if you're even washing your face with too much hot water , that can dehydrate the skin.

    >> or drying soaps or cleansers can dehydrate the skin. that can ruin your skin, so moisturize. there are many moisturizers available. this one has ceramides in it. those are lipids that help the skin hold onto water. apply moisturizer a couple times a day if your skin is dehydrated. and be mindful of the cleansers and soaps you're using.

    >> in the summer people don't like to moisturize because they think they will break out. what can you do?

    >> there are many moisturizers that are noncomedegenic. they won't break you out.

    >> i know people are addicted to lip balm and it turns out overuse is making your lips drier.

    >> it can, depending on the ingredients. there are ingredients or dyes that give it a bright color that can irritate the skin and produce extra dryness. if that's happening to you, look for a balm that just has petrolatum, think of it as vasoline. apply it several times a day. your lips will get better as opposed to drier.

    >> we know there is serious damage tanning salons can do. everyone recommend it is self-tanners, but often the application isn't easy. how do you keep from getting streaky.

    >> first of all, self-tanners have come a long way. they're terrific now. if you're applying one on your legs, shave beforehand to remove dead layers of cells. when you apply self-tanner it won't streak. you could even use a loofah sponge or buff-puff.

    >> ex-foal yat first.

    >> you could use a lotion and then the self-tanner goes on smoothly and evenly.

    >> for people with problem skin who break '02out a lot, they tend to overuse products.

    >> it causes redness and irritation. the rule is select one product. use it for six to eight weeks. that's how long it takes to see improvement. if you don't see improvement after that time see a dermatologist.

    >> benzoperoxide and salycilic acid.

    >> don't combine them.

    >> and tobacco is terrible for your skin.

    >> smoke releases free radicals which damages your collagen and elastin in the skin. so stop smoking. you can't reverse all the damage. some of it you can. if you have deep wrinkles and folds and a sal low skin tone ,

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