10 Must Have Beauty Products

Ingredients that really work to fix past skin-care mistakes and set the stage to minimize future damage.

10 Must Have Beauty Products
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Looking your best is possible (and not even that difficult) when you live a healthy lifestyle and have the right stuff in your beauty arsenal. Although genetics do play a role, you have a surprising amount of influence when it comes to aging gracefully. All you need is a bit of wisdom from the world of science and products with ingredients that really work to fix past skin-care mistakes and set the stage to minimize future aging. Here, 10 must-have products that will help you bring out that youthful glow.

1. Exfoliants
As we age, our skin thins and dries out. "Skin isn't able to regenerate itself as quickly and the epidermis exhibits slower cell turnover, creating a matte, dehydrated complexion," says Sherwin K. Parikh, M.D., dermatologist and founder of the Tribeca Skin Center in New York. Additionally, collagen loss reduces skin's elasticity, he adds. Exfoliants help slough off the dull surface layer of skin and stimulate new cell production. Glycolics (derived from fruits) and salicylic acids (derived from willow bark) are the most common natural acid exfoliators and are excellent for oily or combination skin. Try: Origins Brighter by Nature High-Potency Brightening Peel with Fruit Acids ($38; If your skin is sensitive, gentle scrubs can help smooth lines. Try: Amala Hydrating Face Polish ($48;

2. Retinoids
Chemical compounds derived from vitamin A, retinoids stimulate collagen production and cell turnover, which reduces fine lines and wrinkles and removes dry, rough patches of skin. "As we age, our skin gets thinner and loses its structure," explains Alan M. Dattner, M.D., founder of and Natural Health advisory board member. "Retinols cause skin to thicken, which leads to a more youthful appearance." Apply at bedtime, when skin is in repair mode. Try: philosophy miracle worker miraculous anti-aging retinoid pads with solution ($70;

3. Antioxidants
The free radicals that are created in the body when we are exposed to toxins attack healthy skin cells and cause collagen breakdown, which leads to sagging and wrinkles. "Antioxidants are like the backline of a football team," says Dattner. "They shuttle harmful free radicals away from the skin, where they can cause damage." Vitamin C, the gold standard of antioxidants, is a powerhouse and should be a part of every woman's skin-care regime, he says. Try: SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic ($138;

4. Polypeptides
These long-chain amino acids penetrate deeply into the skin to stimulate the production of new cells. Copper is one example, and has the added benefit of acting as an antioxidant and stimulating production of moisturizing hyaluronic acid. "Copper is a vital element in the synthesis of collagen," says Parikh. As we age, collagen production slows; copper peptides stimulate cell growth, stop and possibly reverse the signs of aging. Try: June Jacobs Age Defying Copper Complex ($148;

5. Eye Cream
The skin around the eye is the thinnest on your body and the most prone to the signs of aging, such as crow’s feet, dark circles and puffiness. To reduce crow’s feet, use a moisturizing eye cream that contains a retinol. Try: RoC Multi-Correxion Eye Treatment ($25; [shown]. Deflate puffy under-eye bags with a skin-tightening product containing hyaluronic acid. Try: NUDE Advanced Eye Complex ($88; Combat dark under-eye circles with products rich in vitamin K. Try: Peter Thomas Roth Power K Eye Rescue ($100;