By Lois Joy Johnson
Every woman I know over 50 is on the fence when it comes to wrinkles and saggy, spotty skin. We stand in front of the mirror, pull our faces back, squint to blur the discolorations and dream... for five seconds. Then reality kicks in. We don't want to spend the money, we don't like the idea of scalpels and we're wishing menopause were just a bad dream. Unfortunately it's not, but you can blame genetics, fluctuations in hormone levels, a slowdown in cell renewal, and loss of the natural elastin and hyaluronic acid in your skin. And I'll add because I can't resist...your own contributions to sun damage by skipping sunscreen over decades of exposure. There's an easy affordable three part plan that works for everyone according to Dr. Jeanine Downie an A-list dermatologist and Director of Image Dermatology in Montclair N.J. who recommends this regimen to her own patients.
1. Start with Olay Professional Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System ($29.99 target.com). This waterproof battery-powered brush and cleanser duo gently but thoroughly exfoliates dead cells and freshens pores. Your skin immediately looks brighter and smoother and de-aging skin treatments are able to penetrate more effectively. Costing way less than the $200 sonic versions, this spinning brush buffs skin to a silky finish so face makeup blends on easily. And according to Dr. Downie "there is no reason to spend more!"
2. Next, use a three-part regimen and again Dr. Downie suggests Olay Professional Pro-X Intensive Wrinkle Protocol ($59.99 target.com) because "a pre-packaged regimen contains proven ingredients and solutions. It's a smarter choice than your own mix and match product selections. You don't have to think- just apply- and all steps and ingredients are compatible." Olay experts say this package is half the price of a dermatology consultation and as effective in clinical testing as prescription brand skin care. The plan starts with an SPF 30 Age Repair Lotion - crucial according to Dr. Downie who makes the point that "this way you can't scrimp on sunscreen and a broad-spectrum UVA/ UVB one is a daily essential for all skin types regardless of ethnicity. Plus it's built in to your daily moisturizer so you can't forget it. Keep it next to your toothbrush so it's routine." She suggests women who end up spending more time in the sun than planned at 7 a.m. (say you meet a friend for lunch at an outdoor cafe or stop by a flea market for an hour or two) reapply this right over their makeup for an extra boost of protection. The night care part of this regimen also includes a Wrinkle Smoothing Cream and Deep Wrinkle Treatment. According to Olay, users of this system in an 8 week and 24 week clinical study showed reduced wrinkles as effectively as the leading anti-aging Rx, and a significant improvement in moisture. After six months of continued use Olay reports there was no dryness or flakiness.
3.Last step, COVERGIRL & Olay Tone Rehab 2-in-1 Foundation ($14.99 ulta.com). Blend on this light treatment foundation hybrid to create a more even look without heavy camouflage. Although Dr. Downie suggests patients with serious pigmentation issues consider supplementing this routine with a Fraxel laser treatment or chemical peels, the right de-aging makeup can help diminish the look of brown spots and red areas. This liquid has a unique light serum-like texture that won't sink into expression lines and creases. And it comes in 14 believable shades from Ivory to Soft Sable.
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Lois Joy Johnson is ThirdAge's Beauty and Fashion Director. She is the author of "The Makeup Wakeup."