You may think you're too young to have crow's-feet or that you're way past the pimple danger zone, but plenty of beauty issues don't care how old you are. The truth is, hair and skin problems can crop up out of order, anytime. And while you may be tempted to go pick up, say, the zit zapper you used when you were 17, don't. You need a plan designed for someone at your stage in life. That's exactly what you'll find here
In later years, wrinkles are usually caused by sun damage that degrades collagen and elastin, but when you're younger, it's probably because of squinting, frowning, eyebrow raising, and other everyday facial gymnastics. As you make these expressions time and again, they get etched into your face, says Amy B. Lewis, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine.
Fight It: Freeze your face? Smile less? God, no. But do wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily, like SkinCeuticals Physical Matte UV Defense SPF 50 ($34, skinceuticals.com), to stop the sun damage that will ultimately make lines worse. And start using a collagen-stimulating retinoid. Your lines are probably just beginning to appear, so an OTC formula like Mary Kay TimeWise Repair Volu-Fill Deep Wrinkle Filler ($45, marykay.com) may be a better bet than a stronger prescription version. Or consider injectables such as Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin, says Marisa Potter, M.D., of Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute in Miami. They're designed to deal with expression lines by weakening facial muscles (and when the procedure's done right, you won't end up looking immobilized or less like yourself).
Like crop tops and neon leggings, you thought acne was in your past. Yet 12% of those 41 to 50 have adult acne, and so do 26% of women ages 31 to 40, says research in the Journal of Women's Health. Unlike teen breakouts, caused when extra oil brings on an explosion of bacteria, the culprit now is hormonal inflammation. As estrogen and testosterone fluctuate, they can spur painful cystic acne around your mouth and chin, says dermatologist Anne Chapas, M.D., of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
Fight It: Use a blemish buster designed to attack this kind of "older" acne. A sulfur mask, like Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Masque ($40, Sephora), will reduce inflammation and clear pores. Consider prescription Aczone Gel, which targets hormonal acne, or going on birth control to balance hormones, says dermatologist Eric Schweiger, M.D., at Mount Sinai Medical Center. For immediate camouflage, makeup artist Ashunta Sherif says a creamy full-coverage foundation will mask spots without looking cakey. Try Becca Ultimate Coverage Complexion Crème ($44, Sephora).