Keeping Skin Looking Youthful

Americans live in a culture that glorifies youth. They’re surrounded by images of ideal, ageless beauty that are impossible standards to meet. That’s one of the reasons they spent an estimated $7 billion on anti-aging skin care products in 2008.

Still, without getting caught up in a narcissistic attempt to stay young forever, there are some simple steps you can take to look great for your age, whatever that may be. And one of the best areas to concentrate on is your skin. In a search for no-nonsense advice, we asked several respected dermatologists to share their secrets on how to keep our skin looking healthy and youthful.

But first, a little background on how skin ages in the first place. Skin is the largest organ in the human body, and it’s vulnerable to damage from many directions, says Lisa M. Donofrio, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University School of Medicine.

Over time, smoking cigarettes and exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun can create wrinkles; pollution can clog pores. Environmental poisons set off chemical reactions that