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Skin Care Guide: Part 1

Younger Looking Skin Without Surgery

Skin care products: What works, what doesn't

En español | "Most people don't realize how old I am," says Norma Sue Scher, of St. Louis. "When something comes up about being 73, they say, 'I thought you were in your 50s!' "

Sign up for AARP's Health Newsletter.

Scher uses anti-aging lotions and cleansers every day, and she regularly gets chemical fillers and peels from her dermatologist. It's not that she wants to look 20, she says. But she wants to look her best, for her husband and for herself. Your reflection in the mirror "has to say, 'Hey you're OK,' " she says

Keeping your skin looking as young as possible requires Scher's multi-pronged approach, dermatologists say.

As we age, skin can become dull, large-pored and flaky, says Neal Schultz, coauthor of the book It's Not Just About Wrinkles. "Three-fourths of what you see in the mirror is really issues of color and texture," he says.

Darker skin is less prone to wrinkling, and more prone to color changes from too much pigment.

About 80 percent of the transition from smooth-as-a-grape to rough-as-a-corn-flake is due to sun damage, says Scher's doctor Lawrence Samuels, chief of dermatology at St. Luke's Hospital in St. Louis. (If you doubt him, take a look at the skin on your bottom.)

What can you do to get back at the sun — and old man time?

Next: Low-cost skin care tips. >>

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