Perhaps that's why I've come to treat wrinkles and discolorations as family members — often annoying, occasionally endearing, but always there. I'm comfortable enough in my skin to say I'm not trying to look younger, just a bit … fresher. To me, that's an honest, realistic and achievable goal. Here are four new treatments offer to help me achieve it.
Blur creams. The old Vaseline-on-the-camera-lens trick made Hollywood stars look flawless. Now there's a do-it-yourself twin to that cinematographer's dodge in the form of "blur creams," such as Lancôme Visionnaire 1-Minute Blur, Philosophy Instant Miracle Worker Line-Erasing Blur Stick or Garnier Skin Renew 5-Second Blur Instant Smoother. Using light-reflecting technology, they throw skin into soft focus, in effect, making lines, large pores and discolorations appear to fuse to an even texture. Apply under makeup (and again as a touch-up, rather than powder or blotting papers) in expression lines, on the nose and around the eyes.
Peel pads. Remember those stinky, alcohol-soaked pads we once used to fight teen acne? Yes, their beta hydroxy acid could unclog skin pores, but its desiccating action also deprived young complexions of essential oils. These so-called peel pads are back, souped up for boomers with gently exfoliating glycolic acid — as well as soothing botanicals, humectants and antioxidants designed to nurture older, more sensitive complexions. The allure of new products — such as Avon Anew Clinical Extra-Strength Retexturizing Peel Pads, Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Pads or Pixi Skintreats Glow Peel Pads — is the manufacturers' promise to zap adult zits, boosting cell turnover as you softly swipe them on.
Face oils. The newest botanical facial oils are designed to treat the super-dry skin typical of former tanners (or anyone who once used Retin-A or retinol). Some feature the oil of a specific plant, such as argan, marula, rose or grape seed. Among these are, for example, Physicians Formula Argan Wear Glow Oil and Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Active Brightening Oil. Others are multi-oil blends, such as L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Cell Renewal Facial Oil or Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil. Packed with do-good antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, oils can reduce inflammation and block water loss while plumping up lines.
Booster serums. A skin serum is a concentrated fluid with a high percentage of active ingredients, usually layered under a cream to enhance results. A new take on this old treatment is the booster serum, which is designed to be mixed with a dab of any moisturizer (or any creamy face makeup) in the palm of your hand. Think of it as blending a smoothie with different ingredients each day. To calm red, irritated skin, for example, you might add a serum containing chamomile. Among the many options out there is Cover FX Custom Infusion Drops E + Chamomile. Or perhaps you want to energize dull, tired skin? In that case, maybe any of the several available booster serums that comprise green coffee, such as Clarins Booster Detox? (You can likewise use this tactic to incorporate any serums you may already own.)
Oh, and never forget these generic instructions for facial use: Smile. Wrinkle. Relax. Repeat.
For more beauty and fashion tips, take a look inside my book The Woman's Wakeup: How to Shake Up Your Looks, Life, and Love After 50, as well as AARP's new Beauty & Style digital magazine (available on iPad).