Don't Put Another Product on Your Face Until You Read our Guide to Skin Care in your 20s, 30s, and 40s

Ed's Note: Meet our new beauty columnist! (No, that's not her at the left. That's Lindsey Wixson.) Contessa Schexnayder is a makeup artist and has been shackled to the beauty industry for over nine years, working for such lines and retailers as Nars, MAC, Bobbi Brown, Blue Mercury, and Space NK. She is a self-proclaimed ingredient know-it-all, and likes long walks on the beach. When faced with hundreds of bottles of lotions and potions, the drugstore aisle and department store can be overwhelming places. Do you need a seven step facial regimen? How worried should you be in your 20s about an anti-aging treatments? Should you just give up in your 40s? We’ll attempt to answer these questions with a handy guide for every age group, complete with product recommendations. Click through for some advice and pointers.
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Ed's Note: Meet our new beauty columnist! (No, that's not her at the left. That's Lindsey Wixson.) Contessa Schexnayder is a makeup artist and has been shackled to the beauty industry for over nine years, working for such lines and retailers as Nars, MAC, Bobbi Brown, Blue Mercury, and Space NK. She is a self-proclaimed ingredient know-it-all, and likes long walks on the beach. When faced with hundreds of bottles of lotions and potions, the drugstore aisle and department store can be overwhelming places. Do you need a seven step facial regimen? How worried should you be in your 20s about an anti-aging treatments? Should you just give up in your 40s? We’ll attempt to answer these questions with a handy guide for every age group, complete with product recommendations. Click through for some advice and pointers.
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Ed's Note: Meet our new beauty columnist! (No, that's not her at the left. That's Lindsey Wixson.) Contessa Schexnayder is a makeup artist and has been shackled to the beauty industry for over nine years, working for such lines and retailers as Nars,

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20’s In your twenties your skin is in its prime. It glows without much effort, and you can still smile without wrinkles forming. Now is the time to really live with reckless abandon. Start by drinking an alarming amount of alcohol and smoke tons of cigarettes. Lay out in the sun until your skin resembles that of an over cooked microwave dinner. We’re kidding, but you would be surprised how many of us are guilty of treating our face like it’s a rental. Although you are not currently seeing any damage you might be causing to your beautiful skin, it’s happening, and many outside elements--stress and environment included--have the potential to add unwanted years to the aging process. Here’s how to prevent it:

1) Though you should not be slathering on $300 anti-aging moisturizers and getting

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1. Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel $6.99 2. Beta Hydroxy Acid 2% Acne Wash Peter Thomas Roth $35 3. Darphin Hydra skin light gel cream $60 4. CANE+AUSTIN Acne wipes $65 5. SPF C.O. Bigelow All-in-One Protective Day Lotion SPF 25 $20 6. Leaf and Rusher Rapid Resurface $50 7. Nude skincare cleansing facial wash $24

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30’s With time comes knowledge, and hopefully you have learned that you only have one face. When you make an expression, those pesky lines aren’t going away as swiftly as they once did. You might also be noticing your skin isn’t as radiant as it once was. The prime reason for the dullness in your complexion is that your dead skin cells are not naturally shedding as quickly. To counter this, you should attempt to exfoliate twice a week.

1) Try using an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) based mask or a physical exfoliator.

2) If you’re looking for a way to really jump-start your skin, drink a cup of warm water with half a fresh lemon in it once a morning before breakfast and save the other lemon half. At night after you wash your face, wait 5 minutes then take the rest of the lemon and squeeze it on to a cotton ball—watch for pulp. Gently rub your face and wait for 10 minutes to wash it off-it may sting, but should go away. Lemon is a great purifier and makes the skin look amazing; it tightens, brightens and is a natural astringent. Don’t forget to apply moisturizer once your skin has fully dried.

3) Glycolic peels are great, but should be done in moderation. Always keep in mind that exfoliation is all about taking off the old dead skin, and not taking off the new skin underneath it.

4) If your skin is still lackluster, try using a serum with a vitamin A or retinol. Both ingredients help with fine lines, acne and uneven skin tone.

5) Make sure your moisturizer has an

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1. Eve Lom cleanser $75 2. Korres Wild Rose Moisturizer $35 3. Skinceuticals C E Feurlic Serum $144 4. Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Mask $65

*Photo: Getty

*Photo: Getty

40’s You probably are investing and likely spending a bit more time on your skin. Perhaps you have noticed deeper lines and wrinkles and less elasticity. Your skin may not possess the same buoyancy. This is because hormones are beginning to slow down and are not being produced with as much frequency. This is also the time when you will begin to see bad habits you once had coming to the surface. Studies have shown that 80% of all aging is caused from outside elements. Sun worshiping and cigarette puffing should not be part of your routine.

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1. Caudalie Premier Cru $150 2. Bobbi Brown EXTRA SPF 25 Moisturizing Balm $88 3. Tata Harper Refreshing Cleanser $50 4. Rodial Chin and Neck Lift $98 5. Darphin 8 flower nectar $150 6. Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil $48