I'm not interested in hopping into a time machine (return to my teen years? No thanks!), but sometimes I do wish I could turn back the clock for the sake of my skin. I grew up a devoted sun worshipper and all the running, biking and fun activities I do outdoors these days doesn't help (though now I'm better about wearing sunscreen).
The freckles and little spots I have certainly make me look older than I'd like, which is typical, according to a recent study from the University of Gottingen in Germany. Testers estimated that people whose uneven pigmentation was digitally removed from photos were five years younger than their age. When wrinkles were also erased, they guessed a 15-year age drop! Luckily, the guys in white lab coats have been hard at work finding fast, easy ways to reverse the appearance of aging without resorting to a scalpel.
Want to look younger? Try a few of these skin-saving solutions:
-- Uncover glowing skin: After washing your face for a full 30 to 60 seconds -- the time it takes cleansing agents to loosen dirt, oil and makeup -- gently apply a microdermabrasion cream (Estee Lauder Idealist Micro-D is one I like). It works like a peel to slough off surface cells and reveal newer, younger-looking skin beneath. Or try this at-home tip: Soak a washcloth in whole milk and drape it over your face. The fat in the milk soothes skin while its lactic acid gently exfoliates.
-- Get even: Blotchy pigmentation can tack on up to 12 years to your perceived age, according to a study in Evolution and Human Behavior. Roll back the years with tinted moisturizer, which hides imperfections but still appears natural (so you look like you, not some fake Claymation version). Apply your regular moisturizer first so the tint won't seep into dry spots, resulting in splotches. -- Cover spots: To hide imperfections, choose a thick stick concealer one shade lighter than your foundation. For a natural effect, dab it on with a makeup brush, then top it with a light dusting of translucent powder to keep it in place.
-- Freshen up your fragrance: Choosing the right scent could take years off your face, reports the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. In a study, men guessed women's ages while smelling three scents and judged women to be nearly six years younger when wearing a perfume with notes of pink grapefruit.