By Stephanie Scott

he skincare industry is a $135 billion a year business – and it seems like the options are endless in the promise of a glowing complexion. But what really works? Here are some experts’ top tips for healthy and beautiful skin.

Protect Your Skin.

The most important step to a life of glowing, early wrinkle free skin? Applying a sunscreen or protective sunscreen daily. Making sun protection part of your daily routine will protect you from skin cancer, sunspots, and wrinkles. Applying SPF is just one way to protect your skin from the sun. Dermatologists universally recommend avoiding tanning beds and outdoor tanning sessions.

Exfoliate Regularly.

Exfoliation helps remove dead, built-up skin cells and reveals newer, smoother skin underneath. Professional dermatologists and estheticians recommend using products with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). AHAs include ingredients such as glycolic acid and lactic acid, while salicylic acid is the main BHA in most skincare products. If your skin is prone to sensitivity, stick to products with the gentler polyhydroxy acids (PHAs) and avoid physical exfoliators like harsh scrubs containing abrasive beads.

Make a Date with Your Facialist.

Along with chemical exfoliants and retinoids, a good professional facial does more than just clear skin, it can “optimize your skin cell turnover and create a more even, glowing complexion,” said Kristine Sibley, a professional aesthetic consultant. Sibley recommends a HydraFacial, which uses a special hydro-powered tool to provide a 30-minute, three-step facial that cleanses, extracts, and hydrates your skin.

“I recommend people make facials a regular part of their skin care routine,” Sibley said. “It gives you a younger, clearer and more vibrant complexion but also addresses the underlying issues that may be causing your skin concerns.”

Add Some Antioxidants.

Over time, our daily sun exposure leads to the formation of free radicals. These can cause oxidative stress, which can damage the skin. Antioxidants are powerful tools that can help “clean up” the free radicals, minimizing damage to the cells. One of the most effective antioxidants is also the most common and inexpensive: vitamin C. There are a slew of serums and creams containing vitamin C on the market. Vitamin E is another antioxidant option that also doubles as an excellent skin moisturizer. A final “super skin vitamin” is vitamin A, also known as retinol, which works by speeding up the normal skin cell turnover process, which can help with fine lines, dark spots, and acne.