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When a dear friend of mine told me that she was finally ready to try some anti-aging products, I jumped at the chance to put together a new nighttime skincare routine for her.  As her main concerns were a dull complexion, wrinkles and dryness, shaking up her night time routine made sense – it's the ideal time for skin to repair and rejuvenate itself.  Not only that, but the one-two punch that I planned for her consisted of two active ingredients that could increase sun sensitivity, all the more reason to incorporate them into a nighttime routine.

Here's the simple but effective routine I proposed to her:

Three to five nights a week after cleansing (but before moisturizing), boost collagen production with a retinoid, like [Link Removed] .  With oodles of scientifically-backed studies to prove their efficacy, retinoids are at the top of the list when it comes to anti-aging ingredients and arguably the closest thing to a skin care miracle.  Not only do retinoids boost collagen production, but regular use will:

 •Reduce pigmentation

 •Control oil production

 •Treat acne

 •Make pores look smaller

 •Improve the look of wrinkles

 •Even out skin tone

Two nights a week (when a retinoid is not being used), apply an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) exfoliant treatment. While retinoids increase cell turnover, alpha hydroxy acids help to remove the dead skin cells that sit on top. Their removal allows for the new skin cells to shine through. When using an AHA, you can opt for a cream or serum formulation. [Link Removed] , contains a combination of mandelic and malic acids. In addition to giving the skin a healthier and brighter appearance, exfoliation removes the barrier of dry, dead skin cells that may impede the absorption of other active ingredients.

If my dear friend misses a night, no problem. The glass of wine? It's optional.

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti-aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed].
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