15 Secrets From Top Dermatologists

Famous for their skin-perfecting skills, three major pros reveal the rules they live by.

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It's an old wives' tale, but it works.

"Placing a cool object on the eyes reduces puffiness and undereye circles. Black tea bags really do the trick." -Jody A. Levine, M.D., NYC

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Yes, dark circles do respond to topical treatments.

"For shadows under the eyes, I tell my patients to use lightening agents like kojic acid, arbutin and retinol—they don't just work on wrinkles!" -Jody A. Levine, M.D., NYC

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There's something to the adage that you can tell a person's age by their hands.

"Most people treat their faces and totally forget about their hands. The same antiaging ingredients that you use for your face—broad-spectrum sunscreen for day and retinoids at night—fight brown spots on your hands too." -Jody A. Levine, M.D., NYC

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Don't underestimate the power of eye cream.

"Skin around the eyes is really thin and dry, which makes the fat pads and capillaries beneath visible. Keeping it moisturized and supple with a cream hides them, making you look younger immediately." -Jody A. Levine, M.D., NYC

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Fat is your friend.

"Omega-fatty—acid-rich foods, like wild salmon and walnuts, are great for delaying the signs of aging—they keep skin looking younger." -Jody A. Levine, M.D., NYC

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Take a two-pronged approach to healing scars and uneven skin tone.

Prevent and treat:

"Wearing sunscreen and staying shaded is essential in preventing dark marks from getting darker. To treat existing dark marks, look for products with a combination of licorice, antioxidants and retinol." -Heather Woolery-Lloyd, M.D., Miami

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Antioxidants are "essential ingredients" in your skincare routine—but also in your diet.

"Eat a diet high in antioxidants like blueberries and pomegranates. They soothe inflammation and fight free radicals." -Heather Woolery-Lloyd, M.D., Miami

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Sunscreen is a friend of the breakout-prone.

"Wear a sunscreen with a pigment-controlling agent like soy to prevent those dark marks from lingering after a pimple goes away." -Heather Woolery-Lloyd, M.D., Miami

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If you have to be out in the sun, double-dose your protection.

"I recommend the Sun Pill a lot. Combined with topical sunscreen, it's a powerhouse for preventing UV-damage." -Heather Woolery-Lloyd, M.D., Miami

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Retin-A remains the hero treatment.

"Prescription Retin-A or retinol (over the counter) is still one of the most important discoveries in dermatology over the last 50 years. Both forms prevent wrinkles, improve pigmentation and texture, and treat acne. It takes a while to see results, but the payoff is huge." -Heather Woolery-Lloyd, M.D., Miami

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Don't over-exfoliate.

"Many women over-scrub their skin with harsh exfoliants that burn, hurt, or sting, causing irritation and breakouts." -Amy Wechsler, M.D., NYC

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Ecxema flare-ups, which studies show are tied to stress, can be soothed with milk, of all things.

"Apply a whole milk compress twice a day for 10 minutes and moisturize with a hypoallergenic cream." -Amy Wechsler, M.D., NYC

Your skin will absorb the fat from the milk, which in turn helps strengthen and moisturize. Also, milk contains lactic acids that penetrate skin to loosen dead skin cells.

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Even acne-prone skin needs moisture.

"Dryness only exacerbates breakouts—there are great oil-free options out there that really help." -Amy Wechsler, M.D., NYC

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A positive mental state affects the skin.

"It can help heal pimples, fade new wrinkles and calm irritation more quickly." -Amy Wechsler, M.D., NYC

Conversely, a negative mental state feeds back to the skin, causing inflammation.

"Pimples and wrinkles form more easily and the skin is drier and more sensitive." -Amy Wechsler, M.D., NYC

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Too little sleep can make you break out.

"Getting eight hours a night helps your skin heal, as cortisol - which causes inflammation - is lowest during sleep. At the same time, endorphins and growth hormones - which help to heal - are at their highest." -Amy Wechsler, M.D., NYC

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