By Beth Janes
Hormone Havoc: Wrinkles
Fortysomethings are dealt a double whammy in the wrinkle department. You're in perimenopause, which means waning levels of estrogen slow down new collagen production, making sun damage more noticeable than it was earlier. And facial expression lines become more obvious, too, thanks to weakened collagen. The end result? Crow's-feet, forehead lines, and creases between the brows.
Retinoids: These vitamin A derivatives (found in prescription creams like Renova) are known to turn on collagen production and smooth wrinkles. If your skin is sensitive and you can't tolerate Rx retinoids, OTC retinol is a great first-line defense, says Tina Alster, MD, director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery. Try Roc Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 ($22 at drugstores) or Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM ($65 at peterthomasroth.com).
Botox and Dysport: These injectables will stop you from making the facial expressions that cause and deepen wrinkles. Both are similar in that they temporarily block nerve impulses that allow muscle movement. One treatment lasts for three to six months and costs between $250 and $600 depending on how many injections you need. If you're more interested in topicals claiming Botox-like effects, however, it may be worth considering an eye treatment that contains the peptide GABA. Try LiftFusion Triple Threat Intense Target Magic Wand ($39 at ulta.com).
Fraxel laser resurfacing stimulates collagen production within the skin. The heat triggers the skin's repair mechanism, which builds collagen and pushes new, healthy cells to the surface. You'll see much more dramatic results from the laser treatment than from retinoids, says Seattle dermatologist Brandith Irwin, MD. Cost: $750 to $1,500 per session.