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Bust Out of Your Beauty Rut

See how a few simple changeups helped four readers rehab their routines and get prettier results.
Z-Slic Sunblock SPF30 Repair Sun Damage

"I've had my fun in the sun, but I'm worried about wrinkles."
-- Erica Miller, 27

Pretty Plan: Erica visited Kenneth Mark, MD, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at New York University, for skin advice.

Lesson 1: Use SPF, Every Day
Erica's light hair and eyes make her prone to skin cancer -- and sun damage, says Dr. Mark. In addition to recommending sunglasses, he advised her to start each morning with Z-Silc Sunblock SPF 30 ($30.80, beautybridge.com), a zinc-based blocker that helps preserve collagen. He also suggested swapping her plain-Jane lotion for one rich in wrinkle-preventing antioxidants, like Ren Vita-Mineral Radiant Day Cream ($45, renskincare.com).

Lesson 2: Customize Your Skincare
Erica and her boyfriend share an exfoliating face wash that's too harsh for Erica's sensitive skin. "Inflammation can spur lines and wrinkles," says Dr. Mark. The fix: a moisture-packed cleanser that doubles as a makeup remover, such as Neutrogena Ageless Essentials Continuous Hydration Cream Cleanser ($7.99, drugstores). Hydroxy acids, like those in MD Skincare Alpha Beta Peel ($78, mdskincare.com), an affordable alternative to a $300 professional peel, are a gentler way to slough at night.

Lesson 3: Shelve the Gels
To ward off squint lines, Erica uses eye gel, which is less moisturizing than a cream. "Dryness contributes to crow's-feet," says Dr. Mark. Multitaskers with peptides like KMMD Tighten & Lighten Eye Cream ($64, call 888-999-5293 for info) smooth lines, de-puff, and lighten dark undereye circles.