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Sensational Skin: The Best Care for Every Skin Tone

The best care for your complexion doesn't have to involve pricey creams and facials. Check out these fresh, effective skincare solutions, tailored to your skin tone.
woman with fair skin Fair Skin

The expert: Ellen Marmur, MD, associate professor at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City

Complexion challenge: Fine lines

Pale skin has less melanin, a pigment that protects against UV radiation, than dark skin does. People with light complexions are vulnerable to the sun's aging effects because UV rays dissolve collagen, the tissue that prevents wrinkles from forming, Dr. Marmur says.

Skin solution: Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen year-round. Every. Single. Day. Use a moisturizer with SPF, and if you're going to be outside for more than a half hour, layer on another sunscreen. To help prevent wrinkles, boost your skin's collagen by dabbing on a retinol treatment before bed. A couple of times a week, use pads that contain glycolic acid to exfoliate.

Complexion challenge: Skin cancer

Fair skin is more susceptible to DNA damage caused by UV rays, which can lead to skin cancer. In fact, Caucasians are 22 times more likely to develop melanoma in any given year than African Americans.

Skin solution: "Once a month, scan your body from head to toe and front to back for odd-looking or changing moles," says Dr. Marmur, who is a skin cancer survivor. If a spot alters in size, color, or shape, see a derm right away.