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As we get older the rate of skin-cell turnover starts to slow, causing a buildup of dead skin. And the pace at which these cells are shed isn't the same all over your face. Cells in the T-zone, where there are more oil glands, tend to get replaced faster than the skin on the sides of your face. The result? A patchy effect that interrupts light reflection. But it's easy to get glowing again.
Your superstar ingredient: Glycolic acid
It helps break apart the gluelike substance holding dead skin cells together, Dr. Alster says. The result: An even, more luminous surface.
How to use it: Glycolic acid can irritate skin. If you can tolerate the ingredient, smooth on a moisturizer containing it daily, or try it two times a week if you have sensitive skin. If that's still too aggravating, try a glycolic-based cleanser, which rinses away dead skin.
FITNESS faves: Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Moisturizer ($45, sephora.com), and DermaDoctor Litmus Test Glycolic Acid Facial Cleansing Gel ($25, ulta.com).