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Youth Preservers

As much as it signals renewal, a new year also reminds us that time stops for no man (or woman). And if you overdid holiday festivities or are clocking killer work hours, you may be feeling less like Baby New Year and more like Father Time.

If that’s you, get back to basics: consistent sleep, sufficient water, regular exercise and fewer Moscow Mules. But since most skin aging is due to sun damage, daily sunscreen is also essential. For further protection, as well as to treat the wear and tear already there, here’s the 411 on a handful of skin-care products for your anti-aging arsenal.

1. Serious serum. While you may associate a serum with an Ebola ward rather than your complexion, there are good reasons to use one. Serums contain smaller molecules than moisturizers do, so they penetrate into deeper skin layers. Additionally, they’re formulated with higher concentrations of active ingredients.
Try: Formulated with alpha hydroxy acids, peptides and algae extract, Anthony High Performance Anti-Wrinkle Glycolic Peptide Serum moisturizes, lifts and targets deep lines ($68, sephora.ca).

2. Out, Damned Spot! You likely dread wrinkles, but studies show hyperpigmentation (a.k.a. brown spots and patches from sun exposure or acne) can be equally aging. While hydroquinone was a go-to treatment, its possible carcinogenic role has led many brands to turn to kojic acid, a skin brightener derived from mushrooms.
Try: MenScience Pigmentation Repair Formula harnesses kojic acid, retinol, vitamin C and glycolic acid to help diminish age spots and other discolourations (be diligent about sunscreen to prevent re-darkening) ($68, MenEssentials.ca).

3. Master multitasker. If you were to own one anti-aging product, a retinoid would be a wise choice. Whether in a tube of prescription Retin-A or a milder off-the-shelf retinol, retinoids are scientifically proven wrinkle-fighters. Additionally, they boost collagen, speed cell turnover and lighten discolouration.
Try: L’Oréal Paris Men Expert Vita Lift 5 Complete Anti-aging Eye Roll-on delivers the brand’s trademarked Pro-Retinol to the delicate eye area to help treat wrinkles, dryness and puffiness.

4. Acid relief. For parched skin, look for a product containing hyaluronic acid. Occurring naturally in the body, hyaluronic acid lubricates joints and maintains skin’s moisture and elasticity. When applied topically, it draws water to skin, helping hydrate it and temporarily plump lines.
Try: From Switzerland, Cellmen Face Ultra is an anti-aging treatment as well as an intense moisturizer. In addition to hyaluronic acid, this highly concentrated product contains stabilized integral cells and antioxidants to help fight skin damage and improve skin tone
($240 for 30 ml, MenEssentials.ca).

Tracy Howard, who specializes in lifestyle topics, is the creator of beautyinthemiddle.com, a blog that takes an inside-out approach to looking and feeling good at any age.