Now that the thirties have arrived, those pillow creases are lasting a little longer and those laugh lines are getting a little deeper, aren't they?

Don't stop laughing altogether. It's not too late to hit pause on the early aging process.

Get bright eyes

If you have young kids and haven't had a proper night's rest since the lazy days of your twenties, it's possible you suffer from tired, puffy eyes (which can make you look and feel years older).

NO DOWNTIME: Thermage is a nonsurgical way to tighten loose skin around the eyes, mouth, nose, jawline and neck. "Thermage has stood the test of time and has evolved to the latest Thermage CPT version," Dr. Lupin says. "There is greater comfort and more consistent results than the original version of Thermage." While a cooling spray protects the top layers of the skin, radio frequency energy heats up the collagen in the lower layers and tightens it up. The treatment (which can be done on light- and dark-skinned people) usually takes about an hour, and an oral analgesic is given to keep patients comfortable. Results can be seen two to eight months post-procedure. You can expect some redness and the potential of some blisters after the treatment. Cost is about $2,000 to $3,000.

TRY IT AT HOME: The brand new Olay Total Effects Tone Correcting Eye Cream ($32.99, at drug stores) works to minimize lines and firm up the area around the eyes. Plus, it's a moisturizer that will hydrate dry skin.


And if you've fallen in love with eye rollers, you'll love the Yes to Blueberries version: the Brightening Eye Roller, formulated with horse chestnut, helps to brighten under the eyes and is a 99 per cent natural product ($21.99, at Shoppers Drug Mart).


No more sunbathing

According to Dr. Mark Lupin, B.Sc., MD, FRCPC, a cosmetic dermatologist in Victoria, B.C., the most important thing for a woman in her thirties to know about her skin is that 90 per cent of an aged appearance is from too much sun, which can result in discolouration, slackening, fine lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores. "Prevention is the keyword. While some sun is good, too much increases skin cancer risks and prematurely ages the skin. Keeping skin hydrated is also important. "Skin hydration is key because dehydrated skin accentuates facial lines," says Dr. Marlene Dytoc, MD, PhD, FRCPC, a cosmetic dermatologist in Edmonton. This is the decade when collagen production slows down and eventually stops, so focusing on skin-tightening and texture improvement is a good idea now. It's also never too early to think about injectables, which can provide the foundation for a more youthful look for life.

TWO TO THREE DAYS DOWNTIME: If you have deep wrinkles, large pores and rough skin, Dr. Lupin says the Fraxel laser (a fractional treatment that resurfaces the skin by using light to treat microscopic areas, leaving the surrounding skin untouched) is an wise choice. "These laser treatments comprehensively help improve the health of the skin by reducing precancerous lesions, plus the cosmetic benefit is that it treats fine lines, brown spots and acne scars," he says. Fraxel can be done on the face, arms, chest, back and hands, and benefits any skin type. (The procedure is not recommended for people who have had keloid scarring.)

First, the skin is numbed with topical cream and then the laser passes over the area several times (the treatment can last up to two hours). Most people need three to five treatments about four weeks apart. Recovery lasts from a few days to up to two weeks: skin gets pink, puffy, turns red, bronzes and eventually flakes. Treatments are usually done once or twice a year for maintenance. Price ranges from about $400 for a small spot to more than $1,500 for larger areas.

TRY IT AT HOME: If dark spots and uneven skintone are a concern, try StriVectin-EV Get Even Spot Repair ($56, at drugstores). It provides targeted treatment for stubborn spots and can help slow the future production of melanin.


Vichy ProEVEN Daily Dark Spot Corrector ($44, at drugstore). It gently exfoliates dead, discoloured skin cells while brightening with mother of pearl.


Stop wrinkles in their tracks

ONE DAY DOWNTIME: Fillers have been some of the hottest and most performed cosmetic procedures for years. Thirtysomethings who have frown lines and crow's feet can try hyaluronic gel fillers, such as Restylane and Juvederm. "They give predictable results and can be used in all areas of the face," Dr. Lupin says. "They also have particularly high safety ratings and can give results lasting up to three years." Hyaluronic acid creates volume and is naturally found in the skin. The gel is injected into the face using a fine needle and gives deep folds and wrinkles an instant lift. Depending on the number of areas you're getting treated, a dermatologist can generally do the treatment within 30 minutes. Side-effects include soreness, swelling, redness and tenderness, which all subside within a day or two. (Bruising can last for up to a week, but can be be covered with makeup.) You can get a touch-up treatment done six months to one year after the first injection. Cost is about $300 to $500.

TRY IT AT HOME: Karin Herzog Erase & Raise Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($115; at karinherzog.com). This anti-aging serum contains the active ingredient in Restylane and Juvederm: hyaluronic acid. It's not injected, so the results won't be as dramatic, but it does improve the look, texture and tone of skin. This serum also contains a high concentration of vitamin E (an antioxidant), chamomile (a calming agent) and vitamin B3 (which keeps skin smooth).