The battle against aging is one of the longest wars we humans have ever waged. From ancient explorers who searched tirelessly for the elixir of life to innovative cosmetics that stock the drugstore shelves today, we've been on an eternal quest to stave off the ravages of old age-or at least its outward signs. Although no one has found the Fountain of Youth of youth yet, the following lotions, treatments, and foods may help to turn back the clock a bit.


A host of nutritional authorities, including researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, have placed this dusky blue fruit at or near the top of the superfood pantheon, and for good reason: Blueberries pack a phytochemical punch, boosting the body's antioxidant activity. So if you can incorporate a six-ounce serving into your daily diet, not only will your largest organ-your skin-reap the benefits; your other organs will be rewarded as well.

Alpha-hydroxy acids.

The big three-glycolic, lactic, and citric, derived from sugarcane, milk, and citrus, respectively-are prized for their skin-exfoliating properties. But glycolic has gained much exposure in recent years, appearing in a range of products and spa treatments. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises using an AHA product that contains no more than a 10 percent concentration and pairing it with sunscreen, since AHAs can increase the skin's sensitivity to light.

Skin resurfacing.

Laser and light treatments, dermabrasion, and chemical peels all fall under the umbrella of skin resurfacing. Each removes the top layer of skin cells in order to diminish the appearance of lines, discoloration, and scars. While a dermatologist can help you determine which one is most appropriate for you, keep in mind that these procedures will not accomplish the exact same effects as a face-lift. Also be prepared for the necessity of multiple sessions and ample recovery time-a deep chemical peel often requires a week of at-home rest, and your skin may remain pink and tender two to three months afterward.


Back in the 1980s, as scientists were examining the role that coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) played in health of cells, they developed several derivatives, including idebenone. It has since become a standout, proving even more effective than CoQ10 as a preventive against oxidative stress. A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology reported that participants using a 1 percent solution saw a 29 percent reduction in fine lines and wrinkles.


Members of the vitamin A family, such as tretinoin and retin-A, have yielded remarkable results in the fight against not only acne, but also age. During a recent annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, researchers from France showed that topically applied retinol plus vitamin C demonstrated a reversal of skin changes induced by aging. Like AHAs, retinols increase your skin's sensitivity to light, so if you're applying a retinol-based product, be sure to use sunscreen protection.


According to a report released in early 2008 by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 2.8 million Botox injections were performed in 2007, making it the nation's most popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedure. It all started in 1987, when the husband-and-wife cosmetic-surgery team of Alastair and Jean Carruthers discovered that injections of botulinum A exotoxin in patients with eye muscle disorders helped alleviate their symptoms and their crow's feet. The toxin immobilizes the local muscles, preventing the formation of lines when you smile or frown. The results last three to six months, so repeated treatments will be necessary. If you're considering Botox, it's important to consult with a doctor who's experienced in administering the treatment and willing to address all of your questions and concerns.