Here at MDC, we would love to think that we have all the answers for you. However, there are certain issues that require the insight of a pro. Today we asked skincare guru Stacy Cox to  help us tackle a question we are all dying to know the answer to: How do I get the best skin EVER? Take it away Stacy!

I'm going to let you in on a little secret: Your fine lines, deep wrinkles and sun damage didn't just waltz in overnight and neither will beautiful, flawless skin. Sorry if I burst your bubble, but the takeaway here is that we are (for the most part) in control of the state of our skin. Making a few key adjustments to your beauty regimen and lifestyle can turn the tide and get you on the road to flawless skin FOREVER. Check out my non-negotiables:

best skin
Seek Professional Help

For so many of us, a monthly facial just doesn’t fit into our budgets. That's okay, I get it! However,  I would encourage you to give your complexion a regular jump start by  getting a chemical peel with a licensed esthetician at least twice a year. This will help slough the dead skin cells off your face and it opens the door to some effective home care with better results. Investigate either a lactic acid or salicylic peel to bring that glow back. For home care, try moisturizers and serums containing one of the two acids as well. This will help keep your skin exfoliated.

Home Care

Your morning and evening skincare routines are the meat and potatoes of your anti-aging game. The key is to get the blood and oxygen flow to your face by gently and regularly exfoliating and masking. And you don't have to spend tons of money to accomplish this: Keep it simple by blending a little sugar with a some olive oil to create a gentle skin exfoliant. As for a mask, try mixing a little yogurt with honey and protein powder if you want to nourish and hydrate. For oilier skin types mix a little plain yogurt with egg whites to tighten and firm the skin.

Product Recommendations: Biotherm Biosource Exfoliating GelThe Body Shop Aloe Protective Restoring Mask, The Body Shop Tea Tree Face Mask

Stop Smoking

Not that this needs much explanation, but smoking arrests and steals all the oxygen and nutrients from the skin. This is why "smoker’s skin" typically looks dull and almost gray in tone. You'll prolong your life and look younger by quitting!

Start Using a Retinoid

Using a retinoid-infused cream or serum before bedtime helps stimulate your skin to produce more collagen, which retains its supple, youthful appearance. And you know those dead skin cells we mentioned in our first two tips? Well, retinoids help promote the turnover of these cells, getting your skin back to a healthier, more radiant place.

Product Recommendations: L'Oréal Paris RevitaLift Anti-Wrinkle + Firming Night Cream

Apply an SPF

Warning: I’m about to sound like a mom, so bear with me! UVA and UVB rays pose the biggest threat to your skin. Sun damage is a sure fire way to get premature signs of aging -- and no one wants that! Make sure you’re applying an SPF of 30 or higher every day. Another tip is to apply an antioxidant serum underneath your SPF to help combat infrared radiation from the sun.

Product Recommendation: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum

What are your secrets to keeping your skin in tip-top shape? Spill in the comments below. 

Photo: thinkstock

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