How to look as young as your new, improved Real Age

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In the No. 1 country-pop single “A Country Song,” Kelsea Ballerini croons, “When I need to feel good in my skin, I drop everything and run to him.” A sweet sentiment, but she knows it takes more than that to have good skin. In fact, she’s declared, “I used to really not care about my skincare routine, and then I turned 25 and realized I should probably start wearing sunscreen.”

Yup. After all, starting at age 30, your skin thins at a rate of 1% a year and needs all the help it can get to stay youthful looking. My upcoming book “The Great Age Reboot” explores how to protect your skin so you look as young as you feel. To get you started ...

The basics: Younger-looking skin starts with not smoking and limiting unprotected sun exposure. Micronized zinc oxide is my go-to, although titanium works, too. Non-zinc (and non-titanium) sunscreens may be hormone disruptors and toxic, according to the FDA.

The boosters: Topical application of vitamins C and A, and fruit acids, such as glycolic, lactic, malic and citric acid, along with niacinamide (a form of vitamin B3) helps improve skin tone and texture. You can also get ‘em through a plant-based diet of red and orange veggies, citrus, avocados, mushrooms, legumes, ginger and sweet peppers.

The foolers: Antiaging products that temporarily smooth wrinkles by causing inflammation and swelling speed skin aging in the long run. Save ‘em for a once-a-year photo shoot.

Are your medications’ benefits going up in smoke?

You may think the cannabis craze is a recent phenomenon now that recreational marijuana has been legalized in 18 states plus Washington, D.C., and Guam. But Gertrude Stein’s partner published a recipe for “Haschich Fudge” in her self-titled “The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book” in 1954.

In the intervening 68 years, folks haven’t gotten smarter about watching out for possible hazards that go along with smoking or munching marijuana and taking in its active components, THC, CBD and CBN.

Those cannabinoids may benefit some folks, but they also can interfere with the effects of (other) medication you’re taking. Two lab studies published in the journal Drug Metabolism and Disposition reveal that they disrupt the working of two families of enzymes that help your body process a wide range of drugs. In fact, together, these two enzyme families help metabolize and eliminate more than 70% of the most commonly used medications from the body.

When these enzymes cannot do their job, a medication’s benefits might decrease or its negative side effects might increase -- causing overdose, toxicity or other harmful reactions. Especially risky: the interaction with cancer-fighting drugs and the impact on reduced kidney function. Important fact: The enzyme-disrupting effects last for 14 days after using cannabis.

That’s why it’s important to tell your doctors if you’re smoking marijuana (don’t; it’s bad for your lungs) or using edibles or topical CBD. If you are and a medication isn’t working or you’re having a negative reaction to it, cannabis might be the reason for the problem.

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