Wear sunscreen every day. You've heard it before: Sun exposure is the number one cause of premature aging! Ultraviolet light from the sun―or a tanning bed―breaks down collagen and elastin, the substances that keep skin smooth and firm. To help minimize damage and wrinkles, stay out of the sun and follow these tips:
Apply sunscreen liberally. A too-thin layer of SPF (sun protection factor) 15 is equal to only about SPF 7. Use a shot glass-size amount to cover your body and a teaspoonful to cover your face.
- Don't forget your legs! More cases of malignant melanomas are on women's legs than on their faces!
- Don't rely on SPF-enhanced makeup. Chances are you don't wear enough of it to defend your skin.
- Choose sunglasses with UV protection. Good sunglasses help prevent cataracts, and they also keep you from squinting, which can, over time, break down the collagen around your eyes and cause crow's-feet.
- Avoid smoky situations. If you smoke, quit. And nonsmokers should be aware that chronic exposure to secondhand smoke can damage skin.
- Be conscious of repetitive movements. Between smiling, frowning, and talking, your face makes thousands of movements a day. Over time, these repetitive motions lead to deeper lines. If you're constantly drinking through a straw, chewing gum, or smoking, you're breaking down the collagen around your mouth. And the wrinkles will come earlier!!
- Stop picking! It's hard to resist the urge to do a little at-home surgery on a pimple, but the mark it might leave is the most persuasive reason not to. As you age, acne scars often end up looking more like wrinkles. If you have a pimple on your cheek near where a wrinkle forms, it will make the wrinkle deeper.
- Cleanse with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). They help remove the top layer of dead skin cells to reveal a fresh layer underneath. Alpha hydroxy acids (such as glycolic acid) unclog pores and help your skin look smoother. Note: If you have oily or acne-prone skin, try a cleanser with a beta hydroxy acid (BHA).
- Use an anti-aging cream at night. New anti-aging creams arrive on cosmetics counters all the time―with bigger claims and heftier price tags. But good old retinoids, which contain a vitamin A derivative, are still the gold standard. Retinoids encourage the skin to renew itself, smoothing fine lines and helping to repair sun damage. I use Garnier Nutritoniste Ultra-Lift Pro Deep Wrinkle Night Cream.
- Try a weekly exfoliation treatment. Over time, your skin should respond by thickening slightly. Thickening is good.....Thicker skin shows fewer wrinkles. I use L'Oreal Go 360 Clean Deep Exfoliating Scrub.
- Remember the rest of your body. "Everything you do for your face, you should also do for your neck, chest, and hands. Those are the primary spots that show aging. At the very least, moisturize: Hydrated skin looks plumper and smoother.