The 5 Essentials Of Younger-Looking Skin

We’re glad to report that some of the biggest signs of aging can be prevented and minimized with simple lifestyle habits. Here are the 5 daily steps you can’t skip.

By Jennifer Goldstein, Prevention

We get it—the idea of a multi-step skincare routine (oils, serums, peels, night creams, and more) sounds great in theory, but less so when you're exhausted and just want to go to bed without spending 20 minutes on your face. So we're glad to report that some of the biggest signs of aging—sagging skin, wrinkles, redness, and brown spots—can be prevented and minimized with simple lifestyle tweaks. Here are the 5 daily steps you skin would rather you didn't skip.


Slip on shades.

"Large lenses shade your skin from the sun, which we all know causes lines, but they also keep you from squinting, which can cause wrinkles," says Ranella Hirsch, MD, a dermatologist in Boston. And on that note, if you find yourself squinting indoors, make an appointment with your ophthalmologist to get your eyes checked, since squinting as you try to focus can also cause wrinkles around your eyes and on your forehead.


No yo-yo dieting.

Yet another excuse not to hop on the juice cleanse bandwagon (besides, you know, hunger): "As we age, the dieting cycle leads to a saggy, less firm complexion because our skin can't bounce back as easily after stretching slightly to accommodate pounds gained and lost," explains Heidi Waldorf, MD, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.


Stock up on—you guessed it—sunscreen.

SPF is your number one weapon against brown age spots. "You don't have to sunbathe to get UV damage. I'm always explaining to my patients that they can get sun damage from simply walking to the car each day without sunscreen," says Alistair Carruthers, MD, a dermatologist in Vancouver. And rays are just as detrimental to the supportive structure of skin; UV exposure can make skin sag and feel rough to the touch. "You can pay hundreds of dollars for fancy firming creams, but none of them is as effective as drugstore sunscreen," Hirsch says.


Handle your skin with kid gloves.

If your knee-jerk reaction to misbehaving skin is to scrape, scrub, pick, and peel it back into submission, it's time to rethink your methods. Rough habits like harsh scrubs and rigorous towel drying can cause irritation that ultimately makes skin look older. And anytime you have an ingrown hair, clogged pore, or even a scratch from the cat, keep your hands away from it. "Picking at your skin can cause post-inflammatory pigmentation and scarring," Waldorf explains.


Stay away from smoke.

It goes without saying that you shouldn't be smoking, but just to drive the point home: "Chemicals from cigarettes get into your bloodstream and find their way to your skin, making it sallow and spotty," says Carruthers. Even if you don't smoke, being around people who are puffing away exposes your skin to the same chemicals that cause discoloration.

See more at: Prevention


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Women's Magazine: The 5 Essentials Of Younger-Looking Skin
The 5 Essentials Of Younger-Looking Skin
We’re glad to report that some of the biggest signs of aging can be prevented and minimized with simple lifestyle habits. Here are the 5 daily steps you can’t skip.
Women's Magazine
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