You and I both know the two heavyweights to avoid when it comes to premature aging: smoking and sun exposure. So, you don’t smoke and you do use sunscreen daily. Yet, you’re still seeing fine lines below your eyes, between your brows, and around your mouth.
There could be things you’re doing in your daily life—most likely innocently— that are wreaking havoc, over time, on your skin. After working with thousands of clients to help them look their best, I’ve discovered these 19 things you can do—or stop—doing to reduce and prevent wrinkles. I know, 19 sounds like a lot.
Don’t worry, they’re actually pretty simple lifestyle shifts.
Wrinkle Maker #1: Using a Straw
Do you drink from a straw to preserve your freshly applied lipstick or protect sensitive teeth from that icy cold beverage? Repeated straw sipping or pursing your lips can create wrinkles around the mouth. So skip the straw and save the puckering for kissing those you love.
Wrinkle Maker #2: Skipping Your Eye Exam
Do you squint when reading, checking your phone, driving, or watching a movie? Not only can it lead to splitting headaches, frequent squinting can also cause those dreaded frown lines between the brow and crow’s feet. Make sure to keep that annual eye exam appointment. And if you need them, wear contacts or glasses. And luckily, wearing specs is trendy!
Wrinkle Maker #3: Losing Weight
Yes, you heard me right. If you’re at a healthy weight, no need to lose more. Due to the decrease of elasticity and collagen in the skin as we age, weight loss accentuates wrinkles, especially on the face and neck.
Wrinkle Maker #4: Not Doing Regular Headstands
You don’t need to be a yoga guru to master this skin-boosting trick. A headstand, or some modified version of it, encourages blood and oxygen to rush to face. Spending a few minutes a day upside down helps to counteract gravity naturally and brings nutrients to the face and the scalp (good for combating gray hair!)
Wrinkle Maker #5. Washing Your Face Too Much
Going to bed with all your makeup on from last night’s party is never a good idea. But there’s the other extreme as well: over-washing. To avoid stripping your skin of its natural, wrinkle-fighting oils, wash your skin no more than twice a day with a gentle cleanser.
Wrinkle Maker #6: Sleeping on Your Side
Ever wake up with funny indents on your face from sleeping? Years of sleeping on your face can create permanent crease lines. Sleep on your back or if you simply cannot surrender sleeping on your side or stomach, use a silk pillowcase.
Wrinkle Maker #7: Depriving Yourself of Sleep
Celebrities, such as Naomi Watts, swear by plenty of sleep—literally beauty sleep—as their number one secret to looking good. So go ahead: tap that snooze button or turn in early.
Wrinkle Maker #8: Using The Wrong Sunscreen
When headed out for a day of fun in the sun, apply no less than an SPF 30—even if you have dark skin. Also, when choosing a sunscreen—whether it’s lotion or spray—look for one that says, “broad spectrum protection”. This term means that it blocks out both UVA and UVB rays—the bad guy rays that contribute to skin cancer and aging.
Wrinkle Maker #9: Avoiding Oil-Based Skincare Products
Especially if you deal with breakouts, you probably avoid putting oil on your face for fear of clogging pores and creating more acne. However, applying a small amount of oil to your face and neck—be it argan, olive (Sophia Loren’s beauty secret!), coconut or grapeseed—regularly before you go to sleep keeps the skin soft and supple.
Wrinkle Maker #10: Satisfying Your Sweet Tooth
OK, we all know eating sugar can lead to all sorts of sticky situations—from weight gain to tooth decay. But there’s another reason to skip sweets: recent studies link aging skin to eating too much sugar. When you eat sugar, your body produces AGEs (advanced glycation end products) that result in cellulite, wrinkles and age spots. Cut sugar intake by skipping smoothies, juices, and sodas.
Wrinkle Maker #11: Drinking Right Before You Go To Bed
Drinking alcohol dehydrates the body and relaxes the muscles—including the ones in your throat. What do those muscles have to do with wrinkles? When they’re too relaxed, it inhibits breathing and interrupts vital beauty sleep. I’m not saying to give up alcohol entirely but reduce your intake—specifically right before bed. Try drinking a glass of water in between each alcoholic drink at a party or dinner.
Wrinkle Maker #12: Driving Without Protection
While driving, your face may be protected from sun damage from your moisturizer with SPF. But, there are many other areas of your skin that are exposed during your daily commute. Make sure to apply sunscreen (SPF 30+) to hands, neck, and left arm and shoulder.
Wrinkle Maker #13: Using Margarine
Healthy fats, such as olive oil and Omega-3s, in your diet are wonderful for supple skin. But, fake butter containing trans fats, such as margarine, can take a toll on hydration. In fact, according to a Journal of the American College of Nutrition study, ingesting high amounts of margarine was linked to causing wrinkles. Not sure what has trans fats? A good rule of thumb is to only eat things with ingredients you can pronounce.
Wrinkle Maker #14: Rubbing Your Eyes
Pulling and tugging on the thin, sensitive skin around the eyes can actually stretch it out over time, which leads to droopy eyelids. Use an eye makeup cleanser and gently, as if handling an egg, wipe off mascara and eyeliner. And avoid rubbing your eyes in general.
Wrinkle Maker #15: Waiting Until Thirst Sets In
Did you know that by the time you feel thirsty, it’s already too late? Thirst is a sign that your body is dehydrated. As with sleep, staying hydrated throughout the day is one of the cheapest and simplest ways to maintain a vibrant, fresh-looking face. Keep a refillable bottle of water with you throughout the day. Not only will it to remind you to drink up but also it helps to keep track of how much you consume per day. The golden standard is 8X8: 8 glasses, 8-ounces each.
Wrinkle Maker #16: Flying Without a Skin Regime
Due to the stale, recirculated air within an airplane, your skin needs extra TLC during a flight. If it’s under five hours long, pack a hydrating facial spray. There are many good ones on the market or simply make your own by filling a fine mist spray bottle (make sure it’s travel-sized: three ounces or less) with filtered water. You can also add a few drops of essential oils, such as rose or lavender. Spritz your face and decolletage every hour. For overnight flights, use makeup removal wipes to clean your face and apply an emollient-rich night cream before sleeping.
Wrinkle Maker #17: Stressing Out
Stress is the root of many ailments, including wrinkles. Whether you flip out in traffic or fret from a troublesome relationship, stressing out releases cortisol. And cortisol inhibits collagen production. To better cope with life when it gets tough, consider adding yoga, meditation or even karate to your routine.
Wrinkle Maker #18: Getting Your Vitamin C Only Through Supplements
In addition to your daily dose of Vitamin C in pill form, use a skincare product loaded with Vitamin C for younger-looking, firmer skin. It works wonders! In our skincare line, we use natural sources of Vitamin C, such as the Kakadu plum.
Wrinkle Maker #19: Frowning & Furrowing
These facial expressions, especially if they are habitual, are the culprits of creating creases around the mouth and between the brow. When you’re deep in concentration, whether at work or watching a movie, check in with yourself and do a quick scan of your facial muscles. Are you squinting, pursing your lips or furrowing your brow? Take a deep breath, relax those muscles and SMILE! It’s amazing how turning a frown upside down (I know—GROAN! I couldn’t resist) takes care of all three harmful facial expressions.
Home Remedies for Wrinkles
As our skin ages, it tends to lose its supply of a substance known as collagen. This is the protein that plays a role in tightening the skin and making it smooth. But there are a few things you can try in order to try to “turn back the hands of time,” so to speak.
For example, you could massage some coconut oil into the skin before you go to bed in order to soothe wrinkles and fine lines overnight. Olive oil has many nutrients that can help damaged skin. Massage a tablespoon gently into the skin two times a day. Also, try to eat more foods that contain vitamin E and vitamin C, which also play a role in reducing skin damage.
There are several other home remedies for wrinkles that might be worth giving a try. For example, you might want to consider slicing a lemon and massaging the juice into the skin on your face. Lemons not only smell great, they also contain ingredients that can help reduce wrinkles and give your skin a more youthful look. Eating fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin D and vitamin A can also boost the appearance of your skin.
You see? I promised it wouldn’t be hard to make a big difference. I love helping my clients to look their very best. Follow these tips and guaranteed—you’ll keep your skin looking fresh, firm and younger-looking for a lifetime.
Your Beverly Hills MD,
Dr. John Layke
Article updated: March 31, 2018
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