Wrinkles are a fact of life. Over the years, a combination of aging and external factors prevents our skin from looking its best. But if you start getting wrinkles early on or want to avoid them in the future, there are some tried and true methods of wrinkle prevention.
So what’s the secret? Well, that’s just the thing: There’s no single strategy that can keep your skin flawless. It requires a dedicated, comprehensive approach akin to an exercise regimen.
Ready to say goodbye to your fine lines and say hello to a younger you? Here’s how to prevent wrinkles — or diminish the ones you already have.
1. Always Use Sunscreen
Ultraviolet light is the leading cause of premature aging of the skin. UV rays are a type of radiation that pierces through your skin and occasionally causes DNA damage. While the damage may not be visible early on, the effects are cumulative.
Spending too much time outdoors without adequate protection is a surefire way to rack up the wrinkles. Even worse, unchecked UV damage can sometimes lead to serious conditions such as melanoma.
No matter the season or weather conditions, always layer up in sunscreen before heading outdoors. Remember that UV light penetrates clouds, so while it may seem fine to head outside on an overcast day, you’re still in danger of experiencing skin damage.
It’s a good rule of thumb to use a powerful sunscreen that’s at least SPF 30. And pay attention to the directions on the bottle. In most circumstances, you should reapply sunscreen once every two hours and after excessive moisture, such as a dip in the pool.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Although some aspects of sleep remain a mystery to us, we know that it plays an important role in psychological and physical health. One of these healthful benefits involves our skin. And that’s why of all the tips to reduce wrinkles, this one is the easiest: Get at least seven hours of sleep every day.
While you sleep, your body prioritizes blood flow to the skin and amps up collagen production. Both of these benefits can keep your skin looking its best in the long run.
And speaking of sleep, there are some studies that suggest sleeping on your back can lead to wrinkle prevention. Why? Because other sleeping positions are tighter and lead to mechanical compressions that hasten the development of wrinkles.
3. Apply a Retinoid
There are plenty of anti-aging creams out there. If you’re going to splurge on one, your best bet is a retinoid. This anti-aging ingredient has been on the market for over 30 years, and there’s a good reason it’s still dominating the industry.
Primarily, retinoids excel at increasing collagen production which tends to decrease by about 1% every year starting in your early 20s. They also improve blood flow and create new blood vessels, meaning your skin will stay healthier and more hydrated.
Keep in mind that retinoids are more than just a fancy lotion ingredient. They’re powerful and come with certain side effects such as skin peeling and flaking. Consider working with your dermatologist to find a retinoid that’s right for your skin sensitivity.
4. Stay Calm
Every day, scientists discover new ways stress causes measurable, physical harm to the body. Your skin is no exception.
The stress hormone cortisol damages collagen, the physical backbone of the skin. Over time, decreased and damaged collagen will lead to weak, wrinkling skin.
Stress also leads to inflammation which can prevent the body from repairing itself at the end of the day. And yes, even with enough sunscreen slathered on, your skin still takes a beating.
Prioritize your mental health with effective stress management techniques. Yoga, exercise, and cognitive behavioral therapy are some of the many ways that can help you destress. For more serious bouts of anxiety or stress, consider your current living environment and make positive changes by cutting out some of the worst stressors in your life.
5. Try Botox
If you’re already dealing with an overabundance of wrinkles, prevention only takes you so far. A good Botox doctor can dramatically reduce wrinkles no matter their severity. You may be surprised to learn that Botox is an affordable treatment option even though it’s usually associated with the likes of those walking the red carpet.
A Botox treatment will last for about three to four months, so you’ll have to return to continue enjoying the immediate benefits. Botox also has long-term effects, too. Since it paralyzes some of your facial movements, you’ll no longer be able to make the same expressions or contractions that would only worsen your existing wrinkles.
6. Prioritize Hydration
Everyone knows you moisturize your skin to keep it hydrated. Not only is dry skin unappealing, but it struggles to restore itself and resist damaging environmental effects.
But one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your skin hydrated? Drink enough water every day. The combination of adequate hydration and moisturizers cares for your skin on both fronts: inside and out.
There are plenty of guidelines when it comes to recommended drinking. And if you exercise often or have an unusual BMI, your needs could vary widely. In general, try to drink four to six cups a day and listen to your body for more advice.
How to Prevent Wrinkles
Wrinkles are a sign of wisdom and experience — but also age. If you’re trying to look your youngest, taking advantage of these preventative tips can preserve your skin decades down the line. Remember that you should follow several wrinkle prevention strategies, as one treatment method only goes so far.
Now that you know how to prevent wrinkles, audit your existing skincare routine and make enhancements as necessary. You’ll be glad you did.
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