5 Tips to Prevent Wrinkles & Premature Aging

How to Keep Skin Looking Young, Healthy and Vibrant

It’s a fair assumption that wrinkles have been frustrating people for as long as there have been mirrors. Despite the best efforts of beauticians and dermatologists, wrinkles are with us to this day. One of the most visible signs of aging, there are many varieties of wrinkles. From deep forehead grooves to thin smile lines, no one’s skin is immune to aging.

Regardless of where they appear, there are basic skin care practices that may reduce the severity of wrinkles. Buyer beware: cosmetic companies are still searching for the Fountain of Youth. As of yet, no product can get rid of wrinkles. The aim is to make them less apparent, or prevent some from appearing.

Why Skin Ages

Understanding the causes of wrinkles can help us prevent them. As skin ages, the body produces less collagen and elastin. These proteins are what allow our skin to stretch and contract. Lower levels of collagen and elastin mean the skin loses resiliency. It may start to wrinkle or sag in areas prone to repetitive motion.

Reduced oil production can have a similar effect. Oily skin is usually more resistant to wrinkling. Oil can also lock-in moisture and prevent dryness at the surface.

Another major cause of wrinkles comes from outside the body – 93 million miles away, to be more precise. The sun bombards us with ultraviolet rays every day. UVA rays damage elastin and can cause skin spots to appear. This damage goes unnoticed from day-to-day, but the cumulative effects can be severe.

How to Prevent Wrinkles

While everyone will develop some wrinkles, these tips may keep your skin looking younger than it otherwise would.

1. Apply moisturizer every day.

Even if you don’t suffer from dry skin, a moisturizing cream or lotion can give your skin the support it needs to stay pliable. Moisturize every day, not just during the winter. Make sure your moisturizer is non-comedogenic so that it won’t clog your pores, which could cause breakouts.

2. Use a high-SPF sunscreen.

No anti-aging regimen is complete without a powerful sunscreen. Aside from being a major cause of skin cancer, solar radiation can accelerate the signs of aging. The effects include wrinkles, discoloration and sun spots. Not all sunscreen are created equal. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher.

3. Eat a healthy diet containing antioxidants.

Dermatologists believe that free radicals, unstable molecules that exist all around us, damage skin and are a major cause of wrinkles. Consuming foods rich in antioxidants, such as some fruits and vegetables, can help your body protect itself from free radicals.

4. Avoid skin irritants.

According to The Mayo Clinic, dry air, chlorinated water, and some soaps can dry-out skin. It’s important to be mindful of how you’re treating your skin on a daily basis.

5. Stop smoking.

You don’t smoke? Great! Aside from elevating your risk of developing lung cancer, smoking does bad things to your skin. Dr. Lowell Dale of The Mayo Clinic notes that nicotine causes blood vessels near the surface of the skin to constrict, resulting in reduced oxygen to the surrounding cells. Chemicals found in cigarettes can damage skin on other areas of your body, as well. Just another reason to stop smoking, or to avoid it in the first place.

Anti-aging Skin Care Products

There are countless wrinkle treatments on the market. Many of these are meant to conceal wrinkles that have already formed. It’s important to do your due diligence before applying new products to your skin. Make sure you’re not allergic to the ingredients and read reviews. Your dermatologist may have suggestions, as well.

By following the skin-smart tips above, you may be able to delay or prevent some wrinkles.