Your first line of defence against wrinkles is your skin-care routine. From serums that boost collagen production to moisturisers that hide the appearance of fine lines, products offer results—no one’s debating that. However, good habits can also help keep skin looking youthful, and that’s priceless. Below, dermatologists offer simple tricks you can implement daily.
1. Ditch the Straws
Manhattan-based dermatologist Francesca Fusco, M.D., says that they promote mouth wrinkles (because of the shape your lips make when you use them).
2. Get Enough Sleep
The quantity and quality of your shuteye have a big impact on how your skin looks (there’s a reason they call it beauty sleep). Log less than eight hours a night, and you’ll be dealing with increased inflammation and signs of ageing, says Ami Shvartzman, director of education for Osmosis Skincare. Even the act of lying down allows the muscles to relax, which can help decrease the appearance of wrinkles overnight.
3. …And Switch Up Your Sleep Position
“I can always tell which side my patient sleeps on,” says Fusco. “The smile line is deeper, and there is a small vertical line in the cheek.” When you get your shuteye in one position every single night, the same part of the face repeatedly gets smushed up against the pillow. As time goes on, the skin doesn’t smooth out quite so easily and will form the lines Fusco mentions. “Back sleeping is best, but if you can’t, then give equal time to both sides,” she says.
4. Text Smarter
Fusco recommends holding your phone at eye level when texting. “Continuous looking down will create neck lines earlier,” she says.
5. Go Gentle With the Ponytail
Avoid needing to use women’s Rogaine by putting your hair in a loose bun—not a tight ponytail. “It puts traction on follicles and, over the years, can lead to a receding hairline,” says Fusco.
6. Invest in a Humidifier
“While cranking up the heat or lighting up the fireplace keeps you warm, they suck moisture out of the air, which can lead to dry, inflamed skin, which over time has ageing effects,” says James C. Marotta, M.D., a New York-based facial plastic surgeon. He recommends sleeping with a humidifier on nightly to add moisture back into the skin. Don’t have one? You can also place a wet towel over the radiator or a bowl with cold water.
7. Pat Your Skin Dry
“Rubbing your face—especially with scratchy towels—can cause premature ageing from the constant tugging and pulling of the skin,” says Marotta. Instead, blot out moisture with a soft towel.
8. Get to the Gym
Not only does cardio give you a naturally radiant look, but it has even bigger benefits if you do it consistently over time. “Exercising at least three times a week keeps your body and skin toned, trim, and glowing,” says dermatologist Sejal Shah, M.D., of Smarter Skin Dermatology.
9. Skip the Extreme Facial Expressions
Anything from furrowing the brow or squinting to puckering your lips will create wrinkles or worsen those you already have. “Facial exercises pull skin too much, and once skin begins to lose elasticity, wrinkles can develop,” says David E. Bank, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and author of Beautiful Skin: Every Woman’s Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age. He recommends limiting these movements, as well as wearing sunglasses daily, even in the winter. “This will help prevent you from squinting in the sun.”
10. Get Your Daily Dose of Carrots
This orange veggie does more than protect your eyes. “Our skin is up against a lot of environmental factors every day, like sun radiation and toxins, which combined with stress, lead to weakened defences against damaging free radicals that attack our skin,” says Bank. Carrots contain carotenoids, which protect against these skin saboteurs and, in turn, prevent wrinkles.