Adulting brings a lot of new things like actually washing your dishes (or owning dishes), having to wear pants most days of the week, and discovering fine lines or wrinkles. If you're sensitive to that latter, rest assured there are things you can do to prevent wrinkles, and they're all pretty easy.
Of course, there's no reason to feel embarrassed about wrinkles. But if you do (and rest assured, you're not alone), it's hard to know where to start. There are hundreds of products out there that promise to get rid of wrinkles or make your skin immune to the effects of aging, but it's difficult to tell if your pricey night creams and wrinkle serums are helping. Rather than empty your bank account for ineffective products, try something more affordable that actually works.
Something as simple as changing the way that you sleep or the way you apply makeup could have a dramatic impact on your skin later in life. Of course, aesthetician Kerry Benjamin tells Romper that protection from the sun is the most surefire way to reduce signs of aging down the road. Dermatologist Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali agrees, adding that you should look for a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to 50.
Along with applying sunscreen, Benjamin and Bhanusali say there are a numberof other little things you can do that will help your skin down the road. These surprising hacks don't cost much and will pay off big time later.
1. Sleep On Your Back
This is Benjamin's tried-and-true wrinkle preventer. "When you sleep on your side, you get neck wrinkles and the lines between your boobs and you're also smashing your face," she says. Doing that every night can really take a toll on your skin later, so it might be time to switch it up. Benjamin says it's hard to do at first, but feels normal after some time. If you're like me and absolutely can't make the turn, Benjamin recommends using overnight silicone pads.
2. Wear Sunscreen While You Drive Your Car
By now you must know that when it comes to wrinkles, the sun is your biggest enemy. But did you know you should wear sunscreen even when you hop in your car to run some errands? The glass windows in cars block out UVB rays (the kind that cause sunburns), but UVA rays can still sneak in and cause damage. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, those harmful rays get in through your car's side and rear windows. It's difficult to know what SPF is right for you, so do some extra research before making your pick.
3. Only Use Anti-Aging Products That Are Right For Your Skin
There are so many lotions and potions that claim to rid your face of fine lines or ward off wrinkles forever. Benjamin says some of them do work, but she adds that the biggest mistake people make with these products is choosing the wrong ones for their skin. "I have clients coming here — and I have super, super, super dry skin and they have oily, acne-prone skin — and they're putting on something that I would use," she says. "That is not a good situation for them. They're clogging their pores.'" Not sure where to start? Benjamin says to consult an esthetician for guidance.
4. Use A Silk Pillowcase
The slippery texture of silk will reduce stretching or tugging on your skin that comes from a normal cotton pillowcase. It also helps your skin retain extra moisture overnight. As a bonus, Everyday Health noted that hydrated skin shows fewer fine lines and wrinkles.
5. Quit Squinting
Haven't been to the eye doc recently? It might be time, especially considering that it can help prevent wrinkles. According to ABC News, "wrinkles occur where they do because of the places where skin cells are squeezed millions of times by facial expressions." If you're constantly squinting or furrowing your brows, you'll end up with more creases around the eye area.
6. Consider A Chemical Peel
After SPF protection, Benjamin says chemical peels are the best things you can do for your skin because they gently remove dull skin cells. "Increasing your exfoliation to make sure you're getting rid of that dead, dull skin is not only going to help prevent those fine lines and diminish them, but more importantly, it's going to make your products work better," she says. Although exfoliating is important, Bhanusali warns you not to go overboard, as it can strip skin of important oils and do more harm than good.
7. Avoid Tugging On Your Eyelid While Applying Eyeliner
Repeat after me: I promise to be gentle with my skin. Although lining your waterline may look amazing, the application process may be doing more harm than good. According to Glamour, constantly stretching skin to apply your favorite makeup may end up causing wrinkles later. Try out a gel or liquid eyeliner to minimize drag on your eyelids and fix mistakes with a cotton pad rather than tugging on the skin.
8. Be Aware Of Your Facial Expressions
No, this doesn't mean you have to smile all the time. Consistently making any kind of facial expression will end up causing wrinkles down the line. Benjamin suggests placing tape over the area to bring awareness to it. "You don't really know that you're making that face," she says. "If you have a piece of scotch tape on your face, you're going to feel it." It may take a little getting used to at first, but Benjamin says people can actually train themselves to stop making certain wrinkle-inducing expressions.
9. Cut Down On Sugary Foods
Reducing the amount of super sugary treats does more than prevent dangerous spikes in your blood sugar level. It can also prevent pesky lines on your face down the road. According to Women's Health, sugar molecules attach themselves to the proteins in your skin, causing a loss in elasticity. If you want to promote wrinkle-free skin, try munching on something anti-inflammatory, like leafy greens or some nuts.
There's absolutely no reason to feel embarrassed about wrinkles. They happen to everyone, and they show all of the amazing things we've been through. But if you're still feeling self conscious about them, these small steps will help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, so you can rest easy about your skin's aging process. The extra sleep will help out your skin later on, too.