Follow a good skin-care regime.
It's never too early to start a skin-care routine. Taking care of your skin by washing it daily (no going to bed with makeup on), using a moisturizer with SPF, applying a night cream or moisturizer, and exfoliating two to three times a week will help prevent wrinkles. Exfoliating stimulates your skin to produce more collagen and elastin, says Dr. Ordon. If you're not already using a product with retinols, it might be time to start. These ingredients have an active impact on wrinkle formation and are good to add to your nighttime skin care routine. [source: Dr. Ordon] Using a retinol product can help promote collagen production, and decrease collagen breakdown, says Dr. Gohara. If you maintain a continuous skin-care program at a relatively early age, you are going to have less aging changes. "Those deep lines form after just prolonged long-term use of those muscles leading to the deeper lines. If you start treating them early on, the deeper lines are never really formed," says Dr. Ordon. [sources: Dr. Ordon and Dr. Gohara]
Don't shed those last 5 pounds.
While it's not good for your health to be overweight, that extra plumpness in your face can make your look younger and less wrinkled than a very thin person who's around the same age.
Many of those healthy habits you employ to look your best in your skinny jeans—sticking to a low-calorie diet, minimizing fat, working out frequently—can actually result in changes on your face as you near 40.
When you lose weight, your face shows it just as much as your waistline. Weight loss can decrease facial volume, which can cause eyes to look slightly sunken (and perhaps tired), cheekbones to be more defined, and skin to lose its elasticity and firmness. When you're at a low BMI and don't have much fat on your body, you're missing the very thing that helps plump out lines and wrinkles. [source: WomensHealthMag.com]
And if you need one more reason to stop yo-yo dieting, remember that the fluctuations in weight can also affect skin's elasticity, says Dr. Ordon. As you lose weight, your face thins out and the likely lines are to show up. So ditch the goal of hitting your high school weight again -- you'll look younger with a few more pounds on your frame.
Stop frowning and furrowing.
While you may think that scrunching up your face, frown lines and worry lines are wrinkle myths, Dr. Ordon says they can affect the way your aging skin looks. "There are certain people that talk animatedly and they are constantly raising their brows, frowning, squinting, or making faces," says Dr. Ordon. When you make certain faces, you're using your face muscles and creating lines in your skin that don't need to be there. (Note: We do support smile lines!)
Become a better sleeper.
When you don't catch enough zzz's each day, the body produces excess cortisol, a stress hormone that breaks down skin cells. Getting enough sleep makes your body produce HGH (Human Growth Hormone), which helps keep skin thick and overall healthy, according to the article. [source: Prevention.com] The way you sleep matters, too! If you sleep on the same side every night, you're creating creases on one cheek that, over time, become more permanent, says Dr. Ordon. He suggests making sure you have good pillows, and soft pillowcases. You might want to even try silk pillowcases as they've gotten some buzz online for being better for skin. [source: SleepnBeauty.com]
- Mona Gohara, MD. Personal correspondence. September 3, 2013.
- Andrew Ordon, MD. Personal correspondence. August 28, 2013.
- WomensHealthMag.com. Kimberly Goad. "Look Young: Your Fanny or Your Face?" http://www.womenshealthmag.com/life/aging-advice
- Prevention.com. "How To Prevent Wrinkles"
- WebMD.com. Colette Bouchez. "23 Ways to Reduce Wrinkles"