When it comes to wrinkle prevention, you're willing to put in the hard work, slathering on sunscreen and retinol cream day and night. But did you know that you could make these measures even more effective by adding simple moves to your daily routine, diet, and lifestyle? Here, top skin pros tell us how these seemingly effortless tricks can help stave off the signs of aging.
Green tea is an antioxidant powerhouse, says Ava Shamban, M.D., a dermatologist in Beverly Hills. Rich in polyphenols, it's been shown to protect cells against wrinkle-causing free radical damage. It does contain caffeine, but less than coffee. So if you need a morning boost, start with a cup of joe, then switch to the green stuff, suggests Shamban. Another trick: Make green tea ice cubes and add them to your water throughout the day, suggests Francesca Fusco, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City.
A daily sweat session is great for skin because it helps increase muscle tone, giving skin a firmer appearance, says Doris Day, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. Plus, exercise boosts circulation, which aids the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to skin cells so they can function more efficiently.
Sprinkle your food with turmeric, Day says. “It’s one of the most potent antioxidants out there and it helps fight wrinkle- and redness-causing skin inflammation,” she says. Add at least a ½ teaspoon of the yellow spice to your diet daily.
Juicing may seem trendy these days, but it turns out there’s good reason to try it: A daily glass of greens including kale and spinach can help your skin stay taut, Fusco says. “Fresh vegetables such as these are rich in antioxidants including vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and skin-hydrating omega fatty acids,” she says. Sure, you could eat them, too. But let’s face it, ingesting that many vegetables can be tough if you’re always on the go.
“Buy products that multitask, for example, tinted foundations that contain sunscreen and antioxidants,” Fusco says. While you should still stick with your anti-aging bedtime routine, you can easily combine your day cream, SPF, and foundation in one step. Our pick: Lumene Vitamin C+ Illuminating Anti-Aging BB Cream SPF 20 ($15; cvs.com).
Learn how to keep skin looking young while the sun's rays shine down.
You might add one of those effervescent vitamin C packets to your water bottle when you feel a cold coming on or before you hop a (germ-infested) flight, but Fusco says you might want to drink it daily to reap anti-aging benefits. "In addition to vitamin C (a potent antioxidant and collagen-stimulating ingredient), this packet contains zinc, folic acid, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and other vitamins that assist the immune system and clean up free radicals," she says. Try: Emergen-C 1,000 mg Vitamin C Dietary Supplement Fizzy Drink in Super Orange ($13.50; walgreens.com)
“The quickest, easiest way to get smoother skin is to exfoliate, removing surface dry skin cells that can cause the skin to look wrinkly,” says celebrity esthetician Renee Rouleau. For effort-free exfoliating, add a serum that contains exfoliating acids to your nighttime routine, so you can wake up with smoother, glowier skin. Bonus: “These serums continue to smooth out the texture of your skin over time, making you look even younger,” she says. Try: Olay Regenerist Advanced Night Resurfacing Elixir ($19; drugstore.com), with glycolic acid.
We know what you're thinking: More smiles will only lead to more smile lines. But according to Rouleau, this is a case where the benefits outweigh the risks. "As you age, skin drops and sags," she says. When your face is at rest, the corners of your mouth tend to turn down, creating a frown, which only adds to the droopy effect. In contrast, "A smile will lift the skin and cheeks instantly, giving you a brighter, younger appearance," she says. Bonus: Repeated grins may help tone the skin, so it always has a more lifted look, Rouleau says.
If you're not logging enough zzz's, it shows in your skin, Day says. "There's simply no replacement for quality sleep," she says. And now there's even proof: In a recent study at University Hospitals Case Medical Center commissioned by Estée Lauder, researchers found that those who skimped on shut eye show premature signs of aging (lines, uneven pigmentation, and loss of elasticity) and diminished ability to rebound after sun exposure. Keep skin healthy by getting at least seven or eight hours a night, Day says.
Using a battery-operated, oscillating skin brush not only gives skin a deep clean, but it also gently removes dead skin cells as it cleanses, giving skin a brighter, more even appearance and allowing whatever topical treatments you layer on top to penetrate better. Try Clarisonic Mia First ($99; clarisonic.com), the brand's most basic (and affordable) version of the popular skincare brush.