13 Ways to Reduce Wrinkles

By Linda Foster | Medically reviewed by Christine Wilmsen Craig, MD

Protecting and caring for your skin are the best anti-aging treatments for a younger looking complexion.

Are you tired of waging a war against wrinkles? Scott Gerrish, MD, of Gerrish and Associates, PC, a non-surgical skin care specialist with offices in Virginia and Maryland states, “Don’t give up yet. There are steps you can take to lessen and even reverse one of the biggest signs of aging: wrinkles.”

13 Simple and Smart Skin Care Steps to Reduce Wrinkles

1. Avoid sun exposure. Try to wear white or light colors, and wear a hat when you’re outdoors. Also, don’t use tanning booths, which can be worse than the sun.

2. Wear sunscreen. For the best anti-aging protection, Dr. Gerrish strongly recommends, “Apply sunscreen with at least an SPF 15 (sun protection factor) thirty minutes before sun exposure to protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Look for one with zinc or titanium oxide in the ingredient list.”

3. Avoid environmental pollutants. Ozone, smoke, and gasoline fumes are just a few of the pollutants that can age skin and cause premature wrinkles.

4. Start an anti-aging skin care program. June Breiner, MD, an internist in Maryland suggests, “Consult with a non-surgical skin care doctor. There are many products available that thicken your skin and reduce wrinkles.”

5. Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke. Smoking takes away oxygen and nutrients, and it also increases the number of free radicals in your body’s cells, a main cause of skin aging. “The amount of cigarette consumption and the number of years you have smoked are correlated with an increase in premature wrinkles,” states Dr. Breiner.

6. Wear sunglasses. Other than staying indoors and away from windows, sunglasses are the best way to protect the thin, sensitive skin around your eyes from UV radiation.

7. Sleep on your back, if possible. Sleeping with your face pressed against the pillow can cause sleep lines, which can turn into wrinkles. Satin pillow cases can also help in the anti-wrinkle fight.

8. Use moisturizer. A good moisturizer will keep skin hydrated and soften wrinkles.

9. Exercise regularly. “It gets your cardiovascular system going, which is great for getting needed nutrients and oxygen to your skin,” Breiner explains. “You should get cardiovascular exercise for your heart and skin health, and weight strengthening exercises for muscle underlying your skin.”

10. Eat a nutritious, anti-aging diet. Drink plenty of water and teas, and get eight to ten servings daily of fruits and vegetables. Eat fresh caught Atlantic salmon three times a week or another fish high in omega 3 fatty acids, such as herring, mackerel, trout, or tuna. Foods have a tremendous ability to fight the aging process as they are chock full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs to combat wrinkles, says Breiner.

11. Avoid processed and refined foods and sugars. They contain chemicals that can cause your skin to age prematurely

12. Try Retin-A or Renova. Gerrish recommends, “See your doctor for a prescription of Retin-A, a cream that has been proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and thicken thinning skin, which is part of the aging process.” If your skin is very dry, ask about Renova, a gentler formulation of the anti wrinkle cream.

13. Avoid stress. When you’re stressed out, your body releases a powerful aging hormone, cortisol, into your blood stream. “If you have chronic stress, take yoga, write in a journal daily, sing, take a walk, meditate. Do whatever works for you to reduce stress,” suggests Gerrish.
Need a bit more motivation to implement this skin care plan? The best anti-aging advice is also great for your overall health, so get started today.

6 Steps to Younger-Looking Skin

By Dennis Thompson Jr. | Medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH

The right anti-aging products and treatments can turn back the clock by erasing signs of aging, fine lines and wrinkles, and other sun damage.

If you haven’t been protecting your skin, it can start to give away clues about your age. Fine lines and wrinkles begin to appear, along with brown spots and rough skin patches caused by sun exposure. Your skin might be producing less collagen, and dead skin cells don’t flake off imperceptibly anymore. If this sounds like your skin, it’s time to turn to anti-aging products and treatments to slow down, reduce, or even reverse the signs of aging and regain younger-looking skin.

Any skin that’s been regularly exposed to the elements can be expected to show its age and needs special care to maintain its youthful look, says Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD, CEO and medical director of Elite MD, Inc. Advanced Dermatology, Laser, and Plastic Surgery Institute in Danville, Calif.

Your Anti-Aging Action Plan

At-home and doctor’s office procedures can have a visible impact on your complexion, giving you back younger-looking skin.

1. Protect your skin. The first rule of thumb: Prevent the damage. “The best thing to do to protect your skin is prevention,” Dr. Badreshia-Bansal says. The sun is enemy number one, so you need to wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor, or SPF, of 30 or higher whenever you’re outside. You also should wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. Protect your face and neck with wide-brimmed hats, your eyes with sunglasses with UV coating. Dryness is enemy number two, making lines seem more noticeable, so choose a moisturizer made for your skin type and use it regularly to keep skin supple.

2. Apply a vitamin A cream. Prescription-strength, vitamin A–based topical gels or creams known as retinoids can reduce wrinkles and produce younger-looking skin. “It helps to build collagen, which can prevent the development of fine lines and wrinkles, and to lighten dark spots,” Badreshia-Bansal says. “We also use it to treat acne, and it can help prevent precancerous growths.” Prescription retinoids include Retin-A and Renova (tretinoin), Differin (adapalene), and Avage (tazarotene).

3. Bleach your brown spots. You can try lightening brown spots (also called age spots) with a bleaching cream that contains hydroquinone. “Hydroquinone helps inhibit an important enzyme in pigment synthesis,” Badreshia-Bansal explains.

4. Pick up a peptide anti-wrinkle cream. These anti-aging creams stimulate the skin’s production of collagen and elastin and are found in some drugstore or beauty counter products. “You’re helping to build back the support structure that’s been lost through aging and sun damage” Badreshia-Bansal says.

5. Peel to reveal fresher skin. Dermatologists use various methods to remove the top layer of skin and expose new skin. These procedures can help tighten the skin and diminish fine lines and brown spots. “By exfoliating that top layer, you’re allowing the moisturizers and other products we use to penetrate deeper and work better,” Badreshia-Bansal says. Procedures include:

  • Chemical peel solutions to loosen and slough away the top layer of skin
  • Laser skin resurfacing to vaporize the surface skin
  • Microdermabrasion that sprays tiny particles to strip away topmost skin cells
  • Plasma skin regeneration using a stream of ionized nitrogen gas to heat the skin and cause the top layer of cells to flake away

6. Consider Botox. Injections of botulinum toxin have become tremendously popular as an anti-aging therapy. The injections relax the muscles under the skin and can eliminate deep lines and wrinkles around the face. Botox treatments also can help prevent new wrinkles from appearing.
You have many options available to create younger-looking skin. Factors including cost and the recovery time associated with procedures like peels will help you decide on your best course of action.