Get Youthful Skin: 12 Easy Anti-Aging Tricks


The simple things you can do to take years...and years...and years off your face

SHRINK YOUR PORES

Your pores expand as gunk accumulates in them—and the older you get, the more likely they are to stay expanded. Put them on a diet by switching to a cleanser with salicylic acid, which "dissolves the oil in the pores," says New York City and Coral Gables, Florida, dermatologist Fredric Brandt. It also helps slough away dead skin that can lead to clogging. We like Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser and Bioré Blemish Fighting Ice Cleanser.

LET IT RIP
Deflate and clean pores—like the ones on your nose—once a week with pore strips. (TryBioré Deep Cleansing Pore Strips.) "They really do work," says Francesca Fusco

SLATHER ON THE SUNSCREEN

By now you probably know that you need a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least an SPF 30, that the ingredients Mexoryl and Helioplex offer the longest-lasting protection, that you have to slather a tablespoon's worth of the stuff on your face and a shot glass–size dollop on your body...and that it's necessary to reapply every two hours if you're outdoors, including any time spent in your car. Now you just need to do it—every single day. We recommend 
Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 55 (with Helioplex) and La Roche-Posay Anthelios 40 (with Mexoryl), because neither will turn your skin ghost white or greasy

GET MORE BEAUTY SLEEP

If you go to bed 15 minutes earlier, progressively, for four nights running, you'll establish a routine where you get an extra hour of dark circle-zapping rest. For your best shot at the necessary eight hours, quit the coffee after 3 P.M. and avoid exercising in the three hours before bedtime. Log off in plenty of time, too—your face is more important than Facebook. And stop hitting the snooze button the next morning—fragmented sleeping just makes you groggier

PILE ON THE ANTIOXIDANTS
They're among your best weapons against pollution and sun. The most potent are CoffeeBerry (found in Priori CoffeeBerry Day Complexor RevaléSkin Day Cream), idebenone (Prevage Anti-Aging Treatment), green tea (Topix Replenix Cream CF), pomegranate (Murad Energizing Pomegranate Moisturizer SPF 15 andEstée Lauder Nutritious Vita-Mineral Moisture Lotion) and Coenzyme Q10 (Eucerin Sensitive Skin Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Sensitive Skin Lotion SPF 15). Whichever antioxidant is in your arsenal, arm yourself every morning for all-day protection.

REMEMBER THE RETINOL

Retinol rules—it's "the only thing that's been proven to reduce fine lines over the long-term," Brandt says. But like even the best long-term relationships, it isn't 100 percent perfect. It can increase sun sensitivity (that's why it's best applied at night) and it makes some women peel, flake, redden, and itch. New York City dermatologist Howard Sobel advises taking things slow: Dab it on every other night, or dilute it with plain moisturizer, until you know your skin can handle it. (Try DermaDoctor Poetry in Lotion or RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream.)

HANDS OFF YOUR EYES 
You are too thin—at least around the eyes. Don't rub, poke, or otherwise fiddle with the skin there. "Every time you do, you risk breaking delicate blood vessels, which leads to darkening, dulling, and thickening of the surrounding skin," says Fusco.

When choosing an eye cream, look for gentle anti-aging ingredients like peptides (
Olay Professional Pro-X Eye Restoration Complex) or zinc (found in Relastin Eye Silk)—a current favorite of Leslie Baumann, director of the University of Miami Cosmetic and Research Institute. "It's been shown to increase elastin production, which can reduce crepiness," she says.

DON'T DRINK, DON'T SMOKE

What do you do? Take care of your body to take care of your skin, that's what. Smoking is an infamous wrinkle factory that destroys collagen and elastin. (But you knew that.) Less well known is that more than one glass of alcohol increases inflammation in the bloodstream, "which can hasten sagging over time," Brandt says. Eating too much sugar is also a vice for your skin (not to mention your waistline), he says—it may affect the body's ability to repair damaged collagen

CLEAN UP YOUR ACTIONS
Remember the little things. They can lead to big trouble—like premature aging.

• Stop squinting (sunglasses help). And if you wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, make sure your prescription is up to date.
• Avoid sipping through a straw. It contributes to lines around the mouth.
• Break the habit of resting your chin on your hand. (It stretches the skin.)
• Switch to a smooth satin pillowcase. The creases in cotton eventually make their mark on your face.






WIPE OUT DARK SPOTS
Wrinkles may be the classic sign of aging, but studies show that most people view mottled skin as even older-looking. The good news: dark spots can be faded in as little as a month. The magic ingredient is hydroquinone in Murad Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Gel and DDF Skincare Fade Gel, and it should be dabbed directly onto brown spots every night. (Yet another reason to wear sunscreen: Without it, you'll earn new spots as you erase the old ones.)





 

BRIGHTEN UP

As we age, cell turnover slows and dead skin cells pile up all over our face. Eventually these malingerers "reflect the light at odd angles and rob your face of radiance," says New York City dermatologist Doris J. Day. It isn't pretty. Whisk them away twice a week with an at-home glycolic acid peel, like Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel or Avon Anew Clinical Advanced Retexturizing Peel.

DON'T FORGET YOUR NECK AND HANDS

They're the body parts most likely to betray the age that's on your passport even when your face doesn't. Get them on the same daily maintenance program as your face, with sunscreen every morning and retinol at night. Dab hydroquinone on sunspots, and exfoliate twice a week. (We like the gentle but powerful St. Ives Elements Microdermabrasion scrub.)

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