I’m convinced that the secret to never looking old is to utilize every anti-aging treatment and practice I can now, in my 20s. I started using preventative creams and serums in high school, but, in line with basically every other aspect of my life, I’ve always been too ADD to stick with one product or method.

I’ve flitted between anti-aging moisturizers, serums, cleansers, oils and devices, but I do have one constant: my lifestyle. These three lifestyle and regimen changes are part of my everyday life, and will help keep your skin looking young, even into your 90s.

  1. Kick butts. Smoking is one of the most detrimental habits a person can have. You know what it does to your body—the cancer, the lung damage, the yellowing of nails and eyes—but it can also exacerbate wrinkles. Not only do the chemicals and products in cigarettes age your skin, but the constant, day-after-day lip puckering that happens when a cigarette is in your mouth creates deep furrows. Smokers as young as 20 exhibit early wrinkling. While their wrinkles may be difficult to see at first, they will worsen and become more frequent with more years and packs smoked. Wrinkles are also likely to be much deeper in smokers than in those who don’t smoke.Solution: Stop smoking. I know stopping is easier said than done, but it is so vital to your good health. Whatever method you decide to choose, whether that’s a patch, cold turkey or hypnosis, is fine as long as it’s healthy and works for you.
  2. Tap it in. Your eyes are not a magic lamp; don’t rub them! Every morning when we wake, we yawn, stretch, rub the sleep from our eyes, and cause wrinkles to form. Every time you rub your eyes when you wake up, are removing your makeup or applying an eye cream, you create wrinkles. In your youth, your skin springs back easily, so the effects don’t show until you get older and your skin loses its elasticity. As you age, springing back becomes harder and less frequent, resulting in more permanent grooves.Solution: If you need to remove the sleep from your eyes, gently wipe it away instead of rubbing. To remove makeup, apply eye makeup remover to a cotton ball and let sit on your closed eye for a few seconds. This will allow the skin and makeup to soak up the remover, making it easier to gently pat away. (If you still need to wipe, do it lightly and with care.) To apply an eye cream, serum, moisturizer or any other product, get a small amount on the tips of your pinky or ring fingers and gently tap into the skin around the eye area.
  3. Keep it clean. As troublesome as removing your makeup at night can be, it far outweighs the risks of leaving it on. Sleeping in your makeup prevents your skin barrier from functioning properly. Your skin can’t breathe or repair itself, and the makeup and environmental pollutants accumulated during the day settle into your pores, breaking down collagen and elastin, and therefore speeding up the aging process.Solution: Before bed, you should remove your makeup, cleanse your skin (yes, you have to wash after removing makeup) and moisturize. When you use moisturizer, you’re not putting moisture onto your skin; you’re keeping moisture from leaving your skin. As you age, your skin loses its moisture more and more easily. Since dehydrated skin also accelerates aging, it’s necessary to moisturize daily.

While these tips prevent against the three major contributors to wrinkling, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, keeping a balanced diet rich in antioxidants and omega-3s, and exercising regularly can go a long way to your skin’s overall health and help you keep your youthful glow.

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