Anti-aging for Newbies: Expert Tips on How to Stop Wrinkles Before They Happen

Just because another birthday’s creeping up doesn’t mean wrinkles have to. Taking these seven small steps now is the best way to prevent serious signs of aging down the road.

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1. Wear Sunscreen Every Day

Not exactly breaking news, but this tip bears repeating: Sunscreen is the most effective way to prevent the type of skin damage that can lead to premature aging. Put a bottle next to your toothpaste to drive home the daily reminder. Save time by using a foundation or tinted moisturizer with built-in SPF, or a formula that blends in easily with your makeup. We like Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum ($42, Supergoop.com).
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2. Get Plenty of Sleep

The longer you snooze, the more time your skin has to repair itself from daily aggressors like sun exposure and pollution, says Annie Chiu, MD, a dermatologist in Los Angeles. Seven to eight hours of shut-eye every night is ideal.
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3. And While You’re at It...Sleep on Your Back

Regularly sleeping on your stomach or side can leave (ahem) lasting impressions. “When I see patients for wrinkle reduction, many times I can tell which side they’ve been sleeping on,” says Ron Shelton, MD, a cosmetic dermatologic surgeon in New York City.
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4. Moisturize Like It’s Your Job

Moisturizer acts like a protective shield for your skin, keeping it hydrated and supple. Look for an intensely hydrating formula that’s light enough to wear during the day, such as Olay Total Effects Daily Moisturizer ($20, PGeStore.com).
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5. Watch What You Eat...

Studies show that “super foods” like salmon, walnuts, spinach, buckwheat and soy boost the natural production of collagen and elastin, both of which maintain the firmness of your skin.
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6. ...And What You Drink

Fine lines can develop as a result of chronic dehydration, says Daisy Severino, lead esthetician at The Spa at Trump SoHo in New York City. To help prevent this, drink lots of water throughout the day (aim for at least eight glasses) to moisturize and plump up your skin from the inside out.
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7. Stay Active

That glow you get post-workout isn’t a fleeting perk. The decrease in stress hormones that occurs with regular exercise can lead to more luminous-looking skin for the long term, Chiu says. Even a brisk walk around the block during your lunch break can make a difference.

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