For those who've mastered the mindset of growing old gracefully — the ones who welcome a forehead crease as a sign of wisdom — you deserve a salute. And for the others who stack their medicine cabinets with products promising to turn back the clock, you're in good company. By 2021, the anti-aging beauty industry is projected to gross over $331 billion globally, according to a 2017 report by Orbis Research.
But when it comes to preventing wrinkles and keeping your face as plump and firm as a baby's, you shouldn't just rely on magic anti-aging potions to do all the heavy lifting. Making small but smart lifestyle changes play an essential role in erasing the effects of time on your face. Try adding these anti-aging strategies to your daily routine.
1. Slather on the Sunscreen
If you do only one thing to protect your skin from premature aging, this is it. Sun exposure is responsible for increased fine lines, wrinkles, brown spots, blotchy complexion, uneven texture and skin laxity, says Y. Claire Chang, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology. But it's completely avoidable!
"Diligent sunscreen use can prevent these negative effects on the skin," says Dr. Chang. In one 2013 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, participants who applied sunscreen three to four days each week were less likely to have increased photo-aging after four years than those who didn't.
Dr. Chang recommends using broad-spectrum sunscreens — and mineral sunscreens like zinc oxide — that protect against both UVA and UVB, with SPF of 30 or greater. And don't forget to rub some on the back of your hands, neck and decolletage! These delicate areas are often neglected and thus show the earliest signs of aging, says Dr. Chang.