Share on Pinterest

There’s no harm in having wrinkles. A few facial lines can be endearing and add character to your face. But it’s no secret that many of us would prefer to keep them in check.

Without medical or surgical intervention, it can be challenging to reverse the appearance of wrinkles once you have them. But there are steps you can take and lifestyle changes you can make to slow down their appearance.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at eight evidence-backed ways to help keep wrinkles at bay.

Everyone’s skin ages, which is why the skin of a young child and the skin of a 90-year-old looks very different.

Skin loses elasticity as we age because collagen production slows down over time. This process can be exacerbated by a variety of factors, including sun exposure, pollution, and certain lifestyle habits.

As you get older, your skin tends to become thinner and drier, too. When your skin doesn’t have as much moisture or volume as it used to, it can also make it more prone to wrinkles.

Genetics can play a role in how your skin ages over time. This is known as intrinsic aging.

But even if your family has skin that tends to wrinkle easily, you still have a good deal of control over your own skin and how well it ages.

Although it’s inevitable that wrinkles will show up at some point, taking good care of your skin can go a long way in keeping it wrinkle-free for as long as possible.

Below are eight lifestyle factors that can help keep your skin looking healthy and youthful.

It’s a well-known fact that exposure to the sun can damage your skin, leading to premature aging and wrinkles.

According to a 2013 study, regular sunscreen use has the ability to slow down the signs of aging skin.

To protect your skin from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays, it’s vital to apply an SPF of between 30 and 50 every day, even if it’s overcast. UV rays can still penetrate clouds, so don’t skip on sunscreen just because it isn’t sunny.

For extra protection, wear a wide brim hat, light-colored clothes that’ll reflect the sun, and sunglasses with UV protection.

Retinoids, which are derived from vitamin A, are one of the most studied anti-aging ingredients. Sometimes referred to as retinol, retinoids have the ability to increase collagen production, which helps plumps up the skin.

Retinoids also encourage skin regeneration and can promote the creation of new blood vessels, which may help improve the skin’s overall appearance and texture.

There are five main types of retinoids, each with slightly different degrees of potency. Some are available in creams and gels that you can buy over the counter, while others are available by prescription only.

Dermatologists recommend starting with a small amount to test your skin’s tolerance to the product, and using it every other day to avoid peeling.

Talk to your dermatologist to find out which option is right for your skin.

A moisturizer acts like a drink of water for your face.

Moisturizers help to nourish and hydrate the skin. This is especially important as you get older and your skin becomes drier, which makes it more prone to wrinkles.

Research shows that using a moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid and vitamin C are especially effective at preventing wrinkles from forming or getting deeper.

Ask your dermatologist for product recommendations for your skin.

Drinking water is essential for good health. Your body needs water for almost every function it does.

Besides vital functions like flushing toxins from your body, aiding with digestion, and regulating your body temperature, water can also help keep your skin healthy and hydrated from the inside.

According to a 2015 study that was conducted on a healthy group of women, it was determined that higher water input can have an effect on the hydration of the skin, and it may positively affect skin physiology.

Another study from 2017 found that drinking lemon balm leaf extract, which is typically found in tea, may help boost the skin’s elasticity and correct tissue damage.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” When it comes to how well your skin ages, this is especially true.

A large Dutch study from 2019 that had more than 2,700 participants found that dietary habits are associated with facial wrinkling, especially in women.

According to the study, women whose diets include a high amount of red meat and unhealthy snacks tend to have more facial wrinkles than women who include more fruit in their diet.

Foods that are high in anti-inflammatory or antioxidant properties may also improve the skin’s elasticity and protect against skin damage and premature aging. Some foods and drinks with these qualities include:

  • green tea
  • olive oil
  • salmon
  • avocados
  • pomegranates
  • flax seeds
  • vegetables, especially carrots, pumpkin, leafy greens, bell peppers, and broccoli

According to a 2016 study, your sleeping position may have an effect on the formation of wrinkles. The study found that people who sleep on their side or stomach are prone to mechanical compression forces, which can speed up the formation of wrinkles, and also distort facial skin.

One way to prevent this is to try sleeping on your back instead of on your side or stomach.

Silk pillowcases may also be kinder to your skin than cotton, as they create less friction and help prevent abrasion of the skin.

Tobacco smoke damages collagen and elastin, the fibers that give your skin its elasticity and strength.

Also, the nicotine in cigarettes causes your blood vessels to constrict. This reduces the blood flow to your skin. As a result, your skin doesn’t get as much oxygen. It’ll also limit the important nutrients, like vitamin A, that can get to your skin.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the heat associated with cigarettes may also cause wrinkles. Additionally, the repeated pursing of the lips to inhale may lead to premature wrinkling around the mouth.

A 2013 study done on 79 pairs of identical twins found that the twins who smoked had significantly more wrinkles than their counterparts who didn’t smoke.

If you currently smoke, talk to your healthcare provider about a smoking cessation program to help you quit.

Repeated facial movements like squinting, frowning, or pursing of the lips can speed up the formation of wrinkles.

If you find yourself squinting frequently, it may be a sign that you need to get your eyes checked or that you need a stronger prescription for your glasses or contact lenses. Getting a new prescription may benefit your skin as well as your eyes.

If you find yourself frowning or scowling often, you may want to look into ways to relieve your stress. Some helpful stress management techniques include:

Wrinkles are an inevitable part of aging, but there are steps you can take to slow their progress and prevent new ones from forming.

Lifestyle factors like eating a vitamin-rich diet, drinking plenty of water, protecting your skin from the sun, not smoking, and managing your stress play a key role when it comes to keeping your skin healthy and youthful.

Using a retinoid and a moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid and vitamin C can also be effective at preventing the onset of wrinkles.

If you have questions or concerns about products that may help prevent wrinkles, be sure to follow up with your doctor or dermatologist.