10 Anti-Aging Tips continued...
If you're outdoors a lot, you might consider buying sun protection clothing. They look the same as regular clothes, but, Day says, they have been treated to provide at least SPF 30 protection against UVB and UVA all day. "Not only is the practice good for your health, but it’s a very smart anti-aging move," she says.
5. Don’t smoke.
Smoking is bad news for every part of you. In your skin, it speeds up the breakdown of collagen and constricts blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to your skin. Smokers are more likely to wrinkle early. In time, their nails and fingertips will turn yellow.
Day, a former smoker herself, strongly urges smokers to quit. The prospect of wrinkles could be the last bit of motivation you need. You may need to try several times to quit for good, but it's more than worth it.
6. Avoid too much alcohol.
Having a drink with a friend or savoring a glass of wine with dinner is fine, Day says. But drinking too much alcohol dehydrates your skin and dilates your blood vessels. If you drink too much, you could develop broken blood vessels and rosacea, a skin disorder marked by redness and tiny pimples.
7. Avoid yo-yo dieting, and get help for eating disorders.
Eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, stress and damage your whole body, including your skin, hair, and nails. These are serious -- even life-threatening -- disorders, so seek professional help for them immediately.
Many women in their twenties and thirties also go through periods of "yo-yo" dieting, without having an eating disorder. Day says that repeatedly gaining and losing weight can stretch the skin and make it sag.
"At a certain point," Waldorf says, "your skin does not bounce back when your weight changes."
That's all the more reason to work on reaching, and keeping, a healthy weight.
8. Use retinoids or retinols.
Retinoids are prescription face medications, such as Retin-A, Renova, and Tazorac, that can help skin look younger. Retinols are a weaker form sold without a prescription.
If you're pregnant or are planning to get pregnant, ask your doctor about whether they're safe to use.
Women who aren’t planning to become pregnant can start using retinoids at any age, even their early twenties, Waldorf says. Day recommends that women begin using a retinol (an over-the-counter, weaker form of a retinoid called tretinoin) in their twenties as an anti-aging strategy.
If you don't have a lot of sun damage by your twenties or thirties, you can wait. Waldorf didn’t have much sun damage from her earlier years, so she held off on retinoids until her forties. "How necessary it is and how much difference a retinoid is going to make will depend on your baseline skin," she says.