Woman Shielding Skin From Sun Damage
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Practice Good Skin Care Basics

If you really want to keep your skin looking young, start with the essentials:

  • Avoid the sun.
  • Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen.
  • Wear sun protective clothing (long sleeves and pants).
  • Don't smoke.
  • Use moisturizer.


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Woman Waking Up With Smile
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Sleep on Your Back

When you sleep in certain positions night after night, it leads to "sleep lines" -- wrinkles that become etched into the top layers of skin and don't fade once you're up. Sleeping on your side leads to wrinkles on cheeks and chin, while sleeping face down gives you a furrowed brow. 

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Woman Enjoying Salmon Sushi
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Eat More Salmon

Salmon (along with other cold-water fish) is a great source of protein, one of the building blocks of great skin. It also has plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. Experts say essential fatty acids nourish skin and keep it plump and youthful, and that can help minimize wrinkles.

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Woman Wearing Reading Glasses
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Don't Squint -- Get Reading Glasses!

Any facial expression that you do over and over (like squinting) overworks facial muscles and makes grooves beneath the skin's surface. Eventually those grooves become wrinkles. So keep those eyes wide: Wear reading glasses if you need them. And get savvy about sunglasses. They can protect skin around the eyes from sun damage and keep you from squinting.

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Assortment of Skin Creams
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Slather On Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)

These natural acids lift away the top layer of dead skin cells. That helps reduce the appearance of pores, fine lines, and surface wrinkles, especially around the eyes. Stronger forms of AHAs may help boost collagen production in your skin. That’s a protein that gives your skin strength and firmness. Using AHAs can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so wear sunscreen every day.

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woman washing her face
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Don't Over-Wash Your Face

Tap water strips skin of moisture and natural oils that protect against wrinkles. If you wash your face too often, you wash away its protection. Use a soap with moisturizers, or a gel or cream cleanser instead.

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Woman Using Topical Vitamin C Skin Cream
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Wear Your Vitamin C

Some studies have found that creams with vitamin C can boost the amount of collagen your skin makes. Vitamin C, protects against damage from UVA and UVB rays, and helps reduce redness, dark spots and uneven skin tone. You have to use a skin product with the right type of vitamin C, though. L-ascorbic acid may be the best for wrinkle relief. You may also see a vitamin C ingredient listed as ascorbyl palmitate.

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hands holding soy beans
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Soy for Skin Care

Soy may improve the appearance of your skin and  protect it, too. Studies suggest soy applied to the skin or taken as a supplement (not as food) may help protect against or even heal some sun damage. It can help your skin's structure and firmness, and even out skin tone.

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Tasty Cup of Hot Cocoa
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Trade Coffee for Cocoa

Try a tasty wrinkle-reducing drink. One study shows that cocoa with high levels of two antioxidants (epicatechin and catechin) protects skin from sun damage, improves blood flow to skin cells, keeps moisture in, and makes skin look and feel smoother. 

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Sources | Medically Reviewed on 08/31/2020 Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on August 31, 2020


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American Academy of Dermatology.

Cleveland Clinic: "Understanding the Ingredients in Skin Care Products."

Gancevience, R. Dermato-Endocrinology, July 2012.

Heinrich, U. Journal of Nutrition, June 2006.

Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, February 1996.

Kim, S. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, April 2004.

Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University: "Vitamin C," "Flavonoids and Skin Health."

Nicholas Perricone, MD, dermatologist, Yale University Medical Center, New Haven, CT.

Skovgaard, G. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 2006.

Stallings, A. Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, January 2009.

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Skin wrinkles and blemishes.”


Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on August 31, 2020

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.