© umberto leporini - Fotolia.comMost of us blame genetics for wrinkling and aging skin.  The reality is that most of us make wrinkles worse with our habits and thoughtless actions.

The major culprits in aging skin are sun exposure and smoking – we’re all aware of those causes.  Tanning beds or repeated unprotected time in the sun prematurely ages skin.  A heavy tobacco habit ages not just the face but also the skin all over your body.  That sucking action required to smoke and the squinting through the smoke adds insult to injury.  Not to mention the cancer risk.

While Americans spend billions on products to combat the aging process, some of the best ideas don’t cost a penny.

Counting on Car Windows for Sunscreen

Yes, the car windows block ultraviolet B light.  The skin aging ultraviolet A light slides right through.  If you drive with your hands on the top of the steering wheel, you probably have already noticed the tan or dark spots popping out.  Before you take off, take a moment to put sunscreen or lotion with an SPF of at least 15 on your hands, neck, and arms.  If you don’t like the smell or greasy feel of sunscreens, several hand lotion manufacturers are now adding SPF to their regular products.  Be sure to read the labels.

Squinting and Straws

Without those sunglasses, you’re bound to squint in bright sunlight and add to those pesky wrinkles.  You’ll want UV protection on the lenses and a large frame to protect your eyes.  Have a couple of pairs – one to carry with you and the other to leave in the car. 

Any repetitive facial movement can cause wrinkles – like sucking on a straw.  If you pucker up when you drink from a straw, you might want to consider another method for consuming liquids.  Yes, of course, the straw keeps your teeth from coming in contact with liquids that could stain them.  The choice is yours.

Catching Some Sleep

Just when you thought it was safe to get a little sleep…  If you sleep on your side with one side of your face buried in the pillow, you could be adding wrinkles.  "The constant pressure on one side of the face for several hours every night can cause wrinkles to be permanently ingrained on the face," says dermatologist Emmy Graber, director of the Boston University Cosmetic and Laser Center.  Sleeping on your back is best for escaping sleep wrinkles.  Add a pillow under your knees to make it easier to relax.

Here It Is Again - Exercise

No surprise, exercise also helps keep skin looking younger and can reverse some skin aging effects according to a recent study by McMaster University in Ontario.  Read the study...

With just 30 minutes of exercise twice a week, the study of sedentary older adults found that skin composition was significantly improved.  After age 40 have visibly younger skin, similar to someone in their 20s and 30s.

You Are What You Eat

Eating your vegetables, olive oil, legumes, and fish can improves both your health and skin.   The American Academy of Dermatology recent research suggests that a diet high in sugar and refined carbs makes skin look older.  Drinking too much alcohol dehydrates and damages skin as well.  Avoid large amounts of meat and dairy products to keep you skin looking great.

No Tugging or Pulling

The skin around your eyes is thin and delicate, which makes it more prone to wrinkles. And although not scientifically proved, says dermatologist Emmy Graber, director of the Boston University Cosmetic and Laser Center, being gentle with the fragile dermis around our eyes may help reduce that crinkly look. Avoid pulling, tugging or stretching. Choose makeup products that go on and come off easily. "Similarly, contact wearers should be cautious not to tug too hard on the eyelid skin when putting in contacts," she says.

Over Washing and Under Moisturizing

Save the deodorant soap for your body parts say the dermatologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center.  Deodorant soap can dry your face.  Using lukewarm water, baby your face – no excessive scrubbing and pulling on your delicate skin.  Pat dry and follow with a moisturizer – it feels good, plumps skin cells, and gives you a smoother look.  Choose a daytime moisturizer with an SPF.

At Dean & Draper we hope that you will find these tips, ideas, and information useful.   

Dean & Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 34 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  Contact Us.