Battle Aging Skin with These 9 Steps

Too much sun isn’t the only culprit when it comes to aging your skin. Here, prominent dermatologist Susan Stuart, MD, talks about nine other things you should be aware of:


Excess sodium in your diet can suck the moisture out of skin, leaving it dry and dull. To avoid this, cut back on salty treats and invest in a hydrating facial moisturizer.

Many of us spend a fortune on anti-aging skin products, yet we may regularly accelerate skin aging without even being aware of it. The central heating systems that many of us use at home and at work can severely dry out skin, leading to premature aging and wrinkles. To help keep skin youthful and soft, try turning down the heat and wearing more layers to stay warm. Using a humidifier, or even keeping a glass of water in the room, can also increase humidity. And wearing a protective face cream can help relieve dryness.


While you may think that soap is your skin’s best friend, that’s not true. In fact, your skin has an acid mantle that is a natural protective barrier. When you wash with soap – which is generally alkaline – it can remove this protective layer and dry out the skin, eventually leading to wrinkles. While it is not advisable to stop washing entirely, try swapping the soap for a PH-neutral and chemical-free cleanser, and bear in mind that there is such a thing as over-cleansing your skin.


If you regularly sleep with the same side of your face pressed against a cotton pillowcase, that could cause creases on the skin that can eventually turn to fine lines and wrinkles. To help stay youthful overnight, try sleeping on your back instead, or switch to a silk or satin pillowcase to create fewer “compression wrinkles” and help maintain skin’s moisture levels.


Three to five cellular layers of skin rest upon your lips, so it’s important that your beauty regime includes them too. Frequently having dry, chapped lips causes them to age faster. Look for lipsticks and lip balms that contain petrolatum, dimethicone, and glycerine to help keep your smackers hydrated.


It may be hard to believe but, yes, you need to avoid the puckering process of drinking through a straw. Just like any repeated muscle motion, that can lead to fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth. Better to avoid it altogether.


Caffeine is a major culprit when it comes to dry skin and the magnification of wrinkles. Quench skin by drinking lots of water. Add fruit slices like orange or lemon to enhance the flavor.


Hydrating yourself daily will not only help to fight off aging, but also give your skin a healthy glow. Skip the water, and you’ll be stuck with ‘shrunken’ skin.


How often do you find yourself slumped over your desk, hand propped beneath your chin? If the answer is a lot, decreased back and neck pain aren’t the only reasons to sit up straight. “Extreme extension or flexing of the neck from leaning on your chin can stretch the skin there, leading to wrinkling and sagging,” says Stuart. Looking down for prolonged periods of time while texting or reading may cause or worsen the same damage.

Susan Stuart, M.D., co-founder of La Jolla Plastic Surgery Dermatology, received her Doctor of Medicine degree from Tulane University School of Medicine. To find out more about her work, visit

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