20 effective and affordable ways to help prevent wrinkles without cosmetic surgery and other medical treatments

Smoking causes wrinkles, sagging skin and moreMy mother and her younger sister in Perth, Australia both have great skin for women their age. My aunt is 58, but could easily pass as being in her early 40s. My mother is 70, but has better skin with fewer wrinkles than many 60-year-olds. Both have had no Botox, face lifts or other skin procedures.

Just good genes cause their good skin? I don’t think so. Both of them don’t smoke. They also moisturize their skin often, drink plenty of water, only spend a short amount of time in the sun (and there’s plenty of sunshine where they live), and drink little alcohol. So they put into practice well known techniques to prevent wrinkles. And it has paid off — smooth, supple and younger looking skin, with few wrinkles.

My aunt and mother followed the lead of their mother, Illona — a positive role model for good skin. Illona practiced the wrinkle-prevention strategies mentioned above, and passed these ideas onto her daughters. Illona recently passed away aged in her mid-90s, but for most of her adult life she had the skin of a typical woman 10 to 20 years younger. And, like her daughters, Illona never had any skin procedures.

Three close relatives who all looked after their skin, and reaped the benefits. But what affects skin more: our genes or lifestyles? Professor Paul Taylor would probably say our lifestyles. Fitness expert and best-selling author Michelle Bridges spoke with Professor Taylor about the scientific findings on chronological age and biological age. Bridges discusses this topic in her book Your Best Body. She says that Professor Taylor explained that our genes predetermine only about 40% of our physical body. Our lifestyles affect the remaining 60%. Bridges writes that we can change how likely we are to develop diseases and to become obese, “…even the way we look, by changing our diet, our exercise habits and our environment.”

With that in mind, although wrinkles are inevitable if we live long enough, there’s a lot we can do to help prevent – and reverse – wrinkles through positive lifestyle choices. Through preventative action, we can also avoid medical/spa treatments, such as Botox, wrinkle fillers, chemical peels…, which can be expensive, and can have bad side effects.

Put into practice the following 20 natural ways to help prevent wrinkles and, possibly, help turn back the years if wrinkles have set-in.

  1. Don’t smoke and avoid passive smoking
    “Smoking makes you look old. That’s all there is to it,” says Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, a dermatologist in Washington, USA. Smoking causes premature ageing and wrinkles by reducing blood flow to the skin and destroying proteins in the skin. If the toxic effects from smoking don’t deter you from the habit, let wrinkles, sagging skin, tough leathery-looking skin….
    Check out WebMD’s slideshow: Surprising Ways Smoking Affects Your Looks and Life. I especially like the photos comparing the skin of twins who are smokers and non-smokers. Wow, what striking differences!
  2. Drink plenty of water
    Skin needs plenty of water every day to be healthy, soft and supple. Avoid getting your water from soft drinks, sugary cordials and sugary fruit drinks. Better fluids include filtered water, white tea, organic green tea and organic non-caffeinated herbal teas. White tea can stop reactions in the body that break down proteins in the skin, so help prevent wrinkles.
  3. Drink little or no alcohol
    Lucy Waterlow, from the Daily Mail, reported that Dr. Samantha Robson, a GP and skin specialist, said that: “Alcohol undoubtedly has an effect on our appearance in the short and long-term. As well as causing bloating and dark circles under your eyes, alcohol dries out skin and can lead to wrinkles and premature ageing.” So keep your drinking to under 2 to 3 units a day to help ward off wrinkles.
  4. Be sun smart
    Too much time in the sun can cause wrinkles, sun spots…. Get enough sunlight so your body can make enough vitamin D for good health, but don’t get too much sunlight because it can cause wrinkles and skin cancer. It’s a fine balance. If you plan to go out in the sun for a while, as the Australian song says: “Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat!” Add sunglasses to that, and you’re even better protected.
  5. Eat healthy
    What we eat affects the quality of our skin. Like every organ in our body, skin – the body’s largest organ – needs good nourishment to be healthy. Eat plenty of vegetables, fibre, raw and unprocessed foods, and low amounts of junk food, sugar, salt, trans fats, and highly processed foods.
    Some foods help prevent wrinkles. These include raw nuts, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, omega-3 fish oil (read more below) and dark-green leafy vegetables.
  6. Eat plenty of omega-3 fat
    Oh how I love omega-3 fat! “Happy fat” (a term I use for it as it helps beat depression, anxiety, stress…) is important for happiness, good focus and memory… and healthy skin. In fact omega-3 fat helps prevent and reverse wrinkles. So eat enough oily fish (such as salmon, tuna and herring) walnuts and/or flaxseed oil. And remember krill oil and fish oil supplements.
  7. Get enough antioxidants
    Antioxidants protect our bodies’ cells – including skin cells – from damage, helping stop wrinkles.
    Vitamins A, C and E are three common antioxidants. Foods high in vitamin A include carrots, pumpkins and cantaloupes (rockmelons). Vitamin C-rich foods include citrus fruits (such as oranges and lemons), cherries and peppers (capsicums). Good sources of vitamin E include wheat germ oil, almonds and sunflower seeds.
    Plenty of skin lotions and other skin care products have added antioxidants. But how much remain after exposure to light, air… and get absorbed into the skin, is questionable.
  8. Moisturize your skin
    Skin dries out with washing, being in air conditioning, being in the sun…. Replace lost moisture and natural oils in your skin – and help prevent wrinkles – by regularly moisturizing at least once in the morning and once before bedtime.
  9. Oil-up!
    Cold-pressed plant oils, such as avocado, coconut, macadamia, apricot kernel and sweet almond, are excellent to help prevent wrinkles. One of my friends uses small amounts of cold pressed edible plant oils, sold as edible oils, on her face as natural moisturizers. I like this idea, and now I do the same. Buying plant oils this way is often much cheaper than – and just as good quality as – pure plant oils sold as skin care products.
    Eating small amounts of high quality plant oils, such as flaxseed oil and cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil in salad dressing, is also good for our skin.
    Keep oils fresh by storing them away from air, light and heat. Good places are in dark glass bottles in the fridge or in a cool, dark pantry.
  10. Squeeze some lemon juice onto your skin
    Lemon juice is nature’s skin miracle! Examiner.com reports that lemon juice tightens skin pores, softens dry skin, lightens dark spots, clears and controls acne, brightens skin, gives skin a healthy glow… and helps reduce and plump fine lines and wrinkles.
    My grandma Illona, who I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, dabbed a little lemon juice on her face daily to have healthy, younger-looking skin. My mother said my grandma’s village in Hungary practiced this technique for centuries. They knew about wrinkle prevention!
  11. Use gentle and safe skin care products
    Our skin absorbs whatever we put on it. Some ingredients in skin products are likely to be dangerous and can, in time, possibly cause health problems and promote wrinkles. These ingredients include mineral oil (also called, for example, paraffin and petrolatum), parabens, and sodium lauryl (and laureth) sulfate. Dr. Joseph Mercola is a leading US health professional. Read his list of potentially dangerous ingredients in skin care products, if you’re interested.
    Dr. Mercola says that: “Currently, there are estimated to be more than 10,500 cosmetic and personal care products on the North American market. Of those products, the Environmental Working Group estimates that 99% of the products contain one or more ingredients that have never been evaluated for safety.”
    Expensive skin care products are not always better quality than less expensive ones. Many cheaper products are the same quality as expensive brand-name varieties. Just look at the ingredients lists on the labels on skin care products — you’ll find a lot of the ingredients are the same. Brand names, plus the cost of the models to promote the products, and the adverts on TV… put the price up.
  12. Choose natural skin care products
    Many artificial (man-made) skin products can be toxic, and can damage skin. Natural skin care ingredients – such as aloe vera, virgin cold-pressed plant oils, and raw unprocessed honey – have been proven safe over many years.
    Beware, lots of skin care products labelled “all natural” really aren’t. Carefully read labels on skin care products. Look for phrases such as: “Mineral oil (paraffin oil) free”, and “Does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, parabens…”
  13. Use gentle skin exfoliators (skin scrubs), and only use them up to twice a week
    Why? Harsh skin scrubs and scrubbing too often can damage your skin, so lead to wrinkles. Skin scrubs remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, so our skin looks brighter.
  14. Gently wash, moisturise and scrub… your skin
    Be gentle when you rub soaps, skin creams and skin scrubs… on your skin to avoid damaging it, so promoting wrinkles. Alternatively, to help absorb skin lotions, gels…, lightly tap them into your skin for a few moments, instead of rubbing them in.
  15. Don’t over-wash your skin
    Over-washing skin can strip away its natural moisture and oils, so make it too dry. Over time this can lead to wrinkles. Be hygienic, but don’t over-wash.
  16. Avoid taking very hot baths and showers, and only briefly soak in the bathtub
    Long hot baths might cause skin to age quicker than bathing for only short amounts of time in cooler water. After your wash, moisturize your skin with a high quality skin moisturizer.
  17. Get enough sleep
    During sleep our bodies produce human growth hormone (HGH). This helps maintain the growth of body cells, including skin cells. But a lack of sleep triggers the release of the hormone cortisol, which slows down the growth of cells. Most adults need about eight hours sleep a night for good mental and physical health.
  18. Remove your make up every night before bed
    A lot of make up contains many chemicals. When left on the skin too long, a number of them can promote wrinkles.
    Skin needs to breathe and be exposed to air. Heavy make up, such as thick foundation, can clog pores, dry the skin, and cause more problems than it’s trying to solve.
  19. Relax your face and forehead
    Raising your eyebrows, squinting and frowning too much can, over time, lead to wrinkles. Have a more peaceful, relaxed and happy face.
  20. Control stress and be happy
    Carolyn Gregoire, from the Huffington Post, reports that studies have found that stress can contribute to premature aging. “Job stress can damage cells, leading to early aging,” says Gregoire. Now if stress at work can age us, surely other types of stress can too.
    Wikihow says the results of a study of identical twins suggest that being optimistic and laid back might prevent wrinkles. So laugh, smile and be happy!

written by Nyomi Graef

References:
Bouchez, C, 2007, 23 Ways to Reduce Wrinkles, WebMD,
http://www.webmd.com/beauty/wrinkles/23-ways-to-reduce-wrinkles?page=1

Bridges, M, 2013, Your Best Body, Melbourne, Australia: Penguin Books

Capewell, B et al., (Ed.), n.d., How to Prevent Wrinkles, Wikihow,
http://www.wikihow.com/Prevent-Wrinkles

Dale, L, 2011, Smoking: Does it cause wrinkles?, Mayo Clinic,
http://www.mayoclinic.org/smoking/expert-answers/faq-20058153

Deardorff, J, 2007, Concern Rises Over Effects of Parabens, Organic Consumers Association,
http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_6961.cfm

Evans, S, 2010, Foods for Healthy Skin, The Dr. Oz Show,
http://www.doctoroz.com/blog/susan-evans-md/foods-healthy-skin

4 Decades of Beautiful Skin, 2007, O, The Oprah Magazine,
http://www.oprah.com/style/Beautiful-Skin-in-Your-20s-30s-40s-and-50s

Gower, T et al., n.d., 10 Home Remedies for Wrinkles, howstuffworks.com,
http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/beauty/anti-aging/home-remedies-for-wrinkles.htm

Gregoire, C, 2013, Stress and Aging: 5 Ways Chronic Stress Can Affect The Aging Process, The Huffington Post,
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/11/stress-aging-process_n_3047000.html

How to Prevent Wrinkles the Best Way, n.d., HowtoPreventWrinkles.com,
http://howtopreventwrinkles.com/how-to-prevent-wrinkles-the-best-way/

Isaacs, T, 2011, Natural ways prevent, lessen and eliminate wrinkles, Natural News.com,
http://www.naturalnews.com/032894_wrinkles_home_remedies.html

Mercola, J, 2013, Never Put This on Your Face or Skin, Mercola.com,
http://www.mercolahealthyskin.com/

Mercola, J, 2007, Parabens: The Hidden Danger in Lotions and Sunscreens, Mercola.com,
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2007/09/25/the-hidden-danger-in-lotions-and-sunscreens.aspx

Peyton-Jones, E, 2012, The anti-ageing diet that will help you drop a decade, The Daily Mail,
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2076727/New-Year-resolutions-Anti-ageing-diet-help-drop-decade.html

Rivas, A, 2013, How Does Smoking Cigarettes Make Your Skin Look Older? Twin Study Shows How Smoking Causes Premature Aging, Medical Daily,
http://www.medicaldaily.com/how-does-smoking-cigarettes-make-your-skin-look-older-twin-study-shows-how-smoking-causes-premature

See How Your Life Affects Your Skin, 2011, WebMD,
http://www.webmd.com/beauty/skin-care-advisor-9/slideshow-skin-beauty

Slideshow: Surprising Ways Smoking Affects Your Looks and Life, 2011, Web MD,
http://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/ss/slideshow-ways-smoking-affects-looks

The wrinkle reducing miracle of lemons, it’s not just for lemonade anymore, 2010, Examiner.com,
http://www.examiner.com/article/the-wrinkle-reducing-miracle-of-lemons-it-s-not-just-for-lemonade-anymore

Thring, TSA et al., 2009, Anti-collagenase, anti-elastase and anti-oxidant activities of extracts from 21 plants, BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine, Vol. 9, No. 27,
http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/9/27/abstract

Waterlow, L, 2013, Is alcohol ageing YOU? Deep wrinkles, red skin and chubby cheeks… new app shows the long-term effects alcohol has on looks – and it’s not a pretty sight, The Daily Mail,
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2259693/Is-alcohol-ageing-YOU-Deep-wrinkles-red-skin-chubby-cheeks–new-app-shows-long-term-effects-alcohol-looks–pretty-sight.html

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8 Responses to “20 effective and affordable ways to help prevent wrinkles without cosmetic surgery and other medical treatments”

  1. Cathy Lee says:

    I have to be honest, I don’t usually resort to cosmetic options when it comes to firming sagging skin, not to mention the possible effects, they can be very expensive too. But I found Facial Toner and been using it for years now, which is also great in lifting the skin. I think this could also be a good option to add to beauty regimen. You have plenty of information on preventing wrinkles, great blog! Please keep it up.

  2. Nyomi says:

    Hi Cathy,

    Thanks for your kind comment on my blog. Great idea about facial toner. As with most things, some toners are better than others. I’ve read that witch hazel is a very good one.

    All the best

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  3. First of all thanks for sharing your experience. I agree that good genes do have an impact on good skin. I also did not have faith in cosmetic procedures like Botox but we cannot deny such procedures as one of my friends opt for it and it actually worked for him. So it might be possible that cosmetic procedures not work for all but maybe it works for some. Thanks for the useful tips.

  4. Sometimes our problems need simple answers. You don’t need to spend dollors on skin care products to have pretty skin, but people always think that the the more expensive the products is, the better it will be.

  5. Nyomi says:

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for your comment. Yes, that can be the case with a number of skin care products. I wrote a similar comment in point 11 in my article above.

    Best wishes,
    Nyomi

  6. Eve Bennie says:

    I have gone through a hell lot of products in search of something really great and amazing but haven’t came across anything so great. DermalMD Wrinkle Reduction serum is cheap and it works really fine for my skin type and i didn’t expected it to work like this. Its really amazing and i really look younger since i started using this product I would really recommend this product to anyone who is looking forward for a great anti aging product.

  7. Faith says:

    I recently turned 70. I have a few dry areas on my skin, but for the most part, my skin is rather fine. I just wish to perk up my skin and make it glow. No matter what I do, I just cannot find the KEY to making it do that.

    I wash my face with Cetaphil, and rinse it in warm water.
    and add a nice, but not spendy moisturizer. What can I do to make my skin ‘glow’It glows in the a.m. but half way through
    the day, it becomes ‘dull’

    I just would like a skin change to make my skin look younger.
    Thank you. Oh, not young young,just a bit younger.

    Thank you
    I do add a cosmetic after I do the cleansing, and
    moisturing.

    Faith Brown
    Salmon, Idaho

  8. Nyomi says:

    Hi Faith,

    Thank you for your comment. The ideas in my article above can be helpful to have glowing, healthy skin. It’s good that you’re moisturising, which is important.

    I’ve done an online search for you. I found, among other articles, this article for you, which I thought might be especially useful: http://www.homeremedyshop.com/31-home-remedies-for-instant-glow/

    At the bottom of the article are “Dos and Don’ts to Get Glow on the Skin”, most of which I’ve mentioned in my article above.

    All the best for long-lasting glowing skin.

    Kind regards,

    Nyomi

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