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7 Surprising Things You Do That Cause Wrinkles

Break these bad habits for younger-looking skin

Wrinkle-Causing Habits

En español l We spend billions on antiaging products each year, but some of the best ways to prevent or reduce wrinkles don’t cost a cent. We’re not talking about the most obvious things — not smoking or tanning — but less obvious ones we do every day that aren’t good for our skin. If you really want to look younger, avoid these wrinkle-causing habits.

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Sitting Too Much

Exercising for just 30 minutes twice a week not only can help keep skin looking younger, but can also reverse some skin aging effects, surprising new research finds. A Canadian study of sedentary older adults found that exercise significantly improved their skin composition, giving it the structure of someone decades younger.

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Overdoing It on Meat, Dairy, Sugar and Alcohol

A recent study found that those who ate primarily meat and dairy had more skin damage compared with those who ate more vegetables, olive oil, legumes and fish. Too much sugar is another culprit, says the American Academy of Dermatology, while excessive alcohol can dehydrate and damage skin.

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Relying on Car Windows for Sun Protection

If you drive to work daily, the left side of your face and neck, and your left hand and arm may be getting more sun exposure and damage — because car windows don’t block harmful ultraviolet A light. Keep sunscreen in the car year-round, and apply it before your commute.

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Using Straws, Skipping Sunglasses

“Any repetitive facial moment can cause wrinkles,” says Beverly Hills, Calif., dermatologist Ronald Moy, past president of the American Academy of Dermatology. That means you need to rethink certain habits, such as always drinking with a straw (wrinkles around the mouth) or squinting because you forgot your sunglasses (crow’s feet). 

HERMESMEREGHETTISTUDIO / Alamy

Sleeping on Your Side

Do you always sleep on the same side? That's a good way to wake up with lines. Snooze on your back instead. “The constant pressure on one side of the face every night” can cause permanent wrinkles, says dermatologist Emmy Graber, director of the Boston University Cosmetic and Laser Center. 

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Tugging Your Skin to Apply Makeup, Remove Contact Lenses

The skin around your eyes is thin and delicate, making it more prone to wrinkles. Avoid pulling, tugging or stretching. Choose makeup products that go on and come off easily. Contact lens wearers should be cautious not to tug too hard on eyelid skin when putting in their lenses.

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Overwashing, Undermoisturizing

Baby your face. Don’t wash excessively and don’t forget to use a moisturizer; otherwise, skin cells can dry out, making the complexion appear dull and more wrinkled. Also, avoid using deodorant soaps on your face because they can be overly drying, say dermatologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center. 

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