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If you're all-too-familiar with those little lines and grooves that can etch their way across your face, try these tricks to minimize them:
1. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. Most wrinkles are caused by sun damage. And while most sun damage is acquired by age 18, further color and texture changes and deepening of wrinkles can be avoided with religious use of an SPF 15 or higher.
2. Don't rely on your makeup. While many foundations offer some sun protection (they may even boast an SPF on the bottle), you'd need to apply several teaspoons to get adequate coverage. Use a separate sunscreen instead.
3. Invest in sunglasses. Squinting in bright sun can exacerbate wrinkles around the eyes. A basic pair of UV-blocking shades works wonders to stave off these wrinkles!
4. Watch your expressions. Years of brow furrowing or resting your cheek on your hand can cause wrinkles to form. Take note of your repetitive facial gestures and put a stop to those that are affecting your skin.
5. Investigate Botox. While dermatologists have been injecting this nerve-paralyzing substance into skin to smooth wrinkles for years, the FDA has now officially approved it for this use. See a dermatologist for specifics on the (sometimes pricey) treatment.
6. Go for glycolics. Alpha-hydroxy acids such as glycolic acid gently slough off dead skin cells -- and over time can reduce the appearance of fine lines. Use a glycolic lotion once to twice a day.
7. Try vitamin A. The breakdown of collagen is thought to cause wrinkling, and creams made from vitamin A derivatives -- the most popular is Renova -- work deep within the skin to increase collagen production.
8. Quit smoking! Smoking speeds up wrinkles in several ways: The repetitive mouth motion of puffing on a cigarette can cause lines around the lips; free-radicals from smoke can break down the skin's structure, causing weakening and wrinkling; and the oxygen depletion that comes with smoking causes the skin to work less efficiently.
9. Beware of lasers. While a laser in the hands of a trained dermatologist or plastic surgeon can erase wrinkles, one in the hands of an untrained person can cause irritation, burns, and scarring. Beware of wrinkle-reducing laser treatments offered at spas and salons.
10. Embrace some of your lines. Women spend billions of dollars a year on potions and creams, all in a quest to rid themselves of wrinkles. But a lined face can look elegant and regal -- much more desirable than a face that's red, itchy, and raw from too many anti-wrinkle products and treatments!