Mature woman admiring her good skin in mirror

Anti-Aging Skincare: Everything You Need to Know

Growing older brings with it many wonderful things: wisdom, long-lasting relationships, confidence. But it also offers you some less-than-wonderful "gifts," like wrinkles, fine lines, and dark circles.

But have no fear…anti-aging skincare is here! With the right products, the right daily anti-aging skincare routine and youth-promoting lifestyle choices, you can retain that youthful glow.

Anti-aging skincare: Can I do it myself?

Older woman holding bottle of anti-aging serum

Beautiful, healthy and glowing skin is not just for young people—or wealthy people, who have regular access to spa treatments. With a skin care regimen that deploys products with scientifically validated benefits, you can reduce the appearance of fine lines, hydrate and smooth the skin and retain a youthful glow—no aesthetician required!

What is anti-aging skincare?

Woman surrounded by multiple skincare products

Especially in your 40s and beyond, it’s normal for some wrinkles or lines to appear upon your face, and for your skin to lose that "dewy" texture associated with youth.

Time may no longer be on your side, but luckily, science is! Products that are formulated with the correct dosage of anti-aging nutrients will help your skin appear and feel smoother, brighter and more supple.

And while the market is full of skincare products that cost more than a designer purse, as long as you’re using the right products with effective ingredients, you don’t have to get fancy to enjoy a youthful face. We recommend keeping it simple, in fact: a face wash, exfoliant, sunscreen and moisturizer are the building blocks to a great anti-aging skincare routine.

The DOs and DON’Ts of anti-aging skincare

The right products are only a small piece of the anti-aging puzzle, though—what you do with them and how you live your life, will determine whether these tools make a difference. Here are some simple skincare DOs and DON’Ts to promote healthy, young-looking skin.

DO: Exfoliate to remove dead skin

Man exfoliating in the bathroom mirror

The surface of your skin is covered with dry, flaky, dead skin cells – and who wants that? Before taking any other anti-aging skincare step, it is important to refresh your complexion by gently getting rid of the dirt and debris so that your youthful, bright skin can shine through.

Several times a week, regular exfoliation is key—and do it before any other creams or moisturizers go on your face. Choose a high-quality product (preferably one containing collagen and elastin) to support new skin cell growth. If you don’t have room on your bathroom shelf for one more tube, you can exfoliate without product; just cleanse with a gentle dry brush.

DO: Wear sunscreen everyday

Woman putting on sunscreen after a shower

When it comes to anti-aging skincare protection, the most important thing you can do is wear sunscreen every day. Yes, every day. Sunscreen isn’t just for getaways to the beach or a weekend on the lake; it’s an important protection against damage to your skin, which speeds up the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

A little sunshine is great for your vitamin D levels, but too much exposure to the sun’s UV rays can break down collagen production, which causes skin to become thinner and wrinkles to appear. Too much exposure also can lead to pigmentation issues and dark spots.

Don’t leave the house without applying broad-spectrum sunscreen (at least SPF 30 or higher). This simple, minute-long ritual will go a long way towards keeping you looking young and vibrant!

DO: Hydrate your skin

Woman holding a jar of anti-aging moisturizing cream

You strive to drink eight glasses of water each day to keep your body hydrated and your internal organs properly functioning, but did you know that your skin needs to hydrate as well? Fortunately, drinking enough water has a positive impact on your skin’s moisture levels, but as you age, getting enough H2O may not be enough to stave off a dry-looking complexion.

That’s why an essential step in any anti-aging routine should be using a moisturizer (both a day cream and a night cream are ideal). Which one is right for you? When perusing the hundreds of jars and tubes on the market, all claiming to fight the signs of aging, keep an eye out for the ingredient hyaluronic acid, which helps lock in water and prevents the appearance of dryness.

Wearing a moisturizer during the day is always a good plan, but no matter what, don’t skip out on a night cream. Apply the moisturizer before bed, and you’ll sleep soundly knowing that you’re doing everything you can to keep your skin ultra-soft and supple.

DON'T: Smoke

Surely, you already know that smoking is bad for your overall health and wellbeing. But did you know that it also will cause irreversible damage to your skin and speed up the appearance of aging? When it comes to any anti-aging strategy, smoking is a habit that has got to go! Smoking decreases blood flow, which in turn leaves your skin dehydrated, dull, and causes early wrinkles and fine lines to appear.

Not sure what to do with your hands, sans cigarettes? Hold a water bottle and drink from it whenever you feel the urge to take a puff!

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DO: Apply Eye Cream

Woman applying eye cream for the day

Your eyes are the window to the soul, but sometimes the area around them can appear tired, dark or puffy—leaving you looking drab instead of… well, fab.

Incorporating an eye cream into your anti-aging skincare routine is a must have for bright, youthful eyes. These night creams not only minimize the appearance of under-eye puffiness and darkness, but some also help lessen the signs of aging and fight free radicals.

An eye cream can be used morning or night to minimize the appearance of bags or dark circles. After using an eye cream daily, you will likely see improvements to not only overall smoothness, but overall firmness.

DO: Get your beauty sleep

Woman getting sleep for recharging skin

They don’t call it "beauty sleep" for nothing! As you sleep, your skin rests, recharges and regenerates itself—night after night. Lack of sleep will only further the appearance of dark, under eye circles and unhealthy, dry skin.

Make sure you are taking the necessary steps before bed to get a proper night’s rest, so your skin will get the rest it needs to look and feel great, day after day.

DO: Watch what you eat

Woman presenting papaya for anti-aging benefits

You are what you eat, so make sure what is on your plate is not only good for your overall health, but also contains essential vitamins and nutrients for healthy, youthful skin. Creams and moisturizers are great for your skin’s overall look and feel, but also consider the foods you eat, as well.

Incorporate papaya, broccoli, spinach, avocado or nuts into your diet to foster beauty from within. The bounty of vitamin A in avocados help shed dead skin cells, while the antioxidants in papayas help fight free radical damage, which may inhibit fine lines and wrinkles from appearing. Meanwhile, broccoli is packed with vitamin C, which helps with the production of collagen and promotes your skin’s overall feel and elasticity.

The next time you sit down for a meal, make sure you say "cheers" to good health—and glowing skin!

About the Author: Andrew Davis is a graduate of Pace University NYC with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. He has more than a decade's worth of experience in content and social media in the health and wellness space. An avid traveler, Andrew also has volunteered as an English teacher and humanitarian in countries throughout Asia.