Getting older may be inevitable, but looking old is optional--really! And you don't have to spend tons of money on wrinkle creams or endure the pain
of plastic surgery. "Making a simple tweak or two to your anti-aging routine can mean a major difference in the results you see," explains Cambridge, MA-based dermatologist Ranella Hirsch, MD, president of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery. To supercharge your regimen, we asked 13 experts to share their top tips for looking younger. Use this insider advice to turn back the clock starting right now. Age-proof Skin
Follow these tips to smooth, moisturize & fight wrinkles
Use soap selectively
To keep skin soft, use soap or body wash only on select areas--your face, underarms, feet, groin, and buttocks. "Rinsing with water
is enough to get other spots clean and prevent you from unnecessarily stripping skin of its natural oils," says New York City dermatologist Amy Wechsler, MD, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
Moisturize while you wash
Amp up the anti-aging benefits of your body wash by applying it with a wet mesh puff. "Pumping air into the product helps it foam more, allowing you to use less detergents, which keeps skin from becoming overly dry," says Zoe D. Draelos, MD, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
Clean a wet face
Use cleanser--especially foaming or gel types--on damp skin. If applied on dry skin, they are more likely to be irritating, says Mary Lupo, MD, a Prevention advisor and a clinical professor of dermatology at Tulane University.
Cleanse for 60 seconds
Massage face wash on your skin for about 1 minute to break down dirt and makeup before rinsing off. "It's important to wipe away pollutants, dirt, bacteria, and product residue, which can cause dullness and clogged pores," says New York City-based dermatologist Jeanette Graf, MD, author of Stop Aging, Start Living
Give makeup a firm base
Splash your face with cold water
before applying makeup; the coolness helps temporarily shrink pores. "It's a trick movie stars used in the '30s to tighten skin and help makeup glide on seamlessly," says Valerie Sarnelle, makeup artist and founder of the cosmetics line Valerie Beverly Hills.
Mist up midday
Refresh parched skin with a spritz of a facial mist on your bare skin--just be sure to apply moisturizer after to seal in the added hydration. "The dewier your skin, the less noticeable wrinkles will be," says New York City-based celebrity makeup artist Maria Verel.
Apply products properly
"The effectiveness of ingredients depends largely upon whether they penetrate deeply enough," says Jeanine Downie, MD, a dermatologist in Montclair, NJ. Because heavier formulas prevent lightweight ones from seeping in, follow this sequence:
Toner Serum or treatment products (like retinoids or bleaching agents)
Set moisturizer for 3 minutes
"Giving your lotion time to completely absorb before applying makeup will help your foundation, blush, and shadow last all day," says Verel.
Change your sun visor
Move the visor in your car to your left side to block UV rays while you're driving. "The left side of women's faces tends to look older because it incurs more sun damage from driving," explains Hirsch.
Get Healthier Hair
Restore shine, bounce & softness
Shampoo just your scalp
"Hair is dirtiest at the scalp, and the sudsy runoff is enough to clean the rest of your hair without stripping its natural sheen," says Lisa Chiccine, owner of the Lisa Chiccine Salon in New York City.
Condition only the ends
It's a move that keeps roots from falling flat: "Hair that sits limp at the crown can make you look older, dragging down your features," says Chiccine.
Aim your blow-dryer down
Point the nozzle downward and keep it above your brush as you style your hair. "Aiming the airflow this way helps close the cuticle, boosting shine," says Gretchen Monahan, owner of the Grettacole Salon in Boston. Switch it to the cool setting for the final 3 minutes to help combat dulling frizz and flyaways.
Go shoulder length or shorter
Long hair can age you and make you look tired and drawn, says David Evangelista, owner of the David Evangelista Salon at Cornelia Day Resort in New York City. It also looks thinner the longer it gets, so go shorter to give yourself a boost.
Layer it well
Adding layers creates flattering fullness and bounce. "Blunt cuts can make fine lines look more prominent," says Evangelista. Hair that has movement looks softer and shinier, and that diverts attention from wrinkles and sunspots. Conceal gray with makeup Depending on your hair color, dab on mascara or liquid liner to cover stray white hairs on the go, Chiccine says.
Keep Hands Young
Give yours an instant boost
Polish under your nail
Paint the underside tip of each nail to help polish stay on longer. "This extra coating creates a barrier that prevents chipping for up to 3 extra days," explains New York City-based celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann, owner of Lippmann Collection, a nail care company. To lock in shine and keep UV rays from tarnishing your color, apply a clear coat of polish every other day--you'll avoid UV-related ridging as well.
Carry SPF-infused hand cream
The skin on your hands is a dead giveaway of your age, so "use sunscreen on your hands like it's going out of style," says Hirsch. Applying moisturizer that also contains an SPF of at least 15 after every hand washing is an easy way to prevent sun spots and thinning of this already thin skin. "Stash a bottle in your bag so you'll never be without it."
Remove polish safely
Massage a drop of hand cream
or cuticle oil into the skin around your nail beds before removing polish to keep them healthy, hydrated, and strong, recommends Jan Arnold, cofounder and style director of CND, a nail care brand.
Try these 100 Age-Defying Tips! From erasing sun spots to softening fine lines, find out even more ways to take years off your appearance by checking out prevention.com/100waysyounger