There’s no shortage of information about how to smooth lines and wrinkles. In fact, a simple internet search for that phrase yields over 20 million results. With the sheer volume of recommendations out there, it’s hard to know what really works — or whose tips to actually trust.
When we need advice, we like to turn to a trusted friend, especially if they’re an expert on the topic at hand. They cut through the noise and give us exactly the information we need to hear — no sugar-coating necessary. Unfortunately, the majority of us don’t have a dermatologist best buddy on speed dial. So, we decided to do the next best thing: we reached out to seven dermatologists and asked them to share the tips they’d give to their closest friends. Here, everything they shared with us about smoothing away wrinkles and how to get skin that looks, well, as good as a dermatologist’s.
Dermatologist-Recommended Wrinkle Tip #1: Certain Anti-Aging Products Will Yield Major Results
“[Many] anti-aging products have little effect on skin’s aging process; to halt the march of fine lines, sagging, and pigmentation changes, you have to change the skin's deeper layers. The only proven wrinkle reducers and age fighters when it comes to [topical] products are retinoids. And, to smooth skin’s outermost surface and speed up cell turnover, I’m a big fan of BHAs (beta hydroxy acids) like salicylic acid. Try adding a salicylic acid-based toner to your skincare routine every other day, or consider an in-office salicylic or glycolic acid peel every few months to reduce signs of aging.” — Amy Wechsler, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor in Dermatology, SUNY® Downstate Medical Center
[Editor's note: Retinol shouldn't be used by women who are pregnant, considering getting pregnant, or nursing. Please consult with your doctor before use.]
Dermatologist-Recommended Wrinkle Tip #2: Work Out to Keep Skin Smooth
“Exercise does wonders for your complexion. In the long term, it reduces systemic inflammation, which has many anti-aging benefits for your skin and overall health. In the short term, exercise increases blood flow to your skin, giving the skin a healthy glow and radiance.” — Julie K. Karen, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center®
Dermatologist-Recommended Wrinkle Tip #3: Manage Stress For a Better Complexion
“Stress has a negative impact on your skin. Constant or unmanaged stress can trigger inflammation which can promote acne and redness, plus affect your skin's ability to heal and regenerate. Also, try not to turn to sweets to handle stress, as sugar consumption can cause even more inflammation!” — Lauren Fine, MD, FAAD and board-certified dermatologist in Chicago, IL
Dermatologist-Recommended Wrinkle Tip #4: Injectables Don’t Have to Change Your Appearance Drastically
“Injectables, when done right, should not be noticeable. No one should get the impression that anything has been done. A good dermatologist works with an invisible hand.” — Kenneth Howe, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai® in New York City
[Editor’s note: Injectable wrinkle reducers are used to temporarily smooth the look of moderate to severe wrinkles in certain areas of the face such as the forehead, frown lines, and crow’s feet. They should not be used more frequently than every three months. Like any medical treatment, they have potential risks and side effects. Be sure to talk to a licensed provider to see if they’re right for you. Have more questions? Chat with our team of trained aesthetics specialists now.]
Dermatologist-Recommended Wrinkle Tip #5: Use Specific Products Every Single Day
“A vitamin C serum and SPF 30 or higher — applied 30 minutes before you go outdoors! — during the day, plus retinol at night are your best friends. And I always stress the importance of starting eye cream at a young age, before you even see signs of aging. These products work together to combat and reverse aging processes while protecting your skin.” — Julie E. Russak, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Russak Dermatology Clinic℠ in New York City
Dermatologist-Recommended Wrinkle Tip #6: Apply SPF More Often Than You Think Is Necessary
“[Even] sitting under [some] indoor fluorescent lights causes UV damage, so SPF is needed every day, whether you’re indoors or outside. Sunscreen isn’t stable in the sun, so you need to reapply it every two hours in order for it to work. For added protection when I’m outside, I like to wear a wide-brim UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) hat and carry a UPF umbrella when I’m out for long walks in the city. You can find both on Amazon®.” — Patricia Wexler, MD, Associate Clinical Professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and founder of Wexler Dermatology℠ in New York City
Dermatologist-Recommended Wrinkle Tip #7: Never, Ever Skip Washing Your Face
“Always cleanse twice daily; the first time should be upon waking up to remove pore-clogging sweat, oils, sebum, and dirt from your pillowcase. The second time should be at the end of the day to remove all makeup and external pollutants, which can cause free radical damage and fine lines. And be sure to avoid hot water when showering or washing your face — it’s super drying. Opt for tepid water instead.” — Marnie Nussbaum, MD, FAAD and Clinical Instructor of Dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College℠ in New York City
Dermatologist-Recommended Wrinkle Tip #8: Yo-Yo Dieting Can Speed Up Aging
“Repeated cycles of weight gain and loss will age your face. The reason is that if we lose, say, five pounds and then gain it back, the weight does not [necessarily] return to the same places. In particular, weight lost from the face tends to not return there. The result is depletion of the fat pads, which can lead to hollowness and sagging. Be sure to maintain a healthy weight with a good diet and exercise.” — Kenneth Howe, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai® in New York City
Dr. Patricia Wexler is a paid Allergan® consultant.