OK, you want the honest truth about having healthy skin and aging well? Stay out of the sun, wear sunblock every day, eat lots of fruit and vegetables, moisturize, guzzle water, and exfoliate regularly. Oh yeah, and try to decrease stress. Those are the basics, and following that advice will keep you looking your best as you get older. Unfortunately, our culture is so obsessed with looking forever 21 (ha!) that some well-meaning people will find anything to make you worried about aging.
My view: Life's too short to freak out over tiny things that may cause a wrinkle here or there — and besides, why waste energy worrying about this when there are bigger fish to fry? To see five things you shouldn't freak out about,
- Water bottles and straws cause wrinkles. Yes, it's true that the sucking action might add a few lines to your lip area. (This dermatologist is freaked out by them.) But unless you're habitually having a drink, don't get too worked up. If you're really worried, drink out of a glass, but I say life's too short to feel guilty about sipping fluids.
- Pillowcases will make you look grizzled. You may have heard that sleeping on your side causes wrinkles to form, potentially making you look like Two-Face. But if snoozing on your back doesn't come naturally, I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
- Sunscreen could cause cancer. This Summer, the Environmental Working Group released a study claiming that most sunscreens have a health risk. But as the New York Times points out, most dermatologists disagree. Since the jury's out, but we do know that UV exposure can lead to melanoma, wearing sunscreen is your best bet. If you're truly worried, look for a sunscreen with zinc oxide, such as Soleo SPF 30.
- If you have an expressive face, you'll get wrinkly. OK, so there's some truth to it: Repeated facial expressions will create wrinkles in the long term. (That's why some older people have frown lines and others have smile lines.) But anyone who tells you to stop smiling or laughing is a real killjoy in my book. When you're 50, would you rather look back at a happy life of laughter or be stone-faced for years on end?