Though aging has positive aspects – such as gaining experience and wisdom – others can be less exciting. For example, losing elasticity and firmness in our skin happens as we age. But when these changes occur earlier, it’s known as premature aging.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, there are two causes of skin aging:

You can focus on extrinsic, controllable factors to keep your skin looking good as you age.

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Here are seven do’s and don’ts to act on:

1. Don’t: Rely Solely on Your Makeup for Sunscreen

Nowadays, it’s easy to find makeup offering some Sun Protection Factor (SPF) level. However, they don’t always offer broad-spectrum protection. This means they will protect you against UVB rays – rays that cause skin reddening and sunburn – but not against UVA rays ­– rays that cause wrinkles and age spots.

UVA accounts for up to 95 percent of the radiation that reaches the planet’s surface, the Skin Cancer Foundation reveals. They’re present with equal intensity during all daylight hours and can penetrate clouds, fog, and glass.

Do: Apply sunscreen with broad-spectrum SPF before makeup.

2. Don’t: Use a Drying Soap

Regular soap bars can contain ingredients – such as alcohol, fragrance, and sulfates ­– that strip skin of natural oils. The skin barrier is weakened when dehydrated, and dry skin cannot protect itself from irritants like pollution, viruses, and bacteria. Also, though dry skin doesn’t cause wrinkles, it accentuates them.

Do: Use a hydrating cleanser that is sulfate free and follow up with a moisturizer that contains antioxidants, such as Vitamins A, C, and E.

3. Don’t Skimp on Sleep

When your body is resting, it renews itself. Sleep helps skin cells regenerate, boosts collagen production, and gives your skin a break from environmental stress (UV rays, pollution). A study by the Department of Dermatology at the UH Cleveland Medical Center found that chronic poor sleep quality is associated with increased signs of intrinsic aging, diminished skin barrier function, and lower satisfaction with appearance.

Do: Get 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night and try to have good sleep hygiene. For example:

4. Don’t Rub Your Eyes Consistently

The skin around the eyes is especially delicate, so frequently rubbing it can cause wrinkles, fine lines, and dark circles. People who suffer from skin conditions like eczema, atopic dermatitis, or allergies tend to rub their eyes often.

Do: Visit an allergist or dermatologist to rule out underlying conditions that might cause eye-rubbing and get an accurate diagnosis and treatment if needed.

5. Don’t Normalize Chronic Stress

According to Harvard Health, stress can negatively affect overall skin wellness and exacerbate several skin conditions, including psoriasis, eczema, acne, and hair loss. Chronic stress, linked to the overproduction of cortisol, can also accelerate the aging process because of increased inflammation and overproduction of free radical cell damage.

Do: Make lifestyle changes to reduce stress. For example:

6. Don’t Use Straws

Repetitive lip pursing contributes to lines around the mouth, the Mayo Clinic states. When sipping out of a straw, you activate muscles around the lips; the more we activate muscles, the more we create creases in the skin as we age because of the loss of elastin.

Do: Avoid using a straw whenever you can. It also helps the environment by reducing single-use plastic items.

7. Don’t Forget to Use Sunglasses

Most people wear sunglasses only to cut down on the sun’s glare. However, sunglasses should be an everyday staple – yes, even when it’s cloudy or cold! They protect your eyes from UV rays, which can harm the eyelid, lens, retina, and cornea. Additionally, UV damage induces dryness, wrinkles, accentuated skin furrows, sagging, loss of elasticity, and mottled pigmentation.

Do: Wear high-quality sunglasses that provide 100 percent UVA and UVB protection year-round.

Laura Chacon-Garbato

Laura Chacon-GarbatoLME — Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training

Laura Chacon-Garbato is the director of Worldwide Nutrition Product Training and Education at Herbalife and the Outer Nutrition Advisory Board chairwoman. Laura is a licensed esthetician and has received postgraduate education from the International Dermal Institute in the U.S. Her background extends to working with well-known global personal care companies, where she was responsible for the education strategy and execution of business goals. Her go-to Herbalife Nutrition products include French Vanilla Formula 1, Herbal Tea Concentrate Original, Herbalife SKIN® Collagen Beauty Booster, and Herbalife Skin Protective Broad-Spectrum SPF 30.