A dermatologist shares her 6 go-to anti-aging products to stop wrinkles before they appear

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It might take 30 years for sun damage to become visible, but one thing is certain — it will become visible. Even though your skin’s appearance likely won’t change much in your 20s, you’re essentially living on credit until your 30s, 40s, and 50s.
Preventative care is one way to minimize the damage — and there’s no such thing as “too early”.
I asked dermatologist Dr. Annie Chiu what six products she personally recommends for stopping wrinkles before they start, and she chose a chemical exfoliant, a cream for pigmentation, a cushion with SPF, a firming body lotion, an antioxidant-packed face mask, and a serum with 12.5% Vitamin C.

While most of us will skate through our 20s with little to no change in our skin’s youthful elasticity and smooth appearance, that shouldn’t be mistaken as a reason to put off preparing for those later, more wrinkly years to come. Believe dermatologists everywhere when they say that yes, they are coming.

In other words, you’re not living in a bubble right now; you’re basically living on credit. You’re undoubtedly doing damage to your skin in the present, but you won’t see just how much until your 30s, 40s, and 50s. If you’re kind to your skin right now and minimize the damage ahead of time, you’ll see fewer fine lines and problem areas crop up later.

For instance, even though sun damage takes about 30 years to really set in (20 if you’ve been heavily exposed), all those days outside without sunscreen have been breaking down your skin’s connective tissue, which in layman’s speak means it’s harder for your skin to repair itself.

Thanks to preventative care, it’s never too early to start safeguarding against brown spots, crow’s feet, and dull, puffy, or hyperpigmented skin. SPF is your best friend, and keeping your body moisturized and full of antioxidants is a great way to make sure your skin — your body’s largest organ — can bounce back for longer.

I asked Dr. Annie Chiu, a dermatologist with a medical degree from Stanford University, for advice on how to avoid wrinkles before they start.

Below you’ll find Dr. Chiu’s six go-to products for preventative care, plus why she loves them. 

1. A chemical exfoliant.

SUNDAY RILEY Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid TreatmentAvailable at Nordstrom and Sephora, $105-$158 (prices vary by size)

I believe in chemical exfoliants for their smoothing and clarifying abilities. They can both treat and prevent signs of aging, and this exfoliating treatment works particularly well in conjunction with #2. 

2. A cream treatment for hyperpigmentation.

SUNDAY RILEY Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water CreamAvailable at Nordstrom and Sephora, $22-$65 (prices vary by size)

This cream is a great treatment for hyperpigmentation, which is something that can occur especially as hormones fluctuate as we age or become pregnant.

3. A cushion with high SPF.

Dior Capture Totale DreamSkin Perfect Skin Cushion Broad Spectrum SPF 50Available at Nordstrom, $82
Dior Capture Totale DreamSkin Perfect Skin Cushion Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Refill, Available at Sephora, $42

Sunscreen is always important to prevent aging. I really like to use this cushion with SPF 50 before I apply makeup. It smooths my skin, hides pigmentation, and hydrates. Plus, it has SPF 50.

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