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Forget praying for younger-looking skin. These commonsense and yet profound rules are guaranteed to deliver brighter skin and fewer lines.

1. Apply Sunscreen: Rain or shine, liberally applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen that contains both UVA and UVB protection every day is the single most important thing you can do to prevent sun damage and skin cancer.

2. Quit Smoking: In addition to causing cancer and bad breath, smoking cigarettes destroys collagen and elastin and decreases levels of estrogen, which is necessary to keep skin firm. Quit!

3. Use a Retinoid: It’s the best way to slow down the clock with a cream. Retinols have been proven to reduce wrinkles, fade brown spots, and smooth roughness. There are more than 700 published scientific studies on retinoids—they’re tried-and-true ingredients. Anyone who wants younger-looking skin should use one.

4. Stay Hydrated: No, Diet Coke doesn’t count. The more hydrated your skin, the better your wrinkles will look. Drink lots of water, cut back on coffee and soda, and moisturize regularly.

RadianSkinLikeThis5. Sleep Well: The expression “beauty rest” actually has science behind it. Not only does your skin require downtime to repair itself, but sagging skin and puffiness around the eyes make wrinkles look much worse.

6. Maintain A Healthy Weight: Not surprisingly, yo-yo dieting isn’t great for your skin. Skin loses elasticity over time and the more your weight fluctuates, the harder it is to snap back into shape.

7. Eat Right: Your skin receives nutrients not only from creams and treatments, but also from the food you eat. The more balanced your diet, the younger you’ll look. And if you’re not taking a multivitamin, start now. To keep skin healthy, eat more fatty fish (such as salmon), dark green vegetables (like broccoli and spinach), almonds, and walnuts. Drink lots of antioxidant green tea. And lay off the refined sugar and booze—both cause aging inflammatory reactions in the skin.

8. Get Moving: Exercise increases blood flow to the skin and promotes a glowing, healthy-looking complexion. Working out for just 30 minutes four or five days a week can make a huge difference.

9. Meditate: The mind-body connection is a powerful one. Do whatever you need to do to decompress. Stress causes cells to age faster, which absolutely shows on the skin.

10. Don’t Pick: You got the same advice when you were a teenager. Sun damage causes dark spots as you age, but so does picking at your blemishes. And since the skin takes a lot longer to repair itself as you age, the spots won’t disappear right away. To clear up an outbreak, a product that contains benzoyl peroxide to kill acne-causing bacteria, and lipo-hydroxy-acid to help keep pores clear.