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Break bad skin habits to prevent wrinkles

Wednesday, March 07, 2012, 12:01pm
(NECN/KNBC: Stephanie Elam) - Moisturizing and protecting the face from the sun can help keep skin looking youthful, but there are some common, everyday habits that may be putting a wrinkle in the efforts.

Dermatologist Dr. Janet Wu says that chewing gum may be one of the worst habits of all.

"Over time, your jaw muscles build up, they get bulky, and that contributes to a jowled look. Not only that, but over time, chewing gum can also contribute to wrinkles above your upper lip," Dr. Wu said.

Instead, she suggests, pop a mint. If sacrificing gum is too much, she suggests chewing just a half-stick for a few minutes at a time.

Many people know to stay hydrated, but it is important to avoid straws.

"Every time you suck from a straw, and you pucker, and over time that squeezing increasingly leads to wrinkles," Dr. Wu said.

When going to sleep, Dr. Wu suggests to lay off of the face, and lay on your back.

"So if you sleep on your face and you smush your face for seven, eight, nine hours at night, it's creating a crease in the skin," Dr. Wu said.

If it's hard to sleep on your back, Dr. Wu suggests using a silk or satin pillow case, because the softer materials help to reduce friction on the skin.

It is also important to frequently clean bed linens, since bacteria can easily build up on sheets over time.

Dr. Wu urges people to wash the face before bedtime, cleaning off the day's pollution, bacteria, dirt and oil. If it's too much to full-out wash the face right before bed, Dr. Wu suggests using a mild cleansing wipe.
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