Drawing the line at wrinkles

Keep your skin young and beautiful with these simple tips.

We all start to get wrinkles as we get older, but some people seem to maintain remarkable smooth skins for their age.

Recently Kylie Minogue claimed that Ponds Cream was the only defence she uses against the visible signs of ageing and there are plenty of far more exotic and expensive lotions and potions available on the market.

Here, though, we suggest four ways to keep wrinkles at bay that don't involve creams: they aren't miracle solutions, but they will help:

Take care of your eyes
One of the first places wrinkles are noticed is around the eyes, where the skin is thin and delicate. Squinting against the sun or screwing up your eyes to read the small print is just going to make the laughter lines appear sooner. So, if you need glasses, go to the optician and get a pair that you are happy with, or get contact lenses, and avoid those repeated muscle contractions that take their toll on your skin. Sunglasses are important, too: a good pair won't just help fight the crows' feet, they'll also protect your eyes against UV radiation.

Say no to cigarettes
Smoking doesn't just damage the heart and lungs, the toxins in tobacco smoke are also harmful to your skin. A smoky atmosphere dries the skin, and smoking reduces the flow of blood to the skin, depriving it of oxygen and other essential nutrients and causing dehydration. There are also the little gesture that go with smoking: puckering your lips to take a drag on a cigarette and half closing your eyes against the smoke may have looked sexy the first time you did it, but over the years there's no doubt it will cause those little wrinkles around mouth and eyes that are particularly noticeable among smokers.

Sleep on your back
It's logical when you think about it: if you sleep on your side, you often wake up with the marks from the pillow on your face. They may seem to wear off quickly once you're up and about, but over the years it's bound to have an effect.

Avoid rapid weight changes
It may be tempting to go on a rapid weight-loss diet, but it doesn't give your skin time to adjust. And weight lost quickly often goes straight back on, in that awful yo-yo cycle, forcing your skin to stretch again quickly. As we get older, our skin loses its elasticity and it gets harder and harder to get back its tone and vitality after each change. So if you're dieting, do it gradually and give your skin time to get used to your new bodyshape.