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8 Sneaky Things That Make You Look Older Than You Are

anti-aging You’ve got your skin-care regimen down pat. You wear SPF like it’s your job. You know how to make yourself glow. But are you prepared for the not-so-pretty side effects of the age of technology—and the impact of our too-busy-to-breathe lives? No worries: It’s easy to defend yourself against these complexion killers, as long as you know exactly who your enemies are and you’re ready to spring into action. Take control right here.

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Smartphone squint
What’s going on
Instagram, Facebook, Gilt—so many apps, such a teeny screen on your phone. Americans spend a good four hours a day glued to their smartphones, per a report by Informate Mobile Intelligence. All that tech time means lots of squinting, notes Tina Alster, MD, a dermatologist in Washington, D.C., which can kick-start crow’s-feet, lines under the eyes and a furrow between your brows.

What to do
When you open an app, relax your facial muscles; soon it’ll be second nature. If little wrinkles have formed, reach for a fast line smoother like Estee Lauder Dimension Expert Liquid Tape ($70; esteelauder.com)—invisible polymers tighten skin. “Eye creams with the wrinkle fighters retinol and vitamins C and E can also rebuild collagen to lessen the look of lines over time,” says Harold Lancer, MD, a dermatologist in Beverly Hills.

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3 Modern trends your skin will love
1. The return of fats
Now that research shows dietary fat isn’t the nemesis we once thought, people are eating more of it—to the great benefit of their skin. “Unsaturated fats are important for trapping water in skin, which keeps it moisturized and looking healthy and young,” says Dr. Alster. A study in the journal Plos One also found that a higher intake of monounsaturated fatty acids from plant sources (think avocado and nuts) was associated with less noticeable aging; the nutrients can help quell inflammation along with oxidative stress, which may contribute to photoaging.

2. Mole-check apps
Mole Monitor, Doctor Mole and SkinVision identify and track spots. You can’t depend on them alone—research suggests they misdiagnose about 30 percent of melanomas as low-risk—so get an annual skin check. But docs say they can be good for pointing out suspicious moles.

3. Multitaskers
A growing number of skin-care products are designed to work on your skin while you do something else, a trend that started in Asia and is known there as shinagara cosme. The items include masks and undereye patches you can wear in the car or as you sleep.

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Tech neck
What’s going on
Skin below your chin can also suffer from smartphone addiction. “People are getting lines on the lower neck from repeatedly looking down at their devices,” says Neal Schultz, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. Adds Patricia Wexler, MD, also a derm in N.Y.C., “Phones can be bad agers—I’m seeing more wrinkles on the neck, and women are complaining about sagging jowls at younger ages.”

What to do
The obvious (but key) prevention tactic is to hold your smartphone at eye level. Reduce the look of neck rings by daily applying a cream that has glycolic or alpha hydroxy acids; find the latter in Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic and Retinol Fortifying Neck Emulsion ($68; qvc.com). If lines are deep, docs recommend the Fraxel laser, which triggers collagen production to help plump skin and soften lines. (Each session costs $1,200 to $1,500; you’ll need three to five.) While nothing topical can help firm up lax jawline skin, derms see good results from an Ultherapy ultrasound treatment (about $2,500).

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