When we’re young, it’s easy to write off anti-aging regimens as irrelevant. Unlike a tan (or burn!) from a 12-hour beach day, the effects of an impeccable skincare routine aren’t always immediately apparent. But another year of sun exposure, spotty cleansing and questionable products comes and goes, and it’s eventually time to get serious about skin care. To put us on the right track, we caught up with Adam Friedman, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director of Dermatologic Research at Montefiore - Albert Einstein College of Medicine, who shared a few surprising facts about aging and the necessary preventive measures everyone should be taking ASAP.
the first signs of aging

Fact No. 1: The sun can be damaging to your skin even when you’re indoors.

According to Dr. Friedman, you should apply sunblock with SPF 30 or higher, plus broad spectrum and water resistant up to 80 minutes, on exposed areas every day of the year because UV rays are there even when the sun is not. He says UVA even penetrates windows — so sunscreen is a must at all times. If this is as much of a wakeup call for you as it was for us, learn how to find the best sunscreen for you and how to apply it.
MDC pick: La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 60 Ultra-Light Sunscreen
 

Fact No. 2: Dry skin can result in inflammation, dark spots and scarring.

Your skin is a protective barrier. To maintain its health, Dr. Friedman advises not to use soaps that damage skin lipids. Moist and healthy skin keeps out bacteria and allergens, which can cause damaging inflammation that results in dark spots and scarring, says Dr. Friedman.
MDC pick: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream
 

Fact No. 3: Products with vitamin A are scientifically backed as preventive.

Of all the anti-aging skincare products on the market, those with vitamin-A based ingredients like retinol are championed as most effective, according to Dr. Friedman, who says these have more scientific-backing as preventive products, because they can increase production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. “These products can reduce fine lines and wrinkles, splotchy pigmentation and rough skin associated with sun exposure.” However, with these products, it’s best to use caution: They can make you more sensitive to the sun or cause initial irritation, and shouldn’t be used during pregnancy, so always read the label and purchase accordingly.
MDC pick: Laura Mercier 'Flawless Skin' Multi-Vitamin Serum
 
Did you know these anti-aging secrets? Tell us which preventive measures you take!
 
 Photos: Thinkstock