1. Buy frozen fruit and veggies. Until spring and summer really arrive, the produce in supermarkets has likely been picked before it's ripe, then has to travel a long distance to the shop. "So by the time these foods reach your grocery cart, their antioxidant levels have typically gone way down," says dermatologist David McDaniel, M.D., a top researcher on antioxidants. "Frozen fruits and veggies, however, are picked when they're riper, so they're richer in the antioxidants that may help keep skin young." Unless you can find locally grown produce, reap the frozen benefits.
2. Take up biking. Just an hour a week may help prevent, even reverse, skin aging. After we turn the big 4-0, our skin's outer layer thickens (making it drier and rougher) while the inner layer gets thinner, so skin is more prone to wrinkles and sagging. Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario asked a group of volunteers—all of them over 65 and total couch potatoes—to bike at a moderately strenuous pace for 30 minutes twice a week. After a mere three months, their skin looked more like those of people half their age, with a thicker inner layer and a smoother outer layer. How's that for workout motivation?
3. Toss the gritty face scrub. "The ones made with apricot kernels, walnut shells, or crystals can cause microscopic tears in your skin," says Alster. "This sets off inflammation below the surface, which releases enzymes that attack collagen and elastin." In other words, it can make skin age faster. But you still need to exfoliate once a week to clear off dead skin, so try a gentler scrub.
4. Grab a cup of coffee. Another perk (sorry, couldn't resist) of the caffeinated stuff: It may help ward off sun spots. In a recent Japanese study on women ages 30 to 60 who got moderate sun exposure, those who drank two cups or more of fresh coffee a day had far fewer age spots than the women who skipped it. Researchers credit coffee's potent blend of antioxidant polyphenols. "They're proven to help protect skin and repair UV-induced damage," says McDaniel, who adds, "Drinks made from freshly ground beans, like espresso, have the highest dose of antioxidants."