Does your skin seem to be aging faster than your actual years? Do you not love what you are seeing in the mirror? Well, it may be time to reassess some of those daily routines because like it or not, how you look and feel as the years progress often depends critically on the choices you make and the habits you acquire throughout the years. When it comes to aging skin care, consistent bad habits will not only threaten the youthful complexion you desire, but will also cause premature skin aging that will add decades to your face. Ditch that unhealthy routine early on and ultimately stop future epidermis woes by simply making some changes to everyday behavior. Here are five common culprits that speed up the aging process of your skin to take note of.
1. Holding Grudges & Carrying Stress
Life is way too precious and too short to hold onto old grudges. Sometimes, forgiving, forgetting, and just letting go can add years to your life as well as make it a lot more productive. What’s more is that you’ll likely notice fewer wrinkles from less frowning, especially around the eyes and on the forehead, as well as more vibrant looking skin from lower blood pressure, less depression, less stress, less anxiety, and overall better physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being.
All that said, nothing can and will make you feel or act older than allowing stress to take the driver’s seat. So, believe it: Stress doesn’t just make you anxious, it also works against aging skin care. Keep your mind young, your skin vibrant, and avoid cognitive impairment by simply letting go. Not only will you avoid acne and oily skin, but disruptions in sebum production, microcirculation, and hydration levels that can all lead to a duller, more aged complexion. Stress also leads to free radical damage, which is another top cause of aging.
2. Skipping Sunscreen & Heavy Toxin Exposure
Aging skin is a natural process and aging skin care demands you be aware of these natural processes and triggers. Daily sun exposure can actually contribute hugely to premature aging by slowing down the turnover of new healthy skin cells and old damaged cells. It is important to remember that UV exposure is the number one named cause of skin aging, as 90% of all visible age signs and 80% of skin-aging free radical damage are caused by everyday time underneath sunlight doing activities like gardening, dog walking, or even driving. Even for those who wear makeup containing SPF, full coverage is not available because layers upon layers upon layer of cosmetics – much more than an average person would wear – would be needed to reach the levels needed for ample protection.
Another cause for concern would be everyday toxins in the air. Though you cannot control pollution in the same way you can control something like fitness and diet, toxin exposure plays a huge role in affecting aging skin care by slowing down cellular growth which allows skin to age more rapidly. Toxins decrease oxygen and collagen in the skin, leading to duller, more blotchy appearances, uneven tone, and constant breakouts. The key to minimizing the risks is protection. So, do not skip on that sunscreen, as SPF protects not just from the rays of the sun, but free radicals that cause aging as well. Remember also to cleanse skin thoroughly every night, to exfoliate twice a week, and to use products filled with antioxidants to help moisturize and stay protected.
3. Lack of Sleep & Incorrect Sleep Positioning
In the short run, insufficient shut-eye causes dark circles under the eyes and a lackluster complexion. But did you know that not getting enough sleep also ages skin prematurely, leading to prolonged dullness and dryness by not allowing cells to receive the full repair and rejuvenation they would otherwise be getting during the normal hours of the night? Sleep deprivation also decreases vital collagen production and raises levels of the hormone cortisol, which increases oil production in the skin and can lead to bouts of acne. In the long run, skimping on Zzzzs can actually be more consequential than most would think — so hit the hay and your skin will be pleased.
Remember also that when it comes to sleeping, positioning in everything. Sleeping on the side or on the stomach increases wrinkles on the sides of the face, brows, and cheeks. For the best aging skin care, how and when you sleep is everything.
4. Smoking & Alcohol
Besides the obvious dangers of smoking and drinking such as heart, lung, and liver disease, there is also the fact that the two inhibit proper blood flow and age skin dramatically. Wrinkles around the mouth area become more visible, skin tone and vibrancy are affected, and skin elasticity breaks down more quickly than ever for those who choose to light up. Wine, beer, and liquor, in addition, severely dehydrate the skin, leaving it quenched for moisture. Without that moisture, skin is more prone to wrinkles and dryness.
Next to UV exposure, smoking and drinking are the worst habits for your skin, not only choking skin’s tissues by depleting them of much needed oxygen (which causes improper functioning that allows skin to become sallow and lined) but also damaging capillaries carrying away damaging free radicals (which leads further to a toxic skin environment and more accelerated aging).
5. Poor Diet Habits
You are what you eat. Everything you put in your body has a direct impact on the skin, and though the connections between diet and overall health are fairly obvious, poor diet actually has a much bigger impact on your skin than anyone would probably realize. Bad habits can cause dullness, puffiness, redness, congestion, acne, faster aging of the skin, and a myriad of other health disorders. High sugar intake, in addition, degrades collagen and elastin, which are the proteins that keep skin soft and supple. Lack of nourishment from vitamins and minerals, especially those found in fruits and vegetables, also shows up on the skin, as the nutrients found in the two feed the skin to keep it youthful, hydrated, and glowing. Make sure your diet also includes fish with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, as well as plenty of fiber from whole grains.
Dr. William J. Binder is experienced, acclaimed, and considered one of the world’s leading facial plastic surgeons. Contact his office today to find out more about ways to prevent aging and to schedule a consultation.