It can be quite shocking to look in the mirror and see wrinkles or fine lines that seemingly appeared overnight. This happens because the skin doesn’t age in a linear way, for example, from one birthday to the next. The skin ages depending on genetics, diet, overall health, and extrinsic factors, including sun exposure and smoking. You can, however, keep your complexion bright and beautiful by making a few lifestyle adjustments.
What Is Premature Aging?
For the average person, wrinkles and fine lines arrive during the late 20s and early 30s. It’s possible for signs of aging to occur earlier, also known as premature aging. By definition, premature aging is when a person’s biological age is older than their chronological age. Sun spots, dry or itchy skin, sagging skin, wrinkles, or fine lines are all indications of aging. These symptoms are the result of shortened telomeres, which cap DNA strands and prevent damage. As telomeres shorten, they can leave DNA exposed to damage, which his when signs of aging occur.
Many lifestyle factors are often to blame for the sped up rate at which telomeres shorten. Avoiding several bad habits, which are commonplace in many people’s lives, can help slow the aging process. If you want to keep the skin glowing and youthful, try to avoid the following habits as best you can.
Drinking Out Of A Straw
This is a common habit that can contribute to fine line development around the mouth. People who regularly drink beverages out of straws activate muscles around the lips. The more that you activate those muscles, the more likely you are to crease the skin. Smokers tend to get fine lines or wrinkles around the mouth for this same reason, according to Mayo Clinic. You don’t have to avoid straws altogether, but try to drink without them when you can to avoid fine line development.
Taking Certain Medications
Certain oral medications or prescribed topical ointments/creams can affect the skin’s appearance. Corticosteroids, for example, can decrease collagen and elastin in the skin, which causes the skin to thin. In turn, blood vessels can rupture more easily and lead to broken capillaries. Certain antibiotics and diuretics can cause photosensitivity, making skin more prone to sun damage, premature wrinkles, and pigmentation changes. Stopping these medications may not be an option for some people, so be mindful of sun exposure, taking precautions when necessary.
After a restless night of no sleep, it’s common to see dark circles under the eyes. Regular sleep deprivation can enhance the appearance of dark circles and other signs of aging like fine lines. According to research studies, insufficient sleep can make the body’s cells age more quickly. Not only does sleep deprivation cause premature aging, but it also decreases the skin’s ability to fo fight ultraviolet (UV) rays. The skin enters a renewal state during sleep, so make sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night for optimal skin health.
The cycle of regular weight loss and weight gain can be very harmful to the skin. Besides the appearance of stretch marks or cellulite, weight fluctuation stretches and contracts the skin. This takes a toll on the skin’s elasticity and can make it sag more than it should. Saggy skin only makes you look older, so it’s best to keep your weight in check. This can be difficult, but regular exercise and healthy eating can help improve elasticity and keep the skin looking young.
Using Drying Soap
Some people aren’t aware of the fact that their soaps contribute to older-looking skin. Some cheap bar or liquid soaps contain harsh detergents that strip the skin of its natural oils, causing dryness. Although dry skin doesn’t cause wrinkles, it does make wrinkles more noticeable. Additionally, dry skin cannot protect itself from irritants, bacteria, and viruses because the barrier isn’t as strong in a dehydrated state. Soap your skin responsibly with gentle soaps that contain moisturizing ingredients, especially if you use them on your face.
Eating Certain Foods
Consuming foods that contain a lot to processed ingredients and refined sugars can make your skin appear older. Glycation is the reaction between sugars and skin proteins (collagen and elastin) to form advanced glycation end products (AGEs). When a person consumes too many processed or refined sugars, it’s possible to experience AGE accumulation. This can impair skin elasticity and increase the risk of UV damage. Unfortunately, the effects of AGEs are irreversible because no enzymes can remove them from the body. It’s best to avoid processed sugars and ingredients for this reason.