11 Bad Habits That Are Aging Your Skin Faster

  1. Not Wearing Sunscreen Everyday: Even on cloudy days, there is a significant amount of harmful UV radiation which can penetrate clouds. Overtime, it will cause skin damage and premature aging. While nobody wants to use a greasy, white sunblock on a daily basis, there are so many excellent light moisturizer formulations with SPF that there really is no excuse to not protect your skin everyday. 
  2. Sleeping on a Rough Textured Pillowcase: To prevent premature aging and reduce the appearance of fine lines and facial creases, you should definitely invest in a silk pillowcases (such as https://slipsilkpillowcase.ca). In the same vein, think twice about using a rough cloth when washing or drying your face. Repeated pulling on your skin with a rough or stiff cloth will cause damage over time. 
  3. Not Wearing a Hat: While a daily SPF is essential, when you’re out and about, especially in the summer, you should wear a hat as much as possible. At the end of the day, a hat will completely block a sun’s rays from damaging your facial skin. SPF, while great and effective when used properly, needs to reapplied consistently throughout the day to be effective.
  4. Drinking Alcohol: Alcohol unfortunately accelerates skin aging to a great degree. It dehydrates your whole body, which includes your skin, as it is your largest organ. Alcohol also triggers an inflammatory response in your body, leading to puffiness, wrinkles, redness, and over time, broken purple capillaries (which by the way, is damage that cannot be reversed). If you want healthy and hydrated skin, giving up alcohol is a good place to start.
  5. Consuming Too Much Sugar: When you consume sugar, and it’s more than your body’s insulin can handle,  it triggers a process called glycation. This is a natural process in which sugar molecules attach to the skin’s collagen and elastin proteins, forming advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), causing the skin to harden and lose elasticity.
  6. Using Straws: This one might not seem like a big deal, but repeatedly using a straw will cause the development of fine lines around the lips (similar to smoker’s lines) because it requires you to repeatedly purse your lips. Drinking straight from a bottle will lead to the same issue. 
  7. Not Managing Chronic Stress: When we are stressed we release high amounts of cortisol, which unfortunately can break down our skin’s elastin and collagen. While a moment of stress here and there will not have much impact on our skin,  unmanaged chronic stress has been shown to shorten telomeres in our DNA. 
  8. Lack of Exercise: Studies have demonstrated that regular exercise can help diminish oxidative stress and lengthen telomeres. Exercise thereby helps keep skin youthful, and has even been shown to reverse the effects of aging. 
  9. Eating an Unbalanced Diet: The quality of your skin has been shown to be a reflection of your general health status. A diet deficient in key nutrients such as calcium, vitamin B12, magnesium, iron, and Vitamin D, to name a few, will take a toll on your skin. 
  10. Inadequate Sleep: If you experience many nights of poor sleep, you may be unwittingly accelerating the aging process. Research has found that even a single night of inadequate sleep can make cells age at a faster rate. Lack of sleep can also have a negative effect on collagen formation and skin hydration, and greatly increase inflammation. 
  11. Smoking: Nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict, which in turn reduce the flow of blood and nutrients to skin cells. Enough said. 

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