As we age, there are things we can control and some things we can’t. Genes, hormones, gravity: nope. Pollution, sun, stress, diet, dehydration: yes. These factors contribute to the degradation of collagen and elasticity as we age. Inner layers of skin grow thinner and outer layers grow thicker resulting in a dull appearance. Where youthful skin produces plenty of Hyaluronic Acid to keep itself hydrated and promote a plump appearance, that rate of production slows as we age and a gradual drying-out of the skin contributes to the visibility of fine lines and loss of volume.
When skin is healthy, resilient, hydrated, and nourished, it’s happy. Below are 10 things you can stop doing now that will help delay your skins visible aging process.
- Intentionally sunbathing and tanning. Its no secret that sun exposure is directly responsible for the majority of the signs of aging, especially wrinkles and discoloration – this process is called photo aging. Any time your skin looks more tan (and definitely any time its burned) means that damage has been done. Wear SPF, or a hat – it will make a huge visible difference!
- Smoking cigarettes. Cigarette smoke is packed with toxins and free radicals; plus, it decreases blood flow to the skin, which causes a lack of fresh oxygen and nutrients to the surface, causing a dull, malnourished look. People who smoke see wrinkles that come early and are much deeper than average.
- Drinking alcohol excessively. Are you one of those people whose skin can grow red and splotchy even after just a few sips of alcohol? Alcohol dilates the blood vessels in our skin, causing that red look, which can become permanent with excessive drinking over time, as those vessels break.
- Worrying. Fretting constantly and focusing on negative thoughts keeps your body in a lasting fight-or-flight response, which can degrade your immune system as the body is focused on responding to danger. Also, worrying can affect your ability to sleep properly (as well see later, sleep is essential for healthy skin).
- Stressing out. Stress is, of course, similar to worry in its effects on our brain and body, but its potentially more-long term and physically entrenched; when stress becomes chronic, it can lead to DNA damage linked to aging but also to immune system damage and disease.
- Drinking lots of coffee (3+ cups a day). Coffee is dehydrating to the skin. It contains tannins, which are known for their ability to suck out hydration from substances (which is one of the reasons theyre used to treat leather), and, as a diuretic, coffee causes the body to flush out liquids quickly, which can further dehydrate the skin. As you combat aging, a lack of moisture is the last thing you want.
- Skimping on your veggies. A colorful, vitamin and therefore antioxidant-rich diet helps combat the signs of aging by nourishing the skin from within with the elements it needs to renew and regenerate itself. Yes, these renewal processes slow naturally over time, but a nutrient-rich diet will help keep them as robust as possible for as long as possible.
- Skimping on sleep. It’s important to take sleep seriously for the skin’s sake; when we’re asleep, our body, including the skin, goes into healing and renewal mode. Plus, when we begin to slack on sleep, it’s visible first in our skin: skin loses its natural luster, fine lines are more pronounced, and the area under the eye shows fatigue.
- Slacking on exercise. When your heart rate is kicked up and blood is pumping, oxygen and nutrients flow to the surface of the skin, which is like an instant revitalization kick-start.
- Waiting until you notice wrinkles to start using a serum. Don’t wait until you’re actually starting to worry about wrinkles to start using a daily serum; start as early as possible. Preventative skin care is truly the most effective approach; by investing in your skins collagen structure, deep moisture and resilience with a serum that addresses aging on all fronts, youll be able to keep your skin looking younger for longer.
Author: Tata Harper
I want to create beauty products that meet the standards of the modern woman: luxurious, effective, and nontoxic.