Unless you’re born with superhuman genes, you cannot stop aging. You age every single day and no matter how much you spend on expensive anti-aging products to fight it away, you have no choice but to accept the natural process.
While you can’t freeze or turn back time, you have the capability to accelerate aging through poor lifestyle, which is probably the least you’d want to happen. Simple, sloppy habits can make the signs of aging more evident. The bigger problem here is you might be doing some of these wrinkle-causing habits every day and you’re not aware of them.
- Taking sunscreens for granted
We’ve been told never to underestimate the power of sunscreen but it’s often tempting to forget it since most of us spend our days indoors. The truth is even a few minutes of exposure to sun’s harmful rays can lead to collagen breakdown, which causes fine lines and wrinkles. Think about the times when the sun rays hit your face while you’re driving, walking to your office, and going to a store to buy lunch.
So don’t forget to wear your sunscreen every day, rain or shine, to avoid sun damage. Experts recommend using a minimum SPF sunscreen of 15 for maximum sun protection and reapplying proper amount every 2 hours. Moisturizers and cosmetics with SPF can also help.
Well, this subtopic needs no introduction. By now, everyone knows that smoking is bad not only for the well-being but for your looks as well. Aside from ruining your beautiful smile, tobacco smoking releases an enzyme that breaks down collagen and elastin, which keep the skin tight and supple. Once you lose your skin’s vital elements, your skin will begin to sag and wrinkle prematurely.
- Sleeping on your side/stomach
Love sleeping on your stomach or side? Well, you might want to change the habit. Pressing your face into a pillow for long hours may cause sleep-induced wrinkles.
Sleeping on your back is the best solution. But if you can’t ditch the habit, you can buy a wrinkle-reducing pillow, usually covered in a satin pillowcase. Satin is less abrasive than cotton pillows, and will, therefore, prevent the development of wrinkles.
- Stretching skin to apply makeup
Do you have a habit of pulling your eyebrows up to properly apply your eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara? Little did you realize this act can harm your face in the long run. The skin around your eyes is very delicate and aggressive pulling on the skin can morph the shape of your eyes and lead to puffiness, broken blood vessels, and wrinkles.
Donna Kelly, a professional California-based makeup artist believes that you should do your makeup the way everyone else is going to see you – with a calm, relaxed face. Aside from applying makeup, you should also be gentle in taking your makeup off.
- Sleeping with makeup on
Going to bed with makeup on is similar to asking for more wrinkles. The environmental pollutants you accumulate during the day cling onto your makeup. If you don’t wash them off, the dirt will seep into your pores and will break down collagen and elastin, which leaves you with premature wrinkles and fine lines.
So ditch your laziness and remove your makeup using a legit makeup remover, wash your face, and moisturize before going to bed.
- Missing out on sleep
According to Dr. Sieveking, people who suffer from disturbed sleep cycles often have more wrinkles, especially around the eye area. If sallow skin and dark circles developed after a rough night of less sleep can make you look older and unattractive instantly, just imagine what constant sleep deprivation can do to your appearance in the long run.
During sleep, the body has the opportunity to renew itself, which improves the skin’s texture and gives you that healthy glow. You are missing out on this crucial benefit when you lack sleep. Otherwise, if you’re sleep deprived, stress hormones cortisol are released by your body to fill up your energy, and excessive quantities of these hormones can break down collagen, the protein that keeps the skin looking elastic and smooth.
- Going on a crash diet
While going on a crash diet helps you achieve a slimmer body instantly, it can take a toll on your skin health. Crash diets come in various forms like liquid fasting, consuming low-calorie foods, or not eating at all with the expectation of losing extreme weight quickly. The dreadful habit forces you to deprive your body the nutrition it needs, which may lead to the suffering of your skin.
Your skin may look dull and may have the tendency to age prematurely since you’re not receiving essential vitamins and minerals. In addition, crash diets let you lose large amounts of supporting muscles that give you loose and sagging skin. Remember that losing weight the healthy and effective way takes time so go easy on yourself.
- Cranking the thermostat
According to board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Nicholas Sieveking, the temperature extremes can severely dry out skin. Cold temperatures, which often mean low humidity, can dry out the skin and what will make the reaction in the skin even worse is when you shift the temperature instantly from hot to cold.
- Excessive coffee intake
Everything, when taken in excess, can be harmful. So be careful with your daily cup of coffee. According to Dr. Sieveking, coffee elevates cortisol levels which can accelerate the aging process. To explain this further, coffee is highly acidic, and high doses of acidic caffeine mess up with your stress hormones, which regulate your skin’s oil production. Excessive dose can also dehydrate your skin.
- Too much exposure to screens
Let me get this straight. Exposure to screens does not necessarily cause fine lines and wrinkles, but constantly frowning and squinting your eyes for a long period of time do. You tend to squint to focus on what you’re watching or reading, which leads to accelerated fine lines around your eyes, frown lines, and deep wrinkles.
Caught yourself squinting your eyes while reading this article? Relax those facial muscles. When you’re facing the monitor, try to maintain 1 ½ to 2 feet distance from your screen. Keep your neck straight to decrease turkey neck and jowls. Then, adjust the brightness of your screen as well as the font size of the texts to avoid straining your eyes. Resting from the screens every now and then is also a must.
Carmina Natividad is one of the daytime writers for The Australasian College of Health and Wellness, a government accredited educational institution specializing in the discipline of health science. She spends most of her time writing articles focused on aesthetics and overall health and wellness.