8 Factors That Accelerate Skin Aging
Do you know why the skin looks thinner, dryer, wrinkled, and saggy as we grow older?
Aging is inevitable. It is a process that everyone goes through. However, did you know that your genes determine approximately 30% of the aging process? This means that almost 70% is determined by extrinsic factors such as environment and lifestyle.
Age is just a number. Your overall health and the way you look can be much younger than the candles on your birthday cake. Mindfulness and self-care are important for your skin health and youthfulness.
Read on to learn more about the factors that contribute to skin aging and tips on how to cope with them.
Your personal perspective plays a vital role in your aging process. Your mind can either accelerate or decelerate your aging process.
People who are happier and have a more positive outlook in life look younger. Happier people live longer because they experience less health problems. They have a lower risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, aching joints and muscles.
A happier and more pleasant facial expression helps you avoid wrinkled eyebrows and frown marks. Facial muscles are more relaxed when your facial expression is pleasant.
One bad day will not cause a face full of wrinkles but constant sad or angry facial expressions can form fine lines and wrinkles. According to experts, the depth of premature wrinkles results from the facial expression you have more than 50% of the time.
Optimism is a choice. Engage in activities that uplift your mood, such as exercising regularly and surrounding yourself with optimistic people. Having a strong and healthy body will make it easier for you to have a more positive outlook and yield happy thoughts and emotions.
Sufficient sleep is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. During sleep, the body undergoes its natural repair process. It is a time to repair the skin cells that are damaged by the harmful rays of the sun and other environmental stressors such as pollution.
When you sleep, blood circulation in your skin increases supporting cell renewal and healthy collagen production.
Your sleeping position also contributes to skin aging. Sleeping on the side of your face will cause your face to age faster. Sleeping on the same side gives more pressure on the skin. It impedes blood circulation and damages the collagen, which results in wrinkling.
Allow yourself to get a sufficient amount of sleep. Healthy adults should ideally sleep 8-10 hours every day. This is sufficient time for your body to repair damaged cells and tissues.
Sleeping on your back also helps prevent wrinkles on the face and neck. There isn’t pressure on the skin and it will not crease or fold in the pillows. Also, slightly elevating your head while sleeping will help avoid the accumulation of fluids in your lower eye area which leads to dark circles and puffy eyes.
Indulging in a lot of processed food and food containing sugar can trigger glycation.
Glycation is a process where the glucose from carbohydrates and refined sugar in your blood attaches to proteins that form new molecules that damages collagen. Too much glycation may affect the collagen levels in your body, which is essential for skin health.
Aging accelerates when you do not consume enough proteins, vitamins, and minerals. The building blocks of collagen production are the amino acids found in protein-rich food.
Instead of consuming processed food or food with refined sugar, add more whole grains, veggies, and fruits. Eat more antioxidant-rich food such as berries, citrus fruits, red and green peppers, and broccoli. Antioxidants can help reduce the risk of sun damage and environmental damage by fighting free radicals.
Also, consuming more protein-rich food such as lean meat, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts, seeds, legumes, milk cheese, and yogurt are also beneficial to skin health.
Take the time to chew your food well! Chewing enables the optimum extraction of nutrients from the food that you eat.
Use skincare products packed with antioxidants such as Vitamins C & E to protect your skin from free radicals and other forms of environmental stress that harm your skin.
Smoking can cause a number of problems on your skin. Nicotine in cigarettes has a tremendous impact on the blood flow in your skin. It narrows the blood vessels on the outer layers of the skin. Less blood flow means less oxygen and less nutrients in your skin, which results in skin aging.
The vertical lines around the mouth, also known as ‘smoker’s lines’ are caused by constant pursing of the lips when smoking. A smoker also develops crow’s feet, the wrinkles at the outer edges of the eyes, and deeper forehead wrinkles much earlier than a non-smoker.
Smoking also causes the skin to sag even on the other parts of the body such as the upper arms due to the damaged elastin caused by the nicotine in cigarettes.
Nicotine also compromises the immune system, increasing the risk of developing psoriasis, a skin condition that causes itchy, red and scaly patches on the skin. It also makes scars and stretch marks more noticeable.
Avoid smoking! When you stop smoking, the outer layers of your skin will improve tremendously. Blood flow on the skin will become healthy, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to the skin, which will make it appear plumper. Although the wrinkles may not entirely disappear, stains caused by nicotine will slowly lighten.
Alcohol does not have much nutritional value. More so, it can cause cell damage and hormonal disruption that impacts the organs of the body and overall appearance.
Alcohol may also cause the pores on your skin to dilate making it easier for bacteria and other toxins to penetrate the pores. This can lead to breakouts such as blackheads, whiteheads, and cystic acne. Damaged or irritated skin is more prone to scar and premature skin aging.
Every time we drink, alcohol dehydrates the body. This makes the skin dry, flaky, and dull. Dehydration also makes wrinkles and fine lines more noticeable. Due to broken capillaries, the skin may also appear red, and the pores become more visible. It also makes the eyes look puffy.
Healthy adults can have a moderate amount of alcohol. Women can have one drink a day. Men can have one to two drinks a day. Better yet, opt for healthier drinks that are loaded with antioxidants such as fresh fruit juices.
Drink sufficient amounts of water to hydrate your body. Eight to ten glasses of water a day helps you flush out the toxins in your body and give you healthier skin.
Being overweight for a period of time can damage the collagen and elastin in your skin. Damaged elastin causes the skin to be saggy when you lose weight.
Being too thin can also cause aging. It causes the skin to sag because there isn’t enough natural fat to hold the facial structure. Being too thin to the point that you appear emaciated can also make fine lines and wrinkles appear more pronounced.
Increase muscle mass by engaging in regular muscle-building exercises to help tone your body structure. Plan a healthy diet that is rich in whole grains, antioxidants, and protein-rich food to make the body healthy and strong. Eating a well-rounded diet will help the skin look plump, fresh, and young-looking.
Although a certain amount of stress may motivate us to give our best, chronic stress accelerates the aging process.
High levels of stress increase the cortisol levels in the body. It triggers the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, which causes skin breakouts, such as acne. Increased cortisol in the blood also weakens the immune system which may worsen existing skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema. It may also make you more prone to hives and other skin rashes.
Learn to manage your stress by doing deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga. A sufficient amount of sleep is also important to relieve your stress. It gives you time to rest and relax tired muscles and regain your depleted energy. Sleeping is also a time for cell renewal that will dramatically improve your skin health.
Regular exercise can also help you relieve stress build-up and not only tone your body, but help build up stamina.
8. WEATHER CONDITIONS
Prolonged sun exposure, especially between 10 am to 4 pm, can significantly accelerate the aging process. Getting your daily dose of Vitamin D from the sun should not exceed twenty minutes, otherwise, the UV rays of the sun could take a toll on your skin. It will cause sunburn, dryness, dehydration, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.
Prolonged exposure to cold weather can also harm your skin. A low humidity level causes dry air that takes away the moisture in your skin. It can lead to skin irritation, such as cracked or bleeding skin. Dry cold weather could also worsen eczema and psoriasis.
Avoid excessively long hot baths or showers as it will strip your skin of its natural oils. Lukewarm water is best for your skin.
Moisturize your skin twice a day to avoid dehydration, skin irritations and breakouts.
Additionally, use sunscreen every day. Sunscreen is not only for the summer. The UV rays of the sun can also bounce back in the snow. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with high SPF 30 minutes before going outside whether it be summer or winter. Reapply sunscreen every two hours.
Wear protective clothing to further protect yourself from the UV rays.
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