While researchers have yet to find the fountain of youth, there are things you can do now in your everyday life to stay youthful–injections, lifts and tucks aside. Ditch these seven bad habits to maintain your youthful, healthy looks longer.
There is not one thing that smoking is good for, especially when it comes to trying to stay youthful and beautiful. (Have you seen those twin study smoker vs. nonsmoker photos? Wow. Nothing gets women to quit smoking like seeing simulated images of how their faces would age if they didn’t quit. Every time you smoke one cigarette you’re breathing in toxins and carcinogens that are damaging your organs, including the largest organ in your body: your skin. Not only that but the repetitive motions you make puckering your lips to smoke forms deep wrinkles around your lips and mouth. Need further evidence to kick your smoking habit for good? If you’re a woman, smoking will cut your life short by 10 years.
Not Wearing SPF
In the fight against wrinkles, not only should you, of course, avoid tanning, but daily moisturizer with SPF is your number one ally. “Sunscreen applied on a daily basis in the form of an SPF-containing moisturizer or as a separate product is the single best way to promote healthy skin and minimize wrinkling,” explains Dermatologic Surgeon Joseph Sobanko. You need to do this not just in the sunny summer months, but all year round. Harmful UV rays are still definitely present in the winter!
While you’re protecting your face and neck, don’t forget your hands. You should apply a hand lotion with SPF every day (year-round) to protect against wrinkles and age spots. Just think of how often your paws are exposed to the elements. You don’t want crypt keeper hands.
Indulging Your Sweet Tooth
A diet rich in sugar is not only bad for your body, but can also affect your skin. Researchers have found that when you eat sugar, it attaches to proteins that actively work to damage other proteins like collagen and elastin. Once attacked, they become brittle and dry, losing the ability to keep your skin tight and full, which results in saggy, wrinkled skin. If the thought of diabetes isn’t enough to kick your midnight sugar cravings, perhaps this is.
Not Wearing Sunglasses
They’re more than just a must-have fashion accessory. You should be wearing sunglasses every day to protect your eyes and eye area from UV damage caused by sun exposure. While shading your eyes from the sunlight will prevent squinting and thereby help minimize the formation of wrinkles around your eyes, sunglasses are also necessary for the health of your eyesight. Repeated unprotected sun exposure can cause skin cancer around the eyes, cataracts (i.e., the darkening of the lens that you look through, causing cloudy, faded vision as you age), and even macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly. And that’s just to name a few. Best bet is to go for a pair with UV protection and wear them all year.
Not to burst your bubble, but you may want to ditch that chewing gum habit. Recently, physicians documented a trend in adults: regularly chewing gum causes wrinkles around the mouth. It makes sense: if your body is repeatedly performing a motion, it’s likely it will start to show wear and tear. In this case, the repetitive up and down of chewing is causing the skin to lose elasticity, and etch wrinkles into your skin.
Fetal, stomach, side or all sprawled out, everyone has their own comfy sleeping position. While your sleeping position may say something about you psychologically, make sure it’s not saying it on your face.
“Sleeping in certain positions can predispose your to sleep lines that can become permanently etched in your skin,” explains Dermatologist Debra Price. “Sleeping on your side increases wrinkles on your chin, cheeks, and chest, and sleeping on your stomach can increase forehead wrinkles.” It puts a whole new spin on beauty sleep, doesn’t it? Price recommends sleeping on your back to minimize wrinkles. If you just can’t, try silk pillowcases, which she says may be helpful because the skin glides over them more easily, producing less wrinkle-causing friction.
It’s not just making you miserable now, stress is also prematurely aging you. Stress ages you by weakening your immune system makes you more susceptible to cardiovascular disease and decreases your general wellbeing. The best thing you can do is to learn your stressors and how to manage them now. Do things to help prevent stress from getting to you, and free yourself to age gracefully.
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