Top 10 Ways You’re Aging Your Skin (Prematurely) (and how to avoid it):
Nobody wants their skin to look older, especially before it’s time. And if you’re like me, you’ll do just about anything to preserve your youthful glow for as long as possible. Unfortunately, most of us engage in habits every day that can contribute, and even quicken, the aging process. Here are the top 10 ways you’re aging your skin, possibly prematurely, and how to avoid doing it.
Look, I live in LA. I was a lifeguard for seven years growing up. I went tanning. A lot. Before that, I would often look at family vacation videos and think, “Who is that really tan child?” before realizing it was me. But the sun worship has to stop sometime.
So stay out of the sun as much as possible. Wear sunscreen, at least SPF 15, higher if you can. And for god’s sake, do not go tanning. I don’t even understand why these things exist anymore. If you need color, get a spray tan or apply self tanner. Just as effective, and you won’t wrinkle at 25.
Not Drinking Enough Water
If you dehydrate your insides, you can bet that your outsides will suffer as well. The old adage of eight glasses of water per day exists for a reason, and you can bet your skin will thank you for it. Plus, you might even feel better. Dehydration can cause all kinds of problems, including poor digestion, moodiness, and exhaustion. Chug some water. You’ll thank me.
Sleeping in Your Makeup
When I look back on my teens and college years, I cannot believe that I did this. I can barely stand to wear makeup for an entire day now, let alone sleep in it. When you sleep in your makeup, it increases your exposure to free radicals, which leads to collagen breakdown, which ages your skin faster. Plus, sleeping in makeup just feels gross. You can get eye infections. All kinds of yucky stuff. So just don’t.
Not Getting Enough Sleep
We have all been guilty of this at some point in our lives. I’m an insomniac, and I can definitely tell when my bouts of this glorious disorder are happening. I look at least five years older than I usually do.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your skin doesn’t repair itself. It messes up your pH levels and causes dehydration (see above). You get dark, puffy circles under your eyes that no amount of coffee can banish.
Now, I believe the term “enough” is relative. Enough sleep is different for every person. I need around nine hours; my husband needs five. But whatever your body needs, listen to it. Your skin will thank you.
You guys, we all know smoking is bad for you in about a million ways. We know. But I still get it. As a former smoker, I understand why people smoke. But it will age you faster. There is no doubt about it. Smoking causes wrinkles; dull, sallow skin; and again, dehydration.
I’d love to say I don’t smoke anymore for my health, but to be honest, I think it’s more out of vanity. I don’t want to age any faster than I have to. So if you smoke, stop, or your skin will pay the price.
I have friends who swear by not exercising, and I don’t understand this. I’ve always needed it, if not to regulate my weight and combat the many, many marshmallows I consume, then to regulate my moods. I suffer from depression and insomnia, and damn, can I feel it when I don’t exercise.
Since exercise literally gets your blood pumping faster, so it improves circulation, giving your skin a more youthful appearance. I believe that a good sweat session can help clear impurities from pores, but I don’t think that’s been scientifically proven. Again, your body will thank you.
Being Overly Rough While Cleansing
This is a tough one, especially in the advent of the Clarisonic brush and the many exfoliating sponge-like things I see floating around. I bought a facial brush convinced that it would clear out my pores, only to have my aesthetician tell me a year or so later that those brushes can cause tiny tears in your dermis, damaging your skin more than helping it.
Roughly cleansing your skin can cause irritation, which can cause premature aging. It’s enough to simply cleanse gently to remove pollution, makeup, and dirt. You don’t have to take a layer off while doing it.
Making Repetitive Facial Expressions
I mean, look, you can’t stop your face from expressing. It’s life. It’s what makes us human. Short of getting Botox to freeze your face, it’s difficult to train your eyebrows to stop jumping up at a moment’s notice when something is funny or surprising (trust me, I’ve tried). If Botox is your cup of tea, that’s one way to go. I have a thing with needles, so I haven’t tried this avenue.
But there are things you can do, like wearing sunglasses when it’s bright so you aren’t squinting all the time, or being cognizant of frowning while working and avoiding the dreaded “11s”. I am guilty of that and have to constantly think about relaxing my face while I work.
Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Again, I get this one. I like my wine. But we’re living in a time where I see increasing articles about women over-indulging in alcohol. Going home and having a glass of wine after work sounds like a great idea. Why not make it two or three? Next thing you know, you’re half a bottle in. It’s easy.
But alcohol is dehydrating. It’s rough on the skin. It doesn’t do your pores any favors, and if consumed really excessively can cause broken capillaries on the face. So maybe just pay attention. “Excessive alcohol” is generally classified as more than one drink a day on average for women, two for men. Plus, if you overindulge in alcohol, you tend to make poorer food choices. And no amount of Khloe Kardashian’s skincare routine can repair that.
Which brings me to my next point: healthy eating. I like my junk food as much as the next person, but it’s important to consume the fruits and vegetables that will give your body the nutrients it needs to function at its best. And you can take a multi-vitamin, but experts agree it’s better to get these nutrients from food.
Once again, it’s an inside out thing. We’ve all had those friends who can eat boatloads of sugar and dairy and carbs and stay thin and have skin that would make Sleeping Beauty jealous. Good for those people. I’m not one of them.
Bottom line here is good skin, for most of us, takes some work. Take care of your insides and your outsides will show it. Protect your skin and care for it. 🙂
Got a top 10 you want me to do? Leave me comment or message me here!