When it comes to aging, there is one aspect that many people fear most: wrinkles. In an attempt to avoid those pesky little lines, we can put on all the skin creams we want, but we also have to avoid everyday habits that can cause wrinkles. Skin care is obviously important, but there are a number of other factors, including our daily choices, that can influence the aging of our skin.
"When we are caught up in the day-to-day, we often neglect our skin," says board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Nicholas Sieveking over email. " Simple things such as not drinking enough water, forgetting to use a moisturizer with SPF, forgetting sunglasses, using the wrong skin products for skin type, eating fast food, or skipping meals are all things that negatively impact skin. The skin is an indicator for anything that is a bit off within the body."
With age, the skin wrinkles because collagen and elastin breakdown, weakening your skin's support structure. Luckily, you can combat these losses by practicing healthy habits that can keep your skin looking its best. If you want to keep your skin smooth and taut and protect it from aging, try avoiding these 11 habits that can cause wrinkles.
1. Sleeping On Your Face
"Pressing your face on a pillow for hours will lead to wrinkles," says Sieveking. "Try sleeping face up or try using a wrinkle reducing pillow. Favoring one side when sleeping will cause wrinkles on that side."
2. Chewing Gum
The repetitive motion of gum chewing can cause lines and folds around the mouth from using the muscle frequently. This breaks down the skin's elasticity, according dermatologist Dr. Joel Schlessinger in an NBC article.
3. Eating Junk Food
"Meals that are filled with inflammatory foods — white bread, red meat, sugary drinks or deserts, or processed foods — can accelerate skin and body aging," says dermatologist Dr. Debbie Palmer over email. "I recommend to patients to eat a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods (including colorful fruits and vegetables) and to drink plenty of water."
A study done on twins from the Twin Research Unit in London found that siblings who smoked sibling who smoked had 40 percent thinner skin than their non-smoking twin. "Smoking releases an enzyme that breaks down collagen and elastin," says Sieveking. "Cigarette smoke causes blood vessels to constrict, especially in the skin, resulting in lack of oxygen and nutrients, which accelerates skin aging."
5. Forgetting Your Sunglasses
"Squinting makes the fine skin around and between your eyes crinkle," says dermatologist Tsippora Shainhouse MD, FAAD over email. "If you do it all the time, it will break down collagen until it actually forms permanent creases. Wear dark, UV protective sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to keep the sun out of your eyes and prevent you from squinting."
6. Staring At The Computer Or Cell Phone
"Spending hours focused on your smart phone screen while catching up on your Facebook, Instagram and email inbox makes you squint to focus, which encourages fine lines around and between your eyes," says Shainhouse. "there is a thought that the light from some of the older computer monitors, and even blue light from some of the newer ones can damage DNA and collagen in skin.
7. Drinking A Lot
"While moderate alcohol consumption does have health benefits, frequent happy hours and binge drinking (more than 5 drinks weekly) will speed up the aging process," says Sieveking. "Premature wrinkles and additional wrinkles and sagging are a sure sign that one should cut back on alcohol intake. There are no nutrients in alcohol and recent studies show it can have a negative affect vitamin A, which is an important antioxidant responsible for cellular regeneration."
8. Not Sleeping Well
"People who suffer from insomnia or disturbed, erratic sleep cycles often have more wrinkles especially around the eye area," says Sieveking. A study by Estee Lauder and UH Case Medical Center found that women who slept less than five hours a night had twice as many wrinkles and spots than women who slept for seven hours or more.
9. Drinking Too Much Coffee
If you're a fan of your daily cup of joe, make sure you aren't drinking too many cups, and be sure to stay hydrated. "Coffee elevates cortisol levels which can accelerate the aging process," says Sieveking. "It also serves as a diuretic which releases water, drying out the skin."
10. Not Wearing Your SPF
It's the most obvious offender, but it can't hurt to be reminded that spending time in the sun without wearing proper sunscreen is a surefire way to get sun damage and wrinkles. "Men and women must use a daily moisturizer with SPF," says Sieveking. "Skipping this will lead to wrinkles. So many people exercise outside and skip moisturizer presuming they will sweat it off. Apply it before you head out allow it to seep into skin."
11. Cranking The Thermostat
Be careful not to set the thermostat too high or too low. "Temperature extremes can severely dry out skin," says Sieveking. "Going from and instant shift from hot to cold or cold to
hot causes a reaction in the skin.
The healthier your habits are, the more likely you are to protect yourself from getting wrinkles.
Images: Pixabay (12); Isla Murray/Bustle
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