Do you feel like you’re aging rather rapidly? Faster than you thought? Are you looking older than your years? If this is the case, then it’s time to take a hard look at your daily habits.
This may be evaluating what you drink, eat, how you sleep and many other daily factors which contribute to rapid aging. But.. don’t worry!
This article will explain the 10 everyday mistakes that we are all making which are causing us to age fast. We will give you essential tips to turn back the clock! So what’s making you age? Some things may be surprising!
- YOUR NEVER ENDING TO-DO LIST
Does your to-do list just keep getting longer and longer? Or maybe it just never seems to end. At this rate, your to-do list would easily stress out the Dalai Lama. Stress is a major factor when it comes to aging because quite simply you don’t take care of yourself. Stress affects how we eat, drink, sleep and skin care regimes, well, become non-existent.
When you’re stressed, the essential nutrients your skin needs (mainly antioxidants to fight off free radicals) are redirected to vital organs such as your brain, heart and lungs. If your skin doesn’t have the right nutrients your skin’s collagen will deplete and oxidative stress can occur. This is when free radicals damage skin cells.
Stress can also give you premature grey hairs, ever wonder why Obama went grey after a few years of presidency?
Tips: When it comes to looking after skin, you need to work from the inside out.
Write down a list of things which are stressing you and right down solutions. Writing it on paper really helps you visualize your issues instead of one big jumble inside your head.
Make sure you have some sort of skincare regime. All-in-one products are fantastic for someone who is busy. Taking pride in your appearance will make you feel great.
Meditation can really work for some people as the happy hormones counteract the stress hormones making you more balanced and calm.
- YOU’RE SKIMPING ON THE SUN CREAM
Yes, it is the true.. the primary factor for ageing prematurely is sun exposure says Doctor Neil Sadik, a leading dermatologist. He also states that the sun can penetrate the skin even through glass and cloudy skies. We are always plastering on the sun cream when away on holiday but for some reason we forget it in our daily lives.
Photo-aging: As a response to strong ultraviolet light, the epidermis hyperproliferates (cells divide at a high rate) and, as a result, the epidermis gets thicker. When our skin gets thicker it loses elasticity and suppleness. It also gets dryer which makes wrinkles and lines appear deeper. Also, the sun causes brown pigmentations on the skin which gives the skin an uneven skin tone making you look much older than your years.
Tips: The most important and useful thing to do is to use a moisturiser with an SPF in it already! Also, try to stay out of the strong sun usually from 11-3pm. For a sun tan, use tinted moisturizers that give a natural healthy glow and tan, instead of getting a real tan which is essentially just burning your skin.
- YOU’RE SIPPING THROUGH STRAWS
This is quite surprising! But it makes sense. When you sip through a straw or drink from a bottle, you cause your lips to wrinkle. Right now, make the mouth movement you do when sipping from a straw, you feel or see some lines, right? Over time, the wrinkles become permanent. This is also seen around smokers’ mouths.
Tips: So when possible drink straight from the glass rather than make this wrinkle-causing movement with your mouth. Quit smoking for more beautiful, wrinkle-less skin.
- YOUR DISMAL DIET
I spoke earlier about how essential it is to get your antioxidants in your diet. Most of us are just not eating enough fruit and vegetables because junk food is easy and fast. I’m guilty of it and I’m sure you are too. I love to gorge on chips while working or watching a movie but they have been proven to damage DNA and collagen. Another big no-no is margarine. Fats are essential in our diets, for example, omega 3 found in oily fish are fantastic for plump skin. But margarine (a trans-fat) can dehydrate you. A study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that an increased intake of margarine meant a higher risk of wrinkling.
The best foods for the skin are citrus fruits such as lemons and limes, dark leafy green and red fruits and vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes and beets. These reddish orangey super foods stimulate collagen growth.
Tips: cut down on the margarine and opt for olive oil instead which is a good anti-aging food. Make a morning green juice filled with antioxidants for prettier skin. Snack on carrots and hummus rather than chips. Eat 5 anti-aging fruits and veggies a day to keep the wrinkles at bay. And ditch the refined carbs. See our Top 10 Anti-Aging Foods post for more info.
- YOUR SWEET TOOTH
It’s a sad truth. Sugar can really damage our skin making us appear older. The ageless, Halle Berry, 49, calls sugar poison and when it comes to skin, she’s right!
When blood sugar levels are high, a process called “glycation” occurs. This is where the sugar in your blood attaches to proteins creating new harmful molecules. The more sugar you consume, the more harmful molecules are created according to Fredric Brandt, a dermatologist in New York and Miami. These damaging molecules cause collagen to deteriorate.
We need collagen to keep our skin elastic and healthy making our skin on the outside look young and fresh. Damaged, dry and inelastic collagen causes the skin to wrinkle and sag. This sort of aging process usually starts around 35-years-old and accelerates after that according to the British Journal of Dermatology.
Tips: Try opting for less sugary and more natural options like fruit and low sugar options such as low sugar yoghurts and deserts. Make your own juices instead of buying them from the store (as they are jam-packed with sugar) and cut out fizzy drinks altogether. Teach these tricks to your children as sugar is highly addictive and will make them age prematurely too. I’m afraid with aging, you can’t have your cake AND eat it!
- YOU’RE NOT GETTING OFF YOUR BACKSIDE
Our sedentary lifestyles are making us age. We should be doing LIGHT resistance training (rather than loads of cardio) for just 15-30 minutes a day to avoid or reverse wrinkling in problem areas such as the stomach and arms. Exercise also releases endorphins which will counteract stress- working wonders on our skin. People who exercise get the best sleep too.
Also, slouching over our desks is giving us poor posture which makes us look older and more tired.
Tips: Get up and do some exercise! Start with 15 minutes- with light weights, sits up and squats. If you are a little older start with 5 minutes. You will love the results. Make sure your desk chair isn’t making you slouch. Yoga and pilates are excellent for resistance training, posture and are very pleasurable.
- YOU’RE NOT HITTING THE HAY FOR LONG ENOUGH
Most of us are not getting enough sleep. When it’s so important for the skin because when we sleep the body can restore and repair itself. If we’re sleep deprived, the body releases a hormone called cortisol. A lot of cortisol can break down collagen structures in the skin. Lack of sleep can also mean that the body releases less of the human grown hormone. For aging, it helps with keeping skin firm. Sleeping too little also causes dark circles which really age us and fine lines. So don’t underestimate hitting the sack.
Tips: Aim to get 7 hrs of sleep a night. Make your room as dark as possible, any light can make us alert. Nap for a maximum of 30 minutes a day.
- YOUR FACE-WRINKLING SLEEPING POSITION
Odd but true. If you’re sleeping enough, great! But how are you sleeping? If you sleep on your side, you are pushing the side of your face onto the pillow which causes crease marks on your face. Over time, this could cause lines and wrinkles.
Tips: In order to get young and wrinkle-free skin try sleeping on your back to avoid getting crease marks. Also, perhaps invest in a silk pillow cover as these don’t cause creases.
- YOUR SKIN-OIL- STRIPPING SOAP
You may be in love with your sweet smelling soap that makes your smell like a delicious strawberry BUT it could be aging you. Our skin has something called an “acid mantle” which is a natural protective layer over thr skin. This is made of natural oils that keep our skin hydrated and keep the skin’s natural pH. When we use soap all the time, we strip our skin of these natural oils.
Soaps are usually alkaline-based which not only remove the natural skin oils but dry out the skin as it disrupts the balance of PH. Dry skin causes wrinkles to be more accentuated and can make skin red and blotchy.
Tips: Try switching the soap you use for your face and neck for a toning cleanser. Toners help the skin return to its natural pH and a cleanser wipes off all the daily grime. Plus, a toning cleanser that is bursting with antioxidants is even better. Also, moisturize to keep your skin hydrated.
- YOUR DEEP LOVE FOR DEHYDRATING DRINKS
Lastly, caffeine. I was quite addicted to my several daily cups of “go juice” to keeping me going at work and looking after children. Until I did some research which shocked me. Caffeinated drinks such as our lovely coffee and fizzy drinks are diuretics. So these drinks don’t allow your body to retain water which dehydrates you. This is also the case with alcohol.
When your skin is dry, deeper lines start to appear, skin becomes flaky and irritable and your body cannot flush out toxins. As we get older, we get even dryer skin as the body produces less natural oils.
Tips: Males should drink 2.5 litres of water a day and females should drink 2 litres. However, if you love your coffee, fizzy drinks or cocktail, you should drink glasses of water in between each drink to stay hydrated. But really, you should cut down on these drinks. I know it’s a hard habit to shake but try exercising for energy or an antioxidant-rich green tea for caffeine.
So there you have it! Now you know lots of daily habits you can now correct. If you use these tips, I guarantee more healthy, younger-looking skin!