Aging Skin Acceleration: 5 Factors That Put You at Risk!

Whether you like it or not, you’re getting older every day. From the shifts in your body to the changes in your physical appearance, there’s nothing you can do to stop the process of aging skin. However, there are a few things you can do to slow down the process and preserve your youthful glow. But, in order to do this, you’ll first have to understand the different elements that influence how fast your skin ages.

5 Factors that Prompt Aging Skin

Even though everyone’s skin is different, research shows that most skin types are negatively impacted by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors [1]. In turn, these accelerate the aging skin process. To lower your risk of premature wrinkles, dark spots, and dull skin, learn how these five factors make your skin age faster and how to manage them.

Smoking

By now, you’re probably aware of the dangers related to smoking. No matter what smoking device you use — a cigarette, tobacco pipe, or a vaporizer — every inhale you take affects your body.

Aside from the obvious harm it does to your lungs and heart, the toxins in what you smoke also work to damage your skin. Specifically, it can inhibit your collagen production process, leading to a loss of skin elasticity.

An analysis by the Mayo Clinic stated,

“The nicotine in cigarettes causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin. This impairs blood flow to your skin.
Many of the more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke also damage collagen and elastin, which are fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity [2].

Mayo Clinic

On account of this, premature wrinkles, commonly known as “smoker’s lines” and “crow’s feet” may begin to appear. Smoker’s lines are vertical wrinkles that appear around the mouth as a result of repetitively pursing the lips to draw on a cigarette or other smoking device.

Crow’s feet, on the other hand, are wrinkles that emerge on the outer edges of your eyes. These wrinkles occur due to constant squinting in an attempt to keep smoke out of the eyes.

How to Help Skin from Smoking

aging skin
Can’t be good for skin health.

The number one way to avoid these early signs of aging, is to quit smoking altogether.

Although this is easier said than done, putting forth the effort to quit this habit can save your skin and the rest of your body from adverse effects.

To learn about the most effective ways to overcome your addiction, check out this link

Additionally, you should take steps to repair your aging skin. To reduce the appearance of fine lines, and boost collagen production in your skin, consider talking to a dermatologist about a prescribed anti-aging product. For best results, incorporate the product into your nightly skin-care routine.

Squinting

Happy, sad, confused, or angry, squinting is a common facial expression most of us do every day. You may not realize how often you squint, but the more you do, the more likely you are to develop signs of aging skin. Similar to smoking, squinting can enhance the development of crow’s feet since the skin around the eyes is so delicate.

How to Prevent Squinting

skin health
Lessen the amount you squint to preserve your skin’s elasticity.

Perhaps you’re squinting because the sun is too bright, or maybe you’re having trouble reading the words in a book. Depending on the cause of your squinting, how you should deal with the issue may vary. 

If you’re squinting because the sun is too bright, always be sure to pack an extra hat or a pair of sunglasses to block out those UV rays.

If you’re squinting because your vision is impaired, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment for a vision screening with a doctor. They’ll assess if you could benefit from prescription glasses to improve your vision.

Sunbathing

There’s nothing wrong with getting your daily dose of vitamin D; however, excess sun exposure can wreak havoc on your skin. In fact, 90% of visible signs of aging are attributed to the sun, according to health experts [3].

So, while those UV rays may lead to a nice temporary tan, it can also lead to permanent severe skin problems. Beyond the development of premature wrinkles and age spots, common concerns may also include skin cancers or worsening of skin conditions like melasma and rosacea.

How to Improve Sun-Damaged Skin

Although the sun plays a vital role in your health and well-being, precautionary measures are necessary to balance your relationship with it. First and foremost, always, always use sunscreen.

aging skin
Take proper precautions!

Applying sunscreen that contains an SPF of at least 30 is one of the best things you can do for exposed skin. Once you’ve finished putting it on, wait for a minimum of 15 minutes before stepping out into the sun to ensure that your skin has properly absorbed all of the UV filters. 

After you’ve finished putting it on, wait for a minimum of 15 minutes before stepping out into the sun to ensure that your skin has properly absorbed all of the UV filters.

If you’re planning to spend the day outdoors, be sure to carry along sunscreen with you. Certain outdoor activities may involve swimming or sweating, both of which work to remove the protective layer from your skin. In these cases, be sure to apply sunscreen to your skin more often throughout the day.

A Poor Diet

It’s no surprise that fast food isn’t a healthy choice when it comes to your overall well-being. Sure, McDonald’s or Burger King might be the more convenient and cheaper option, but have you ever thought about how these greasy, high-calorie foods can affect your skin? Due to the gut-skin-axis, the poor food choices you eat fuel harmful bacteria that cause inflammation under the skin’s surface.

The skin problems caused by diet don’t stop with fast food. Some of your favorite sugary treats may be the explanation of your blemishes. This is because the refined sugar found in most sweets cause insulin levels to spike [4].

Consequently, this often leads to inflammation throughout the body, which breaks down collagen and elastin in your skin. Along with that, sugar also attaches itself to other proteins in your body, creating a harmful byproduct known as “advanced glycation end product [5].” When this happens, your skin starts to become saggy, washed out, and acne-prone.

How to Fix Skin Health Through Diet

Managing a well-balanced diet isn’t as easy as it seems, but it is attainable with a little perseverance. Besides drinking plenty of water throughout the day, you should also be mindful of the ingredients and chemicals found in certain foods.

mcdonalds
Step away from the Micky D’s!

Eating foods like cashews, blackberries, and avocados can help keep your skin free of bacteria and inflammation since they contain zinc, a nutrient that supports your immune system. Also, it’s crucial to consume more lean proteins, like chicken or fish, as opposed to fatty proteins.

Up your probiotic intake. Consume foods rich in beneficial stomach bacteria that will regulate your skin via the gut-skin-axis. Eat plenty of culture-rich yogurts and drink fermented beverages like kombucha.

Finally, substitute salty foods for vegetables and fruits so that you can attain essential vitamins and minerals. Oranges and carrots, for example, contain vitamins A and C, which can help to improve skin health.

Lack of Sleep

Getting a restful night’s sleep doesn’t only influence your energy levels, but your skin’s health as well. As you sleep, your skin produces new collagen, which can prevent the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin.

By contrast, falling short on your hours of sleep can make your skin more susceptible to twice as many fine lines and drier skin, according to WebMD [6]. Along with this, lack of sleep can dull your complexion and cause puffy eyes and dark circles.

How to Improve Sleep Quality

trouble sleeping
Sleep is necessary for skin health…
and for our sanity!

Controlling your sleep schedule is crucial for your skin’s health. The average number of hours you should sleep per night will be based on personal factors, such as your age or gender. However, for most, it’s recommended that adults get about 7-9 hours of sleep per night [7].

To maintain a healthy sleep schedule, try to disconnect from your electronics for about an hour before you plan to go to bed. Replace your nightly social media scroll with another hobby, like reading or journaling. Furthermore, it’s essential to develop a habit of falling asleep and waking up at the same time every day as best as you can.

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Resources

[1] Addor F. (2018). Beyond photoaging: additional factors involved in the process of skin aging. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology11, 437–443. doi:10.2147/CCID.S177448

[2] “Smoking: Does It Cause Wrinkles?” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 30 Sept. 2017, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/quit-smoking/expert-answers/smoking/faq-20058153.

[3] Flament, F., Bazin, R., Laquieze, S., Rubert, V., Simonpietri, E., & Piot, B. (2013). Effect of the sun on visible clinical signs of aging in Caucasian skin. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology6, 221–232. doi:10.2147/CCID.S44686

[4] Macdonald I. A. (2016). A review of recent evidence relating to sugars, insulin resistance and diabetes. European journal of nutrition55(Suppl 2), 17–23. doi:10.1007/s00394-016-1340-8

[5] Brown, Mary Jane. “What Are Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs)?” Healthline, 22 Oct. 2019, www.healthline.com/nutrition/advanced-glycation-end-products.

[6] Jacob, Stephanie. “The Truth About Beauty Sleep.” WebMD, WebMD, 19 Nov. 2015, www.webmd.com/beauty/features/beauty-sleep#1.

[7] “Sleep Needs.” HelpGuide.org, 21 June 2019, www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/sleep-needs-get-the-sleep-you-need.htm.