Aging is inevitable. The slow but steady progression of time makes itself known in various parts of the body, but nowhere does it show more than in the face, where the skin is thinner and much more delicate and therefore prone to showing more signs of aging.
Skin aging can be divided into 2 categories. It can be intrinsic, which refers to age-related changes that are beyond your control, such as heredity and other genetic factors, hormones, and cellular recession. Extrinsic aging refers to aging brought about by factors you can eliminate with a few lifestyle changes. This post talks about skin aging and how it’s best to be managed.
4 Factors That Cause Premature Skin Aging
- Sun Exposure
The appearance of age spots has less to do with our actual chronological age than it does with consistent unprotected exposure to the sun. Experts have gone so far as to claim that about 70% of skin aging is dependent on how much sunlight we expose our skin to throughout life.
Solar radiation is responsible for the accelerated destruction of collagen fibers in the skin via a process called oxidation. When collagen fibers become rigid and fragile from their initial elastic state, a phenomenon called solar elastosis occurs—also called photo aging.
To combat this, avoid staying out for too long under the sun, and make a habit of applying sunscreen before going out. If you are fond of having a tan, consider using a self-tanner instead of acquiring a tan the natural way by baking under the sun. Use makeup and skincare products that provide an adequate amount of SPF protection— the more you layer, the more protected you’ll be.
A diet that’s high in fat and simple sugars and refined carbohydrates ages you from within: it makes the skin’s connective tissue rigid, therefore losing elasticity. Switching your sweets and fries out for leafy greens and fresh fruits can go a long way towards making you look and feel younger. These foods are rich in antioxidants, so they help fight free radicals that can cause all sorts of chronic disease. Plus, they are also able to mitigate if not reverse excess oxidative damage caused by prolonged sun exposure. Look into adding more foods that contain lycopene, lutein, beta-carotene, and vitamin C to your daily meals.
- Smoking and Drinking
Everyone knows what happens when you overindulge in alcohol and cigarettes—liver disease and lung cancer to name a few. Smoking and drinking also contribute to premature skin aging. Smoking constricts the flow of blood and oxygen to the skin tissue, both of which are necessary for the skin to stay healthy and supple. This activity can also cause the appearance of fine age lines around the eyes and above the upper lip, making you look older than you actually are.
Similarly, drinking alcohol deprives the body of hydration, which is essential to younger-looking skin. In both cases, you can expect dullness and discoloration in addition to poor muscle tone and lack of skin elasticity. This can lead to a saggy neck which can add years to your face. If you smoke, quit while you’re ahead, and try to imbibe less alcohol in general. Combat sagging neck skin with YEOUTH’s Neck Firming Cream, which is infused with argireline and green tea that deliver age-defying results with every use.
Stress can affect your skin in different ways— it can cause you to get less sleep, which results in eye bags and a sallow complexion. The faces you make when you are stressed can also have an effect on facial wrinkling; that is, it makes them more likely to appear.
While it may not always be possible to keep the clock back, a few lifestyle changes can go a long way towards maintaining your youthful glow. Just by eating well, staying hydrated, and protecting your skin from the sun, you can give your skin a chance to recover from the damage. Ridding yourself of a few bad habits can also benefit not just your skin but your overall quality of life. If signs of aging continue to plague you, please see a dermatologist for personalized care.