Premature Aging

How Bad Habits Lead To Premature Aging 9 ways to look and feel older

Aging is a natural process. You have no power over time and you cannot stop the signs of aging from showing. Unfortunately, the power to destroy your youthful glow and age faster often lies in your hands.

Premature aging is often caused by your bad choices and habits. Even the simplest bad practice like forgetting to wash your face or skipping a few nights of good sleep harm your looks, both short term, and long term. Yes, there are beauty products and medical treatments that guarantee you a fountain of youth but nothing beats lifestyle changes to defy age.

Before making a few lifestyle changes, let us first acknowledge the worst habits most of us are guilty of.

1. Stressing Yourself Out

Bad Habbits Premature Aging

Chronic stress can be a contributor of premature aging. It causes increased secretion of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which can disrupt your body’s processes when it gets out of hand.

When you’re stressed out, the heavy burden also shows on the outside. It reflects on your face through wrinkles and fine lines develop from constant grumpy facial expressions.

Solution: Keep calm and reduce stress, before it totally devours you. Instead of doing  unhealthy activities like drinking, smoking, and binge eating to reduce stress, try calming activities like yoga, proper breathing techniques, meditation, and massage.

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2. Thinking that Smoking is Cool

Thinking that smoking is cool

This is one of the easiest and quickest ways to transform from 24 to 42. Smoking can make your skin get loose and sagging not only in the face but also in your arms and breast. The chemicals present in cigarettes trigger the destruction of elastin and collagen, which allow tissues to snap back from their shape after being stretched. Smoking also deprives your skin of oxygen and nutrients which lead to pale and uneven skin tone.

Solution: Quit, and that’s it.

3. Taking Sleep for Granted

Top 15 Facts about Sleeping

Research claims that sleep deprivation doubles the signs of aging. After a night or two without a complete shut-eye, you can instantly see the drastic changes in your appearance like fine lines, uneven pigmentation, loose skin, and under eye circles. As you grow older and sleep deprivation continues, the skin loses its natural elasticity, making these unattractive effects permanent.

Solution: On an average, the recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7 to 9 hours to make you look and feel refreshed. For a better sleep quality, try to refrain from caffeine and nicotine for they are stimulants. You should also free yourself from distractions like electronics, work-related activities, and emotional issues before going to bed.

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4. Too Much Sunbathing

Too much sunbathing

Sun-kissed skin is in today. But if you’re always out in the sun, especially during hours when the intensity is too high, you are inviting the sun to damage your skin. Too much exposure leads to collagen breakdown which causes fine lines and wrinkles.

Solution: Protecting your skin from damage doesn’t have to be expensive. Just use sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher, water-resistant, and broad-spectrum. Apply this every day, rain or shine.

5. Skipping Exercise

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We are all aware of the consequences when a person doesn’t exercise (hello obesity and heart disease). Aside from these health problems, lack of exercise also affects circulation, a crucial factor which allows skin to look its best. Common problems such as varicose veins, swelling, hair loss, and weak nails are caused by poor blood flow.

Solution: Not a workout and fitness buff? You can still improve your overall health through simple exercises like brisk walking, jogging, swimming, and even dancing. Try to devote at least 30 minutes of your day doing in exercising. When you’re in shape, you naturally look younger.

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6. Being a Fruit and Veggie Hater

Being a fruit and veggie hater

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables perks up your complexion. These power foods are the main source of antioxidants and vitamins which neutralize the oxidative damage of skin from the sun and help with the production of collagen, which is beneficial to the skin health. If you’re aiming for a healthy, younger-looking skin but eating fruits and vegetables make you want to throw up, then you need a huge diet adjustment.

Solution: Learn how to love broccoli and green leafy vegetables. Their nutrients will keep your skin and hair healthy. Or at least, find your gateway fruits and vegetables. The recommended serving is 2.5 to 6.5 cups daily, so be creative in forcing your meat-lover soul to eat them. Try eating them with your favorite food (burger with lettuce is a great start) or investing in juices and soup makers.

7. Not Drinking Your Daily Dose of H2O

Young girl drinking water after exercise.

When a person isn’t properly hydrated, his or her skin may look more wrinkled and deflated. Water flush out waste and toxins from the cells, and failing to drink an adequate amount of H2O may lead to skin problems and breakouts.

Solution: Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day or more. Refrain from alcohol and caffeine for these fluids contribute to dehydration. You should also watch your sodium intake to avoid water retention.

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8. Sleeping with Makeup On

Sleeping with makeup on

Most women are guilty of sleeping without removing their makeup. This lazy habit should never be tolerated because the chemicals used in makeup as well as the environmental pollutants you accumulate during the day seep into your pores. They break down collagen and elastin, leaving you with loose skin, wrinkles, and fine lines.

Solution: Never forget to wash and moisturize your face regularly, especially before bedtime. Cleanse your skin gently using the products that suit well for your skin type. Avoid skin care products that sting or burn.

9. Underestimating Dental Health

Stressing yourself out

A happy and bright smile automatically brings the youthful glow to a person. But how can you give a bright smile if you are not proud of your teeth? Certain foods and drinks like red wine, coffee, soda, and sticky foods are notorious tooth-stainers. Some bad habits like eating sugar-rich foods, skipping toothbrush and flossing habit, and smoking, cause tooth decay which takes away your youthful glow.

Solution: Brush your teeth regularly with toothpaste rich in fluoride and use dental flosses. Daily mouthwash habit is also must. These rinses flush away bacteria and harmful particles between teeth and also clean the gums. Choose alcohol-free rinses. Doing these practices give you pinker gums and whiter teeth.

Mina is one of the daytime writers for North Shore Vein Clinic, a prominent group of vein specialists based in Sydney, Australia. Her articles mainly include practical tips on health, fitness, and beauty.

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