Health

10 Ways In Which You Might Be Helping Your Skin Age Faster

Disha Bathija
Whereas it's no surprise that with age- gravity will take its toll, chemical and hormonal changes will have a field day, pollution and sun damage will not be as forgiving and the advantages of youth and its fun cousins elasticity and suppleness won't come around to play anymore.

While this may be a natural phenomenon that can't be averted and so we may embrace grace with age eventually, there are still a number of hacks many people (not just women anymore, mind you) undertake to keep their youth and its beauty around for longer. This may include regular facials and peels on the normal side and facelifts and cosmetic surgeries on the more extreme side.

But in between all this one fails to realize that as much as the procedures and man-made technological advances are here to help, there are many other things that are lifestyle related that get looked over but happen to be much more beneficial in the long run.

Actually one doesn't realize it but there are several ways in which one may be accelerating the aging process much before our age catches up. Sounds scary? Then here are some lifestyle changes you need to incorporate pronto to maintain that youthful glow for longer-

1. Not exercising enough: our bodies were meant to be worked out to be able to break a sweat. Although a luxurious lifestyle where you don't have to lift a finger to accomplish any menial task, it doesn't serve the longevity of your youth at all. Make sure you get at least 30 minutes of any form of exercise every day to get the endorphins pumping.

2. Not drinking enough water: our bodies are 70% water. Given that we almost always are in a temperature controlled environment, our natural thirst indicators tend to go haywire. Not drinking enough water dehydrates your cells and especially your skin which ends up looking dry and wrinkly.

3. Smoking: this is so obvious that I don't need to say more. But here's more advice for motivation to quit smoking- Research has shown that exposure to cigarette smoke significantly increases skin wrinkles and dryness. This is partly due to the behaviour of smoking, and also because cigarette smoke depletes your body of Vitamin C, which is a key ingredient for keeping skin plump and moist.

4. Sun exposure: Sun exposure is a very significant cause of skin aging. Unprotected skin that is exposed to the sun becomes blotchy in appearance. Freckles can turn into brown sun spots, the skin takes on a dry, leathery appearance, and wrinkles and sagging increase. The risk of skin cancer is significantly increased by sun exposure. Always wear sunscreen with sun protecting factor of above 40 when stepping out in the sun and keep re-applying it every 3 hours.

5. Irregular sleeping pattern: as much as we underestimate our sleep requirement, the fact remains that for your body to function at its optimal level, you need to get your 6-8 hours of shut eye every day. That's when all your organs (including your skin) repair the cell damage caused during the waking and working hours. By depriving yourself of proper amount of sleep, you are not giving a chance to your skin to rejuvenate, ultimately it ending up in fine lines.

6. Not moisturizing after cleansing: It's important to give your skin a moisture boost so that it can look after itself. Dry skin ages more quickly if it's not moisturized. Look for anti-aging moisturizers with a high percentage of their active ingredient. If you have oily skin, you still need to moisturize as years go by as one, skin tends to get drier with age and two, you can use water based moisturizer still.

7. Eating junk foods: eating foods rich in fat, oils, sugar, salt and sodium does nothing for your body. They are nutritionally void calories that only end up adding to the layers of fat. Cleaning up your diet and adding more organic and natural foods like fruits, vegetables and lean meats can take away years from your skin.

8. Too much alcohol consumption: whereas a glass of red wine with dinner actually helps keeping your body healthy, too much partying and binge drinking creates havoc on your skin. Alcohol also dehydrates you, which will make your skin look drier. Alcohol can also create puffiness around your eyes the day after you drink it, and that does not create a youthful effect, either. Cut down on your alcohol intake if you're a heavy drinker.

9. Too much stress: if I just tell you to avoid getting worried about life, future and things like that you would just toss the advice thinking easier said than done, lady. Well, that's understandable. Whereas it's not so easy to completely avoid getting stressed, there certainly are a few things that can help. Meditation has shown to be extremely good to reduce stress levels, although it's hard to get a hang of it initially. If that's too intense for you, make sure to watch a funny TV program or a comedy movie to wind down. The laughs are more beneficial than you think.

10. Sleeping on your stomach: if you are following the advice in this column and decide to get your 8 hours of sleep daily, make sure you don't end up sleeping on your stomach which eventually means sleeping with your face squashed on your pillow. With keeping this posture for 8 hours straight, you are causing fine lines to develop and appear over time around your eyes and lips. Although it's quite hard to watch your posture while unconscious, try to fall asleep while lying down on your back instead.
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