by : Dr. Nuwanthi Fernando, MD
Founder and Editor of NV Medical Writing
Keeping the skin healthy and young can be challenging for everyone, particularly due to the widespread unhealthy habits and sedentary lifestyle that people follow. Many of us may adopt daily habits that can be extremely harmful to the skin, which affects its elasticity and wellness. Several environmental factors contribute to skin aging by putting more pressure over our skin and accelerating the ageing process within our body.
The skin is the largest organ in our body and it is highly sensitive to your general wellbeing – it can be a trusted indicator of how young and healthy you are. Unfortunately, in your mid-twenties, you may begin to notice signs of aging such as fine lines and pigmentation, as your skin cells begin its natural aging process. The degree and speed of this process depend on environmental factors and the lifestyle. By eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and avoiding unhealthy habits, the aging mechanisms will hit your tissues at a slower rate.
One of the common initial signs of aging that might bother your confidence is skin wrinkles, particularly if this occurs on your face. Wrinkles and other aging signs indicate your skin’s lack of elasticity and collagen quality, and as a result may cause detrimental psychological effects as well. Therefore, you should monitor your daily habits and avoid practices that harm your skin. The good news is, even if your skin starts to suffer from early signs of ageing, it is never too late to modify your lifestyle and ditch bad habits to regain the lost quality and glow of your skin.
Here are the top harmful habits that can accelerate aging even at a young age:
Undoubtedly, everyone knows the hazards of smoking and how it can negatively influence your health. For your skin, smoking is one of the main reasons for wrinkles as it can hasten your body’s normal aging process and make you look older much faster. Smoking has a direct effect on your skin’s blood circulation and it reduces the amount of blood supplied to your skin. Consequently, your skin may experience lower oxygen and nutrition which are essential elements for its proper functioning. What’s more? The toxic chemicals found in cigarettes can destroy two important proteins in the skin – elastin and collagen. These proteins are responsible for skin elasticity and consistency. Consequently, your skin will look older, inelastic, and dehydrated when these proteins are lost, reducing its glow and texture.
The cliché is that “you are what you eat”. The skin is the outer cover of all of your body and it is your largest organ. So, when you eat an unhealthy diet with poor nutritional contents, the skin can be the first organ to indicate your nutritional deficiencies. Wrinkles are one common sign of lack of good nutritional supply which means that you should eat a healthy balanced diet. Many published studies suggest that eating an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables can guard the skin against several aging threats. On the other hand, sugary food, high carb diet, and processed foods can promote the aging process and can have an inverse effect in preventing wrinkles and decreased elasticity. Fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants – like berries, citrus and leafy vegetables – are great ingredients to add into your diet to slow down skin aging.
Not removing makeup:
Many women wear makeup but neglect to remove it before going to sleep. Sleeping with makeup is a harmful habit to the skin as it allows chemicals in the cosmetics, as well as pollutants attached to your skin throughout the day, to seep into the pores. This can damage elastin and collagen, thus causing skin damage. There are many reliable makeup removal products now in the market that can effectively cleanse your skin from any bacteria and cosmetic ingredients.
Inadequate skin cleansing, in general, can increase your chances of suffering from early wrinkles and other aging signs. Using a pH-balanced cleansing wash, along with a toner after, can wash can assure better cleaning of skin.
Exposure to ultraviolet rays:
Ultraviolet rays (UV) from the sun are harmful and can encourage the natural aging process. Continuous exposure to these lethal rays can destroy the skin’s connective tissue, including collagen and elastin. Consequently, your skin will lose its flexibility and become more vulnerable to wrinkles.
It is important to protect your skin while you are exposed to sun rays by using a good sunscreen to avoid the harmful effects of UV radiations.
When your skin cells are dehydrated, it is more susceptible to damage and deterioration. Maintaining the skin’s moisture internally as well as externally is a mandatory rule of securing a healthy glowing skin. Using good moisturizers can keep your skin hydrated and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. However, the most effective way is to drink plenty of water and fluids to keep your cells constantly hydrated and well-nourished. Other effective ways to hydrate yourself is by drinking chlorophyll water, alkaline water, and detox smoothies. All these liquids not only help hydrate your skin but also supply antioxidant-rich content, which strengthen the skin and keep the wrinkles at bay for a prolong period.
Look out for Young & Wrinkly Part II, as we talk about other aesthetic solutions that can help treat unwanted wrinkles.
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