Did you know that your daily routine may be affecting how fast you age? If you’re noticing more wrinkles in your face or grays in your hair, you may be guilty of certain everyday habits that are making you look older than you are. And no one wants that!
So what can you do? Here are some common ways you could accidentally be aging yourself — and what to do about it:
Everyone’s guilty of talking on the phone while scrolling through their Facebook page, but if you’re constantly taking on more than one task at once, it may be taking its toll on your body.
“People think multitasking is good, but you don't actually get anything done — you just create more stress,” says Raymond Casciari, MD, chief medical officer of St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California.
And that’s bad because studies have shown that stress can trigger the release of free radicals, the unstable molecules that damage cells and cause aging. If you find yourself constantly trying to do it all (at once!), slow it down and try focusing on one important task. Once you’re finished with that, move on to the next.
You have a mega sweet tooth
Do you eat too many cookies in one sitting, or can’t resist a second helping of ice cream? High sugar intake could be the culprit to your quick aging.
“Internally, sugar molecules attach themselves to protein fibers in each of our cells,” explains Susan Stuart, MD, a San Diego, California board-certified dermatologist.
This is a process called glycation, which can cause you to develop dark under-eye circles, puffiness and increased pores, tone and facial contour loss and an increase in lines and wrinkles. The next time you’re debating whether to order dessert or snack on a candy bar, forgo the sugary treats and try munching on a piece of fruit or sugarless gum.
Not getting enough sleep
Catching your zzzs is a largely underrated part of your health — and not getting the recommended dosage (between seven and nine hours for most adults), can result in drooping bags or puffiness under your eyes. If you’re noticing signs of sleep deprivation, such as lack of energy during the day, trouble paying attention or weight gain, adjust your schedule to start going to bed earlier. Another option is taking a quick power nap (between 15 and 20 minutes) after work or between errands.
You skip sunscreen
“The number-one cause of nearly every sign of premature aging on the human face is ultraviolet exposure," says Sarah L. Taylor, MD, associate professor of dermatology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. So if you know you’re spending the day at the beach, be sure to load up on the sun block — several times throughout the day. And even if it’s not a particularly sunny day, you still won’t want to skimp on the sticky stuff.
“UV light is present even when it's cloudy or raining,” Dr. Taylor explains. It’s just as important to lather up when you’re running errands, driving or taking a walk outside. If using it daily, the recommended SPF is between 30 and 50.
Sleeping with makeup on
“The more you sleep while wearing your makeup, the greater the damage there is to your skin,” says dermatologist Jeannette Graf, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York. “Our skin, like the rest of our body, functions on the circadian rhythm. At night the skin’s most important function is to renew itself. Wearing makeup and foundation at night prevents the renewal process, causing damage to the skin.”
In addition, wearing a copious amount of makeup, especially those that are particularly oily, are prone to clog pores in your skin, which can result in outbreaks. Also keep in mind that products that have strong fragrances, irritating chemicals or alcohol agents can dry out the skin by removing your skin’s natural oils, which can cause premature lines and wrinkles in your face. Speak with your dermatologist if your makeup is presenting problems.
Your skin plays an important role in your overall health too, so be sure to take care of it.
This article is presented by Perkins Motors in Colorado Springs, Colorado.