7 daily habits that age your skin

7 daily habits that age your skin

The quest for ageless skin can be tedious and expensive. Here are seven bad habits to avoid in order to keep your skin looking young.

1. Not wearing SPF

Even though your tan looks great now, your skin will be covered in wrinkles years down the road. Wearing the proper sun protection not only protects against the formation of wrinkles, but also helps keep skin moisturized all year round. 

I recommend a daily SPF 45 or greater with UVA/UVB protection such as Elta MD. Harmful UV rays are not just present in the sunny summer months, but in the winter months too.

2. Smoking

There are no benefits to smoking. Every time you smoke a cigarette, you are breathing in carcinogens and toxins that are damaging the largest organ in your body: your skin. Smoking can also lead to wrinkles around your mouth caused by the repetitive motion of puckering your lips.

3. Eating sweets

A diet high in sugar leads to poor nutrition for your skin. Research shows that sugar attaches to the proteins that work to damage other proteins like collagen and elastin. Once attacked, the ability to keep your skin firm is reduced, leaving dull, cracked skin.

4. Not wearing sunglasses

You should be wearing eye protection every day. Shading your eyes from the sunlight will prevent squinting, preventing future wrinkles in your forehead area and the area around your eyes. Unprotected sun exposure to the eyes can cause eye cancer, cataracts and even blindness.

5. Chewing gum

A habit among many to cover up bad breath, chewing gum is linked to the formation of wrinkles around your mouth. The repetitious up and down motion causes wear and tear on your skin, resulting in wrinkles.

6. Sleeping position

We all have preferable sleeping positions that feel most comfortable to us. Whether you’re a stomach, back or side sleeper, the position in which you sleep can expose you to sleep lines that ultimately become etched in your face. 

Side sleepers are more susceptible to chin, cheek and chest lines, whereas stomach sleepers are more prone to forehead wrinkles.

7. Stress.

It’s true – stress ages you. It weakens your immune system, making you more vulnerable to oxidative damage to the skin.

About this Angie’s List Expert: Dr. Lily Talakoub is a board-certified dermatologist in Washington. She specializes in dermatology treatments and surgeries and is a clinician educator for dermatology training at Georgetown University and Washington Hospital Center. You can follow this #ALExperts contributor on Twitter @McLeanDerm and Google Plus.

As of November 13, 2013, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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