Skin Aging: 5 Ways You Might Be Making Your Skin Older Article
Aging is a natural process. As time passes, your skin ages just as any other part of your body. During the natural aging process, the body experiences a gradual decrease in elastin and collagen, causing a loss of firmness, resulting in wrinkles and sagging skin.
As technology advances, our understanding of this natural process also improves. At the moment, we cannot actually stop the aging process. However, we are getting a better idea of what not to do to avoid accelerating the skin's aging speed to more than it should be.
Here are 5 seemingly innocent things you might be doing that are actually making your skin age more quickly.
1. Make Lots of Facial Expressions
Smiles and frowns are not a big deal at a younger age. However, as we get older and our skin loses the elasticity it once had, repeated smiles and frowns start leaving marks.
Repeatedly making the same expression can cause the collagen in the heavily folded regions in your skin to break down. It is like folding a piece of paper. The more times and more sharply you fold it, the deeper the crease becomes. The more often and more deeply we smile or frown, the more frown lines, smile lines and other wrinkles will we gain.
So, what can we do to avoid dealing with these damaging effects of continuous smiling and frowning?
What to Do:
In an ideal world, we could just avoid making facial expressions altogether and we wouldn't have to worry about facial wrinkles. However, not only is that impractical but also counterproductive. As the saying goes, laughter is the best medicine. Laughing is known to improve mood, relieve stress, improve the immune system and have many other positive effects. Furthermore, smiling and laughing are good ways to generate positive energy and share it with the people around us.
What we should do, instead, is to avoid situations and environments that can deepen our expression lines. Repeated facial expressions are the worst combined with excessive exposure to sun, heat or excessively dry or humid environments anyway. Avoiding such environments can help minimize the long-term damages of repeated facial expressions.
Also, we should try to avoid negative emotions through plenty of introspection and positive thinking. We cannot avoid negative situations completely in life, but taking such situations in stride can go a long to improving not only our skin's appearance but also to providing a better mental health and a more fulfilling life.
2. Get Tanned the WRONG Way (Tanning Beds Are a No-No)
Ah, the tanning bed. Away from the harsh and salty beach breeze, sand and all the nosy crowds. The safest and the most efficient way to get that precise and healthy tan that everyone is after, right?... RIGHT?
It turns out tanning beds are a big no-no when it comes to achieving a healthy and long-lasting tan. There are generally two types of UV rays that we are exposed to on a daily basis. The UVB rays cause sunburn, while UVA rays lead to tanning and skin aging. (There is also UVC but UVC from the sun is blocked by the ozone layer.)
Tanning beds mostly emit UVA rays, and not only does the UVA rays generated by indoor tanning significantly increase your body's chance of developing deadly skin cancer, it also creates oxidative damage and accelerates skin aging. Frequent visits to a tanning bed reduces collagen production, causing the skin to lose elasticity.
So, then, what's the right way to tan?
What to Do:
Here are a few tips to achieving that long-lasting and healthy-looking tan.
1. Go For a Slow and Very Light Exposure - Getting tanned is a long game. Do not try to rush it by directly exposing yourself to the strong Miami sun. Go for a more gradual exposure by also following rest of the tips and try to develop your tan over the course of several weeks, if not months, instead of a few days.
2. Use Sunscreen - You can still get tanned while wearing sunscreen. However, sunscreen significantly increases the time it takes for your skin to receive sun damage and reduces your chances of developing melanoma. Using sunscreen
3. Cover Up, Stay in the Shade - Any amount of exposure to sunlight can be damaging. While shades and hats are not perfect, consciously trying to stay in shades can greatly reduce the amount of UV your skin is exposed to. Your skin will thank you for staying out of direct sunlight.
4. Take Control of Your Tanning Time - An unprotected skin risks getting sunburnt after mere 20-30 minutes of exposure to direct sunlight. Even though sunscreen can help with this, try to limit your single exposure to less than this duration to avoid sunburn, heatstroke, or long-term sun damage. Avoid direct exposure from 10:00AM to 4:00PM when the sun is the strongest.
Bonus sun-protection tip: Pay extra attention to your left arm (for those of us who drive in cars with driver seat on the left side). Your left arm and the left side of your body get more sun than your right side.
3. Get Acne... And Don't Leave Them Alone
There are many ways you can increase the frequency of acne breakouts in your skin. By having a bad diet (i.e. highly processed, high in salt or sugar, containing a lot of processed dairy...), overeating smoking or drinking, stressing out about little things, using harsh cleansing solutions like facial scrubs, sleeping too little, sleeping on your side... by having these bad habits, you are sure to increase the frequency and severity of acne breakouts.
For the sake of this article, let's suppose that you made some or all of those mistakes. When your face inevitably starts lighting up like a Christmas tree, what's the worst possible thing you can do at this point?
If your goal is to try to keep your skin look fresh and youthful for as long as possible, what you shouldn't do is to keep messing with your new pimples. It can be very tempting and satisfying to pop your pimples and acnes, and indeed, there are even videos on YouTube dedicated to zits and blackheads being squeezed out, but it is the absolute worst thing you can do.
Popping of pimples can lead to infections and scarring, which, over time, contributes to diminishing the skin's ability to heal. Over time, this will lead to more and more damage, and therefore, signs of aging being accumulated in your skin.
What to Do:
The best thing to do is to have healthy habits so that you can avoid getting breakouts in the first place. However, we are all guilty of indulgence once in a while or life gets in the way of you getting that full beauty sleep. When this happens, what you should do is using an appropriate cleanser recommended by a dermatologist, and over-the-counter remedies that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, then give your skin time to heal on its own. You should consult a dermatologist if you are not seeing results using this method.
4. Not Cleaning Your Electronics and Make Up Tools
Smartphones and cell phones in general have made us more connected and our modern life more convenient. There really is no doubt about that. However, when it comes to keeping your skin looking young and smooth, your smartphone may not be your best friend.
An often quoted study found that a cell phone is dirtier, in fact, 10 times dirtier than your regular toilet seat. It is no wonder, when you think about it. Most people use their phones with their hands after touching dirt, door knobs, money, food, pets... You get the idea. And people rarely think to clean it. Couple that with the fact that smartphones get hotter the longer you use it, smartphones are not the best thing to hold close to your face. It can cause irritations, acne and infections. These things negatively affect your skin and repeated breakouts can cause lasting damages.
What to Do:
A good practice is to clean and disinfect your phone regularly. This also applies to the electronics that you regularly use, including your keyboard and mouse. Gunk and microbes can get accumulated on the surfaces of these devices, then get transferred to your face if you use these devices and then touch your face before you wash your hands. Another good tip is to hold your phone at a distance when talking on it or using an earphone or an earpiece.
Your make up tools are also prone to contamination and buildup. So, be mindful of it and clean them regularly to avoid causing breakouts.
5. Overdoing It
As with everything, when it comes to skin care, too much of a good thing can actually do more harm than good.
Anything from chemical peels, microdermabrasion, exfoliating, dieting all the way to swimming (chlorine), waxing, saunas and showering can cause damages to the skin when overdone. When these damages accumulate, it can worsen the signs of aging and slow down your skin's natural ability to heal.
Chemical and physical peels require precise usages to be effective without irritating the skin. Exfoliating too often or soaps that are too harsh when cleansing or showering too often strips away natural oils and leaves the skin dry and irritated. Frequent and extreme diets can cause skin to stretch and sag, while waxing to often also leaves your skin raw and causes bumps. Using saunas for too long too often breaks down collagen in your skin and causes sagging. Swimming itself is a very healthy activity, but the chlorine from the swimming pool stays on your skin unless properly dealt with and reacts with your skin products.
What to Do:
As a general rule, every skin care method should be thoroughly researched. The methods listed here can all improve your quality of life when used correctly and in moderation. The important takeaways is that they should be practiced with moderation.
Follow manufacturer guidelines when using any type of peels or take advantage of professional peeling services. Exfoliate no more often than once a week and showering every other day is healthier for the skin than doing it every day. Stick to sustainable and healthy diets instead of going on starvation diets or overeating. Wax no more than once every three weeks, keep your sauna sessions short and make sure to wash thoroughly with plenty of soap after a pool session.
If you experience any adverse effect, you should consult a dermatologist.
Did You Enjoy Reading This Article?
We hope you found our list helpful.
As you might have noticed, a good skincare routine focuses on promoting skin's natural regeneration, good hygiene and moderation.
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Did you know, more than half of the women out there feel self-conscious about wrinkles? Maybe you feel like this too. They may start appearing as early as 25, proving that it’s not even really about the age at all.
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Still Not Convinced?
People from all over the world are choosing Oia Skincare.
People from all over the world are trying out and falling in love with Oia Skincare silicone patches. Maybe you would like to find out why.
The next article lists 8 reasons why Oia is a popular choice among the people who want to take care of their skin worries.