We all want to take care of ourselves as we age. Keeping ourselves healthy helps us feel better and look better, and there’s no better compliment than looking younger than your age. No matter how many creams we use and masks we apply, though, it’s not going to do us much good if we’re indulging in something else that’s more unhealthy for our skin.
Here are 10 things to avoid that will make you look older faster.
1. Cigarette Smoke
This applies to both first hand and second hand smoke. It’s just bad for your skin all around. It dries out your skin and increases wrinkles. If you smoke, that smoke removes Vitamin C from your body, an essential ingredient for keeping your skin soft and moist. Smoking or spending a lot of time with other smokers will be visible on your face sooner or later.
2. The Sun
If you spend a lot of time outside or live in a sunny climate, don’t skimp on the sunscreen. Dermatologist say the sun is one of the main causes of early aging. No matter how good you may think that tan looks, it’s not worth the price you’ll have to pay for it later. Try sunless tanning.
3. Crash Diets
In an effort to lose weight, you may be tempted to try a crash diet for a quick fix. You may reach your goal, but do this often enough and you may be doing serious long-term damage to your body. You’ll lose energy and concentration. Even if you’re the weight you want, you won’t look your best. Your skin can’t adjust to such quick weight loss, and it may start sagging.
4. Wearing Makeup to Bed
Don’t forget to wash your face before sleeping, no matter how tired you are. Leaving the dirt and makeup built up on your skin can cause serious pore problems later on and lead to breakouts. Make it easier by simply keeping a pack of cleansing wipes by your bed.
Sleep is when the body really has a chance to heal itself. If you can’t sleep, or stay up late and get up early, you’re depriving your body of the chance to do that. You’ll feel older, look older, and you may even gain weight. Aim for seven or eight hours a night to keep yourself at your best.
6. Junk Food
Foods like fruits and vegetables are good for you and truly give your skin a healthy glow. When those foods are missing, it shows. Even if you’re not eating fast food every night, you could probably be eating better. Fit more colorful fruits and vegetables into your diet, as well as whole-grain fiber and fish rich with Omega-3 fatty acids. You’ll look and feel better.
7. A Negative Attitude
As much as it sounds like a cheesy self-help mantra, this is absolutely true. Viewing life through a negative lens shows through on your face. Frowning and other facial expressions associated with pessimism and discontentment cause stress and tension in your face, which leads to premature aging. You don’t need to smile all the time, but the more relaxed you feel, the more relaxed your facial muscles will be.
You don’t necessarily have to give this up entirely. An occasional glass of red wine has been shown to be very healthy. However, frequent or excessive alcohol use dilates the blood vessels in your face, making your skin discolored. It’s not an attractive look, so always use moderation.
9. Cold Weather
Cold weather dries out the skin. Unfortunately, so does artificial heating. During cold winter months, take extra care of your skin and make sure you have a good moisturizer handy. You can also use a dehumidifier to help negate the effects of the heating on your skin.
While you’re adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, consider using less sugar, as it contributes to unwanted weight gain. Even worse, it doesn’t just make you look like you’re aging – it will actually age you faster. The higher your glucose level, the lower the lifespan of some of your other cells. Keeping your sugar at a manageable level may actually help you live longer.