It’s a fact of life that everyone ages but having knowledge of how we age helps us get ahead of it. That’s why we’re going to expose these daily habits that are potentially aging you and give you the tools to turn it around.
You may think it’s a good idea to binge Game of Thrones into the early hours of the morning. Maybe you’re more into going out and staying up until the sun rises. Either way, lack of sleep contributes to aging prematurely. What they say about “beauty sleep” is true. Studies show that when you’re sleep deprived, blood flow is restricted which leaves you looking tired. Getting a full 8 hours each night gets your blood circulation going so you wake up glowing.
Tip: Don’t scroll through your phone before bedtime. The blue light prevents the production of our natural melatonin which helps us sleep.
Sugar is sweet – what’s not so sweet? Accelerated aging. Unfortunately, access amounts of processed sugar actually ages you.
Here’s a bit of the science behind it from this Unityhealth article:
“Table sugar is made of a glucose and fructose molecule, and it’s the fructose in sugar that accelerates the “browning” reaction by seven times. Skin is composed of collagen and elastin, which make our skin supple and soft. Sugar causes cross-linking of collagen, resulting in stiffening and loss of elasticity of our skin. The more sugar we have, the more our skin starts to suffer.”
Tip: reduce sugar intake by eliminating sugary drinks like soda and juice and eating mostly naturally occurring sugars in fruit.
Spending time in the sun (without protection) is the #1 perpetrator of premature aging. It’s also a product of one of the most common cancers people can get, melanoma. The sun actively works to break down our DNA so it’s imperative to wear sunscreen on exposed body parts each time you plan on staying in the sun for longer than a 5 minute period.
Tip: When choosing a sunscreen pick an SPF of at least 30, make sure it’s water resistant and have broad spectrum coverage for the ultimate skin protection.
While you may enjoy a steaming hot shower it’s another source of aging. Here’s what a dermatologist says about overly hot water on skin.
Hot showers and baths can inflame the skin, causing redness, itching, and even peeling — similar to a sunburn — and can disrupt the skin’s natural balance of moisture, robbing you of the natural oils, fats, and proteins that keep skin healthy. Dry skin can increase your chances of infection and actually lead to an overproduction of oils in an effort to compensate for the lack of moisture.
Tip: If you can’t keep the heat down, try reducing your bathtime to decrease the effects of hot water on your skin.
We love a good binge watch as much the next person (GOT anyone?) but moving is important to combat aging. When sitting for hours on end with little movement our bodies convert food to fat which inherently ages us. Living an active lifestyle is important for improving levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) as well as helping our bodies stay healthy.
Tip: Get up and walk in-between episodes or multi-task and do at home workouts while watching for long periods of time.
Minimizing additional aging factors is never a bad thing. No matter what your habit, make sure you’re doing what’s best for your skin and overall health.