You expect that at some later point in your life, you’ll develop fine lines, wrinkles, and creases due to age. You don’t expect that you’ll develop those types of skin issues when you’re still in your 20s and 30s. However, numerous unhealthy habits can age your skin sooner than you want.
At Arizona Ocular & Facial Plastic Surgery, oculofacial plastic surgeon Dr. Dustin Heringer and his staff understand that certain lifestyle choices can lead to premature aging. That’s why they offer several rejuvenation treatments to bring your skin back in line with your chronological age. Here, they discuss four habits that age your skin.
4 habits that can age your skin
Many factors can combine to age your skin prematurely. Here are four of the big ones.
1. Too much sun
The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) waves are perhaps the most common cause of premature skin aging. Also known as photoaging, the light damages cells’ DNA strands, causing a variety of effects, including:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Hyperpigmentation (age spots, liver spots, and freckles)
- Loss of skin tone (decreased elasticity)
- Rough, uneven texture
- Broken capillaries (spider veins)
- Red and blotchy patches
Signs of damage can appear as early as the teens and early 20s.
UV waves come in different types, affecting the skin differently.
UVA rays damage skin at all levels, from the outer epidermis down deep into the dermis. Within those layers lie collagen and elastin fibers, proteins that give the skin its youthful tautness and elasticity. The rays break these down; the skin above wrinkles and creases is unsupported. Also affected are epidermal cells and the smallest blood vessels, the capillaries.
UVB rays irradiate the outer layer of the skin, damaging the DNA even more than UVA does. Not only does UVB cause photoaging, but it also causes precancerous cells known as actinic keratoses to form.
You already know smoking is bad for your overall health. But did you know that smoking can speed up the normal aging process of your skin? Some effects include crow’s feet around the eyes, pronounced lines between the eyebrows, uneven complexion, deep creases and puffiness below the eyes, wrinkles around the mouth, and lined and thinner lips.
The reasons for the skin changes include:
- Nicotine causes blood vessel narrowing, reducing oxygen and nutrients to skin cells
- Chemicals in tobacco remodel or damage structures necessary for skin elasticity and health
- Repetitive squinting and lip pursing create lines around the mouth and eyes
- Heat and un-inhaled smoke dry and damage the skin surface
These same factors decrease the skin’s ability to repair wounds, resulting in a greater risk of wound infection and scarring.
Dehydration means your body is losing more water than it’s taking in. It may be caused by not drinking enough during the day or by increased urination from diuretics like the caffeine in coffee and tea.
Dehydration can lead to the following symptoms:
- A “dull” luster
- Darker under-eye circles
- “Shadows” under the eyes and around your nose
- Increased appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
It’s important to get in the habit of drinking at least eight glasses of water a day to nourish your skin and prevent premature wrinkles from forming.
4. Not enough sleep
Not getting enough good quality sleep leads to many problems, including a dehydrated complexion, redness, and breakouts. Lack of sleep also decreases the moisture levels in your skin and lowers its pH levels, making it look older, drier, and less “glowing.”
Skip the late-night drinks and screen time in favor of more shut-eye to keep your skin looking young, taut, and plump.
Want to learn more about how your lifestyle can age your skin and what you can do to correct the problem? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Heringer by giving us a call at either of our locations or booking online with us today.