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Unfortunately aging is inevitable, but there are things that may accelerate the aging process, but the good news is there are things you can do to help prevent or delay some of the more common signs. So what are some of the things that cause your skin to look older and what can you do to have more beautiful skin?
#1 Sun Damage
The #1 cause of premature aging is sun exposure, or photo-aging. The sun’s harmful rays break down the skin’s vital supporting structures; collagen and elastin. The sun also damages the enzymes that protect your collagen and has been shown to produce free radicals which damage your skin cells. UVB (remember the B for burning) rays increase your risk for developing skin cancer and UVA (remember the A for aging) rays increase aging within the skin.
Solution: Make sure you wear an SPF of at least 30 every single day. It’s a simple way to help keep your skin safe and looking more youthful.
Not only does smoking cause serious damage to your health but it also damages your skin as well making look much older than its actual years. Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen that is supplied to the organs in your body including your largest organ, your skin. This limited supply of oxygen keeps your skin from functioning properly. This means that your skin’s production of collagen and elastin is greatly reduced resulting in more lines and wrinkles.
Solution: Okay, this really goes without saying; Quit.
The skin needs a healthy diet in order to function optimally. A diet that is lacking in a variety of nutrients and antioxidants will reflect in the appearance of your skin. Also, rapid changes or severe restrictions in an attempt to lose weight can take a toll in the elasticity of your skin causing sagging.
Solution: Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, seeds, and protein and maintain a healthy lifestyle so there is no need for rapid weight loss or severe restrictions. Balance is the key.
Genetics is another factor in the way your skin ages but one you have no control over. However, all of the above causes of premature aging will also affect the way your parent’s skin looks so take that into account as you observe their skin. Therefore, you can’t necessarily predict your skin’s future by the way your parent’s skin looks, but be aware that genes play a role in how your skin ages.
Solution: You can’t change your genetic makeup but you can take steps to improve the health of your skin by making good choices in the other things that affect how your skin ages.
Yes, the days, months, and years will continue to tick by and your skin will continue to age. But arming yourself with the knowledge of what factors accelerate the process will help you avoid and possibly even repair premature aging.