Age brings us two things. Wisdom and wrinkles. Most of us would happily take the wisdom. The wrinkles? Not so much. Sadly, fine lines and wrinkles are inevitable.
Of course, we all know you can’t turn back time or put aging on hold indefinitely. But who wouldn’t want to hold off the signs of aging for as long as possible?
You know that skipping the sunscreen is one of the worst things you can do to your skin. But many seemingly innocent everyday habits can contribute to fine lines and wrinkles, too.
Here’s what you need to know.
Rubbing those peepers.
The skin around the eyes is extremely delicate, which is why it’s usually the first area of the face to show signs of aging. When you rub your eyes, the skin stretches. According to anti-aging experts at Peachy Botox in New York City, this leads to a breakdown of collagen and elastin, causing fine lines and wrinkles.
And the more you tug and rub at the area, the more damage you’re causing. Stretching your lids tight to apply eyeliner. Rubbing to remove your eye makeup. Tugging at your eyes when you put in your contacts. These seemingly harmless everyday habits have the same damaging effects.
Scarfing down the sugar.
There’s no denying it. Sweet treats are delicious. But they’re not so sweet for your skin. Overdoing the sugar can result in the formation of AGEs, or advanced glycation end products.
That doesn’t sound good… but what exactly are AGEs? Sometimes called glycotoxins, AGEs are compounds that form when fat or protein combines with sugar in our bloodstreams.
These harmful compounds can cause damage to the skin’s elastin and collagen. Not only does this damage lead to fine lines and wrinkles, but also sagging and loose skin in any area of the body, including the face.
You can slow down the aging process by cutting back on sugar, which helps your skin detoxify and regenerate more efficiently.
Forgetting to wear your shades.
Whether it’s your phone or the sun, squinting forces the muscles between your eyes and brows to contract, causing the skin to crease. At first, these creases will go away when you stop squinting. But over time, you’re causing damage that leads to collagen and elastin breakdown.
Repeated squinting can cause those wrinkles to become deeper and permanent. Even worse, squinting is a major contributor to crow’s feet! So, don’t leave your shades at home. And if you notice that you’re squinting to see your screens, it’s time for a visit to your eye doctor.
On that note, the way you insert your contacts can also contribute to fine lines and wrinkles. Raising your brows causes a similar effect to squint. And doing it repeatedly not only leads to wrinkles around the eyes but can also lead to lines and creases on the forehead, too.
Not getting enough sleep.
So, it turns out beauty sleep is a real thing. Your skin renews and repairs itself when you’re asleep. So, if you’re regularly depriving your body of a full night’s sleep, your skin doesn’t have time to repair itself efficiently. This prevents proper cell turnover, leading to a dull complexion and more fine lines.
In fact, according to the journal, Sleep, not getting enough sleep contributes to a variety of less than desirable facial features. Including dark undereye circles, red and swollen eyes, and drooping eyelids. Yikes! That’s not cute at all.
Drinking with a straw.
Your dentist may have told you to drink coffee, tea, or red wine through a straw to prevent staining your teeth. But that might not be the best recommendation if you’re concerned about fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth.
When you drink with a straw, you purse your lips. And just like with any other repetitive motion, it can take a toll on the structure of your skin. Doing so regularly leads to fine lines and eventually deep creases around the mouth, causing your face to age faster than it normally would.
Sleeping in the wrong position.
And it’s not just how much sleep you get. The position you lay in when you sleep is also a major factor when it comes to premature aging of the skin.
Sleeping on your stomach causes your face to be smushed against your pillow. Over time, this can lead to fine lines and eventually permanent creases in the skin. Always sleeping on the same side also creates pressure that can cause one side of your face to age faster than the other.
And, if you’re a stomach sleeper who’s noticed a lot of puffiness around your eyes, your sleep position could also be to blame. Stomach sleeping makes it more difficult for fluid in the face to drain.
Try sleeping on your back with your head elevated slightly. You might be surprised at how much the puffiness improves. This will also keep your face from rubbing on the pillow, helping to hold off fine lines and wrinkles for as long as possible.
Looking down at your screens.
Staring down at your computer, phone, or tablet for hours each day causes you to bend your neck. This repetitive motion leads to creases and lines in the skin on your neck. In fact, the condition is so common it’s been dubbed “tech neck.”
Much like squinting causes lines on your face, bending your neck forward puts tension on those muscles, eventually leading to creases that never go away, even when you’re holding your head up straight. Keeping your screens at or slightly above eye level is your best defence against this phenomenon.
And finally… resting your head in your hands.
Regularly resting your face in your hands is another habit that can lead to fine lines and wrinkles on the face. Propping your face up pushes the skin until it creases. And those creases can become permanent over time. It can also lead to elastin and collagen breakdown, making your skin less resilient to aging.
But all that being said, the most important thing for preventing fine lines and wrinkles is protecting your skin from the sun. Wear an SPF 30 or higher, broad-spectrum sunscreen every day. Even if you’re just going to be outside for a few minutes. Your skin will thank you for it.
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