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While skin aging is a natural process that everyone experiences, certain lifestyle habits can speed up the aging process.
Help keep your complexion plump, firm, and smooth by minimizing these habits that can cause fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration -- long before they'd naturally appear with age. Too late? Keep reading -- we've got tips on how to stop things getting way worse!
From our research, we've found these to be the three most common culprits for prematurely aging your skin.
Ultraviolet (UV) exposure is the single biggest culprit in aging skin. According to a study, UV exposure was responsible for approximately 80 percent of visible face aging signs, including fine lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation changes.
Over time, UV rays damage certain fibers in the skin known as elastin, causing the skin to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to snap back. Even though sun damage may not show now, if you're not protecting it at present, it will show later in life.
The amount of wrinkles that develop and their level of prominence, are largely dependent on your lifetime sun exposure. For example, someone who religiously tans -- whether on the beach or in a booth -- is going to experience more deeper wrinkles than someone who stays out of the sun (or at least, wears a LOT of sun protection lotion!).
While nothing can completely under sun damage, certain skincare products and procedures may be able to slow down the process and reduce the appearance of existing signs.
For starters, make daily sunscreen application a priority. Even on cloudy days, UVA and UVB rays are present and able to penetrate your skin. Invest in a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. It's never too late to start protecting yourself from sun exposure and skin cancer. Also, wear protective clothing to cover skin exposed to the sun, such as wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, long-sleeved shirts, and pants. According to dermatologists, laser therapy may help reverse some of the damage.
If you're dealing with photoaging in the form of dark spots on the skin, fill your skincare routine with antioxidant-loaded formulas. Vitamin C and E are especially good at fading their appearance and improving overall skin tone.
Try Truly's Vegan Collagen Booster Bundle, a 4-step anti-aging kit formulated with powerhouse ingredients such as vitamin C, retinol (vitamin A), vegan collagen, and coconut oil. It contains a facial cleanser, serum, face mask, and body cream, designed to delete dry skin, restore elasticity, and visibly improve firmness.
Stress can wreak havoc on your skin.
If you're chronically worried and panicked, your body is pumping out stress hormones all the time, which can cause premature aging.
"Cortisol, the major stress hormone, breaks down collagen, which leads to sagging skin and wrinkles and causes inflammation," says Amy Wechsler, MD, a New York City–based board-certified dermatologist. As a result, that chronic stress speeds up the aging process because of that increased inflammation.
You may even notice on the days you're particularly feeling the burn, your face becomes overcome with breakouts. For the sake of your skin health, start investing in your overall wellbeing. Healthy mind = healthy skin.
Fortunately, you don't need to put up with stress-induced wrinkles for the rest of your life -- or anticipate them, either.
Stress can be reduced through lifestyle changes, including healthy food, adequate sleep, yoga, and meditation. Figure out what helps you unwind and do it regularly. Because at the end of the day, no topical treatment is going to make a difference if you're still mega stressed!
Try our Moon Bath Essentials Set to help you relax and put stress to sleep. Featuring a shower mist and cleanser, these de-stressing duo relies on a blend of ashwagandha, lavender, and eucalyptus to detox your mind -- and your skin.
Are you a stomach or side sleeper? You may be etching lines on your face without even realizing it!
"Sleeping face down and pushing skin into the sheets or pillowcases causes the skin to fold and crease and eventually stay permanently over time," says dermatologist Rachel Nazarian.
Sleep creases are commonly located on the cheeks, forehead, and lips. Sleeping on your back may improve these sleep-derived lines or, at least, prevent them from becoming worse.
First things first: start sleeping on your back. It's the quickest, easiest fix for sleep creases. If sleeping in your back is too uncomfortable, invest in a silk or satin pillowcase like the one in Truly's Satin Sleep Set.
This will reduce the friction, resulting in fewer creases, lines, and imprints as you snooze. In other words, the less your face grips onto your case, the less likely you'll end up with fine lines and wrinkles.
In addition, be sure to incorporate plenty of nourishing skincare products into your daily regimen, like a gentle cleanser, hydrating serum, and lightweight moisturizer to ward off dryness and promote day-long dewiness. Avoid using harsh soaps that steal your skin's hydration by stripping the dermis of its natural oils, lipids, and proteins.
You can also boost collagen production, and ultimately curb creases by bringing the likes of retinoids, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acid into your skincare routine.
Fine lines, wrinkles, age spots ... they all come with growing older. However, you may be unconsciously speeding up the aging process simply because of your lifestyle habits. If you're spending too much time in the sun, getting overly stressed, and/or sleeping on your side, you could be setting your skin up for premature aging.
To make your skin look younger, healthier, and brighter, start swapping out these bad habits for good ones. And remember to follow a consistent skincare routine that comprises of cleansing, exfoliation, and hydration.
You'll soon start seeing the visible effects of your healthy habits!