6 Surprising Things That Might Be Aging You, According to an Expert
When you're young, it's hard to imagine ever having wrinkles, fine lines, or sun spots. Unfortunately, the actions we take as teens and young adults have a great effect on how we age later in life. From lying out in the sun to binge-drinking during a night out, sometimes your current bad habits can turn into unwanted beauty problems later.
Ahead, dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman, MD, breaks down exactly what you're doing now that could be secretly aging you — without you even knowing it.
According to Dr. Jaliman, consuming too many sweets can have negative effects on your skin over time. "Sugar glycates the collagen and stiffens it, aging the skin," she said. That means eating that last doughnut or adding too much Equal to your coffee weakens the skin's surface, making it more susceptible to fine lines and wrinkles.
Drinking Too Much
If you've been spending a lot of time sipping on margaritas, you might want to reconsider your beverage choices. "Alcohol dehydrates the skin and also dilates the blood vessels in the skin, causing it to look red," Dr. Jaliman said. "Dehydrated skin will age quicker. It also makes rosacea worse."
Your skin cells renew overnight, so it's time to start investing in some serious beauty sleep so yours can heal. Dr. Jaliman also suggests using a satin pillowcase so your face doesn't scrunch up (which can lead to wrinkling) while you're turning in the night.
You should already know this, but it's always worth repeating: stop tanning, and use an SPF at all times. "Sun damage is cumulative; even 10 minutes of exposure a day over the course of a lifetime is enough to cause major problems and age your skin drastically," Dr. Jaliman said. Make sure to find a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin from both UVA (which penetrate deep within your skin) and UVB rays (which burn you).
Smoking has no upside — especially when it comes to your skin. "It's also important to avoid smoking because cigarette smoke decreases the blood supply to the skin and causes unnecessary wrinkles on the face in general," Dr. Jaliman said.
Walking to Work
If you live in a polluted city, just walking outside can wreak havoc on your skin. Dr. Jaliman suggests gently exfoliating your skin with a washcloth to get rid of debris and dead skin cells at the end of each night. You should also reach for products loaded with antioxidants, which can fight free radicals from environmental aggressors like pollution.