We all want to look and feel our best for as long as possible, but there are certain everyday habits that can contribute to premature ageing. While we can’t stop the ageing process altogether, being mindful of these habits and making changes where necessary can help us slow down the process and maintain a more youthful appearance. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common everyday habits that may be aging you, and offer tips and advice on how to combat them. From skincare to diet to lifestyle choices, we’ll cover it all. In this post, experts discuss the most common age-accelerating habits and ways to reverse the process.
10. You multitask
If your to-do list never seems to get any shorter, the stress from your hectic life may be taxing your body. “People think multitasking is good, but you don’t actually get anything done—you just create more stress,” says Raymond Casciari, MD, chief medical officer of St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif. Several studies show that chronic stress triggers the release of free radicals, the unstable molecules that damage cells and are responsible for ageing. Instead of trying to do it all, Dr Casciari suggests concentrating on one task at a time and only moving on once you finish it.
9. You rarely pass up dessert
Aside from adding excess pounds to your body, your sweet tooth may also be adding years to your face. “Internally, sugar molecules attach themselves to protein fibers in each of our cells,” says Susan Stuart, MD, a San Diego, Calif. board-certified dermatologist. This damaging process, known as glycation, can result in a loss of radiance, dark circles under the eyes, loss of tone, puffiness, an increase in fine lines and wrinkles and a loss of facial contours and increased pore size. Pass on the sugary treats if you want to preserve your youthful glow.
8. You get by on fewer than five hours of sleep a night
Skimping on sleep not only results in dark bags under the eyes—it has also been linked to a shorter lifespan, says Dr. Casciari, who founded a sleep laboratory at St. Joseph’s Hospital. “Sleeping within the seven-hour range is optimal,” he says. Get to bed earlier if you have the symptoms of sleep deprivation, which include a lack of daytime energy, mental sluggishness, attention problems, or weight gain, Dr Casciari says.
7. You spend most of the day sitting
The dangers of a sedentary lifestyle are well-documented: People who spend most of their days parked in a chair are at increased risk for kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, not to mention obesity. Naturally, exercising regularly helps to prevent these health issues and keeps you living longer, according to a study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Study participants who exercised 150 minutes or more a week lived 10 to 13 years longer than the inactive bunch.
6. You don’t use eye cream
Even a no-fuss skincare routine needs to include a good eye cream to keep ageing wrinkles at bay. The skin around the eyes is thinner than the skin on the rest of your face and shows age faster, says Dr Stuart. Keeping the eye area moisturized can take years off your face. “Eye creams that are most effective contain Retin A, a form of vitamin A,” says Dr Stuart. Other important factors include emollients and moisturizers that trap moisture, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C. “These promote the formation of collagen and elastin to tighten the skin and reduce fine lines around the eyes,” Dr Stuart says.
5. You use sunscreen, but only on vacation
Running errands, driving, and walking back and forth to the mailbox may do more damage to your skin than spending a day at the beach if you do it sans sunblock, says Sarah L. Taylor, MD, associate professor of dermatology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “The number-one cause of nearly every sign of premature ageing on the human face is ultraviolet exposure,” Dr Taylor says. “UV light is present even when it’s cloudy or raining.” Protect your skin by wearing sunblock any time you go outdoors. Dr Taylor recommends an SPF between 30 and 50 for daily use. You should also follow these golden rules of sun protection.
4. You wear too much makeup
Metallic blue eye shadow aside, excess makeup can age you in less obvious ways, too, says Dr Stuart. “Wearing excessive amounts of makeup, especially oil-based products, can clog your skin pores and cause outbreaks.” In addition, overusing skin products with fragrances, irritating chemicals, and alcohol agents may dry out the skin by removing its natural oils, which causes premature lines and wrinkles. Consult with your dermatologist for guidance, and avoid these 18 beauty mistakes that age you.
3. You keep your home toasty and warm
When it’s a snowy mess outside, it’s tempting to crank up the heat indoors. But whether you light up the fireplace or turn up the thermostat, both suck moisture out of the air, says Dr. Marotta. “This can lead to dry, inflamed skin, which over time has ageing effects.” Investing in a humidifier helps counteract the dry air (40 to 60% humidity is optimal) and can free your skin from itching, scratching, and flaking. Alternatively, Dr Marotta recommends placing a wet towel over a radiator or a bowl of cold water in the room as a way to add back some of the lost moisture.
2. You sip drinks through a straw
Drinking dark-coloured beverages through a straw can prevent stains on your teeth, but just as squinting can eventually cause wrinkles to form around your eyes, pursing your lips can also bring about premature wrinkles around the mouth. “This also occurs when smoking cigarettes,” says Janet Prystowsky, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York. Pour your bottled beverages into a drinking glass to avoid puckering up.
1. You slouch
Slumping in front of a keyboard for hours on end can cause your spine to form an unattractive and potentially harmful hunched posture over time, says Jeremy Smith, MD, orthopaedic spine surgeon at Hoag Orthopedic Institute in Irvine, Calif. “The spine has a well-balanced S-shaped curvature in order to stabilize and support us,” Dr Smith says. “Poor posture or slouching deviates the spine from this normal alignment, and as a result, the muscles, disks and bones become abnormally stressed.” Pain and fatigue often follow, and possibly spinal degeneration and a permanent deformity. Practice good posture by checking it throughout the day: ear, shoulder, and hip should form a straight line when seated.
And there you go that is ten Everyday Habits That Are Ageing You covered. If you notice any other habits or do some of these on this list do let us know in the comments below.