What causes your skin to age prematurely?

What causes your skin to age prematurely?

Your skin will age as a natural process of getting older, but some people's skin seems to age faster than others. There are a number of factors that can cause this to happen, from genetics to lifestyle. Here are some of the main causes of premature aging and tips to keep wrinkles at bay.

Lifestyle Habits That Speed Up Premature Aging

One of the main causes of premature aging is all down to smoking and drinking. We know that these habits are bad for us and can lead to all kinds of heath problems down the line, but when it comes to skin, these two habits will speed up the aging process more than any other lifestyle habits. 

Smokers in their 20’s and 30’s will develop fine lines around the mouth and deep wrinkles on the forehead. Cigarettes contain lots of toxic chemicals that narrow blood vessels and hamper the blood supply to the skin causing smokers to age quicker than non-smokers. 

Moreover, excessive alcohol will ravage your body over time, this will start to show on your appearance. Alcohol will cause broken blood vessels and veins on your face to become prominent. 

Drinkers lose muscle tone quicker than non-drinkers causing the skin to look older than its years. Limiting alcohol intake and drinking plenty of water will help keep your skin clear and healthy.

Sun bathing will accelerate premature aging, this is all down to the damaging effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Sun damage is the number one cause of premature aging, so it is important that you protect your skin with a SPF of at least 30. 

Q Sun explain how the sun permanently damages our skin, “UV radiation causes skin to age in several ways. It causes stem cells to die off, leading to thinning and wrinkling of the skin. 

UV radiation also activates enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases, or MMPs for short. These MMPs break down collagen. UV radiation also activates an enzyme called cathepsin K. Cathepsin K breaks down elastin.”

Other environmental factors can speed up the aging process, such a long exposure to extreme cold temperatures. This can cause the skin to go thin and wrinkle quicker. 

In cold temperatures, our skin gets stripped of its natural oils causing the skin to lose elasticity thus causing wrinkles to appear sooner. Always protect your skin against the elements by using a good moisturiser.

Diet, stress, and genetics

Choosing a healthy diet will actually slow down the aging process of your skin. People with diets high in sugars and fatty foods will find that their skin ages more quickly than those with a healthy diet. Keeping a healthy body weight will also help keep wrinkles at bay. 

Stress is bad for us, it affects our health, energy levels, and will age us quicker. The reason for this is stress will cause DNA strands to shorten, making them shrink and lose their ability to divide, this is known as “replicative senescence”, it is linked to premature aging and shorter lifespans.

Your genes may also play a part in how quickly your skin ages. Some people seem to appear ageless, being lucky enough to inherit good skin genes can make skin look ten years younger. 

Genetics control our ability to produce collagen and elastin, which make our skin resistant to wrinkles, some genetic variants are more likely to develop wrinkles. 

Unfortunately, we can not change our genes but we can use good anti-aging products that will look after our skin and slow down the signs of aging.   

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