5 Sneaky Habits That Are Aging You
Pre-mature aging, looking older than your actual biological age, no one wants it. But in this era of pollution, junk food and late nights everyone will probably get it.
Stressing out 24/7 is highly damaging to your health and appearance. Cortisol is a hormone created when the body senses danger. To our cave-people ancestors, this may mean a predator is nearby. In the modern world, this could mean traffic, bills, deadline and such.
The problem is when stress and cortisol levels are high all the time, our bodies are stuck in the flight or fight state. Nutrients that is meant to be doing regenerative duties and are pumped into limbs, in anticipation of a quick getaway. Too much cortisol therefore, is causing breakdown of collagen and other repairing substances. For the skin, this means the creation of lines, wrinkles and furrowed brows.
Sleep can relieve high cortisol, if we get enough of it. Deep and restful sleep will help the body repair itself, improve pH levels and circulation. No wonder we look so refreshed after a good night’s sleep; much better than how we looked right before we hit the bed.
If you are a chronically sleep deprived and a non-stop worrier, your body is churning cortisol endlessly. This leads to premature aging, among other health problems.
While we all know that what contributes to pre-mature aging are stress, diet, lack of sleep and lack of exercise, what most of us are unaware of sneaky everyday habits that ages us faster.
1. Side / tummy sleepers
On National Sleep Day 2013, over 3,700 people participated in a survey to determine several sleep behaviors, sleeping position being one of questions. The survey resulted in showing us that 74% sleep on their sides.
Fetal sleeping position is undoubtedly comfortable, but it’s terrible for your skin. Sleeping on your tummy is even worse.
Wrinkles can form and existing lines can deepen when we smash the weight of head in our pillows for 7-8 hours a night. And what’s in between the weight of our heads and the pillows? Our cheeks.
Sleeping on the side creates vertical lines from your cheek to your chin, deepens under-eye lines and etches the dreaded 11s between the eyebrows.
Sleeping on the stomach creates all the above along with neck lines from twisting and angling your neck to get a more comfortable sleep position.
Sleeping on your back is the best position to avoid worsening lines and wrinkles. It’s also beneficial for the skin’s health because sleeping on the back means light or no contact from breaking-causing irritants that might be present in your pillow.
Of course, if you’ve slept off your back all your life, it can’t be easy to switch positions. Using a U-shaped pillow around your body and against your favoured side can help. A pillow around your neck can also prevent you from rolling to your side or belly.
As soon as you notice that you are on your side or stomach again, flip over to your back. If it can’t really be help, you have to sleep on your side or stomach, then try to alternate which side you are facing, that way, not one side of the face is more lined than the other.
2. Sipping through straw
Drinking through straws with your Frappuccino? Using a straw to imbibe colas, tea and coffee will save your pearly whites and expensive veneers from staining but it can cause fine lines and wrinkles around your mouth.
Pursing your lips to sip straw is much like sucking on a cigarette, over time, it makes the skin around your mouth lose elasticity and creates extra wrinkles.
Sip from a cup instead. If you have to sip from a straw, make sure you ‘workout’ your lips the opposite way every now and then. Form your mouth to silently say aaaah and eeee!
3. Letting dead skin pile up
Allowing dead skin cells to accumulate is one of the most anti-aging habits you can have. New skin cells are made in the deepest layer of the skin, called the dermis. Above the dermis are several thin layers of skin. New skin cells are sent up the surface of these layers, the outermost layer being the epidermis. On the way to the epidermis, skin cells die, these dead skin cells then are filled with intercellular glue-like substance that bind them together thereby hiding and/or preventing newer skin cells to reach the surface.
Regular and gentle exfoliating facilitates newer skin cells to surface; preventing a dull, dry appearance of the skin. Exfoliating also removes dirt and excess oil. Your skin will appear more youthful and radiant. Scrubbing off dead skin cells also allow your anti-aging creams and serums to reach the skins cells that need them the most, as opposed to these products just sitting on the top layer of the skin.
4. Not wearing sunglasses
The skin around your eyes are very thin and delicate. Harsh sunlight, dirt and pollution can damage them quite easily.
Outdoors, a gust of wind can bring with it all sorts of dust and allergens that can land in and around your eyes. Causing you to rub and tug at your eye area. Constant touching of the eye area can cause darkening and pre-mature wrinkling.
Without sunglasses, the brightness will cause you to squint. Repetitive motion such as squinting, frowning and laughing do etch permanent lines on your face. Strong sunlight breaks down the collagen in the skin and can cause discoloration and fine lines, especially so, to your delicate eye area.
To avoid squinting, wear sunglasses when outdoors. Wear anti-glare computer glasses when in from of the computer. Refrain from rubbing your eye-area. Neglecting to care for your eye-area will hasten aging. Use eye masks at least once in a week to soothe and repair tired skin.
5. Chewing gum
Another repetitive movement to watch out for is gum chewing. Chewing gums regularly can cause in a squarer jawline. This is because the muscles around your jaws are constantly moving, when clenching the teeth as you do when chewing. Some people chew gums all day.
Lines will appear on the side of the cheek you favour when chewing gums. The more you chew gums, the deeper the lines get. Chewing gums and sipping through straws is the surefire combo to permanently borrow the beauty of a shar-pei.
Kick the habit if can, minimise if you can’t. After a good session of gum chewing, puff your cheeks like a blowfish, once in a while.