No One Wants To Look Like This At 50

Image: Eva Cristescu

Many of us aren’t really afraid of aging. It’s the consequences of it that we’re more concerned of.

Of all the age-related changes, it’s the skin changes that bother many of us. Besides, who would want to see a reflection of one’s self with all the deep lines, uneven pigmentation, and dull skin?

What You Do Now Matters

Aging is inevitable. We all know that. But there’s a difference between embracing the natural changes brought by aging and forcing ourselves to embrace what our skin has become as a result of habits we had in our younger years.

You may not be aware of it but there are habits that can speed up the signs of aging. Some of these habits may even make them look worse.

Unhealthy habit #1: Heading outside without sunscreen

Did you know that unprotected sun exposure is one of the easiest ways to speed up skin aging? Without any form of skin protection, UV light exposure causes free radicals that damage your collagen, elastin, and even the skin cells themselves.

Collagen and elastin are important skin structures that that keep your skin elastic and firm. When damaged, they can lead to skin sagging and make those fine and deep lines more visible.

What you can do now:
Lather on sunscreen! Even if it looks cloudy outside, putting on sunscreen especially on exposed parts of your body can protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun.

When choosing a sunscreen, opt for one with a sun protective factor (SPF) of at least 30.

Unhealthy habit #2: Not getting enough sleep

Depriving yourself of your much-needed sleep isn’t just harmful to your health. It can also make you look older.

Just like other parts of your body, the skin also functions on a circadian rhythm. It does its repairing function at night time. When you’re skimping on sleep, you are throwing off the entire repair process, further stressing out your skin the following day.

What you can do now:

Try to get at least eight hours of sleep each night. And before you plop into your bed, make sure you get rid of your makeup, washed your face, and applied a moisturizer.

Unhealthy habit #3: Eating highly processed food

A diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar isn’t good for your skin. These foods can cause a rapid spike in your blood sugar level.

Sugar molecules travel through the blood and link up with fats and protein. When they link up with collagen without an enzyme, it can trigger a process called glycation which can result to compromised circulation in the skin. The end result? Dry and dull-looking skin.

What you can do now:

Cut back on processed food and amp up your intake of nutrient-dense food like vegetables and fruits. They’re good for both your body and skin.

Unhealthy habit #4: Skipping your workouts

We all know that regular exercise is good for us but how often do we stay consistent in doing it?

If you’ve been neglecting this area of your health, then here’s another reason why you should get back to it: regular physical activity can keep your skin look healthier.

Exercise increases blood flow. This leads to a boost in oxygen level and elimination of any harmful waste product.

What you can do now:

Renew your gym membership!

If you’ve never been active, you can start small by doing regular walks or run.

Unhealthy habit #5: Smoking

Smoking can make you age faster. It constricts the blood vessels, cuts off the circulation, and causes a decrease in the delivery of oxygen and nutrients in the skin. Plus, tobacco is nothing but chemicals that cause damage to the collagen and elastin.

What you can do now:

Quit smoking. There’s no single benefit to tobacco smoking. It shortens your life and makes you older faster.

Are you guilty of any of these habits?

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