Despite concerted efforts to erase years, there are things you do every day that have the opposite effect and you probably don’t even notice you are doing them. The colours you wear, how you do your makeup and so much more can make you look older. It is not easy to spot what you are doing wrong, especially when you do it often. Ageing in real sense is inevitable but there are things you can do to prevent premature ageing. Aside from affecting your overall beauty, ageing brings with it several types of health problems including obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease to mention a few. As time goes on, the skin becomes thinner and drier which may leads to fine lines and wrinkles, increased pigmentation, loss of elasticity, firmness, and dullness. At times, your body can start showing signs of ageing sooner than you might expect. Factors that can cause premature ageing may include; environment, lifestyle changes and the food you eat can make you look older faster than you can imagine. When you take good care of your skin, your diets, overall health, and avoiding certain day-to-day habits and activities can help prevent premature ageing.
So, some things you do that make you look older include;
Over-Exfoliating: While getting rid of dead skin cells is a must, over-exfoliating is a major no-no, says esthetician Lydia Sarfati, founder of Repêchage, a line of spa beauty products. “When new skin cells are exposed to the elements before they are ready, skin becomes fragile and looks aged,” she explains. It’s especially important to avoid harsher forms of exfoliation such as highly concentrated chemical peels and laser resurfacing, she adds. Always opt for a gentle facial scrub and exfoliate at least two to three times per week.
Choosing Coffee over Water: No matter which facial moisturisers you use, staying hydrated from the inside is key for glowing skin and helps flush toxins out of your body. “Double your water intake. When you think you have had enough drink more,” advises Grufferman. Sip about nine glasses of water per day and don’t overdo it on coffee and alcohol, which have a diuretic effect.
Holding Grudges: Forgiveness is something most of us believe in, but we don’t always practice it. Holding grudges against any person or situation is not good for your health as well as appearance. If you are not able to forgive, you are adding more stress to your life, which boosts your level of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol leads to weight gain, high blood pressure and high blood sugar. Stress even leads to more frowning, one of the key causes of wrinkles on the forehead.
Applying Heavy Eyeliner: Using harsh eyeliner can instantly make eyes appear smaller, which can add years and highlight wrinkles around your peepers. “Try a soft pencil that easily can be blended after applied,” says Erica Bishop, a “Beauty Genius” for cosmetics brand Prescriptive. Blending in eyeliner gives your makeup a more natural look that is less aging.
Sun Exposure: No matter how amazing the sun feels on your body, regular and prolonged exposure to sunrays is one of the worst things you can do for your skin. Long-term exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays weakens your skin cells and blood vessels, which causes a tanned, leathery-looking skin. It even leads to pigmentation, reduced skin elasticity and a degradation of skin texture. Also, the risk of skin cancer is significantly higher due to sun exposure. Before going
out in the sun, protect your skin by wearing a hat, covering up with clothing and using sunscreen.
Lifting Too Much at the Gym: Too much exercise can lead to premature aging, overworking large muscles, such as the triceps, quads and biceps, can cause sagging in the long run, says celebrity fitness instructor Tracy Anderson. “As connective tissues loosen with age, an overworked aging muscle produces an undesirable skin tone,” she explains. Focus on accessory muscles around the larger thigh and belly muscles, which can give you a more balanced look. For each group of muscles, use weights under three pounds each and do more reps,
Smoking: It is a known fact that smoking harms your health in many ways which includes accelerating the aging process of your skin. The harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke chronically deprive your skin cells of oxygen, which can lead to pale, uneven colouring. It even triggers the breakdown of collagen and can cause loose, saggy skin. In fact, the whole process of smoking can cause deep wrinkles around the mouth. Whether you smoke or you spend time with a smoker, cigarette smoke is bad for your skin.
Stress: Have you ever noticed that you frown a lot when you are feeling stressed? Frowning is not good for your appearance. Over time, the muscles in the face actually conform to that movement. This leads to wrinkles on the forehead, which make you look older. Stress even plays a key role in initiating and driving events that cause skin aging at the cellular level. Stress contributes to breakdown of the
collagen, damages DNA and promotes the release of pro-inflammatory mediators (cytokines), which trigger premature aging signs.
Overusing Powder and Concealer: Caking on makeup to hide wrinkles and other imperfections can actually accentuate fine lines, says Grufferman. Instead, start off with a lightweight moisturizing foundation and add extra concealer only when “absolutely necessary,” like to cover under-eye circles and discoloured spots.
Lastly, do not ignore the importance of keeping your body hydrated. Drink an ample amount of water each day to prevent dehydration and to enjoy younger-looking skin.
By Mercy Kukah