We ALL age, it's an unavoidable fact of being alive. But are one of these 3 things causing your skin to age much faster than it should? We're not going to focus on vices like smoking or excessive alcohol since you probably already know and don't need us nagging at you.
Read on to find out 3 preventable causes of premature aging, as well as an easy solution for each issue.
1. SUN EXPOSURE
Up to 90% of premature aging could be due to accumulated sun damage. Sun damage can occur even on cloudy days and when we're participating in simple activities like a daily walk outdoors.
Exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause damage to the youth preserving collagen content in the skin. When we destroy out bodies own "filler" we'll experience more pronounced lines and wrinkles.
Sun damage also leads to the development of pigmentation changes (sometimes referred to as Age Spots) which can occur anywhere on the body.
What To Do?
To protect your skin from the sun, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen (we prefer Zinc and titanium for our face) with an SPF of 30 or higher, wear protective clothing, and seek shade during peak sun hours. Be sure to wear your sunblock any time you're venturing outside.
You can still get your vitamin D, just be sure to limit unprotected sun exposure on areas you want to age well.
2. OVER EXFOLIATING
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin to reveal smoother, brighter skin. However, if done too frequently or aggressively, it can cause damage to the skin's protective barrier and lead to inflammation, dryness, and irritation. We see this ALL the time.
When the skin's protective barrier is compromised, it can allow environmental pollutants, toxins, and bacteria to penetrate deeper into the skin, leading to premature aging. Additionally, over-exfoliation can cause the skin to become thinner, making it more prone to fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage.
What To Do?
It's important to find a balance when it comes to exfoliating your skin. We recommend exfoliating no more than once or twice a week, depending on your skin type and the type of exfoliator you are using. It's also important to choose a gentle exfoliant that won't damage the skin's protective barrier and to always moisturize and protect your skin with sunscreen after exfoliating.
Be aware of what is in your products. Don't use multiple products containing acids and retinols, especially on a daily basis.
What you eat can affect your skin's health. A diet high in sugar, saturated fats, and processed foods can contribute to inflammation, which can lead to acne, eczema, and other skin problems.
A diet that is low in protein (sourced from plants OR animals) and fruits/vegetables won't provide the amino acids and vitamins necessary for tissue repair and collagen formation. The end result will be lines, wrinkles and lack of firmness.
What To Do?
Be sure to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats which can provide the nutrients and antioxidants your skin needs to stay healthy. Supplement with healthy snacks and protein rich smoothies if pressed for time.