|the five major causes of premature aging |
A number of factors contribute to the process of premature aging (extrinsic aging). These causes are among the most common, and fortunately, the most treatable and preventable when lifestyle changes are adapted and when under the care of a skin care professional.
Responsible for a litany of skin issues, and more importantly skin cancer, the sun really is our skin’s worst enemy. Scientific studies have shown that repeated ultraviolet (UV) exposure breaks down collagen, impairs skin’s ability to repair itself and attacks our elastin.
The damage is seen through deep wrinkles, age spots (hyperpigmentation), spider veins, a rough, blotchy complexion and a “leathery” look.
Cumulative exposure to daylight will also cause extensive damage. Fifteen minute walks outside and occasional lunches outdoors can add up to weakened collagen and elastin, and of course, skin cancer. And even if you don’t see pink or red skin after being in the sun, that doesn’t mean that the damage hasn’t been done.
Exposure to the Elements
Cold winds and low temperatures can dry out skin, depriving it of balanced levels of sebum (oil) that keep skin lubricated. Without these oils, skin becomes dry, and is more prone to premature aging because of the lack of protective oils.
This goes for forced air heating as well. Warm, dry air acts like a giant sponge, soaking up moisture from everything it touches.
Smokers are more likely than non-smokers to develop wrinkled, leathery skin, as well as a yellowish hue in their complexions. And even if you aren’t a smoker, being around a smoker can still cause damage to your skin.
Lack of Sleep / Stress
Skin is the first place to be affected by lack of sleep – the immediate effects of exhaustion are represented through dark circles under the eyes and sagging skin.
Stress is inevitable – just like aging! But it also contributes to premature aging. Often when we’re stressed, we furrow our brow, place our hands on our face and pull it in every which way direction, frown (where do you think the term “frown lines” comes from?) and twist our faces around, performing repetitive movements that impart permanent damage. Stress also results in heightened adrenal activity, which over time can lead to impaired health.
Lack of Exercise /Poor Diet
Lack of exercise can contribute to prematurely aging skin, as exercise keeps muscles tone and stimulates
A poor diet leads to a lack of nutrition for the cells and possible exposure to chemicals and preservatives. Fried and burnt food can also cause oxidation (free radicals from vitamins help counteract oxidation), leading to weaker cell structure.