Wrinkles are a part of aging and people often start noticing them as they get older. However, many develop wrinkles at a much younger age and are willing to spend thousands of dollars to get rid of them.
Wrinkles are creases, folds or ridges in the skin that are most prominent on sun-exposed areas like the face, neck, hands and forearms. Sun exposure is the main cause of wrinkles, especially for fair-skinned people.
Other contributing factors include pollutants, excessive smoking or drinking, dehydration, and some medications and therapies.
Many wrinkle-inducing habits and behaviors can also contribute to premature wrinkles. Avoiding these bad habits can help keep your skin looking younger for years to come.
Here are the top 10 bad beauty habits that are giving you wrinkles.
1. Tummy and Side Sleeping
Sleep is important for your skin’s health. Getting at least 6 to 7 hours of good quality sleep each day helps you look refreshed and youthful. However, when it comes to wrinkles, along with quality sleep you need to pay attention to your sleeping position.
Beauty experts report that sleeping on your belly or side may cause wrinkles. No matter how soft your pillow is, burrowing your face into your pillow puts pressure on the collagen and elastin fibers in your skin. Over time, this leads to fine lines on your chin, cheeks and forehead.
To prevent sleep lines or wrinkles, sleep on your back. If possible, also use a satin pillowcase.
2. Repetitive Facial Expressions
Facial expressions enhance our communication power, but repeating the same expressions can contribute to premature aging signs like wrinkles and fine lines. Making a particular expression repeatedly can unnecessarily train your facial muscles. Overtime, the muscles lose their flexibility, which results in more prominent lines on the skin.
Any kind of repetitive facial muscle movement will cause wrinkles. You can control certain facial expressions like scrunching, squinting, frowning and pouting that tend to overwork the facial muscles.
Also, avoid pulling and stretching your skin when applying makeup or cleansing. Use a good quality night cream before going to bed to help your skin repair itself while you sleep.
3. Excessive Drinking
Drinking too much alcohol is not good for your overall health as well as your skin. Alcohol speeds up the process of aging as it depletes the body’s level of vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that helps produce collagen. Lack of collagen contributes to premature aging. Excessive drinking also causes bloated blood vessels that contribute to unsightly varicose veins.
Plus, alcohol acts like a diuretic, which means the more you drink, the more dehydrated your body becomes. This lack of hydration also affects your skin, making it more prone to premature aging signs like wrinkles and fine lines.
To keep your skin supple, taut and looking young, stop drinking. With the help of exercise, acupuncture, yoga, meditation and a healthy diet, you can quit drinking. If required, seek professional help.
Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, infertility, high blood pressure and more. However, if you are still not motivated to quit smoking, then be prepared to have aging signs at an early age.
Regular smoking exacerbates skin conditions like psoriasis, uneven skin tone, and saggy skin. Moreover, smoking overworks the muscles around your mouth, which can cause deep wrinkles with time. Even if you do not smoke, exposure to second-hand smoke can also irritate your skin.
5. Skipping Sunscreen
Exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) sunrays is one of the main causes of premature aging signs on the skin. Moreover, it increases your risk of skin cancer, including the life-threatening melanoma.
To prevent wrinkles, never skip the sunscreen. Even a few minutes of sun exposure can lead to a breakdown of collagen, contributing to fine lines and wrinkles. Wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 every day throughout the year. Also, wear protective clothing, such as wide-brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts and sunglasses.
As sunlight is a vital source of vitamin D, it’s important to expose your skin to early morning sunlight for a few minutes daily. But avoid going out in the sun during peak hours from 10a.m. to 4 p.m.
6. Sleeping with Makeup
At the end of a hectic and tiring day, most women do not feel like spending time removing their makeup before going to bed. However, you must avoid skipping this ritual as sleeping with makeup on causes significant damage to your skin and accelerates the aging process.
The makeup you wear picks up pollutants and free radicals throughout the day. If not removed before going to bed, it can clog the skin pores and cause the breakdown of collagen fibers.
No matter how tired or busy you are, pamper your skin at night for at least 10 minutes. Remove your makeup, then wash your face with a mild cleanser and apply a moisturizer. Sleeping with a clean face allows your skin to breathe through the night.
Exfoliation is good for removing dirt, debris, excess oil and dead skin cells. Exfoliating on a regular basis also helps your skin care products penetrate deep into your skin, in turn making it appear more radiant and youthful. However, over-exfoliating can rob your skin of its natural oils, leave your skin red and cause skin irritations.
If you exfoliate, keep it to once a week if you have dry skin, or twice a week if your skin is oily. When exfoliating, use gentle motions and do not scrub your skin harshly.
8. Long, Hot Showers
A long, hot shower after a tiring day is very relaxing. But unfortunately, the heat can cause many skin problems, including wrinkles. Hot water strips the skin of its natural oils that work as a protective barrier. Without this natural protection, the skin becomes more prone to premature aging.
The best solution is to enjoy lukewarm showers. This will help lock in moisture and is good for your hair, too.
Be sure to step out of the shower when your skin starts to turn red and become itchy.
9. Ignoring the Eyes
Wrinkles around your eyes tend to make you look older. This occurs mainly because the skin around the eyes is thinner and can easily be damaged by UV exposure, irritation and other environmental factors.
To prevent wrinkles around the eyes, take extra care of this delicate skin area. Avoid rubbing your eyes with your fingers, which can cause cause wrinkles to form and become permanent over time. It can also rupture the blood vessels beneath your skin and make your dark circles appear more prominent. To get rid of any kind of eye irritation, simply splash cold water on your eyes.
Use a good quality eye cream to keep the skin well moisturized. Gently massage the area around your eyes for a few minutes daily to improve blood circulation and rejuvenate the skin. Also, wear sunglasses when going out in the sun to protect from UV rays.
10. Neglecting Ears, Neck and Hands
Even if you have a flawless, wrinkle-free face, saggy skin around your neck and wrinkly hands can make you look older than your age. To maintain a youthful appearance as you get older, give special attention to your neck, ear and hands.
Scrub your neck, ears and hands thoroughly at least once or twice a week. Apply moisturizer daily to keep your skin hydrated and soften wrinkles. During the cold winter days, apply moisturizer on damp skin when you get out of the shower to lock in moisture.
Also, do not neglect your neck, ears and the backs of your hands when applying sunscreen on your skin.
- Maintain a healthy approach to eating as your skin needs good nutrition to maintain form and function. Include more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds in your diet.
- Avoid processed and refined foods and sugars as they can cause your skin to age prematurely.
- Drink an ample amount of water throughout the day as dehydration can make your skin drier.
- Avoid crash dieting, which is not good for your health as well as your skin.
- Avoid drinking beverages through a straw. It requires you to purse your lips that can create fine lines around your mouth due to the repetitive muscle motion.
- Control your stress level as it can leave a mark on your face as well as your overall health.
- Do not use bar soap on your face as the harsh chemicals in it can cause damage to your skin.
- Do facial exercises daily to maintain your skin’s firmness.
- Avoid environmental pollutants like smoke and gasoline fumes.
- Use sauna and steam baths sparingly. These spa treatments can cause sagging skin.