Top Causes of Premature Skin Aging
Aging skin. It’s bound to happen one day as it is a natural process of getting older. There is going to come a time in everyone’s life when they look in the mirror to suddenly discover a brand-new wrinkle or age spot that wasn’t there just a few months ago.
So, what exactly causes our skin to age? Well, for starters, it is one of the most common complaints cosmetic surgeons hear and can be set into motion by quite a wide variety of factors –both internal and external– that can allow skin to either age gracefully or age faster than our actual biological age. Most of the time, sensible lifestyle choices are key to impacting these factors and to help keep skin looking younger for longer.
Knowledge, as wise men say, is power. The more an individual understands about fighting the aging process, the more control one can have in maintaining a healthier, younger body and mind. Below are the top causes of premature skin aging that you should take note of.
All by itself, the body has an inherent ability to produce enzymes that operate as antioxidants, along with the ability to correct individual damage to DNA. Many of the antioxidant enzymes produced from within the body are responsible for the effective repair of damages done to the genetic code during the aging process.
Basically, the tendency to repair genetic damage and the number of antioxidants the body produces naturally is inherent in our personal genomes. Case in point: our parents can also affect the degree of damage caused to our skin with the aging process.
2. Sun Exposure
Aging skin is a natural process, but daily sun exposure can contribute to premature aging in a big way by slowing down the turnover of new healthy skin cells and old damaged cells. It is important to remember that UV exposure is the number one cause of skin aging, as 90% of all visible age signs and 80% of skin-aging free radical damage are caused by everyday time underneath sunlight doing activities like gardening, dog walking, or even driving.
3. Pollution and Toxins
Air pollution, which is common in cities far and wide, also triggers the formation of free radicals all while aggravating the effects of sun exposure and accelerating oxidative stress. Though you cannot control pollution in the same way you can control something like fitness and diet, it is important to keep in mind that toxin exposure plays a huge role in damaging skin by slowing down the cellular growth that allows skin to age more rapidly.
Both pollution and toxins decrease oxygen and collagen in the skin, leading to duller, more blotchy appearances, uneven tone, and constant breakouts, so the key to minimizing the risks is protection like nonstop SPF.
4. Facial Expressions or Mimicry
Making facial expressions often contracts underlying muscle. If there is a repeated contracting of the same muscles for many years, the lines that slowly form are bound to become permanent.
For one, stress causes acne and oily skin—it can also create a toxic environment for the skin and wreak unneeded havoc on the entire body due to an increase in the stress hormone cortisol. This all goes on to affect sebum production, microcirculation, and hydration levels that can lead to a duller, more aged complexion. Stress also furthers free radical damage, which is another top cause of aging.
6. Lack of Sleep
Prolonged lack of sleep can more often than not be clearly evident on the face and skin. Not only does it accelerate aging, it’s also the cause of other pathological processes.
During the stage of deep sleep, the pituitary gland in the brain secretes growth hormones. Continuous night sleep is one of the only few times in the day in which that growth hormone is secreted in adults. Because this hormone has great importance in maintaining various body tissues and their renewal, skin tissue is highly damaged if one is deprived of needed sleep.
Smoking monumentally accelerates the skin’s aging process, with wrinkling having been discovered in smokers as young as twenty. By itself, smoke inhalation is terrible for the skin, not to mention the health in general. Tobacco, on top of that, has been proven to turn the skin an unhealthy color and texture. So the best thing one can do for the skin and the body is to just stay away from all forms of smoking, including vaping.
While we know that smoking is bad for health and the skin, excess alcohol, like the former, can also lead to all sorts of health problems by depleting the body of necessary nutrients.
Though red wine has been touted as a good source of antioxidants, drinking a lot of it—or any alcohol, for that matter, causes serious dehydration to the skin because it will act as a diuretic. Skin will likely appear much older and more wrinkled, as well as look paler or gray in color. Too much alcohol is also toxic for your liver, which can contribute to skin discoloration.
What’s more is that alcohol also reduces blood levels of vitamin A, an important antioxidant for the skin that is critical for collagen production. When it comes down to it, it is just better to limit those drinks from the get-go!
9. Poor Diet
You are what you eat. Everything you put in your body has a direct impact on the skin, and though the connections between diet and overall health are fairly obvious, poor diet actually has a much bigger impact on your skin than anyone would probably realize. Bad habits can cause dullness, puffiness, redness, congestion, acne, faster aging of the skin, and a myriad of other health disorders. High sugar intake, in addition, degrades collagen and elastin, which are the proteins that keep skin soft and supple.
Further, lack of nourishment from vitamins and minerals, especially those found in fruits and vegetables, also shows up on the skin, as the nutrients found in the two feed the skin to keep it youthful, hydrated, and glowing. Make sure your diet also includes fish with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, as well as plenty of fiber from whole grains.
Cosmetic Surgery in Beverly Hills
To learn about more ways to combat the signs of premature aging or to schedule a consultation to discuss further options for non-surgical anti-aging treatments, contact Dr. Gabriel Chiu, a renowned plastic and reconstructive surgeon whose utmost goal is to help his patients achieve their personal aesthetic goals through cosmetic surgery in Beverly Hills.