Crows feet, forehead wrinkles, neck lines, jowling, aging...make it stop! Aging is something that, unfortunately, we cannot stop from happening. While we cannot fully stop this process there are a lot of things we can do to slow it down. We can prevent deep lines, wrinkles, and jowling and stay looking younger longer! Having a great skin care routine at home is just one piece to the puzzle. Factors like diet, environment, and even repetitive movements or facial expressions can cause unwanted lines and wrinkles. Making small adjustments to your life and daily habits now may help to keep you looking younger longer. Who doesn't want that?
Yes, we know we are constantly lecturing on the damaging effects the sun can have, but how can we not? Sun damages skin so deeply that the effects can sometimes be irreversible. While daily SPF is a great way to preserve skin from rays, it doesn't protect you from all damage. Some of us are absorbing a ton of UV rays everyday without even knowing it.
scrub me secret: after sunscreen is applied to skin and is exposed to the UV rays it starts to oxidize. this means after a few hours of sunlight your sunscreen will lose its effect and will need to be reapplied. however, most of us are not reapplying our sunscreen throughout a normal day and therefore damaging our skin if we are exposed to sunlight for longer amounts of time.
Driving for extended amounts of time, whether it be commuting or driving for a living, exposes the skin to sunlight for hours on a daily basis. This can cause your collagen and elastin to deplete more rapidly, leaving your skin loose and with wrinkles or jowling. Sitting by a window at a desk all day can have the same effects.
scrub me secret: people who sit next to a window for work can notice that the side of their face that faces the window is aging more quickly than the side that faces indoors. this is due to the effects of the sun.
Another way the sun can give us wrinkles is the constant squinting we have to do when it's bright out. Take our advice, always have large, super dark shades in your bag to avoid those "squint lines!" That brings us to our next wrinkle-causing factor: repetitive facial movements. Furrowing our brow, frowning, raising brows in surprise, pursing our lips, and squinting are common expressions we make many times a day. Some of us have more expressions than others and you'll be able to see that in our skin. The reason why is that our facial muscles are being trained over the years to hold those positions. That, combined with years of gravity, is what contributes to our expression lines. Constantly frowning and furrowing the brows can pull facial muscles downwards causing sagging.
scrub me secret: the way we constantly look down at our phones and tablets can cause our neck to start to wrinkle. the repetitive movement of looking down causes a small fold in the neck skin which can get deeper over time.
Try being conscious of your facial expressions. Feel yourself frowning? Pull the corners of your mouth upward in a slight smile, this will keep your facial muscles lifted and maybe even give you a little boost of happiness! Being mindful to keep your face relaxed is not an easy habit at first but it will soon feel routine! Remember, it's taking years off your face.
scrub me secret: do you rub your eyes a lot throughout the day? What about when you remove makeup? Habits like roughly rubbing at the delicate skin around the eyes leads to fine lines and sagging.
Speaking of daily habits, expressions aren't the only thing contributing to wrinkles. If you smoke, drink regularly, or have a high sugar/sodium diet, your skin is going to suffer for it. We all know major toxins in cigarette smoke leads to deterioration of our skin's proteins which then leads to wrinkles. What about our diet, how can that be giving us wrinkles? Let's start with sugar. When sugars are consumed our bodies break them down as best as possible and use them for energy. When we consume too much sugar for our bodies to process it properly, and let's face it that's every time we have dessert, a molecule is produced that is harmful to our collagen and elastin cells.
scrub me secret: when we aren't processing sugars correctly our bodies use a process called glycation. Glycation is when the glucose that comes from the sugars and carbs we eat attaches itself to a protein. Then a new molecule is formed that degrades the collagen cells.
Sodium makes our bodies retain water, making us look and feel puffy. Swelling of our face and eyes can lead to fine lines or sagging over time. Foods with high sodium content can also dehydrate our skin and bodies which leads to fine lines. Alcohol can have a similar inflammatory effect on our skin. Not only does drinking alcohol makes us puffy in the AM, it also affects collagen which our skin needs to stay firm and smooth. Drinking alcohol regularly can speed up the signs of aging.
Regular facial treatments and good home care are obviously key in keeping your skin looking young. However, using products that are too harsh or aren't right for your skin type can damage the skin's proteins. Using too many acidic exfoliants like glycolic, salicylic, and retinols can sensitize and dry the skin out, causing fine lines and wrinkles. Same goes for facial treatments, if you're too aggressive you can end up damaging the cells. We think it's best to keep the more aggressive treatments like peels, microdermabrasion, laser, etc. to a maximum of every 3 weeks.
Preventing aging is a tough job and we are all going to get a few lines and wrinkles along the way. Being conscious of the factors that are aging you will really help to keep your skin younger longer. Keep your skin happy and healthy and just maybe you will uncover the fountain of youth!