Kevin McLaughlin

5 Things You’re Doing That Are Making You Look Older

5-Things-Youre-Doing-That-Are-Making-You-Look-Older_MarniAndrewsA recent study suggests that genes are not the only culprit for aging facial skin. Wrinkles, spots, and dilated blood vessels can also be the result of too much sun, smoking, unhealthy eating, and other environmental and lifestyle factors. You may not even realize that some of the things you’re doing are actually making you look older.

Having the right anti-aging secrets can make all the difference. It’s more possible than ever to be able to live to 100, and if you follow these anti-aging secrets, you will have a much better chance of aging well and looking great well into your older years. These anti-aging secrets shed light on common mistakes people make, and how to correct them, so that you can look younger as you age. And remember, these may be anti-aging secrets, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep them to yourself.

Not enough cleansing: Anti-aging secrets always start with proper skin care techniques. Regular cleansing and exfoliating removes the dead skin cells that make skin look dull and older. If your skin can handle it, use an exfoliating scrub or mask. If you have sensitive skin, gently rubbing the surface with a washcloth can be enough to see a difference. Always remove makeup before going to bed so that your pores can breathe and your skin can repair itself overnight—this is one of the most important anti-aging secrets you’ll find.

Sun damage: A study done on twins showed that too much sun can make one sibling look as much as a decade older than the other. Sun damage is cumulative so it’s never too late to increase your level of sun care. Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and a minimum of SPF 40 if you have fairer skin. Sun protection isn’t the most surprising entry on the list of anti-aging secrets, but it’s also one of the most important.

Hot water: One thing associated with youthful skin is a moist, dewy glow. As we age, especially after menopause, skin thins and gets drier. Using scalding hot water on dry skin will further strip it of its natural oils. Cleanse with lukewarm water instead. Here are some other anti-aging secrets for dry skin: apply a thicker moisturizer before bed and after the shower when skin is damp to seal in the moisture, swap your bar soap for a fragrance-free body wash, and use a humidifier to keep air moist.

Too much junk food: You can make your skin look younger by maintaining a healthy diet, ideally one that contains minimal sweets and is low in refined carbohydrates. The sugar in both attaches to proteins in the body, which damages elastin and collagen in skin. Scientists from the Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands found evidence connecting anti-aging secrets about diet to the appearance of skin: for every one mm/litre increase in blood sugar, subjects looked five months older. This doesn’t seem like the most prophetic of anti-aging secrets, but simple diet changes can make a difference.

Smoking: This is one of those anti-aging secrets that people usually know, but tend to overlook. Smoking can literally add years to your physical appearance. It deprives the skin of oxygen and nutrients, and the chemicals in tobacco break down the skin’s collagen and elastin—this creates wrinkles and sagging skin. If that isn’t enough to deter you, there are many other anti-aging secrets to do with smoking. Those who light up are more susceptible to developing age spots from sun exposure, are twice as likely to lose their teeth, their hair thins faster as they age, and they’re more likely to develop cataracts. As far as anti-aging secrets go, this one’s a no-brainer.

Sources:“Face looking old? Don’t blame your genes,” Reuters web site; https://www.reuters.com/article/2009/12/23/us-face-idUSTRE5BM3HS20091223, last accessed May 28, 2013

“How Many Teeth are in That Cigarette Pack?,” Dr. James J. Hyland web site; https://www.smilesforlife.ca/dental_information/how_many_teeth_are_in_that_cigarette_pack.htm, last accessed May 28, 2013

Noordam, R., et al., “High serum glucose levels are associated with a higher perceived age,” Age (Dordrecht, Netherlands) 2013; 35: 189-195; doi: 10.1007/s11357-011-9339-9.



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