Chances are, you think you’re doing everything under the sun to maintain youthful looking skin. Wearing daily sunscreen, check. Using an anti-aging product, check. Applying moisturizer, check. Guzzling water, check. So imagine your surprise when you realize there are a few mistakes women often make that are aging your skin and causing extra wrinkles. Ack!
Apparently, you may unknowingly be one of those “skin saboteurs” and if you are, you need to stop that action, now. Are you guilty of any of these everyday activities?
10 ACTIVITIES THAT ARE AGING YOUR SKIN
1. Sipping through a straw.
The puckering motion you use to drink through a straw is like that of smoking a cigarette, and can result in similar consequences. Using a straw etches vertical lines around your mouth that become more pronounced over time.
The Solution: Drink from a cup when possible to stave off “lipstick lines”.
2. Not wearing sunglasses.
This one is especially important to protect your eyes against that especially bright sun. However, sunglasses do more than just protect your eyes. They also play a role in protecting your skin against aging. Repetitive squinting in bright light can lead to crow’s feet, which often require dermal fillers to smooth again.
The Solution: Keep sunglasses in your car so you’re less likely to find yourself out and about without them.
3. Substituting sunscreen for a moisturizer.
While it’s great that you have made using sunscreen part of your daily routine, it doesn’t provide the same benefits as your moisturizer. Not all sunscreens hydrate, and some may even add oil or dry out your skin.
The Solution: Apply both moisturizer and sunscreen for days out in the sun, or use a moisturizer with SPF for daily use.
4. Going unprotected in the evening.
While mid-day, specifically from 10am until 2pm, is the most dangerous time for your skin, that doesn’t mean that you should be skipping your sunscreen regimen if you’re planning on being outside later in the day. As long as the sun is up, you are susceptible to burns, even on cloudy, overcast days.
The Solution: Sunscreen needs reapplying, so always carry it with you.
5. Bathing in hot water.
A steamy shower or dip in the hot tub may be great for sore muscles, but studies show it’s bad for your skin. That’s because hot water breaks down skin elasticity and causes premature wrinkling and sagging.
The Solution: When bathing, keep the water warm rather than piping hot and save the hot tub soaks for special occasions.
6. Sitting in front of a fire.
Sun damage isn’t the only light source responsible for aging. New studies show that the heat emitted by fire affects the skin similarly to UV rays, resulting in thinner skin, blotchiness, dryness, and free radical damage.
The Solution: Be sure to sit at least three feet away from fireplaces and keep your exposure brief.
7. Eating refined sugar.
The Solution: To keep your skin looking its best, swap sugary candy for fruit, skip the soda, and cut back on processed, packaged foods.
7. Sleeping face-down.
Pillow creases may be more than a temporary problem. Sleeping on your face for an extended period of time can cause permanent wrinkles to develop.
The Solution: Train yourself to sleep on your back or try a wrinkle-reducing pillow like JuveRest®, which minimizes the amount of contact between the fabric and your skin.
8. Driving sans sunscreen
Did you know that the sun’s harmful rays actually penetrate the windows of your car? Any normal glass will block all UVB rays so you won’t burn, but sadly none of the dangerous UVA rays. UVA rays are the ones that prematurely age the skin and contribute to skin cancer.
The Solution: Protect your skin by lathering SPF 30 or higher onto your face, arms and especially your hands to prevent wrinkles and spots down the road.
10. Squinting at your computer
Staring, frowning or squinting at a screen for too long can cause an unwanted line between your eyebrows and may lead to crow’s feet around your eyes.
The Solution: It’s important to regularly visit your optometrist to have your eyes checked and be sure to take a break away from your desk every couple of hours.
Dr. Kally Papantoniou is a Cosmetic Dermatologist in New York who specializes in Injectables, Lasers, Body Contouring, Surgical and Medical Dermatology.