Here is a list of the surprising everyday habits that can age you.
Time to switch up your routine!
Certain Foods (Say, what?!)
Inflammatory foods (think foods that make you a little hot or look a little red after eating) may accelerate the formation of wrinkles.
Here is a list of the worst types of inflammatory foods:
- Trans Fat: While processed foods are slowly but surely cutting back on trans fat, it’s still smart to investigate labels for hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils and leave those packages on the shelf. Trans fats can induce inflammation by damaging the cells in the lining of blood vessels, according to the Mayo Clinic (part of the reason many companies are limiting use!).
- Sugar: Our bodies weren’t meant to break down huge amounts of sugar.
- White Bread: In a 2010 study, researchers found that a diet high in refined grains led to a greater concentration of a certain inflammation marker in the blood, while a diet high in whole grains resulted in a lower concentration of two different inflammation markers.
- Alcohol: Often you can get easily flushed, feel hot, or appear bloated after consuming excess alcohol. Long, daily happy hours may be aging you. You don’t have to swear off the bottle altogether, but by drinking less, your liver doesn’t have to work as hard to flush out toxins and impurities from your body, and when it works more efficiently, you’ll see the results in your skin.
- Omega-6 Fatty Acids: The average American gets more omega-6 fatty acids via diet than omega-3s, but this imbalance can lead to inflammation, according to U.S. News.
- Milk: While moderate intake of low-fat dairy can actually guard against inflammation, whole milk or even two-percent is still high in saturated fat and could mean trouble. A majority of adults actually have at least some difficulty digesting milk, so overdoing it could trigger an inflammatory reaction.
- Gluten: Science is still largely inconclusive on what has been called “gluten intolerance,” but it could be that the sensitivity that leads to bloating or digestion changes are an inflammatory response to gluten.
Try stocking up on omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) instead. These can include foods such as flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, avocados, salmon, or olive oil.
Stress is hard to avoid, especially at work or home with the kids.
According to an article published by Huffington Post, researchers measured the length of DNA sections called telomeres and found that people with the most work-related stress had the shortest telomeres which were causing cells to die or become damaged. This may speed up the aging process. Additionally, stress can age your brain, increase your blood pressure, and disrupt your sleeping habits, all of which combined can make you look older, as well.
Which leads to the next thing on our list…
Not Getting Enough Sleep or Too Much Sleep
Sleeping too long on one side of your face can cause wrinkles and “sleep lines”, according to an article by Allure. The best way to avoid fine lines and wrinkles is by sleeping on your back or purchasing smooth pillowslip cases. “Satin or silk is best,” Fransesca Fusco, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical center in New York, told the magazine. “Or buy the softest, highest-thread-count fabric you can find.”
More than a third of American adults don’t get the recommended amount of sleep per night, which can cause big-time negative effects on your health, such as weight gain, impaired immune system, decreased focus, sallow skin, and compromised memory.
While it’s true that people often get most of their sun exposure before the age of 18 (thanks to all that time playing outdoors and wiggling out of sunscreen applications), sun damage, which causes wrinkles, discoloration, and skin cancers, happens steadily throughout your life.
In fact, a study published by the American Society for Photobiology found that Americans acquire only 23 percent of their sun damage by age 18 and get about 10 percent more every decade after that.
What can be done about the damage?
There are procedures available that can help fix those irregularities. Non-surgical options fall into the categories of skin rejuvenation and skin resurfacing. Then of course there are surgical options like a facelife or necklift to reduce wrinkles.
Skipping Out on Exercise
Moderate exercise (defined as exercising at 40 to 60 percent of your maximum heart rate) is not only healthy for your weight, heart, and lungs, but it provides a rejuvenating effect on the skin.
Working out has two pluses: anti-aging and weight-loss benefits.
Putting Your Make-Up on Wrong
Here are some great tips from Makeup.com:
1. Cover with Liquid
Since dark spots and under eye circles don’t exactly scream, “fountain of youth,” covering them with concealer can take years off your complexion. Unfortunately it can also age you if you reach for the wrong product. It may seem counterintuitive, but piling on too much of a thick product can actually draw attention to fine lines and wrinkles. Instead, opt for a sheer, hydrating liquid concealer and cover up with a light touch.
2. Amp Up Your Brows
Because brows tend to thin out with age, filling them in is a quick way to shave off the years. Not sure how to thicken yours up? Check out this guide to fuller brows in 60 seconds.
3. Put Down the Powder
Just like caked-on concealer, powder has a tendency to settle into fine lines and creases, making you look older. Instead, swap your powder for a luminescent highlighter for a dewy, youthful complexion. If you need to set your makeup with powder choose a loose translucent option and avoid the eye area altogether.
4. Don’t Forget Your Eye Cream
This is a good habit to start early, says Debra Jaliman, M.D., author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist. “The skin around your eyes is the thinnest and has very few oil glands,” she says.
There are unfortunately many factors that can lead to looking older, from being stressed out at work to eating the wrong diet.
The good news is that there are also many options for looking younger!
Cosmetic surgery or non-surgical procedures can be considered. Botox and fillers are both extremely popular options.
Here is a full list of possibilities:
Were you surprised by any of the everyday habits that can age you? Comment below!