An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This may have never been so true as it is with the signs of aging. All the creams and chemical peels in the world cannot undo serious damage to your skin from years of abuse. Some treatments may have a positive effect, for certain, but they will not reset your skin to its pre-abused state.
If you really want to keep your skin looking healthy, avoid doing anything that may deplete its nutrients or hydration:
Overdo it on alcohol or caffeine
Both are natural diuretics, so they will dehydrate you. When your body doesn’t get enough hydration, your skin will become dry. The worst part is that these ill effects are cumulative. The longer you go without adequate hydration, the more your skin will suffer.
Alcohol can also cause broken capillaries in the face, cause eye problems and weak, brittle hair.
Abusing prescription painkillers
Prescription painkillers will dull the pain, but the more you use, the more you need. If you find that you’re popping pills a little too regularly, try to cut back. Abusing prescription painkillers like Percocet can do serious damage to your liver. When your liver isn’t functioning at full capacity, toxins will build up in your system and cause damage to your healthy cells. This can cause a myriad of health problems, but it is also likely to make you look older than you should. Whenever possible, use natural remedies instead of artificial substances to help relieve pain.
Put yourself in stressful situations
Stress is unavoidable in everyday life, but you can take measures to limit stress that will help you avoid aging prematurely. A 2012 study found that people with greater job-related stress had shorter telomeres, which is a sign that the aging process is likely being accelerated. So if you want to avoid premature aging, you may want to skip that stressful work promotion or just say no to yet another dinner with the in-laws.
It may be true that everyone looks better with a tan, but over time, sun exposure will make you look older. Exposure to ultraviolet rays weakens your skin and blood vessels. But that doesn’t mean you should be a hermit. Just slather on some sunscreen before you leave the house – every day. It may seem like overkill, but it’s necessary if you want to avoid that rough, leathery skin you’ll get from overexposure to the sun.
If you smoke, you already know it’s a dirty habit. You can tell by the residue it leaves on your clothes and furniture. You may even know that it can cause premature aging, but as an addiction, smoking can be hard to quit. Here’s some more inspiration: Smoking will deprive your skin of oxygen, break down collagen and cause loose, saggy skin.
Aging is an inevitable part of life, but that doesn’t mean you have to look your age! By adopting a good skin care routine and avoiding these age-accelerators, you can keep your youthful appearance longer. You may not be able to stop the hands of time, but you may be able to pause the countdown timer on crow’s feet.