5 Everyday Habits that Could Lead to Premature Aging

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No one wants to look older than they feel. While  facial rejuvenation procedures can help to treat many existing signs of aging, I find it helps my patients to be more aware of the many factors that can contribute to premature aging, and learn how to avoid the toll those elements can take on your appearance, especially these five everyday habits.

1. Smoking
Smoking is one of the number one causes of premature aging. Not only does smoking discolor the skin and teeth, but it also dehydrates the skin, reduces levels of Vitamin A and limits blood flow. Additionally, smoking contributes to early facial wrinkling. Fine lines around the mouth and lips, called smoker’s lines, as well as crow’s feet and brow wrinkling can all develop far too soon in life as a result of smoking. My advice to patients is to quit smoking now or not start at all.

2. Not Wearing Sunglasses
Not wearing sunglasses often causes us to squint our eyes when we’re outside or driving to protect our pupils from the harsh rays of the sun. Since squinting can create wrinkles around the eyes, it’s helpful to wear sunglasses with UV protection so that you can see comfortably in bright light without squinting. Wearing sunglasses is even more critical for people with light sensitivity.

3. Drinking Through a Straw
Drinking through a straw may seem harmless enough, but the repeated muscle movements that come with pursing your lips to grasp the straw can actually contribute to fine lines around the mouth, similar to smoker’s lines. The solution? Don’t use a straw! Sipping directly from a glass doesn’t require nearly as much repeated muscle movement.

4. Sun Exposure
Direct  sun exposure is one of the most significant factors in premature aging, and that includes tanning beds. Sun damage can create sun spots, uneven pigmentation, dehydration and wrinkles.
Use a daily moisturizer on your face with a minimum of SPF 30, wear hats and don’t use a tanning bed. Even SPF 50 won’t protect against the UVA rays emitted by a tanning bed. If you’re concerned about pale skin tone, look into less harmful alternatives like a spray-on tan, and focus on keeping your skin protected and healthy instead.

5. Sleeping on Your Side
Many of my patients are surprised to learn that premature aging can get to them even in their sleep. Sleeping on your side causes one side of your face to remain pressed against your pillow for prolonged periods of time. The resulting pressure on the face can cause wrinkles to form, particularly around the eyes and the nasolabial fold, the line that runs from the nose to the mouth. Depending on the material of your pillowcase, side sleeping can also dry out your skin. Try to develop the habit of sleeping on your back to avoid pressing your skin against your pillow.

Beautiful Skin for Life
Taking care of your skin doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Be sure to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, stay hydrated and protect your skin from sunlight. Although growing older is inevitable, cosmetic procedures such as Ultherapy® skin tightening and facelifts can help ensure that the aging process occurs more gracefully. Avoiding these five habits can also help to ward off premature aging, as well as [ help you to maintain a youthful look for much longer.
Article by
Orange County Plastic Surgeon