As we age, the changes that occur to our skin seem, well, less than ideal. I’m talking sun spots, uneven texture, fine lines and dehydration—just to name a few. But have you ever stopped to think about how many of these skin concerns are actually the result of your age?
Maybe you’ve made peace with your skin “issues.” Maybe you’ve accepted them as a natural result of aging—and aside from skincare, there’s nothing you can do to slow the process.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact, skincare products are only a very small piece of preventing and reversing premature aging. Good news, right? Here’s what I mean by that...
Generally speaking, there are two types of aging:
- Intrinsic Aging: This is the natural process of aging, dictated by your genetics. We all have unique DNA that ages our skin in different ways at different times—there’s little that can be done to change this.
- Extrinsic Aging: This type of aging has everything to do with changes that occur as a result of other factors. This could include environment, habits and lifestyle choices. Since these are more situational, we have the influence to improve this form of aging!
So, what are the top five extrinsic factors that can cause premature aging? Let’s take a closer look...
1. Excessive Skincare Routines
Do I sound like a broken record? Not sorry about it! Overdoing it with too many skincare products, active ingredients—and yes, even botanical extracts—can damage your skin, leading to premature aging down the road. Every ingredient you put on your skin has the potential to disrupt its natural functioning. My advice? Be aware of every ingredient you use, making sure it’s necessary for your skin’s specific needs. Not to mention, product lines often contain similar ingredients throughout, which can lead to allergic reactions, as well as sensitized and inflamed skin.
Read More: Here’s the Biggest Skincare Trend for 2021
2. Sun + Pollution Exposure
Applying sunscreen is one of the most important things you can do to your skin to prevent premature aging. Simply put, using a daily SPF 30 on your face will help reduce sun damage—trust me, the sooner you make this a habit, the better off you’ll be later in life.
Speaking of the outdoors, let’s talk about pollution exposure. Pollution can create oxidative stress on your skin, leading to fine lines and increased inflammation. The good news? You can block these free radicals and even boost the effectiveness of your daily sunscreen by adding antioxidants to your routine. Plus, applying The Go-Getter Day Serum every day packs a powerful punch against pollution damage.
Read More: Here are 5 Sunscreens We’re Loving Right Now
3. Alcohol + Sugar
I can practically feel your judgement from this one—but trust me, I’m not suggesting you never have a glass of wine or enjoy a sweet treat! That being said, drinking alcohol on a regular basis could lead to more dehydrated skin. The result? Those pesky fine lines. Oh, and while we’re on the subject of diets, keep in mind that those high in sugar can give off damaging free radicals. Yikes. The moral of the story? Try to minimize excessive alcohol and sugar whenever possible.
Read More: 8 Easy Alcohol-Free Cocktail Ideas
4. Sleep + Exercise
Another reason to catch up on those Z’s? Your skin repairs itself by speeding up cell turnover and increasing collagen production while you sleep. Even better, adding a quality reparative night serum can help accelerate your skin’s natural repair mode—specifically, one with gentle fruit acids and inflammatory-reducing niacinamide (psst...The Multitasker Night Serum can further increase cell turnover and fight inflammation associated with premature aging). On the flip side, while you’re awake, make sure you’re getting in some regular exercise. Working out has been shown to help improve oxygen flow to the skin, as well as promote collagen production. Not to mention, your sweat helps clear pores naturally!
You knew this was coming. In general, stress causes you to release cortisol, which can have a major effect on your skin. Quick science lesson: Cortisol is a hormone that breaks down collagen for energy. Controlling your stress level, as well as taking care of your mental health, should be a top priority for many reasons—it can affect every aspect of your wellbeing, including the health of your skin.Read More: 5 Ways To Reduce Stress Super Quickly (Besides Meditating)