8 causes of premature aging
Here are the most common causes of premature aging.
Sun exposure is probably a major factor causing the appearance of wrinkles, age spots, reducing in skin elasticity and sagging skin. In fact about 70% of skin aging process depends on the amount of sunlight our skin is exposed to throughout our life. Sun’s harmful UV rays accelerate destruction of collagen fibers in our skin through oxidation process. The elastic collagen fibers become rigid and fragile and their basic structure is destroyed. The accelerated oxidation processes also damage the genetic material in the skin cells and cause an abnormal division of cells. Thus the solar radiation also increases the risk of malignant and pre-malignant skin lesions and leads to the appearance of rough, thin and wrinkled skin. Also, prolonged sun exposure damages the sebaceous glands and causes dry and sensitive skin. It’s fine to be exposed to the sun rays in order to get that necessary vitamin D, but not longer than 20 minutes.
2. Bad diet
It’s no secret anymore that what you eat affects directly the aging process in our body. There are foods that will help you stay younger and there are also foods that can help age you faster. Foods high in refined sugar and fats, processed foods are nutrient poor and they speed up the aging process, not to mention they can have serious negative consequences for our health and overall appearance. Foods like refined sugar, white flour, and even excessive dairy products cause inflammation in the body that contributes to the aging process. A good, healthy diet should consist mostly of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, good fats and foods high in fiber. All these products will help keep the skin and the hair as healthy as possible, and maintain a youthful appearance. Fruits and vegetables are the main source of antioxidants, which fight free radicals harmful for our skin. These antioxidants reach the deeper skin layers and partially neutralize the oxidative damage associated with prolonged exposure to the sun. Plus, fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C, which is essential to the proper production of collagen. Protein is important to the production of protein structures that are vital to the appearance of fresh skin, such as hyaluronic acid, collagen and elastin fibers.
3. Stress and depression
Unfortunately, stress has become a very common condition these days. And it’s considered one of the main causes of premature aging. Chronic stress causes increased secretion of stress hormones – cortisol and adrenaline – which speed up various aging processes, such as suppression of normal synthesis of connective tissue, characteristic obesity of the face, along with osteoporotic processes that damage bone density and cause changes in bone structure. Also some of the most visible effects of stress are wrinkles and hair loss.People who are overwhelmed with stress also tend to have diseases that can contribute to the aging process.
If we constantly feel sad and depressed, it can cause shortening of telomeres – structures located in all the cells in our body that affect, among other things, on the life span of the cell. Telomere shortening affects the DNA in all cells. It stops cell division and causes premature cell death. This shortening of telomeres and accelerated aging of the cells is most visible in tissues which are divided rapidly, such as skin tissue and hair.The mind plays an essential role in whether we are aging faster or slower, and we can use the mind to help us accelerate or decelerate the process. Happier people are quite simply younger looking people, they live longer often with fewer health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, and even aching joints and bones.
Constant anger, stress, anxiety or depression can give us fine lines and deep wrinklesformed by muscle memory.Bottom line: you should avoid stressful situations and try to stay positiveas much as possible. Find your own solution: take yoga classes, go to the nature, meditate – whatever suits you the best.
4. Bad habits: smoking and alcohol
Everybody knows that smoking and drinking in excess lead to all kinds of health problems and deplete our bodies of necessary nutrients. Smoking causes premature fine lines that usually appear on places where the skin is very thin, such as the sides of the eyes and above the upper lip. Also smokers develop fine lines around the mouth, deeper forehead wrinkles and bad teeth. Smokers get these premature wrinkles because of the reduction of vitamin C level in their blood, which is 60% lower on average in comparison to the level found in the blood of non-smokers.Vitamin C is a key component in the production of collagen fibers, which are responsible for the elasticity and appearance of youthful and healthy skin, whereas lack of it affects the proper production of collagen.
Drinking excessive amount of alcohol causes damage to the skin texture and colordue to the accumulation of toxic breakdown products in the deeper skin layers.This can cause the appearance of capillaries and redness of the cheeks and on the nasal bridge. Drinkers’ skin has poor muscle tone, too. Not to mention, that alcohol damages the liver and kidneys badly.
5. Lack of exercise
Exercising makes us look and feel more alive, which in turn gives us a more youthful, healthy appearance. Regular exercise has many health benefits: it prevents obesity, improves blood circulation and increases lung capacity. It also helps keep our skin looking young and fresh.
6. Lack of sleep
Getting the required amount of sleep every night is important for cell regeneration and restoring the body’s energy levels. These both factors help us become healthier and stronger.A good quality sleep should be at least 7-8 hours a night. If you sleep less, you’re at risk of acceleration the aging process.
7. Not enough skin care treatment
The skin needs a certain amount of hydration, collagen, elastin, and oxygen in order to look youthful and healthy. If our skin is dehydrated due to many factors (not drinking enough water, not using moisturized during cold season, etc.) and depleted its’ natural oils, it loses its elasticity and the face ages. It’s necessary to give your skin a proper care daily: moisturize 2-3 times a day, exfoliate, useprotection from sun and extreme cold exposure. Also it’s bad to overdo with acne treatments, because it dries out the skin and can cause damage similar to the damage caused by cold and sun, creating a dry, tough, wrinkled face.
8. Lack ofweight or extra weight
Being too thin or too heavy can add to the aging process. Being underweight reduces the natural fats in the facial structure resulting in sagging skin and adding to the appearance of wrinkles. The solution here can be simply to add five pounds to an underweight body. On the other hand, too much weight creates poor muscle tone, whichcan make us look older.Plus, overweight people, especially as they age, tend to be less active and this leads to chronic health problems.People who have suffered from eating disorders also tend to develop wrinkles and dry skin as they reach their thirties and forties. Their bodies lacked essential nutrients for an extended period of time, even if it was 10 or 15 years before. But the good news is that the effects of this problem can be diminished through a diet rich in antioxidants, fresh, natural foods, and muscle building exercise.
While we can’t change a genetic factor affecting on how young we look, there are plenty of other factors we can change. Better diet and exercise, less stress, proper sleep, good skin treatment and positive attitude can help us keep feel and look much younger.