Your skin is your largest organ and it protects you from the outside world. It’s also what people see first. Plus, looking youthful and fresh can make you feel more confident. And while aging is a natural process that happens to everyone, some habits can speed up the aging process of your skin. Here are four of them so you’re aware and can take steps to avoid them.
You Use Tap Water
Tap water contains chlorine and other chemicals that are harsh on your skin. When you shower or wash your face in tap water, these chemicals can strip away the natural oils that protect your skin. This can leave your skin feeling dry, tight, and irritated. This will in turn cause your skin to age faster.
While these chemicals, like chlorine and fluoride, are purposefully dispensed into the water with metering pumps and the like to make it safer to drink, it’s best to use a shower filter for the sake of your skin. This will help remove some of the chemicals and make your shower water less harsh on your skin.
If you can’t install a shower filter, either limit the amount of time you spend in the shower or shower with filtered bottled water.
You Don’t Wear Sunscreen
One of the leading causes of premature skin aging is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. UV rays can damage the collagen and elastin in your skin, which are the proteins that keep your skin looking firm and young.
Wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher can help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Make sure to apply sunscreen evenly to all exposed areas of skin, including your face, neck, chest, and hands.
Then, reapply sunscreen every two hours, or more often if you’re swimming or sweating.
You Consume Too Much Sugar
Eating too much sugar can cause your skin to age faster. That’s because when you consume sugar, it causes a process called glycation. Glycation is when the sugar in your body binds to the collagen and elastin proteins in your skin. This damages those proteins and makes them less effective at keeping your skin looking youthful.
To help prevent glycation and keep your skin looking its best, limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks. This includes candy, cookies, cake, soda, and fruit juice.
You Stay Up Late
Not getting enough sleep can cause your skin to age faster. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces more cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol can break down the collagen and elastin proteins in your skin. This will make your skin less elastic and more likely to wrinkle.
To help keep your skin looking its best, aim to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
Taking care of your skin is important for both your health and your appearance. By avoiding these four habits, you can help keep your skin looking its best for longer.