By Kaycee Reyes
Another year, another chance to change. Ask yourself: do you think you are aging too fast, too soon? What might have you been doing wrong? It’s true, having a lifestyle overhaul may be daunting, time-consuming, and sometimes just tough to break your routine from. But you can always start small by avoiding these habits below, stat! And if you keep following them, don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Skip the SPF. It’s sticky, uncomfortable, and doesn’t smell nice, right? But the benefits of SPF far outweigh these cons. If you skip the sunscreen, you’ll see your skin age faster with dry, wrinkled, skin sooner than later—with a higher risk of skin cancer, too. Even if you’re 15 or 45, wear sunscreen every day, and reapply every two hours, regardless of where you are. Avoid the sun mid-day, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, UV-protected sunglasses, and hats for maximum protection against UV rays. Besides, a lot of sunscreens offer non-greasy, good-smelling, fast-absorbing formulas.
Neglect the neck. An aging neck? It’s possible. The skin on the neck is delicate and thin too, and it loses moisture as one ages, making it sag and look old. Remember to apply moisturizer and sunblock as you would to your face.
Be too busy. Hold on. Wait a minute. Stop. Forgetting to take a breather can take a toll on your skin—and overall health! Too much of the stress hormone cortisol in your bloodstream can cause an imbalance that can wreak havoc from your blood vessels, to your heart, to your blood sugar levels, and skin that can cause a lot of problems from acne to premature aging. So relax once in a while. It’s good for you!
Slouch all day, every day. There’s a reason why your parents or teachers always told you to sit up. When your shoulders are hunched forward, it makes you look older as old people tend to naturally slump forward. Not to mention, it also makes you look bored and tired, which are both not attractive to see. Sitting up straight, with stomach in and back arched makes you look and feel better as it exudes confidence—being alert, positive—and it makes you look slimmer, too. Scientifically, proper posture also decreases your stress hormone cortisol, according to a Harvard study.
Binge past bedtime. Cookies, ice cream, a slice of cake, or a bag of chips. While it is tempting enough to just grab and eat before bedtime, this habit can age your skin as well. According to research from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, when mice were fed in a different time from their regular habits, it altered its biological clock that affected the skin’s ability to repair itself from UV radiation. It is said that the disruption of an enzyme called xeroderma pigmentosum group A (XPA) that repairs damaged skin from UV rays may be the reason for it. While this has not been tested on humans, it still opens possibilities on the relationship between eating times and the skin. Maybe it is time to curb those late-night cravings, once and for all.
Sport a sleek hairstyle. It may be the simplest, or for some, easiest hairstyle to wear, but that sleek ponytail may cause your skin to be tugged too hard, may promote hair loss, and even recede your hairline sooner than later—uh oh. Stick to a loose, low bun or even a shorter ‘do that can make you look younger in an instant!
Wear wrong glasses. Sometimes it may be the style that makes you look older, but it is more than that. Wearing the wrong prescription can make you squint more, leading to fine lines or more wrinkles around the eyes.
Turn up the AC. With this heat, who doesn’t want to? But then again, staying too long in an airconditioned room can dry out your skin and cause premature aging. When the AC removes moisture from the air, it also does the same to your skin too, leaving it dry that may affect your skin’s elasticity after some time. If you stay in an airconditioned room for long periods of time, don’t forget to reapply lotion whenever your skin feels dehydrated.
Sleep on your side. For some, it has been a habit to sleep in this position, but as it turns out, this may cause your skin to wrinkle earlier and make those undereye circles persist. Called “sleep wrinkles,” it happens when you sleep on your side or on your stomach. And no, this is not the temporary marks on your face in the morning—these are actual wrinkles that develop because you sleep that way (ex. a wrinkle on the side of your nose). So start the habit of sleeping on your back, and if you still can’t, try switching to wrinkle-free pillows instead.
Too much TV. Bingeing on your favorite series may be exciting, but it won’t do anything good to your health. According to a study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine, individuals who watched television six hours a day cut their lives shorter by five years than those who didn’t. A sedentary lifestyle is never healthy. Try to take breaks in between (every 30 minutes) to move and walk around.
Time flies. Literally! As another year turns, are you ready to turn your bad habits into good? Don’t wait another year to change them. There is no better time to start than today. If you stop these 10 habits now, you will definitely thank yourself when you’re older.
Tags: Kaycee Reyes