15 Everyday Habits That Are Secretly Aging You

by Сашка

Aging is a natural (and beautiful!) part of life, but sometimes bad habits can expedite the process. We’ve compiled a list of 15 sneaky skin-aging behaviors you may be guilty of, plus ways to stop the cycle asap.

1. Using makeup removers and/or pulling skin to take off makeup

The harsh texture of makeup wipes combined with aggressively removing pesky waterproof mascara, lip stain, and the like is setting skin up for premature aging. Makeup removing wipes can actually cause micro-tears in skin, which weaken the barrier and decrease elasticity over time. Go for gentler solutions like cleansers, balms, and milks, which encourage soothed, clean skin.

2. Using harsh facial towels/drying methods

Drying your delicate facial skin using rough towels can also do some harm. Microfiber is the way to go as the ultra-fine fibers thoroughly dry skin without irritating. We recommend this soft and reusable mitt.

3. Overexposure sunlight (especially without sunscreen)

Unintentional sun exposure can creep up at any time of the day – when you’re hard at work, driving, flying. Be sure to wear sunscreen all over and at all times, most importantly on the back of your hands. It’s an often neglected spot, especially when you’re at the wheel and direct sunlight is streaming in.

15 Everyday Habits That Are Secretly Aging You

4. Excessive hand-washing

With what seems to be ever-present colds and flus, handwashing is a necessity. However, harsh soaps and frequent cleaning can wreak havoc on supple skin, creating a leathery appearance. Our advice: switch between antibacterial soaps and skin-loving cleansers. Go for oil-rich, revitalizing formulas that ward off bacteria while rejuvenating hands.

5. Wearing hats that are too tight

Have you noticed the creases on your forehead after wearing your favorite cap? Of course we don’t want our hats to fly off when encountering high winds, but seriously: loosen up. This will allow skin to breathe and prevent forehead wrinkling.

6. Sleeping less than 6 hours per night

Sleep is a sacred time when skin (and the whole body) can repair and reset. Depriving yourself of 6-8 hours can increase cortisol levels, which break down collagen. Do yourself a favor and catch adequate z’s starting tonight.

15 Everyday Habits That Are Secretly Aging You

7. Sleeping on your side (use a silk pillowcase to help!)

Back to sleeping for a sec – the way you hit the pillow can affect your skin. Side sleepers suffer from more creasing. While it’s better to sleep on your back, do what’s most comfortable so you can get those 6+ hours. To help combat stretching and tugging, invest in a pure silk pillowcase which will help you avoid unnecessary friction. Also, make sure to wash your pillowcase regularly to avoid bacteria build-up.

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8. Not getting regular exercise

Proper exercise boosts skin circulation and helps skin defy gravity. If you can’t hit the gym, all it takes is 20-30 minutes of brisk walking daily to get the blood flowing and keep things glowing.

9. Not drinking enough water

Just like parched soil can look dry and craggily, the same thing can happen to skin without enough water intake. I know you’ve heard it before, but make it part of your routine to drink 8 glasses each day for plump, hydrated skin.

10. Smoking/excessive alcohol

Need we say more. Put the vape pen down and enjoy alcohol in moderation. Not only for your skin, but for overall bodily health.

15 Everyday Habits That Are Secretly Aging You

11. Overuse of cell phone screens

It’s known that blue light can potentially lead to signs of premature aging. While it’s hard to rip ourselves away from the endless scroll, try your best to limit screen time for the sake of your complexion. Swap in a skin-loving activity like a walk by the beach.

12. Repetitive facial expressions

We’re talking about squinting, excessive gum chewing, and drinking through straws to name a few. Each of these habits cause lasting creases that can otherwise be avoided. Of course, enjoy these things (minus the squinting – sunglasses and a visit to the optometrist should do the trick), but keep it to a minimum.

13. Unhealthy diets

It’s no secret that fruits, veggies, and omega-3s keep skin looking youthful. Make these foods the stars of your meal prep, but don’t deprive yourself. And, with the rise in quick weight loss diets, keep in mind the negative effect extreme methods can have on skin.

15 Everyday Habits That Are Secretly Aging You

14. High levels of stress

Remember when we mentioned cortisol above? Cortisol kills collagen fast, so be sure to make mental health, rest, and relaxation a priority. Find ways to relieve stress and incorporate uplifting herbs into your diet to increase your resistance to tension.

15. Showering with unfiltered water

Hard water is high in minerals like calcium and magnesium. This compromises the skin’s barrier function by reducing its ability to retain moisture and protect against harsh environmental aggressors. An instant fix: install a shower head that filters out the contaminants. Based on our editorial writer Nurain’s experience, we think this one from Jolie gets the job done.

Illustrations by Megan Badilla

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