6 Surprising Things That Age You

The search for eternal youth is a never-ending journey, and one sought not only by women but men too. We pile on skincare products that promise anti-aging effects, and we consume supplements that may promise to turn back the clock. However, these six surprising things that you are doing may be your undoing. Read on to find out.


1. Stress

Does that to-do list never seem to get done? In fact, it seems like it is growing longer by the day. Stress from a hectic life is taxing on the body. Being able to multitask may not be as good as it sounds, as it creates more stress on you, mentally and physically.

Studies have shown that chronic stress triggers the release of free radicals, the unstable molecules that damage cells and are responsible for aging. Instead of juggling all your tasks, why not consider tackling one job task at a time? You will become more productive and you would be less stressed out!


2. Lack of Sleep

You know you can become very cranky when you get little or no sleep. It comes as no wonder this is one of the top causes that ages you. Also, your sleeping position matters.

Sleeping on your stomach with your face in your pillow causes those vertical lines you see on your face when you wake up the next day. These are sleep wrinkles. As you grow older, the collagen in your face becomes weaker and less supportive. That means your skin will not ‘spring back’ as quickly as it used to, when you were younger. Those sleep wrinkles could become a permanent fixture on your face.

If you favour sleeping on the side, it creates vertical creases down your cheeks and chin. This position also creates frown lines and lines around your lips. If you like sleeping on one side more than the other, you can see the difference very clearly.

The recommended position is definitely sleeping on your back as you avoid any facial contact with your pillow. It also helps to keep your face away from bacteria that forms on your pillow.


3. Sweet Tooth

You rarely, if possible, pass up any opportunity to have desserts. After all, sugar puts you on a high and makes you happy. Have you ever seen anyone unhappy from having desserts? Well, apart from increasing that number on the weighing scale, your love for desserts may also age you.

Sugar molecules attach themselves to protein fibers in each of our cells. This damaging process, known as glycation, can result in a loss of radiance, panda eyes, puffiness, fine lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores. Looks like you gotta say no to that slice of cheesecake.


4. Sedentary Lifestyle

It goes without saying that being inactive leads to weight gain, which in turn is a risk factor for a heart attack, stroke, hypertension and unhealthy blood sugar levels. Not exercising regularly means your cells are biologically older than those who are active.

Studies have shown that those who lead a sedentary lifestyle age about eight years faster than those who lead an active lifestyle. Even taking short walks every evening is still better than sitting around. Plus, it is a good way to connect with your family in this digital age, where everyone sticks their head into their mobile phones or digital gadgets.


5. Smoking

If you are a smoker, you may notice premature wrinkles and dry skin, troubling skin signs that do not affect your non-smoker friends. Smoking accelerates aging, as it hampers the blood supply that keeps skin tissue looking supple and healthy.

The cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide, which displaces oxygen in your skin, and nicotine, which reduces blood flow, leaving your skin dry and discoloured. Now you know why smokers do not have that healthy glow that non-smokers have.


6. Sun Exposure

You want a natural healthy glow not achieved by using make-up, thus you happily bake yourself under the sun in order to achieve it. Did you know that the UV rays from the sun are the primary cause of wrinkles, pigmentation, sun spots and reduced skin elasticity?

Repeated sun exposure breaks down collagen and impairs the synthesis of new collagen. Without new collagen, the skin loses its flexibility and strength. The skin also loses its ability to repair itself. Over time, the sun damage to your skin causes it to become thick and leathery, and fine lines and wrinkles are also developed. So do yourself a favour, and slather on that sunscreen every day.

You can buy the most expensive anti-aging creams or consume the most expensive health supplements to achieve a younger-looking complexion. However, all of your efforts will come to naught if you continue with the above lifestyle habits. Cut them out and you will be rewarded with that elusive fountain of youth you are working so hard for, or at the very least, you will look younger and healthier.