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6 Seemingly Harmless Daily Habits That Could Be Aging You

Posted by on September 14, 2018 in Health, Longevity & Life Extension, Prevention with 2 Comments


By Dr. Sejal Shah | Refinery29

When it comes to aging, we are all pretty familiar with the outside factors that can exacerbate things, like sun exposure and smoking. But those obvious big guns aren't the only things that could be making the hands of time tick a little faster — even mundane daily habits can cause your skin to age. Check out the culprits, ahead.

Related Article: Make Your Own Masks: 5 Anti-Aging Skin Care Recipes

1) Drinking From A Straw
Sipping from a straw might protect your teeth from getting stained by dark beverages, but regularly pursing your lips causes repeated contraction of the muscles around your mouth, resulting in wrinkles, similar to the lines we see in smokers. There's no question that smoking is a much bigger insult — but straw-sipping can wreak cosmetic havoc, too.  Occasionally using a straw is unlikely to be an issue, but if you are prone to these type of wrinkles, it's best to avoid them. And remember, repeatedly pursing the lips for any reason can contribute to lines and wrinkles. Hello, selfie face.

2) Wearing Contacts
The issue with contacts is the way that you put them in and take them out. Usually, you tug at the delicate, sensitive skin around the eyes, which causes inflammation. Over time, this leads to wrinkles and sagging skin. If you wear contacts, be extra gentle putting them in and taking them out to limit the harsh tugging. Make sure to invest in a good anti-aging eye cream if you're not willing to make the switch to spectacles.

Related Article: How To Slow Down the Aging Process Naturally

3) Sleeping On Your Stomach Or Side
Sleeping on your side or stomach can cause “sleep lines” on your face, neck, and even your chest. Unlike lines of expression (e.g., “frown lines”) due to muscle movement, sleep lines are caused by the skin being stretched, pushed, and pulled on by the pillow surface while you sleep. Many of these lines will disappear during the day, but as the skin ages, the collagen and connective tissue become weaker and this repeated “smooshing” may contribute to those lines turning into permanent wrinkles.

The best way to prevent these type of lines, of course, is to sleep on your back. For many of us, though, this position doesn't work, and we can't fall asleep lying prone. If you're a die-hard side or stomach sleeper, try using a satin pillowcase. Your skin will slide against the material rather than push against it, effectively reducing the skin creasing. There are also specialized pillows, like the Vasseur Beauty Pillow, that are designed to prevent sleep wrinkles from occurring.

4) Staring At Screens
While there's no denying the way that computers, smartphones, iPads, and other handheld technology have made a positive impact on our lives, all that staring down at screens contributes to more lines and skin sagging on your neck, a phenomenon known as “tech neck.” While your head is tilted downward, the skin creases and the muscles are left in an untoned state. Since the neck skin, like the eye area, is delicate, constantly being in this position can readily lead to wrinkles and skin laxity. One fix is to keep the head more at a 90-degree angle. If that's terribly uncomfortable, there are several in-office treatments that can be used to improve the appearance of “tech neck.”

5) Turning Up The Heat
As the season changes and it gets chilly outside, it's tempting to make our homes toasty warm. But all that indoor heat causes skin dryness and inflammation, which has an aging effect on skin. Turn the temperature down a bit or invest in a humidifier to counteract some of that dryness.

6) Cutting Fat From Your Diet
Many of us still believe that fat is the antithesis of a healthy diet, and as such, we drastically reduce it or eliminate it completely from our diets. While cutting down on some types of fat (like trans fat) is good for your heart, your skin needs fat, especially the good kind found in olive oil, fish, and nuts, to maintain a healthy and youthful appearance.

Fat helps your body absorb antioxidants, fat-soluble vitamins, and other nutrients that are beneficial to the skin. It also helps strengthen skin's cell membranes, keeping the skin more supple and hydrated, thereby preventing wrinkles. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect, which can counter the aging process. If you've been avoiding fat in your diet, rethink your eating habits and aim to get at least 20% of your calories from fat.

Related Article: 10 Anti-Aging Supplements that Will Keep You Looking & Feeling Younger

About the Author

Sejal K. Shah, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist who utilizes the latest treatments and technologies to enhance her patients' natural beauty. Practicing all aspects of dermatology with an expertise in and emphasis on cosmetic dermatology, lasers, and hair loss, Dr. Shah works with a diverse range of skin types. She has a private practice in Manhattan, and she teaches at the cosmetic clinic at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, where she received her degree.

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2 Reader Comments

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  1.' Nick Hantom says:

    Never heard so much claptrap in all my life.

  2.' Traci Danelle says:

    Michelle just sharing due to your post the other day. I find the one about the satin pillowcase interesting.

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