Though ageing is a natural part of life, statistics show that half of us age prematurely.
According to a new report, some young adults are now ageing three times as fast as their peers.
Though it’s easy to obsess over looking younger and feel down whenever you see a new grey hair or wrinkle when looking in the mirror, it’s important not to dwell.
You might decide to freshen up your style, get a new haircut and change up your makeup, but you’ll be surprised to hear it’s often not our wardrobes that are causing us to look older – it’s our lifestyles.
Want to know what you’ve been doing to age prematurely? We’ve put together some of the most common habits that you should avoid if you want to hold onto your youthful looks…
Makeup is a godsend, and it can help us cover our imperfections and make us feel more confident about ourselves – but wearing excessive amounts can clog your pores and cause outbreaks, which eventually will dry out your skin, strip it of its natural oils, and cause lines and wrinkles prematurely.
Cut back on oil-based products and opt for light, organic makeup.
Sleeping with your face on the pillow
Sleep on your stomach or side?
Always have your face buried in a pillow? Bad news: this causes wrinkles, as it causes your collagen and connective tissues to become weaker.
If half of your face is squished to a pillow every night, your skin won’t have the time to smooth itself out in the same way it could when you were young.
Learn to sleep on your back or buy a satin pillowcase, which is less likely to cause wrinkles as it will keep your skin smooth.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’re not going to like this one! Sugar is not only bad for your waistline, but it can make you look older.
That’s because of sugar molecules, which can attach themselves to protein in our cells.
This is known as glycation and can have all sorts of downsides, including puffier skin, an increase in lines and wrinkles, and a loss of radiance and tone.
Say no to those doughnuts and cereal bars and find healthier alternatives.
Lack of sleep
Not getting enough kip isn’t only bad for those bags under your eyes – it can reduce your lifespan and cause you to age prematurely.
Scientists recommend seven hours a night, so aim to be in bed by midnight and avoid caffeine and screens for an hour before.
But don’t sleep in – research shows sleeping nine hours a night can increase your chances of a stroke.
It’s hard to watch just one episode of your favourite Netflix or Amazon Prime show, but the science doesn’t lie; sitting and watching TV for hours on end is bad for your health.
A study found that for every hour of TV watched, adults cut their lifespan by around 22 minutes. And for those who watch six hours of TV per day, they’ll live five years less than those who don’t.
Cut back on your screen time and do some exercises in the ad breaks to stay looking young.
Endless to-do list
Feel like you’ve always got a million things on your to-do list? Being stressed and having a busy and hectic lifestyle can have a damaging effect on your body.
Nowadays, we’re told we must be on the go 24/7 and have something in our calendars every day of the week, but that is bad news for our brains.
When we’re stressed, free radicals are released, which damage our cells and cause us to age prematurely.
Take your foot off the gas and relax.
Neglecting your eyes
The chances are that you moisturise your skin twice a day, but do you give your eyes the same level of attention?
The skin around your eyes is much thinner than the rest of your face, and ages much faster.
Invest in a quality eye cream that contains Vitamin A, Vitamin C and antioxidants to promote the formation of collagen, which will reduce lines and wrinkles.
We all take a bottle of suncream with us when we go to the beach or jet off on a holiday, but few of us wear it every day.
Whether you’re on your way to work, walking the dog or gardening, it’s important to protect yourself from UV rays – even when it’s raining or cloudy.
Invest in moisturisers with SPF 30 plus and make it a daily habit to apply sun protection.
There’s been a war on plastic straws in recent years, and rightly so. But if you want to stay looking younger for longer, we recommend avoiding them altogether.
Though drinking soft drinks and teas through a straw can help to prevent stains on your teeth, sucking through a straw can cause wrinkles around your mouth – the same sort of deep lines you’d get if you were smoking.
Stick to drinking receptacles and bottled drinks when you’re out and about.
Having the heating on high
Finally, dry air. Though it’s nice to be toasty and warm in your own home, having the heating on high can suck the moisture out of the air, leading to dry and inflamed skin.
Over time, this can have permanent ageing effects and cause your skin to wrinkle and sag. Instead, think about buying a humidifier, which can help to retain the moisture in the air and in your skin.
There you have it – ten common habits that you should avoid if you want to prevent premature ageing. Are you surprised by any of these? Join in the conversation over on Twitter and check back soon for more anti-ageing tips and tricks from the Oralift team.