Aging is an unavoidable part of life and although genetics plays a large part, our lifestyle choices play an equally significant part in how quickly that happens. We look at some lifestyle choices, good and bad, and how these affects your skin.
Smoking kills more than 5 million people around the world each year and affects our lungs, heart and brain. Each time you take a puff from a cigarette, the nicotine is causing your blood vessels to become thinner. This reduces circulation and decreases the oxygen levels in your blood, stopping essential vitamins and minerals and making you more susceptible to ageing. In addition, the constant pursing of the lips leaves a mark.
Meanwhile, inside your body, smoking is releasing all off the free radicals. They are able to damage our cells to accelerate the ageing process, cell mutation and risks of cancer. In terms of your skin, it weakens collagen production and breaks down the protein that maintains the skin. Smoking also decreases the amount of red blood cells in the body, causing you to become paler and in some cases, appear greyish. Just another good reason to quit.
Exercise improves all aspects of our bodies, so it’s no surprise that it can take years off your skin. It is the best way to increase blood flow around the body, and anything that promotes healthy circulation keeps skin healthy. The blood carries oxygen and nutrients to working cells, making them nourishing and keeping them vital. It also carries free radicals away from the cells, resulting in healthier looking skin.
Sun exposure accounts for up to 80% of skin ageing and can age a face by three years. The UV rays cause most of the ageing process with wrinkles, splotchy pigmentation, visible capillaries and loose, rough skin. This is because the rays are able to sink deep into the skin’s inner layers and damage the cells and prevent the skin from repairing itself. The damaged cells then cause havoc on our bodies, resulting in rapidly ageing skin. It also allows free radicals to be produced and cause more damage to our cells, whilst, also decreasing the natural antioxidants in the skin. There is only one thing to remember: the more sun exposure you’ve had, even as a child, the earlier your wrinkles will appear.
A quick fix is to ensure you wear sunscreen everyday and avoid the sun at its peak- between 12-2pm. Avoid sunbeds and take care when spending lots of time in the sun.
A healthy diet
A well balanced diet can enhance cognitive abilities, protect the brain from damage and slow the effects of ageing. With the damages your skin faces each day from free radicals and sun exposure, it’s important to eat as many antioxidants as your body requires. Antioxidants can delay or even prevent bad molecules from damaging healthy cells. Vitamin C is a main type of antioxidant that is able to keep skin looking younger. Antioxidants work by protecting the damaged cells caused by free radicals, while working to stop the damage completely. You can find them in colourful fruits and vegetables, like blueberries, carrots, leafy greens and tomatoes.
To keep ourselves looking younger for longer, we need to remember to stay away from smoking or smokers and spending prolonged periods unprotected in the sun. So, to keep ourselves looking and feeling good, we need equal out the toxins with the right diet and exercise. Not only does it make our skin look younger, but will make our bodies feel great. You’ll be thanking yourself in years to come.
Interested in reading more? We share our articles on free radicals, antioxidants and sun exposure below. Check them out.