Which factors contribute to skin ageing?
Lots of factors contribute to skin ageing and it’s impossible to avoid them all! In this small article I am going to highlight some common contributing factors so you can think about how to avoid them where possible – all for the good of your skin.
UV damage – from sunlight and sunbeds accounts for 90% of premature skin ageing. Sunscreen protection is incredibly important in maintaining the health of your skin; I would recommend wearing a factor 50 protection in the summer and considering a low factor moisturising cream in the winter. Be sure to reapply sunscreen regularly throughout the day and check the expiry date, most sunscreen has a shelf life of 2 years but will expire after a few months once opened. I know we all want to tan on holiday but the process damages your skin – the only safe tan is a fake tan!
Smoking – smoking can speed up the normal ageing process of the skin as it narrows blood vessels, impairing blood flow to the skin, restricting the amount of nutrients and oxygen being delivered. It also damages the collagen and elastin that are important for strength and moisture. Repetitive movements, such as pursing your lips, when smoking may contribute to the formation of wrinkles.
Alcohol – dehydrates the skin, it is a diuretic (promotes water loss!) and can cause facial redness by dilating the blood vessels in your face – and no, alcohol and smoking do not balance each other out!
Diet – a high sugar diet can speed up the ageing process by causing inflammation and glycation. Having a healthy, balanced diet full of fruit and vegetables containing antioxidants and vitamins such as C and A protects our skin from damage. It is important to keep fully hydrated and current guidelines in the UK recommend 1.2 litres( 6-8 glasses) of water per day.
Wrinkles due to facial expressions – every time you use your muscles a groove is formed under the skin, over time these groves become static lines. Don’t worry though, this is normal – don’t stop smiling!
Sleeping position – if you always sleep on one side of the face the repeated pressure can cause the formation of (usually diagonal) lines and wrinkles over time. This is something that can be difficult to protect against but try to vary your sleeping position if you feel comfortable doing so – don’t sacrifice sleep for your skin!
Stress – can cause us to look older than we are, finding something that you enjoy to relax such as running, yoga or meditation can be beneficial for making us look younger and also for our general health.
HEV Light from smartphones/ computers/IPads – there is a small amount of emerging evidence that looking at our devices for long periods of time each day may be having a damaging effect on our skin. Consider putting a blue light filter on your device or purchase a sunscreen that contains HEV blockers.
Try not to worry about all of these factors, this is just simply to help you understand that almost everything can negatively affect our skin! A lot of our skins health comes down to our genetics and all you can do is make the best with what you have! Try to avoid the above factors as much as possible and you’ll be caring for your skin the best way you can.