17 Things You Do That Causes Premature Skin Aging

Photo by Alexandru Zdrobău on Unsplash

What is premature skin aging

Premature skin aging is a condition in which the skin appears to have aged prematurely. Well DUH!

People have always been in pursuit of “the fountain of youth.” We live in a time when there is SO much pressure, especially on us women, that we should look eternally young, and God forbid, to look our actual age. The biggest compliment is when someone thinks you are much younger than you actually are.

Be honest, how does it make you feel when someone tells you, “I would never think you’re 36! You look like you’re 28!” As much as it’s sometimes flattering, it also gets on my nerves because deeply we feel like it’s not okay to be 36 or 43 or 51 or whatever, and look your freaking age?!?

It’s like when some babes are over the moon about the fact that they still fit into their high school jeans and are 42 years old. roll eyes… I’m 42, not 17, and why should I fit into my high school jeans if I’m not going to high school? And who even set that as a standard?

Ok, rant over! Now, let’s get back to what this blog is about, which is PREMATURE facial skin aging. Because stopping the normal aging of the skin (or the whole body) is impossible! Not even with plastic surgery, but that’s a topic for another time. 

Aging is a normal process of life. We ALL age. The goal is to age gracefully, not try to look 20 years younger. But I also believe there is nothing wrong with bettering ourselves, our bodies, and our skin so that it does not age prematurely.

Interestingly, when you’re in your 20s, most people don’t even think about how their skin will look in 10, 20, or 30 years. You have different priorities when you’re young, lol. But believe me, it is precisely at that age that it’s most important to lay a good foundation for skin care that you will build on as you get older. 

That’s my advice to all of you who are still so young — START NOW to work on preventing premature skin aging and investing in your future skin.

If you include anti-aging skin products in your daily skincare routine, you can increase collagen production and restore hydration, which slows down the accelerated skin aging process. With the right approach and care, changing your lifestyle, and eliminating bad habits, it is possible to keep your skin healthy and glowy for many years.

Premature Skin Aging Signs

Image by Author using Nightcafe and edited on Canva

Generally speaking, premature aging is considered when one’s biological age is “older” than one’s chronological age. This doesn’t refer only to skin appearance but to the entire body and internal organs. Meaning you can be 32 years old (your chronological age), and your skin and/or organs can look like you are 45 (your biological age).

And so, as we become wiser (ahem, older), changes inevitably occur in and on our skin. This most often starts to happen between the ages of 30 and 40. Of course, some women notice it already in their 20s, and then we may talk about premature skin aging. Some have realized the game very early on and started implementing steps to prevent it, so they won’t notice the signs until much later.

The most obvious signs of skin aging:

• becomes thinner

• becomes more relaxed because it loses elasticity and collagen

• becomes drier than before

• begins to have an uneven texture

• appearance of wrinkles

• appearance of hyperpigmentation and dark spots (especially if you are a sun-lover)

• appearance of age spots

• pores begin to appear “bigger,” etc.

The best way to prevent premature skin aging is to stop doing things that accelerate this process. Some might be obvious to you, but maybe you are doing them anyway. In some cases, you might not have even realized they cause premature skin aging.

Again, the goal should not be to stop skin aging completely. Because it’s impossible, as I said before. Instead, it is to prevent these changes from happening much sooner than they would naturally occur.

What mistakes do you make to accelerate the premature aging of the facial skin?

Image by Author using Nightcafe and edited on Canva

1. You forget to apply SPF 

According to dermatologists, this is definitely the number 1 reason for premature skin aging! I don’t know how many times people need to hear this. Apply SPF every day, regardless of whether it’s sunny or not; you should apply a sun protection factor of at least 30. And if it’s very sunny and you spend a lot of time outside, apply it every 2-3 hours. 

Every single YouTuber I follow, who is over 50 years old, claims that they regret not using SPF every day. Andi f they can give one piece of advice to younger people, it would be that one — use it every day, religiously!!!

2. You don’t remove your makeup before going to bed

By not removing your makeup, you’re not only risking premature skin aging but also getting acne. 

Way back in my past life, even if I was the drunkest I’ve ever been, I never, and I mean, NEVER, went to bed without brushing my teeth and removing my makeup. And I’ve never understood women who don’t do it. 

It’s kinda like when you do a number 2 and then don’t wipe your a$$ and just pull up your undies! 

3. You smoke

I don’t even need to mention how many reasons smoking is harmful to your overall health and your skin. In addition to drying out your skin, which causes wrinkles, the movement of your mouth while smoking further encourages the formation of those small lines around the mouth known as “smoker’s lines.”

4. You drink too much alcohol

Alcohol, like cigarettes, is extremely bad for your health, and since it is a diuretic, which causes the skin to lose its fluids and thus dehydrates your skin.

5. You drink too much coffee

Like alcohol, coffee is a diuretic. Your skin will not age prematurely if you have a cup of coffee a day. But if you consume several cups daily, the body, including the skin, will also become dehydrated.

6. You don’t drink enough water

Contrary to the above, you should drink water regularly – and lots of it. Skin hydration is the key to its vitality.

7. Your diet – you eat too many sweets and junk food

By now, everyone knows junk food and sugar are not good for our bodies, and so they are not good for our skin either. Skin needs proper nourishment from the outside (with topical products) and inside (the foods and drinks we consume). Therefore, a healthy and balanced diet is very important in preventing premature skin aging.

8. Stress

I mean, who isn’t stressed in today’s world?!? And like other things on this list, stress is not good for our whole body and health for many reasons. So how does stress affect premature aging of the skin? 

When we are stressed, we release cortisol, which actually breaks down collagen. And collagen is crucial for our skin. (I will write more about collagen in one of the future blogs)

9. You don’t get enough sleep

Adults (between 20 and 65 years old) should sleep 7-9 hours a day on average. Anything less than that exhausts the body and puts it in a stressful situation. I just explained what stress and elevated cortisol do to the skin.

10. You don’t use a moisturizer 

By now, you’ve noticed skin hydration is the main thread that runs through most of these reasons, so it’s self-explanatory why this item is on the list. A moisturizer’s main role is that it serves as a barrier or a seal that “locks in” all those antioxidants, serums, and other good stuff you applied to the skin before.

11. You are rough on your skin

Whether you are constantly rubbing your eyes (which causes the appearance of wrinkles and even dark circles) or you’re washing your face as if you’re trying to remove a hardcore stain. Please, don’t do it!

It’s essential to be gentle when taking care of your skin. Stretching and rubbing of the skin leads to premature aging of the skin. Rather than rubbing the skin, gently tap it.

12. You make too many facial expressions  

Facial expression is what causes wrinkles. This is the same reason why some people opt for Botox – to paralyze the muscles and prevent wrinkles. Of course, if you work in professions such as acting, facial expressions are essential for doing your job. But everyone else should try to raise their eyebrows as little as possible and not make unnecessary grimaces, frowns, or smirks. 

Recently, the Kardashians sisters said that since they found out that even smiling causes wrinkles, they stopped smiling for photo shoots and even smiled less in general. haha Look at their pictures from before and in the last couple of years, and you’ll see what I mean. 

Now, I’m not saying that you should always have RBF or be without any expression, but if you can bring it to your attention, don’t frown too much or make too many facial expressions.

13. Sun exposure (especially without SPF)

Dermatologists believe that all premature skin aging is mainly caused by exposure to the sun. Especially if it is excessive exposure and without proper protection (see number 1). And sure, it’s absolutely true that vitamin D is good and necessary for our health. There are entire studies and instructions on how many minutes/hours a day you need to be in the sun to meet this need. But I’m talking about over-exposure and without SPF.

14. Don’t wear sunglasses

Yup! Good sunglasses with real sun protection (not those cheap plastic ones, though super cute, but are actually even more dangerous for your eyes and skin) can really help you prevent the appearance of wrinkles around the eyes. Because the skin on that part of the face is the most sensitive.

BONUS TIP 💡 Creams and everything you apply around the eyes should be done by lightly tapping with your fingers, not by pulling the skin.

15. You don’t clean your skin properly

Either you don’t wash your face after wearing makeup or wash it too often (yes, that’s a thing). Maybe you use products that aren’t meant for your skin type or too abrasive products that can cause micro-injuries on your skin. Either way, the face should be cleaned regularly and properly (btw one full minute).

16. You always drink through a straw

Yes, you read that right! This is similar to those mouth movements you do when smoking. It may seem silly to you, but if you do most of your liquid intake through a straw daily, you can also get “smoker’s wrinkles” from this as well.

17. You don’t use retinoids, antioxidants, and other products that slow down skin aging

The holy grail product for the skin are retinoids and all their derivatives. I plan to write about retinoids soon. In short, it’s probably every dermatologist’s favorite product. 

Then there are various antioxidants such as vitamin C, which I already wrote about, then peptides, AHAs, etc.

So, study that list carefully and see in what ways you are affecting the premature aging of your skin. And stop doing those things! Introduce new, good habits and put an end to premature skin aging. Your skin will thank you.

And, of course, if you have any questions, ask in the comments or add to this list if you know something else is causing premature skin aging that I haven’t mentioned.

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