Skin Sins – The 2 “S” Words Causing Your Premature Wrinkles

Keep your skin looking smooth, supple, and youthful for as long as you can.

While some of us have vowed to grow old gracefully, that doesn't mean we want to look older than we actually are. Wrinkles are one of the main culprits in looking "well-seasoned" so to speak, and premature aging can have folks at the bar asking for your AARP card rather than your driver's license.

Knowing what can cause the early onset of fine lines and deep wrinkles can help you prevent or at least slow down the process of this change in your skin. Wrinkles will one day be part of your face (save for Botox users and filler-uppers), but why not keep your skin looking smooth, supple, and youthful for as long as you can? Take care of yourself and your face will thank you.

Smoking

We all know how terrible smoking is for our health, but did you know it can damage your looks too? Aside from looking a fool by choosing to inhale toxic chemicals and deadly poisons, you may start to look older and more haggard with each stinky cigarette puff.

As per the Mayo Clinic, "Smoking can speed up the normal aging process of your skin, contributing to wrinkles. These skin changes may occur after only 10 years of smoking. The more cigarettes you smoke and the longer you smoke, the more skin wrinkling you're likely to have."

Healthy and Natural World adds, "Smoking causes premature fine lines that typically appear on places where the skin is very thin, such as the sides of the eyes (smile lines) and above the upper lip. These typical smoking lines may appear 10-15 years before they appear among non-smokers." That's nothing to smile about.

The wrinkles form because the nicotine causes the blood vessels to constrict, limiting blood flow to the skin. Plus, the other chemicals in cigarettes can damage the production elastin and collagen due to a reduction in Vitamin C. This decreases elasticity and that "plumpness" we like to see in youthful skin.

For the sake of your skin and the rest of your body, kick those butts in the butt and rid yourself of a terrible habit.

Sun Exposure

Many people spent years basking in the sun as teens and even continue to worship their "natural glow" today. Sure, it's fun to frolic at the beach and relax with a tropical drink by the pool, but without proper sunscreen, you're asking for premature wrinkling (and possibly worse).

As per Healthy and Natural World, "About 70% of skin aging process depends on the amount of sunlight our skin is exposed to throughout our life. Solar radiation accelerates destruction of collagen fibers in our skin through oxidation process. The elastic collagen fibers become rigid and fragile and their basic structure is destroyed."

In order to better protect your skin from the sun's harmful UV rays, Everyday Health recommends using sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, avoiding "peak" sun hours (10 am – 4 pm), following the UV index, avoiding tanning beds, and using sunless tanning products if you simply can't forgo that all over bronze.

The sun isn't going anywhere, but you have the power to control how much exposure your body gets. Leathery texture, deep wrinkles, sun spots, excessive freckling, and blotchy skin do not make for a good look. While you may still fill out your swimsuit like a Sports Illustrated model, your skin will look like it ought to be tossed in the recycle bin.

Aside from smoking and sun, other premature wrinkle culprits include overdoing sugar in the diet, too much alcohol consumption, lack of sleep, inadequate hydration, stress, and even squinting.

Your skin is your largest organ. Treat it as such. While beauty comes from within, damage of any kind to our outsides is never acceptable. Look as good as you feel and wrinkle up when the time is right!