Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and it’s also your first line of defence against harmful sunlight. This blog post will explain the seven factors that make your skin age and will teach you how to avoid these elements to keep your skin healthier and youthful for longer.
If you are wondering how to make your skin look more youthful with less effort, this blog post is for you!
The 7 Factors
Today I am going to tell you about what can make our skin age faster or slower. Our skin is the biggest organ of our body and its main function is to reduce harmful external influences from the environment.
But our skin is also a mirror of our overall health, and sometimes a reflection of our lifestyle. Your skin will show your age!
So if you want to preserve the health of your skin so that it will look younger for longer, you should pay attention not only to what you put on it but also to how you treat it.
The sun is the main “arch-enemy” of our skin. We all know that, but still, our skin is continuously exposed to the sun’s rays. The sun is harmful because it contains a lot of UV rays which can damage the cells in our bodies including damage to the collagen and elastin fibres located in the dermis (the second layer) of our skin.
That’s why UV rays harm our skin and accelerate ageing, making wrinkles appear earlier and visible signs of ageing become deeper or even more pronounced.
So, you shouldn’t forget this simple fact about your skin!
(A sunblock is a form of protection against the sun’s harmful rays. It is an organic compound that absorbs or blocks UV rays. Sunblock products contain sunscreen that protects the skin from skin damage while they decrease the absorption of ultraviolet light)
These are some ingredients that are used in sunblocks:
Homosalate, Octocrylene, Benzophenone-3 and Oxybenzone. These types of ingredients can be troublesome (Source).
NOTE: I am in the process of moving to products with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide which are non-toxic. I have already bought zinc oxide to add to my day creams, so it is never too late to get started.
Nutrients are the saviour of our skin. Anything that keeps the skin healthy and prevents ageing is good because that means the skin is preserved for a longer period of time. Protein and iron are two nutrients that help to keep your skin under control. For example, if your diet is rich in iron, your body will take this iron up to a place where it will help to stop the formation of wrinkles. In addition, if you also eat foods that contain proteins and amino acids, then this will also keep your skin youthful longer.
One of the best ways to stay healthy with food is to eat good, organic foods and avoid synthetic additives. Great food for your skin is also a great food for your body.
How to make sure what you are eating is good and healthy?
Start reading labels, use your senses and choose fresh, whole foods with real ingredients whenever possible.
Good results can be achieved through consciously taking care of your diet and trying to stick to it as much as you can.
NOTE: Although it has taken me a long time (and still working on it), I moved from rarely cooking and eating a lot of processed foods to a healthy diet. I grow my own vegetables and have turned into an ovo-vegetarian (vegan diet except for eggs). My skin looks better, has fewer wrinkles, has more elasticity and is brighter.
3. Bad habits: smoking/drinking
It’s never too late to change behaviour, so stop smoking and start to take care of your body. Smoking makes your skin worse – it damages the blood vessels and weakens the collagen fibres! (With age, collagen production slows down, which results in wrinkles and loss of skin tone). Smoking can cause premature ageing of the skin because smoking causes wrinkles to appear earlier than normal.
Quit – be happy!
NOTE: I smoked for many years. I used to drink alcohol as well. After realising I was basically killing myself (a slow form of suicide), I decided to stop everything. No, it wasn’t easy. I had to find a way to deal with my emotions. But I sought help. I haven’t had any alcohol for 12 years and haven’t smoked for 10.
4. No sleep
No sleep is the reason why your skin ages quicker. Not enough sleep means that our body is not getting all the repair functions it needs in order to regenerate.
You need to sleep your amount of hours every day. Some people need 7 hours, some people need 10 hours, some people need 6 hours. Find what’s your perfect sleep time. If you don’t get an appropriate amount of sleep your skin can become unhealthy, and you will look older than your age.
NOTE: I used to suffer from insomnia. As I started healing, which means I also started to have healthier habits, I also started to sleep. It was hard not sleeping for so many years. Too hard to explain here! But eventually, I started sleeping again. I’m in my menopausal years now so I always wake up several times in the night but overall I sleep really well and most definitely a lot better than before, that’s for sure.
5. Repetitive facial expressions
Wrinkles good or bad, are usually made by the movement of muscles in our face. The wrinkles will be more visible if we repeat the same facial expressions many times a day because this leads to deterioration in the skin cells and that means that the skin will age faster.
Every day we use our facial muscles to express emotions. We smile and laugh, we raise our eyebrows, pinch our noses and share joy or sadness with others. All these facial expressions cause stress on elastic fibres which lead to wrinkles.
Therefore, to prevent wrinkles, we should avoid frowning or worrying (compulsory facial expressions) and think positive thoughts instead.
NOTE: I can’t say I do anything about this, because I don’t really care about wrinkles per see, what I care about is having healthy skin (luminous, happy, bright, healthy skin). I am not aware of repetitive facial expressions, although other people do notice and they tell me. Oh well. So be it I say!
6. Air pollution
Air pollution is a mixture of many substances (gases, aerosols and vapours) which are polluting the air. This mixture of substances can include gases, such as carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds and ozone. Unfortunately, these gases and aerosol particles can be absorbed through our lungs into our bodies. So if you are working in a place with a lot of pollution, it would be recommended you wear a respirator mask.
These are some of the most harmful pollutants: carbon dioxide, ozone and nitrogen dioxide. Here’s what happens to your skin:
- Vitamin E levels go down (accelerating oxidative stress), the skin will become drier
- Squalene (antioxidant) also decreases, the skin will become drier
- You create more sebum (the skin is probably trying to protect itself)
- Your skin pH decreases
The more polluted the area, the worse your skin will get.
NOTE: I moved from a big city, London, to a lovely rural area in Tenerife where there is 0 pollution. I understand not everybody can do this, but if you put your mind to it, your environment and surrounding areas will get healthier. I remember desiring to live by the sea in the countryside, and it has happened 🙂
7. Topical applications
There are many products on the market to choose from, but make sure that any products you use for your skin, hair and body are organic or natural. Avoid any synthetic products, like PEGS, parabens and other chemicals that may be carcinogenic.
NOTE: I personally use a lot of pure organic oils for my skin and I also make my own skincare at home – serums, different oils, lotions etc. I sell my products at the local market and I’ve been very successful: over time people come back for more products because they’ve noticed the difference in their skin. I should tell them about the factors mentioned above because they’re part of having healthy and glowing skin.
There you go
This is not an exhaustive list of factors that can affect our skin, it’s only a few which I believe are the most important. Hopefully, you will now have a clearer vision of how to treat and take care of your skin in order to prevent wrinkles and keep it looking youthful.
You will also notice that there are factors that seem to go against the natural process of ageing – like smoking, drinking and sleeping too little. But in some ways, these factors can be useful – they help to revitalise our skin.
And the more we are aware of these factors, the greater our chance of getting healthy and youthful skin.
Don’t worry about making changes right now. I didn’t. It has taken me years to get where I am. Don’t lose hope. You will also start to realise, as I did, that the changes are gradual and life-changing.
And, remember, wrinkles are not to be avoided. They’re beautiful and they appear when the time comes.
What we’re looking for here is health. That’s why it’s so important to know how to treat and take care of your skin in order to prevent premature ageing of the skin and keep it looking vibrant. Healthy skin will age slower and it will look radiant and beautiful for a lot longer than unhealthy skin.
Be Happy – Your Skin Will Follow!