If you are not happy with what you see in the mirror, it’s time to think through your daily routines.
The foods you eat, how you sleep and the way you sit can add years to your face and may shorten your lifespan. Here, experts share the most common age-accelerating habits and their advice to reverse the process:
1. You multitask a lot
If your to-do list is only getting longer and you are constantly on a high stress level, your hectic life may be taxing your body. "People think multitasking is good, but you don't actually get anything done-you just create more stress," said Dr. Raymond Casciari, chief medical officer of St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif.
Several studies show that chronic stress triggers the release of free radicals, the unstable molecules that damage cells and are responsible for aging. Instead of trying to do it all, Casciari suggests concentrating on one task at a time and only moving on once you finish it.
2. You almost never skip dessert
In addition to adding extra pounds to your figure, your sweet tooth may also be adding years to your face. "Internally, sugar molecules attach themselves to protein fibers in each of our cells," said Dr. Susan Stuart, a San Diego, Calif. board-certified dermatologist.
This process, known as glycation, can be quite damaging and result in a loss of radiance, dark circles under the eyes, loss of tone, puffiness, an increase in fine lines and wrinkles and a loss of facial contours and increased pore size. Avoid the sugary goodies if you want to preserve your youthful glow.
3. You usually sleep less than 5 hours a night
Sleeping may be the closest thing there is to a fountain of youth. Your body repairs itself and recovers while you rest, which leads to incremental benefits for your looks. The key is to get from 7 to 9 hours quality hours each night.
If you’re getting fewer than 6 hours, it’s likely affecting your appearance, says Michael Breus, PhD, a board-certified sleep specialist. Start getting 1 to 3 more hours of sleep and you could see some improvement in just a few days. Keep it up, and “within 2 to 3 weeks, people will notice that you’re sleeping better by the way you look,” Breus says.
4. You stay sitted all day long (or most of it!)
The threats of a sedentary lifestyle are vastly documented: those that spend most of their days sitted are at increased risk for kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, not to mention obesity. Naturally, exercising regularly helps to prevent these health issues and keeps you living longer, according to a study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Study participants who exercised 150 minutes or more a week lived 10 to 13 years longer than the inactive bunch.
5. You neglect your eye area
Even a basic skincare routine needs a good eye skin care to prevent wrinkles. Skin around the eyes is thinner than the skin on the rest of your face and shows age faster. Keeping the eye area moisturized can take years off your face.
"Eye creams that are most effective contain Retin A, a form of vitamin A," said Stuart. Other important factors include emollients and moisturizers that trap moisture, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C. "These promote formation of collagen and elastin to tighten the skin and reduce fine lines around the eyes," Stuart said.
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