Avoid These 4 Skin Wreckers

Next to the sun, smoking is the second biggest skin wrecker. Heavy smokers are almost five times more likely to have facial wrinkles than nonsmokers, plus they're more susceptible to skin cancers. Smoking also damages capillaries and artery linings, which reduces nourishing blood flow to the skin. Just 10 minutes of smoking decreases the skin's oxygen supply for almost an hour. All this results in shiny, fragile, deeply wrinkled skin that also heals more slowly. In fact, 40 percent of plastic surgeons said in one survey that they refuse to operate on cigarette smokers because they're notoriously bad healers.

PLUS: 25 Ways to Stop Smoking

For smooth and supple skin, you should be drinking water throughout the day, and not just at meals. Alcohol, however, dehydrates the body. So try to limit your imbibing to one drink per day. Also, try not to drink alcohol within 3 hours of bedtime. Doing so increases the risk of capillary leakage, which causes puffiness.

There's a reason they call it beauty sleep. While you're resting, the body regenerates collagen and keratin (proteins essential for taut, healthy skin). Lack of sleep dulls your overall complexion and, in particular, makes the skin under your eyes appear dark and baggy. Try to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.

PLUS: 10 Foods to Get You to Sleep

Too much stress can leave your skin pale and drawn. If the cliché advice to breathe deeply and sip herbal tea makes you want to scream, try something that's effective and fun: Get a massage. It improves blood and lymph circulation, accelerates the elimination of toxins, and speeds the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your skin. Schedule a massage for the afternoon before a big event, and everyone will remark at how relaxed, healthy and glowing you look.

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