You likely know the no-no's: Not wearing sunscreen, smoking, and not getting enough sleep can make you look older. But we bet you aren't aware that these other, seemingly harmless, habits may be causing fine lines and wrinkles.
We asked dermatologist Josh Zeichner, M.D., Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City to fill us in on everyday activities that you may not realize are aging your skin.
1. Washing Your Face Too Much
Of course, it's important to keep your skin clean, but don't overdo it. Wash no more than twice daily (an extra wash pre- or post-workout is okay), and keep in mind that not all cleansers are created equal. Alkaline bar soaps strip your skin of its natural oils and can cause irritation; a non-soap cleanser is a much gentler option.
2. Drinking through a Straw
Sure, it looks more ladylike to sip your beverages, but repeatedly pursing your lips can cause wrinkling around your mouth. While not noticeable when you're young, these lines become more pronounced as you age and your skin weakens.
3. Losing Weight
We all want to fit into those skinny jeans, but losing too much weight (or repeated weight gain and loss) causes your skin to loose elasticity, making it look saggy.
4. Skipping Your Annual Eye Exam
That yearly visit to the eye doc is one appointment you shouldn't put off. Squinting can start causing crows feet and frown lines between your brows. Make sure to get your vision checked regularly, and if you need glasses, wear them!
5. Wearing Contacts
Okay, the problem isn't so much wearing contact lenses as it is incorrectly putting them in and taking them out. When applying lenses, you typically tug at the thin, sensitive skin around your eyes, which can cause inflammation and, overtime, lead to wrinkling and sagging.
Related: Foods That Make You Look Younger
Don't think that just because you're in a car you're safe from the sun's rays. UVA light, which causes skin aging, penetrates through glass, meaning you're exposed even in the car. Slather sunscreen all over, focusing especially on your left forearm and hand.
7. Cranking Up the Heat
It may be tempting to dial up the thermostat on chilly winter days, but dry, indoor heat leads to inflamed skin, which over time has aging effects. Turn down the temperature before bed, or invest in a cool-mist humidifier to use overnight. Alternately, placing a glass of water on your bedside table helps keep the air moist.
- Melanie Rud Chadwick
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