The search for the holy grail on how to avoid the skin’s premature aging is one that has been ongoing for centuries. While there are many tips and tricks out there, the truth is that no one really knows what the secret to eternally youthful skin is.
So, ever feel like your skin is getting old before time? From environmental influences to using the wrong skincare products, you might be doing things that are unknowingly premature aging you. But don't worry, we've got the low-down on how to avoid skin aging.
Spoiler alert: there's no one magic fix, but rather a combination of lifestyle factors and products that can help you reduce the signs of premature aging. So whether you're in your 20s, 30s, 40s, or even 50s, read on for some helpful tips on preventing wrinkled skin and keeping a youthful appearance.
Trust us, your future self will thank you!
What is premature aging?
When we talk about premature skin aging, we are referring to the visible signs of aging that occur before the age of 40.
So let’s put it like this: the whole human body has a normal aging process that can, for example, affect the immune system, lower your body weight, or weaken your hair follicles causing hair loss. In the skin’s case, it loses its ability to retain moisture and promotes skin cell turnover that slows down over the years- which is what causes fine lines and wrinkles, age spots, loss of elasticity, and dull, uneven skin tone.-. However, when your skin starts to show those signs before time, that’s what we call premature aging.
This condition can happen to people of all ages *yes, even if you are in you are rocking through your 20s* and can be caused by many factors like premature aging syndromes, such as Werner syndrome, or external factors.
Top 8 signs of premature aging
When it comes to our skin, we can often be our own worst enemy. We neglect it, we abuse it and we don’t always give it the attention it deserves. As a result, premature aging, also known as extrinsic aging because it is caused by external factors, is a common problem that plagues both men and women alike. But what are these signs we are talking about?
1. Wrinkles and fine lines
If you notice wrinkles or fine lines on your face than usual, this could be a sign that your skin is beginning to age prematurely. These lines are usually caused by repetitive motions, such as squinting or smiling, or by constant exposure to the sun without using any sunscreen
2. Dry or itchy skin
Dry or itchy skin are two more common signs of premature aging. If your skin feels dry and irritated, it’s likely that it’s not getting the hydration it needs. This can lead to a dull and lifeless appearance.
3. Age spots
When you notice sunspots or dark spots on your skin, your aging alarm should start ringing! These dark patches of skin usually appear on areas that have been exposed to the sun for long periods of time.
4. Thinning hair and skin
As we age, our skin and hair begin to thin and lose their elasticity. In the skin, this can cause wrinkles, sagging and a generally aged appearance. While in the hair, this can weaken hair follicles and result in hair loss and gray hairs.
5. Broken blood vessels
If you notice any broken blood vessels on your skin, this could be a sign of premature aging. Broken blood vessels are often caused by sun damage, excessive smoking, or alcohol consumption.
6. Dull skin
A dull complexion is another common sign of premature aging. If your skin looks lackluster and lifeless, it’s likely that it’s not getting the nutrients it needs.
This condition can happen when you have a diet high in saturated fats and don’t drink enough water to hydrate the skin.
7. Patches on rough skin
Rough patches of skin can be another sign that your skin is aging prematurely. These patches are usually caused by dryness or damage to the surface of the skin.
8. Sunken cheeks
As you age, it's not uncommon to lose some volume in your face. This can cause your cheeks to appear sunken. This can make your face look tired and older than you actually are.
What causes premature aging?
There are many factors that can contribute to premature skin aging. These include sun damage, smoking, environmental factors, poor diet, using the wrong skincare products, and stress:
1. Sun exposure
While we all love some vitamin D, sun exposure is one of the most common causes of premature aging. UV rays can be divided into two types – UVA and UVB rays. Both types of UV rays can cause damage to your skin, but UVA rays are more harmful because they penetrate deeper into your skin.
This can damage the elastin and collagen proteins in your skin, leading to wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, and other signs of premature aging. Especially in older adults.
Smoking represents a health risk since not only does it damage your body's general health by making you prone to conditions like heart disease, but also it can damage your skin by breaking down collagen and elastin, which are the proteins that keep the skin firm and elastic.
Smokers also tend to have more wrinkles because they squint to keep smoke out of their eyes. In addition, smoking decreases blood vessels size, which means that less oxygen and nutrients reach the skin. This can make you develop sagging skin and dry skin showing premature ageing syndromes.
3. A not-so-healthy diet
When you don’t eat a balanced diet, your skin shows it. A diet lacking in certain vitamins and full of refined carbohydrates can lead to dull, dry skin and an overall loss of radiance.
For example, a deficiency in vitamin C can cause your skin to become thin and weak, while a lack of vitamin A results in dry, flaky skin.
Not getting enough antioxidants in your diet can also cause other aging signs by damaging the skin cells and leading to inflammation.
4. Stressing out too much
We all know that stress is the root cause of many skin problems, but did you know that it can also lead to premature aging? When we're stressed, our bodies produce elevated levels of cortisol, a hormone that breaks down collagen and elastin fibers.
5. Tanning bed
Just like sun exposure, getting in a tanning bed constantly can accelerate the aging process.
In fact, some experts believe that they may be even more harmful than spending time out without sun protection. This is because most tanning beds emit high levels of UV radiation. The UV light breaks directly and penetrates deep into the skin and damages DNA. It also triggers the production of free radicals, which can further harm skin cells.
In this case, it is better if you choose to tan naturally under the sun, always using the right amount of SPF.
6. Using the wrong skincare products
The wrong products can actually hasten aging skin. For example, if you use products with harsh chemicals or fragrances, these can irritate and damage your skin over time.
Similarly, if you don't wear sunscreen, this will also accelerate skin aging as sun exposure is one of the main causes of wrinkles and fine lines.
Moreover, you need to always use clean products, meaning that you should stay away from comedogenics or pore-clogging products.
7. Overusing anti-aging products
Overusing anti-aging products is a silent culprit of fast aging. How? Well, when you use too many of these products, you end up stripping your skin of its natural oils. This makes your skin dry and prone to wrinkles. So, if you want to avoid premature aging, it's important to use anti-aging products in moderation.
8. Big and constant facial expressions
This is unavoidable, but it is a cause that is worth mentioning. Having repetitive facial expressions can cause wrinkles and fine lines in the places where your muscles contract. Actually, that’s how the infamous crow’s feet happen!
This doesn’t mean that you are not allowed to laugh or be angry, it just means that these expressions can cause fine lines which are totally treatable.
9. Fiercely removing your makeup
When it comes to how to avoid premature aging, there are a lot of factors to consider. One important factor is how you remove your makeup. If you're unnecessarily rough with your skin, it can cause premature aging by breaking your skin’s barrier.
So, be gentle when removing your makeup.
How to reverse premature aging: Our Holy Grail
Do any of these signs sound familiar? Are you guilty of any premature aging causes? If so, don’t panic, we all make mistakes!
Skin changes over the years, but here is our Holy Grail on how to keep your skin young:
1. Wear sunscreen every day, even when it’s cloudy
You can’t skip sun protection! Whether you are going out or just staying in for some Netflix & Chill, you should always apply sunscreen during your morning skincare routine.
Sunscreen works by protecting your skin from ultraviolet radiation. It acts as a barrier between your skin and the sun’s rays. This protection can help you to prevent skin cancer while aiding to treat dark spots.
Add a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to your skincare regime. Apply it generously to all exposed areas of your skin, including your face, neck, chest, and hands.
Pro-tip: wearing sunglasses when you are out will help you to prevent crow’s feet
2. Quit smoking
As we mentioned before, smoking is one of the primary causes of premature aging. The nicotine in cigarettes constricts blood vessels, which reduces blood flow and oxygen to the skin. This lack of oxygen and nutrients results in wrinkles, sagging skin, and a dull complexion.
Smoking cessation *aka quitting smoking* will not only improve your overall health, including your bone density but will also help to prevent premature aging by keeping your skin structure bright and young
3. Eat your greens
Unhealthy foods are loaded with sugar and calories which can damage your cells, cause inflammation and weight gain. This inflammation can lead to wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging skin. In addition, unhealthy foods don’t contain the nutrients that your skin needs to stay healthy and youthful.
On the other hand, eating a healthy regime helps to prevent premature aging by providing your skin with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and strong. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains helps to keep your skin cells healthy and prevents inflammation. In addition, a healthy diet is rich in antioxidants which help to protect your immune system and skin from damage caused by free radicals.
4. Exfoliate your skin
When you exfoliate, you are getting rid of the dead skin that can make your skin look dull and improve circulation. If you don't exfoliate, those dead cells will accumulate and make your skin look older. Exfoliating also allows your products to work better because they can penetrate the skin more easily.
If you want to prevent premature aging, exfoliators are good place to start. Just make sure that you are using the right products for your skin type and that you are not overdoing it. Exfoliating too much can irritate the skin and actually make the problem worse.
Start with once or twice a week doing repetitive movements on your skin without being too harsh, and see how your skin reacts.
5. Use anti-aging products
Anti-aging products help to protect the skin from these damaging factors and prevent the signs of premature aging. These products usually contain sunscreen, which helps to block out harmful UV rays.
Antioxidants are another common ingredient in anti-aging products. These substances help to neutralize free radicals, which can damage cells and lead to fast aging, and prevent oxidative damage.
Using anti-aging products on a regular basis, like vitamin c, retinol, and hyaluronic acid, can help to keep your skin looking young and healthy for longer.
6. Don’t skip facial moisturizer
When it comes to skincare, there is no miraculous cure for any concern. However, using a moisturizer is always a good idea to prevent aging signs, regardless of your skin type. This is because moisturizers help to lock moisture in, an ability your skin loses over the years.
Dehydrated skin can lead to the formation of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as making existing wrinkles appear more pronounced. By keeping your skin hydrated, you can avoid these issues and keep your skin looking young and radiant.
There are many different types of moisturizers on the market, so it’s important to choose one that’s right for your individual needs. If you have dry skin, look for a moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid or glycerin. These ingredients will help to draw water into the skin and keep it hydrated.
If you have oily skin, look for a light, oil-free moisturizer that won’t clog your pores. And if you have sensitive skin, be sure to choose a hypoallergenic moisturizer that won’t irritate your skin.
No matter what type of skin you have, using a moisturizer is one of the best ways to prevent premature aging. So be sure to add this important step to your daily beauty routine!
7. Use gentle products
It's simple, really. The less harsh chemicals you subject your skin to, the better chance you have of maintaining an ever-young appearance. So using gentle products can help prevent premature aging in two ways: by not causing damage in the first place, and by helping to repair any damage that has already been done.
There are a lot of factors that contribute to premature aging, but one of the most important is inflammation. Inflammation causes damage at a cellular level, which leads to wrinkles, sagging skin, and other signs of aging. By using gentle, non-comedogenic products that don't cause inflammation, you can help keep your skin looking its best.
8. Reduce your alcohol intake
Yes, a few drinks on a Friday night won’t make you age prematurely, however, drinking constantly can decrease your telomere length *aka your skin’s ability to regenerate its cells*. So, since alcohol can boost the frequency at which your telomeres shorten, it is better to stay away from it.
9. Reduce stress and sleep it off
If you don’t sleep or are constantly stressed out, your body goes into what is called “fight or flight” mode. This means that the sympathetic nervous system is activated and the stress hormone cortisol is released.
Sleeping for a minimum of 8 hours a day and doing calming activities like yoga can help you to lower your cortisol levels and thus prevent fast aging.
10. Get a laser treatment
Laser treatment, like a non-ablative laser resurfacing treatment, can help to stimulate collagen production, which in turn can help to improve the skin’s elasticity and firmness. It can also help to lower and ease fine lines and wrinkles.
If you are concerned about premature aging, this option may be something worth considering. However, it is important to speak to a qualified dermatologist or plastic surgeon before undergoing any treatment.
On the other hand, you can also get face massages to stimulate blood flow, relax facial expressions, and help with your overall skin appearance. These treatments can be done once a month or you can also get a facial massage tool and do it at home
How to keep your skin young with skin care products
So, what’s the verdict? Are you going to change your lifestyle and switch up some of your skincare products? We hope so! It may seem like a lot to take on all at once, but remember that this is a lifelong commitment. The earlier you start, the better off you’ll be in the long run (plus, it just feels good to look young and fabulous).
And you know who already found the Holy Grail for an ever-young skin? Asians! From the K-beauty to the J-beauty industry, Asians have been creating amazing products that can give you the youthful look you always dreamed of.
So, are you ready to start buying some Asian goodies? Check out Asian Beauty Essentials for awesome anti-aging products that will help get you started on the right foot. Thanks for following along with us on this journey to eternal youth – we can’t wait to see the amazing things you accomplish!