You’re not doomed to be wrinkly and immobile when you’re elderly – the things you do every day will determine how fast you age. Some of them are pretty surprising. But we’re not going to list smoking and stress here – those are too obvious by now, right? We’re going to take a look at other common habits or problems that can exacerbate the aging process, leaving you looking old before your time.
Too much sugar
Too much sugar is the cause of so many problems. You’re probably already familiar with the fact that too much sugar can cause varying skin problems. But you may not have connected it with premature aging. Spikes in your blood sugar levels results in damage to collagen via a process called glycation. Wrinkles are the result of this damage to collagen, because your skin starts to lose its elasticity.
You may think that this ties into the increased stress that often comes with chronic depression, contributing to aging in that way. But there’s more to it than that. When you’re depressed for long periods, this can contribute to a shortening on a part of your DNA called telomeres. Telomeres help protect every cell in your body from deterioration. Depression also often causes people to neglect certain aspects of their health.
A lot of people associate missing teeth with the elderly already. But not many people associate missing or broken teeth in adulthood with the acceleration of the aging process itself. How does that work? Essentially, missing a tooth is missing a bone. And when you’re missing a bone, the surrounding skeletal and muscle structure weakens. A missing tooth does this to your facial structure via your jawbone! If you have even one tooth missing, you should consider a dental implant.
Bad sleeping positions
The type of pillowcase you’re using, and the way that you’re resting on it, can have big effects on the youthful look of your skin. If you’re sleeping with your face in direct contact with a generic cotton pillowcase for most of the night, then you could be contributing to the appearance of permanent marks in the forms of lines and wrinkles on your face. The way to tackle this is to sleep on your back – though that’s not too comfortable for most people. A satin pillowcase may help!
If you’re like most people, then you love hot showers. You may think all that heat is good for you skin – after all, heat kills bacteria, right? Unfortunately, all that heat also kills a lot of the good bacteria on your skin. It also causes your skin to become drier over time. The same goes for your hair, by the way – so calm down with those hair dryers and straighteners!
Not enough fat
Exercise helps you look young. Eating less sugar helps you look young. So surely going as fat-free as possible would also help? Well, a good amount of fat contributes a lot of good to your skin. After all, it helps keep it farther away from your bones, giving it a softer touch and appearance! Nuts are a great way to get some healthy fats in you.