The unexpected factors that age our skin. We use the best anti-aging ingredients, we continuously care for our skin and apply sunscreen every morning. However, the changing environmental conditions and the pressing rhythms of modern life prove that our good habits are not enough to protect our skin.
Find out what are the 4 unexpected factors that cause our skin to age prematurely and what you can do to reverse the damage.
1. Insufficient sleep
Lack of sleep does not only affect your energy levels. Inadequate sleep can be the cause of your tired look, causing you under-eye bags, black circles, and fine lines. Like your mind and body, your skin rejuvenates while you sleep.
When your body is not well-rested, it produces an excess of cortisol, which leads to the breakdown of collagen and leads to premature aging of the skin. During sleep the body releases growth hormone, which increases muscle mass and strengthens the skin, increasing blood flow to it and giving you radiant skin.
Prioritize your rest and target seven to eight hours of sleep each night to help rejuvenate your skin and help protect it from exposure to harmful elements of the day, such as ultraviolet radiation.
2. Air pollution
It’s no secret that air pollution is detrimental to the environment, but it can also damage our skin.
As we grow older, our antioxidant levels decrease. When free radicals (a combination of ours and those we absorb from the environment) begin to exceed our body’s antioxidant levels, what we call oxidative stress occurs. This process breaks down the collagen and the DNA of the skin and in the long run, can cause wrinkles and scabs.
To effectively slow down and prevent visible signs of aging, it is important to address the causes of aging at the cellular level. Strong ingredients like Vitamin C and zinc act as antioxidants and help prevent oxidative stress.
3. Disrupted skin microbiome
Our skin is home to a rich ecosystem of micro-organisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi) that coexist on its surface. This is called the microbiome.
The microbiome of the skin is influenced by modern lifestyle and external factors, such as where we live, our occupation, our diet, air pollution, the antibiotics and cosmetics we use. When the bacteria that live there reproduce in a harmonious way, our skin is healthy. However, when the balance of the skin flora is disturbed, then the friendly bacteria living there become pathogenic and cause problems. So we end up with dry, irritated and sensitive skin or possibly acne.
Scientists have found that women who show early signs of aging, such as wrinkles, exhibit a skin microbiome closer to that of an older woman.
Modern skincare products contain living micro-organisms and bacteria to nourish and enhance good skin bacteria. Without the harsh chemicals and alcohol, these innovative local solutions help to keep the bacteria in balance.
4. Unhealthy diet
Healthy skin starts from the inside. High processed foods, foods high in sugar or saturated fat can cause inflammation, which can then lead to accelerated wrinkles. Inflammation has also been shown to be behind other skin problems, including acne and enlarged pores.
Through glycosylation, sugars found in foods with a high glycemic index stick to collagen and elastin and gradually weaken them, leading to wrinkles and loosening of the skin. While glycosylation cannot be completely avoided, it can be slowed down by a balanced diet. So avoid foods high in simple carbohydrates and sugars and choose foods with a low glycemic index.
To prevent premature aging and ensure healthy skin, also choose foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acids (ALA), such as avocado, salmon, blackberries and black chocolate. These antioxidant foods help protect skin cells from DNA damage.