When it comes to achieving youthful looking skin, your skincare routine is just one piece of the puzzle. While we often hear advice to apply SPF50+ daily, use retinoid serums to plump the skin, and get a good night’s sleep to prevent wrinkles and fine lines, it’s important to recognise that our lifestyle choices can sometimes speed up the ageing process.

From rubbing our eyes too vigorously to looking down at your phone all day, these seemingly harmless actions can cause tell-tale grooves on your face over time. That’s why we spoke to Dr. Dev Patel, founder of the award-winning skincare line CellDerma, and advanced aesthetic doctor at Perfect Skin Solutions, who shares 7 everyday habits to look out for that could be prematurely ageing your skin. By addressing these often-overlooked factors, you can take proactive steps to protect your skin and keep it looking youthful.

  1. Hot showers.

After a tough workout or during a chilly day, a hot shower can be soothing and relaxing for many. However, it can be doing more harm than good for your skin’s health. Hot water can cause inflammation in the skin surface, resulting in a loss of moisture. Think about when you spend too long in the shower- your fingers go wrinkly, you skin becomes dry, and your body needs a deeply hydrating moisturiser. These are all signs that moisture has been stripped away from your skin by hot water, which can cause fine lines and wrinkles to appear more exaggerated. Dry skin is worsened if you are the type to vigorously rub your body dry with a towel, instead of patting it gently. The ideal shower temperature is lukewarm, which will ensure your healthy skin barrier is not being stripped of its natural oils that are essential for supple skin. 

  1. Rubbing your eyes.

The delicate skin around your eyes is particularly susceptible to damage. Rubbing your eyes vigorously can put a lot of pressure and tension on our eyes, which can make the skin fragile over time. The tugging and pulling actions can cause the skin to stretch prematurely and increase collagen breakdown. Also, persistent rubbing of the eyes can eventually damage the skins barrier, which helps to retain moisture for supple skin and keep out infection. To target fine lines, reduce puffiness and tighten the appearance of sagging skin, I would recommend using a corrective serum which supports skin laxity and boosts collagen production. 

  1. Over- cleansing.

When you over-cleanse your skin, you strip away its natural oils and disrupt its moisture balance. These oils, known as sebum, play an essential role in keeping your skin hydrated and maintaining its elasticity. If you over-cleanse every day, your skin barrier can become damaged, leading to dry skin texture. Dry skin is more prone to developing fine lines and wrinkles, as it lacks the necessary moisture to maintain its suppleness and resilience. This can lead to premature ageing, as wrinkles may become more noticeable and prominent on depleted skin. To strengthen the skin barrier whilst cleansing, use a botanical formula with ceramides to nourish the skin. Do not cleanse more than twice daily and rinse off using lukewarm water to avoid dehydrating the skin. Also, ensure your cleanser does not contain any harsh surfactants in it, as this can cause further inflammation and dryness to the skin.

  1. Not wearing sunglasses on sunny days.

Sunglasses aren’t just a fashion statement; they play a crucial role in protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Prolonged and unprotected sun exposure can result in various skin issues, including wrinkles, age spots, and a loss of skin elasticity. As well as this, when you expose your eyes to the sun without proper protection, you tend to squint in response to the bright light. This repetitive squinting can lead to the formation of fine lines on the outer corners of your eyes, known as “crow’s feet”. Over time, these wrinkles can become more pronounced and contribute to the overall appearance of ageing. As your first point of call, you should aim to wear sunglasses, your broad-spectrum SPF15+ and a wide-brimmed hat for full body protection on sunny days. For treatment of existing “crow’s feet” lines, BTX-A anti-wrinkle injections are a safe and highly effective method of significantly reducing the appearance of “crow’s feet” and often take them away completely. Deeper, static lines can also be treated with hyaluronic acid fillers or Plexr. 

  1. Looking down at your phone too much.

In today’s digital age, we’re constantly glued to our smartphones. Excessive screen time, with our heads bent down and necks tilted forward, can lead to a phenomenon known as “tech neck”. As well as causing strain and injury to the muscles and tissue structures of the cervical spine, the constant bending of the neck can cause the skin to crease and fold repeatedly. Over time, these creases may become more pronounced and can develop into permanent wrinkles. Additionally, so many of us are used to using our smartphones in bed and squint our eyes to see clearly in the dark, which can contribute to crow’s feet or deepened laugh lines around the outer corner of your eyes.

  1. Sleeping on your side or stomach.

Everyone has a particular sleeping position and relies on it when it comes to getting a good night’s rest. Depending on your sleeping style, overnight folds and premature wrinkles can become apparent over time. If you sleep on your side or your stomach, it’s likely that your face is pressed against the pillow, which can pull down on your face and contribute to sagging skin. Since we spend a third of our lifetime asleep, these folds can become repeatedly reinforced into your skin over time, causing vertical wrinkles. To avoid this, try to train yourself to sleep on your back. Not only will this help prevent facial ageing, but you are less likely to experience upper back and neck pain. Also, I’d recommend sleeping on a silk or satin pillowcase, as there is less mechanical friction against the skin.

  1. Sipping through straws.

Whilst consuming a few drinks with a straw is unlikely to cause permanent wrinkles, nowadays our water bottles have straws attached to them and we are encouraged to use reusable straws as an eco-friendly option. Daily, repetitive pursing of the lips can cause the wrinkles around your mouth to become more pronounced- whether that’s your laugh lines, lip lines or marionette lines. When you are young, the skin is more elastic and can bounce back easier to fight the effects of gravity. However, as our collagen production decreases as we age, our skin weakens and deep, vertical furrows can form around the mouth from repetitive pursing.

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