In this age of mad rush for achieving success in professional life, it quite often happens, that a lots of harmful practices have crept into our lifestyles, which causes premature ageing of our body and face. Some of the important causes are
Smoking has shown in many studies, to cause premature wrinkling, specially in perioral area. It has been shown that tobacco smoke creates reactive oxygen species, which results in decreased collagen biosynthesis. Even in twins, who were identical in all aspects, but one of them smoked tremendously, was shown to show severe skin ageing than non smoking sibling. The minimum duration of smoking was 5 years to result in perceived age differences. Every 10 years of smoking, leads to 2.5 years of perceived age difference.
If ingested daily in significant amounts (more than 3 cups of coffee per day), it can reduce synthesis of type 1 collagen (a very important content of skin) by as much as 15%, resulting in deterioration of skin texture and overall condition.
It is no secret, that when a person is at mental peace, their face will look younger and brighter. It has been postulated that telomeres, present in DNA are shortened by stress, which can lead to premature ageing; and everyone knows stressful life causes premature greying of hair and associated hair loss, the appearance of wrinkles and other signs.
Drinking less liquid or wrong kind of liquid can also cause premature ageing. An adult should at least drink 3 litres of water every day. Less amount of water can cause, signs of dehydration causing dry and lustreless skin. As mentioned before coffee also causes premature ageing, if taken in excess amount. Alcohol also causes dehydration of skin and wrinkle formation. If a comparison is made between a person who has been drinking alcohol for 20 years or more, with a person of same age who doesn’t take alcohol, you can easily make out the difference. So the best advice would be to quit alcohol; but if some reason it is not possible for a person, then drinking something smoother – like potato vodka, is much safer option, which get’s out of the body rather early. Also a lot’s of people brush their teeth soon after drinking, but brushing acidic teeth can cause erosion of tooth enamel. So waiting for couple of hours, after drinking, gives the teeth, time to recover.
We all know, how we feel after sleepless nights. Studies have shown that ideally 8 hours of sleep in the night, is needed for healthy functioning of the body. When you do not get adequate sleep, there is an increase in level of stress hormone called cortisone, which can slows down production of collagen (present in skin). Soon effects like sagging of skin and dark circles under eyes, will be seen.
You are what you eat. That is more so in this age of mad rush, when a person’s source of sustenance for most people is all kind of fast food including junk food. High sugar in your diet can cause, a biochemical process called as – glycation, which damages the collagen of the skin. Excess sugar also causes dental decay and discolouration. Salty food may make you retain water and give you a puffy look. Foods rich in Vitamin A & C, like green leafy vegetables and tomatoes helps in keeping skin healthy and glistening.
Although the recent trend the world over is to look thin (& most models strive for it ), but the real fact is that a correct balanced weight is absolutely essential. Too low body weight (compared to what is appropriate for age ) can lead to premature ageing. When a person has lower body mass index, he /she develops wrinkles at a younger age along with sagging skin.
Although exposure to sunlight, is necessary for synthesis of vitamin D, but excess exposure can cause sunburn and reduce the elasticity of skin and cause premature ageing. This is specially applicable for Caucasians, who have less melanin in their skin and get sunburn easily. So for them , it is advisable to avoid sun exposure between 10 am to 2 pm and when they go out in the sun, they should use sun screen. Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays over many years, in extreme cases, can cause skin cancer.
Exercise helps in protection of telomeres in DNA ; itâ€™s lack can cause problems in division of cell in microscopic level and accelerate cell death. Exercising regularly, helps in prolongation of cellular life and also improves the blood circulation to skin, giving rise to healthy skin. In addition, it also decreases chances of obesity and associated medical disorders like high blood pressure and cardiac disorders, that are associated with it.
One of the most unavoidable causes of premature ageing, in developing countries, is air pollution. The effects may manifest as dryness of skin, dark pigmentation, rashes, eczema and wrinkles. There are multiple reasons for the above changes. It may be due to direct toxic effect of the toxins present in the air or it may be due to combination of free radicals present in air with ultraviolet radiation, which decreases the production of skin collagen, causing skin to lose elasticity and precipitate the changes of premature ageing.
Sometimes rarely the cause of changes, are due to medications a person is taking. Oral contraceptive pills being taken by women, contains androgenic hormones; which may cause increased sebum secretion thereby giving rise to blocked pores in skin, acne and hyper pigmentation. Some drugs used to treat HIV (Nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors – NRTIs ) cause serious damage to cells and can cause premature ageing. Studies have also showed that people who are under treatment for depression and anxiety; and are being given drugs like Valium and Xanax, show signs of premature ageing like – loose skin and increased wrinkling. So it is very important that ordinary people should never take any medications, without medical supervision
So it is quite obvious that with the adequate precautions, you can maintain a good healthy skin for a long time and in the process cherish your youth for a longer period.