By Sacha Obaid
It’s no fun to look in the mirror and see fine lines, wrinkles, or sagging skin. What causes wrinkles? One of the biggest factors in how you’ll look as you age is the genes that you inherited. No matter how much you want to, you will never be able to change your DNA. Your bone structure, skin tone, facial muscles, and facial symmetry all came from your unique genetic code.
These aspects of your face may be unchangeable but how you begin to age doesn’t have to be. Reducing your exposure to the sun, smoking, and poor diet choices can all work to fend off premature aging and keep you looking young and healthy.
Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is one of the main culprits behind visible signs of aging. Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation damages the elastin fibers in your skin cells. These fibers are responsible for keeping your skin smooth, elastic, and strong. Over time the sun damages these fibers and reduces the suppleness and elasticity of your skin.
To avoid sun-damaged skin, always wear makeup or a moisturizer on your face that contains an SPF of at least 30. Sunscreen should be worn during the summer and the winter months in order to fully protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
Smoking and the Environment
Smoking and environmental pollutants in the atmosphere can both cause premature aging. Smoking can lead to wrinkles all over your face because the nicotine in cigarettes actually impairs blood flow to your face. As a result, your skin won’t receive the nourishment it needs, and it will begin to age more quickly.
Environmental pollutants may also damage your skin because they are riddled with free radicals. Free radicals can damage skin cells and cause premature aging. Plus, they interfere with your skin’s ability to produce collagen, which is what keeps your skin appearing firm. Pollutants from pesticides, industries, and vehicles can all cause premature signs of aging on your face.
What You Eat and Drink
Your diet also has a profound effect on your skin. Eating a diet that is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals can keep your skin appearing youthful and refreshed. Antioxidants can scavenge any free radicals in your blood and remove them from your body before they are able to damage your skin or your health. Always aim to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables each day and to drink lots of water.
If you are aging prematurely or just don’t like seeing fine lines and wrinkles in the mirror each morning, a plastic surgeon may be able to help. Many offer a variety of treatments such as facial chemical peels, facelifts, and injections such as Botox that can gradually or immediately change your face to reduce the visible signs of aging and help you continue to age gracefully.