If you could look and feel younger simply by breaking some habits that the experts say age your body, would you do it?
As the year comes to a close and you start making those New Year’s Resolutions for 2022, take a look at this list of five bad habits that make you look and feel older and see which ones you may want to resolve to break!
- Staring at Screens Too Often and Too Long – Scientists say that getting too much exposure to blue light (the kind emitted from phones and computer screens) may cause accelerated aging. A 2019 study published in the journal Aging and Mechanisms of Diseasefound that blue light could be damaging to cells in the brain and eyes. The researchers recommended getting as much natural light as possible, wearing blue light glasses to block emissions, and limiting your screen time.
- Not Using Sun Screen and a Daily Moisturizer – If you’re not applying a facial moisturizer daily, you’re overlooking an effective first responder to the most visible signs of aging. “Moisturizer traps water in our skin, giving it a more youthful appearance,” says the American Academy of Dermatology. For maximum antiaging effect, choose a moisturizer with sunscreen, which can protect your face from photoaging caused by the sun. You’ll want one that’s at least 30 SPF and blocks both UV-A and UV-B light.
- Not Getting Adequate Sleep – According to a study published in Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, people who reported getting quality sleep experienced 30% better “skin-barrier recovery” and “significantly lower intrinsic skin aging” than those who were sleeping poorly. Experts recommend getting at least seven hours of quality shut-eye every night.
- Consuming Too Much Alcohol – Sure, it’s the Holiday season, and that may mean more imbibing on booze than usual; however, long-term excessive consumption of alcohol can have an aging effect. Alcohol dehydrates the skin and causes inflammation, two hallmarks of premature aging. Booze too often, and chances are you’ll see more fine lines, wrinkles, redness, and puffiness. To prevent that—and to lower your risk of cancer and heart disease—drink in moderation. That means no more than two drinks a day for men and one for women.
- Too Much Sugar – Intuitively, we know that too much junk and sugar is bad for us. Besides causing obesity, increased risk of heart disease and diabetes, and a whole host of other health problems, too much sugar also ages the body. “Findings from research studies suggest that a diet containing lots of sugar or other refined carbohydrates can accelerate aging,” says the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). It’s true—sugar can actually cause wrinkles. Sugar binds to the proteins in our skin that keep it looking young, damaging them and preventing their repair. Instead, fill your meals and snacks with whole foods. “Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables may help prevent damage that leads to premature skin aging,” says the AAD.
So, if you recognize yourself in any of these bad habits, now is a great time to think about changing them.
Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year!