Friday, March 16, 2018

5 Harmless Habits That Are Actually Aging You Overnight

While getting older is an inevitable part of life—along with the aches, pains and gray hair that come with it—who doesn’t want to make the most of this process by doing it as gracefully as possible? For some, that may mean paying big bucks for a new skin serum, for others that may mean eating more antioxidant-rich foods and getting a good night’s sleep. After all, it’s called beauty rest for a reason—right?

So, even if you know the big 5 for healthy skin—sun protection, not smoking, routine cleansing, eating healthy and minimizing stress—you may still be causing damage to your skin unknowingly. Here are 5 sneaky habits that are aging you overnight:

   1. You’re sleeping on your side—or worse—your stomach.

We’re looking at you on this one, ladies, as women are twice as likely as men to sleep on their sides. And while it may be the most comfortable sleeping position (who can sleep on their back all night?), it’s not doing your skin any favors. That’s because when your face is snuggled into that favorite pillow, gravity pulls at your skin and its connective tissue causing sagging, wrinkles and eventually a loss in collagen.

   2. You’re not nurturing your eyes.

It’s bad enough that most of us spend the entire day staring at a screen of some kind—phone, tablet, work computer or all of the above—but when you add in screen time right before bed, you’re begging for eye fatigue. Having red, tired eyes would make just about anyone look older.

Plus, if you’re not caring for the delicate skin around your eyes—the thinnest skin on your whole body—puffiness, dark circles and wrinkles are more likely.

   3. You’re eating dessert (almost every night).

Sometimes that delicious chocolate chip cookie is just too good to resist. But if delicious dessert becomes a part of your daily routine, you may be harming your skin—along with many other things.

In fact, when you eat something sweet, those sugar molecules attach to protein fibers, a process called glycation. Overtime, this can lead to a loss of radiance, dark circles, uneven tone, puffiness, fine lines and increased pore size. So, in the name of skin health, it’s time to put that package of cookies away.

   4. You’re a fan of the heat.

Whether it’s turning up the thermostat a little higher or lingering in that extra hot shower, if you’re a fan of keeping things toasty, your skin may be paying the price. That warm air and extra hot water suck the moisture right out of your skin, which can cause it to be inflamed and dehydrated. Over time, irritated, flaky skin can have some serious aging effects. And your go-to makeup may actually be accentuating those problem areas, or worse, causing further irritation.

   5. You’re always stressed.

In fact, you’re probably stressed out right now (Why is minimizing stress so stressful?). As you may know, stress causes a negative chain reaction within your body. Your stress hormones spike, your heart rate increases, your blood vessels narrow and your blood pressure rises. But that’s not all, stress also impacts your DNA and can speed up the aging process.

So, what can you do? After all, if it was easy to get rid of stress, then we’d all be feeling a whole lot better. Unfortunately, though, it seems like stress is one of those tricky things that’s nearly impossible to get rid of completely. But that doesn’t mean you can’t minimize it.

A great place to start is with a complete team of health experts whose top priority is your health. At the GMC Primary Care & Specialty Center-Suwanee, you will find the services, resources and support you need to look and feel your healthiest. Peace of mind is possible with expert health care you can always count on.