Wrinkles are one of those sad instabilities of skincare. Most of our practices are designed to make them stay away longer and be less obvious as they come in. In effect, good skincare is really about aging as gracefully as your genetics allow…or more gracefully if you’re willing to put in the effort. We’re used to hearing about how we age being related to countless little factors that it feels like we have to manage. Genetic factors are the ones we all worry about because there is precious little you can really do if you inherited less than perfect skin from a relative. You can do a lot to help minimize outside factors though. Lifestyle and environmental factors in particular are relatively easy to manage over the long term. Learning some of the more common factors will allow you to remove or minimize the potential problem and extend the youth of your skin. Let’s look at some of the more common factors that continue to be a problem for a lot of us.
The high point of smoking has come and gone culturally, but it remains a popular habit for many people. It isn’t actually the best habit for you if you’re intending to keep your skin as healthy as possible. Smoking is associated with dry, unhealthy skin among other things. Compounds in it also contribute to the breakdown of collagen in your skin. Both of these are factors that dramatically increases the likelihood of wrinkles. Dry skin builds up and causes fine lines to show more readily. The biggest issue is the collagen breakdown though. Your skin needs collagen if it is going to provide structure. That structure is what keeps your skin filled in so that there aren’t any wrinkles. You typically get them simply because your skin can’t keep collagen production on the same level as the habitual damage of folding skin. Adding on to the problem by causing collagen to break down is only going to make you get wrinkles faster.
Those of us who live in cities have gotten used to simply looking for a pollution alert before we go out. It is simply a trade off if you live in a large enough city. Those warnings are worth more than telling you how long it is healthy to be outside and exposed to the air though. It is also a warning that the air won’t be any good for your skin. Ground level ozone has particular properties that lead it to age the skin on contact. Small pockets of it exist along roadways in particular and other areas with particularly high concentrations of polluted air. They contribute to skin issues such as collagen breakdown and dry skin. Particulate matter in the air is also a problem. It can hurt your lungs, yes, but it can also hurt your skin at the same time. Little, sharp particulate matter can give your skin microscopic cuts that speed the aging process on top of their ability to get stuck in your skin’s natural oils and cut even more of your skin while being held close to it.
Getting a good night’s sleep these days is hard. The sounds of cities and the country fade away to those who live there, but it seems like most of us simply have trouble getting the sleep we need. This is connected to disruptions to our natural sleep cycle brought on by modern innovations. All the light everywhere all the time tend to disrupt your body’s internal clock to the point that it doesn’t quite know when it is time to actually sleep. A chronic lack of sleep hurts your skin, though. Your body needs you to get regular sleep to ensure that it can repair any problems that occur in your skin over the course of the day. Failure to get the sleep means your skin doesn’t quite get the care it needs. We all need to put in a little more effort towards getting the right amount of sleep due to this. Turn lights low in the evening and consider turning off your phone so that no noises can wake up or disrupt the calm environment for the evening. That may help you get to sleep sooner than you otherwise would.
The many lifestyle and environmental factors involved in the appearance of wrinkles can be managed for, but we need to be careful about that management. It involves making changes to our habits to ensure we’re not hurting our skin and that we’re protecting it when we need to do so. We’ve touched on only some of the most common factors too. There are still others you may wish to look into to help ensure your skin is as healthy as possible. Just remember that some changes to your habits will be harder than others.