All of us desire smooth and youthful skin and despair over every facial wrinkle. We use a range of skin care products but they don’t provide lasting results. The problem of premature skin aging is more than skin deep as it could indicate an underlying issue that can have serious health repercussions.
Your skin is very sensitive and a good indicator of your overall health. Healthy habits help to improve skin health while unhealthy habits can ruin your appearance and your health. Here are some of the reasons for premature skin aging that you should never ignore:
1. Excessive Sun Exposure
Excessive exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light is the primary cause of premature skin aging. UV light breaks down the collagen and elastin fibers in the skin which results in sagging, wrinkled skin. Prolonged exposure to sunlight will not only cause your skin to age prematurely but also increases your risk of skin cancer. If you have noticed signs of premature skin aging, you should switch to a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. There are also several skin treatments in fall that can help you regain your youthful complexion after a long summer.
Anemia is more common in women than men – studies show that it affects approximately 12% of white women and nearly 20% of African American and Hispanic women. People who have anemia don’t have enough healthy red blood cells in their bodies. This leads to reduced oxygen flow to all the organs of the body, including the skin, resulting in poor skin tone and premature aging.
3. Liver Problems
The main job of the liver is to filter toxins and unwanted byproducts from the blood. Serious infections such as hepatitis can severely impair liver function which results in a yellow tint to the skin. However, minor liver problems result in subtle skin changes such as sagging skin that is visibly dully and dry.
4. Kidney Problems
The kidneys remove waste products from the blood and maintain fluid balance in the body. This is why dry, itchy skin is one of the main symptoms of kidney problems. Research shows that chronic kidney disease causes premature ageing which would manifest as poor skin tone and wrinkles.
5. Vitamin D Deficiency
Studies show that vitamin D plays an important role in preventing premature skin aging. Vitamin D is necessary for skin cell growth and repair which is why vitamin D deficiency causes wrinkles to develop at a quicker rate. Fatty fish such as tuna, mackerel and salmon are good sources of vitamin D and can help to prevent premature aging.
6. Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Consuming more than 3 drinks in a single day (or 7 in one week) is considered “heavy” drinking and can affect your skin and increase the risk of wrinkles. Alcohol has a dehydrating effect which results in dull and dry skin. Alcohol also depletes vitamin A which affects collagen production and makes your skin saggy.
7. Inadequate Sleep
A recent study found that inadequate sleep resulted in visibly poorer skin including more wrinkles and fine lines as well as droopy corners of the mouth. Inadequate sleep also results in dark circles under the eyes and hanging eyelids. You should not overlook skin aging caused by inadequate sleep as chronic sleep loss increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
8. Unhealthy Diet
An unhealthy diet, especially a restrictive diet that is low in healthy fats will result in dry prematurely aged skin. This is because your skin requires fatty acids such as linoleic acid to produce sebum which is the body’s natural skin moisturizer. A low fat diet is also linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
9. Insufficient Exercise
Regular exercise helps to increase blood circulation to the entire body. If you do not get a sufficient amount of physical activity on a regular basis, your skin will appear dull and lifeless. You should not ignore this issue as insufficient exercise is linked to weight problems, high blood pressure, poor posture and osteoporosis.
10. High Stress Levels
The stress hormone cortisol breaks down collagen in your skin which results in wrinkles and fine lines. You cannot completely avoid stress but you can build your resilience as this will help to reduce the amount of stress you experience during tough times. Do not ignore this type of premature skin aging as high levels of stress increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart problems and diabetes.
Premature skin aging is a warning that you need to pay more attention to your overall health. Changing your lifestyle and habits is not easy but it will help to take years off your face as well as improve your overall health.
Anita Fernandes has been writing extensively on mental health and wellness for over a decade. She has expertise in nutrition, fitness, public health, and weight loss and has contributed content to a variety of leading digital health publishers. Anita has a unique perspective on healthy living and lifestyle, as she has battled and overcome eating disorders and obesity. She shares her experiences in an effort to help others overcome the physical and mental health problems that can sometimes seem insurmountable.