While there are many people who diligently follow a skin care routine to improve the appearance of their skin, many people do not consider how their everyday bad habits can influence the look and feel of their skin. The following discusses popular bad habits that many people engage in on a daily basis, and the damaging effects they have on skin.
Smoking is one of the main causes of wrinkles and premature aging, as it accelerates the skin’s normal aging process. In addition to causing wrinkles that are noticeable on the face, smoking also causes damage and wrinkles to appear elsewhere on the body, most notably the arms. Smoking causes wrinkles to develop on the skin as a result of nicotine narrowing the blood vessels, which restricts blood flow, oxygen and other vital nutrients such as vitamin A reaching the skin. Smoking also causes wrinkles and sagging skin as a result of damaging elastin and collagen.
Drinking alcohol in excess dehydrates the skin, which is one of the main causes of wrinkles. Alcohol also deprives the skin of necessary nutrients such as vitamin A and creates an overall dull appearance to the skin. A further complication to the skin that occurs as a result of excessive drinking is the presence of spider veins, which occur due to alcohol causing blood vessels to dilate.
Exposure to Ultraviolet Light
Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light without wearing sunscreen is also a direct cause of wrinkles and skin damage. UV light accelerates the aging process by damaging the connective fibers deep within the skin, namely collagen and elastin. The skin loses its strength and flexibility once these fibers become broken down, which causes sagging of the skin and wrinkles. Since sun exposure damages melanocytes, which produce melanin and protect the skin, freckles and age spots occur as a result. Not wearing sunscreen while exposed to the sun can also cause the development of moles and precancerous lesions.
A poor diet and nutritional deficiencies can also contribute to the aging process and can make skin appear dull. Since antioxidants help to prevent free radicals from damaging the skin, a diet low in antioxidants can cause wrinkles and actually accelerate the aging process. Additionally, if a person’s diet is not rich in healthy fats that can be found in avocado, nuts and fish, their skin will not be receiving adequate amounts of moisture. This can lead to the skin being dull, dry and flaky in appearance.
The effects of chronic sleep deprivation can cause dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles and an overall lackluster appearance to the skin. When a person does not sleep adequately each night, their body produces more cortisol, a stress hormone, which causes the breakdown of collagen within the skin. Since collagen helps maintain the elasticity of the skin, wrinkles and sagging can quickly develop as collagen production decreases.
Lack of Exercise
By not engaging in regular exercise, a person’s skin cannot benefit from all the advantages that regular exercise can provide. When a person does not exercise frequently, their skin may not be receiving adequate amounts of oxygen that occurs as a result of increased blood flow and circulation. A further detrimental effect that lack of exercise has on the skin is the inability to renew healthy skin cells and detoxify the skin.