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7 Worst Daily Habits That Are Prematurely Aging Your Skin

These habits may really surprise you!

Did you know that your skin is an organ? According to the Cleveland Clinic, it's actually the largest organ your body has. It's important to take proper care of your skin in order to keep it healthy and youthful. We've sourced the worst daily habits that are prematurely aging your skin, and some of them may really surprise you. There's a good chance you may be doing some of them routinely and causing damage, so read on to learn exactly what they are.

Not only is your skin a huge factor in your appearance, but it actually has many functions. Your skin controls the temperature of your body and safeguards you from germs, and the nerves in your skin facilitate feelings of touch, according to the Cleveland Clinic. As you age, the appearance of your skin ages, too. It loses fat and thins out, looking less soft and supple than it used to, the National Institute on Aging reports.

If you don't care for your skin correctly, it can age faster and even put you at several health risks, such as skin cancer. First on deck? You have to maintain a nutritious diet and exercise regularly to nourish your skin and keep it looking its best. But also make sure you're not following any sneaky habits that cause facial aging. Get ready to make some surprising changes!

Going to bed with makeup on

woman sleeping with makeup on, habits prematurely aging your skin

It's vital to be diligent about cleaning off your makeup before hitting the sheets. Not removing makeup properly can be incredibly harmful to your skin and cause wrinkles, according to Revere Health.

This is one habit you cannot skip out on if you want to hold on to a youthful appearance. You should use a good makeup remover first, then follow that up with a suitable face cleanser to wash your face, and end with a moisturizer.

A few more caveats? You should never share makeup with anyone, and be sure to choose the makeup that works best for your skin type. A common problem with some individuals is using products that dry out their skin, making it old before its time.

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Having a bad sleep routine

According to skincare expert and esthetician Renée Rouleau, your sleeping habits can be a major contributor to wrinkles. Rouleau explained the way you rest your face on your bed pillow can negatively impact your skin. She places her head on its side on the "bottom corner" of a bed pillow that's extra firm. In this way, the bottom part of her face is not actually on the pillow, "helping prevent wrinkles in the nasolabial fold." There are actually bed pillows specifically made for sleeping on your side.


Smoking can be a killer. Not only does it negatively impact your heart and lungs, but it can also age your skin prematurely and make you appear much older. Smoking causes wrinkles, sagginess, and a grey hue to your skin, according to Tobacco Free Life. A younger smoker in middle age can have the same wrinkled appearance as an older, 60-year-old non-smoker. In fact, by smoking 30 cigarettes per day, you can look 84 years old when you are only 70 years of age.

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Not using sunscreen

sunscreen on beach concept

Wrinkles are a normal process as you age. If you don't use sunscreen, wrinkles can make you appear much older than your actual age. How so? Ultraviolet rays from soaking up too much sun can decrease the elasticity of your skin, leading to wrinkling and sagging, according to the National Institute on Aging. Even worse, it can cause skin cancer.

Refrain from tanning devices, and be mindful of your overall time in the sun. Limit your time during peak hours of daylight (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) when the sun is very strong, put on protective clothing and sunglasses, and be sure to use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or more.

Consistent eye rubbing

When you are feeling sleepy or overtired, it's common to put your hands to your eyes and start rubbing. The problem is, you can actually stress out your skin by rubbing your eyes too much.

According to Aristocrat Plastic Surgery, so many daily activities can cause strain, like driving far, working on a laptop, too much reading, and more. Rubbing can cause pretty major wrinkles. Okay—this is not going to happen from an occasional rub. But if you rub your eyes a considerable amount of time, you can be in for considerable wrinkles.

Sipping from straws

Surprisingly, just by using a straw to drink your beverages, you can develop lines and wrinkles on your face, according to Cutis Medical Laser Clinics. "Lip wrinkles" most commonly occur surrounding the area of your mouth. Staying hydrated from a water bottle rather than a glass can contribute to this, too. If you only drink this way occasionally, it shouldn't have a negative impact. But if you do it on the regular, you may want to consider switching it up and using a glass.

Eating too much sugar

sugary foods

Sugar can create much chaos when it comes to your body. As far as your skin is concerned, it can cause wrinkling, sagging, and even dark spots.

Andrew Nish, MD, UnityPoint Health, described the relationship between growing older and sugar consumption. He explained to LiveWell with UnityPoint Health that sugar makes us age on the inside and the outside. Your skin is impacted a great deal.

Dr. Nish said, "If you put a banana out on the counter and unpeel it, what happens in 24-48 hours? It gets brown. What's happening is the sugars in that banana are reacting with proteins, causing cross-linking and the brown color (browning reaction). The exact same reaction is happening in our bodies. We're browning from the inside out."

If you include lots of sugar in your diet, your skin will reflect it, so it's time to reconsider how much sugar you're putting into your body. Dr. Nish also explained, "Aging is part of growing older, but it's accelerated by sugar."

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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