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7 Things That Age Your Face, According to Science

Don’t make these mistakes or else you’ll age prematurely.

Seeing as time machines only exist in the movies, there is no way to physically turn back the hands of time. However, it is possible to look younger than your total amount of times around the sun—without spending thousands of dollars a year. In fact, you can avoid premature aging by following a few simple rules. Here are 7 things that age your face, according to science, doctors, and experts— and avoiding falling victim to them will help you look your youngest for as long as possible. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You May Have Already Had COVID.


The Sun

Woman covering face by hand of bright sun light.

Sunlight takes the cake for the number one cause of aging, according to NYC dermatologist and empowerment leader, Dr. Adarsh Vijay Mudgil. "Too much sun causes wrinkles, sunspots, dilated capillaries AND skin cancer! That's why it's so important to wear an SPF 30 sunscreen every day, and preferably one which contains titanium or zinc, which physically block the sun's rays," he explains. 

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There are lots of ways that smoking can impact your health, including premature aging. "Smoking is no bueno for any of our organ systems!" Dr. Mudgil explains. "It causes premature aging of our skin, wrinkles, and loss of collagen. Many of the harmful chemicals in tobacco breakdown collagen and elastin in our skin, which makes skin saggy. Smoking also reduces blood flow to our skin inhibiting nutrients from nourishing our skin cells and toxins from being removed."

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with tousled hair suffering head ache sitting on a couch in the living room at home

Staying hydrated isn't just crucial in terms of lubricating your muscles, joints, and organs, but it also keeps your skin glowing. "Inadequate water consumption is no good for our skin," says Dr. Mudgil. "It makes us more prone to inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis. It also makes wrinkles and fine lines appear more prominent."

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Making the Same Face All the Time

woman with Afro haircut wearing black bandana, taking selfie, holding mobile phone or other device in right hand, smiling and squinting eyes in bright sun

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, repetitive facial expressions can lead to facial lines. "When you make a facial expression, you contract the underlying muscles. If you repeatedly contract the same muscles for many years, these lines become permanent," they explain. One of the most common? Squinting in the sun. "Wearing sunglasses can help reduce lines caused by squinting," they suggest. 

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Drinking Alcohol

woman drinking wine alcohol at home

According to the AADA, alcohol is rough on the skin. "It dehydrates the skin, and in time, damages the skin. This can make us look older," they point out. 

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Sedentary Behavior

Woman sitting on bed looking at phone bored and in a bad mood

Exercise is not only good for the body and mind, but your skin. There is scientific evidence that exercise can starve off premature aging. The AADA explains that just moderate exercise improves circulation and boosts the immune system, which can result in a more youthful appearance. 

RELATED: Everyday Habits That Make You Older, According to Science


Not Taking Proper Care of Your Skin

Woman touching face and looking at mirror in bathroom

The AADA also maintains that proper skincare is crucial in terms of antiaging. They recommend cleansing skin gently twice a day and after sweating. "Gentle washing helps to remove pollution, makeup, and other substances without irritating your skin," they explain. Scrubbing, on the other hand, can irritate it and accelerate aging. After cleaning, apply a facial moisturizer. "Moisturizer traps water in our skin, giving it a more youthful appearance," they say. Also, avoid any skin care products that sting or burn, as it means your skin is getting irritated. "Irritating your skin can make it look older," they point out. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more about Leah