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The #1 Habit That Ages Your Skin Faster

Stop doing these things if you want to look younger longer, experts say.
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab

An active lifestyle and adopting healthy habits not only makes you live longer, but makes you look younger according to experts. When we take care of our bodies and skin, it helps maintain a youthful appearance. But some everyday habits can speed up the aging process and contribute to premature aging. Eat This, Not That! Health talked to skincare experts who revealed the top causes of aging skin. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Stay Out of the Sun

Woman covering face by hand of bright sun light.
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Lawrence Osman, M.D. Board-certified Dermatologist with Dignity Health Northridge Hospital, says: "Spending too much time in the sun [is harmful to your skin]. UV rays damage your skin's DNA leading to wrinkles and cancerous changes. Try to limit direct sun exposure during the middle of the day, wear a broad spectrum sunscreen and sun protective clothing including a wide brimmed hat."

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2

Cut Out the Sugar

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Osman states, "Lay low on simple sweets. Simple sugars negatively impact your collagen by cross-linking strands together through a process called glycation. Cross linked collagen isn't as firm and resilient, and consuming too much sugar increases the collagen cross-linking. Instead, eat lots of colorful fruits. They are full of antioxidants which improve the look and feel of your skin tremendously."

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3

Squeeze in Your Beauty Sleep

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According to Osman, "Scientists recently proved that our bodies need sleep to repair DNA damage that accumulates throughout the day. If you don't get enough, you're not giving your body the time it needs to fully repair all that it can."

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4

Put the Cigarettes Down

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"Smoking is not only awful for your health but also for your skin," Osman says, "Smoke is filled with carcinogens that overwhelm your skin's natural repair processes leading to permanent damage."

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5

How to Slow Down Your Skin Aging

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There are things we can do to help slow down the aging process and Victoria Stiles, Celebrity Makeup Artist and Creative Director of ShikSona Beauty reveals her tips for stopping skin from premature aging. 

  • "Drink more water. If you're hooked on drinks other than water, find a water that tastes good to you. Fiji water, I've found, is extremely refreshing, thirst-quenching, and actually tastes so good. I can't get enough! 
  • Yoga. This low-impact exercise offers many benefits such as stress-relief and can aid in sleep issues. 
  • Sunblock. Always wear sun protection when heading outside, even in the winter months, to guard against harmful UVA/UVB rays."

And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more