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Skin Sins: 10 Ways You Are Aging Your Skin

Skincare for Women Over 50

Chances are that you are doing all you can to maintain youthful-looking skin. You may be diligent about wearing sunscreen, using an anti-aging product, and applying moisturizer. However, there are a few mistakes you may be making that are aging your skin and causing extra wrinkles. Dr. Kally Papantoniou a board-certified New York Dermatologist who often sees “skin saboteurs” in her practice, shares 10 skin sins that are easily avoidable.

10 Sins That Are Aging Your Skin

1. Not wearing sunglasses

While it is important to protect your eyes against harmful ultraviolet rays, sunglasses do more than just protect your eyes. They also play a role in protecting the thinner skin of the eye area against aging. As well, repetitive squinting in bright light can lead to crow’s feet, which often require dermal fillers to smooth again. So, keep sunglasses in your car so you’re less likely to find yourself out and about without them.

2. Substituting sunscreen for a moisturizer

While it’s great that you have made using sunscreen part of your daily routine, it doesn’t provide the same benefits as your moisturizer. Not all sunscreens hydrate and some may even add oil or dry out your skin. So make sure to apply both moisturizer and sunscreen for days out in the sun, or use a moisturizer with SPF for daily use.

3. Skipping the body

Many people skip moisturizing their bodies after showering. As we age, elbows and knees become dryer, and skin begins to sag. A body moisturizer applied daily will lock in moisture keeping skin soft, supple, and radiant.

4. Bathing in hot water

A steamy shower or soak in the hot tub may be great for sore muscles, but studies show it’s bad for your skin. That’s because hot water breaks down skin elasticity and causes premature wrinkling and sagging. When bathing, keep the water warm rather than piping hot and save the hot tub soaks for special occasions.

5. Sitting in front of a fire

Sun damage isn’t the only light source responsible for aging. New studies show that the heat emitted by fire affects the skin similarly to UV rays, resulting in thinner skin, blotchiness, dryness, and free radical damage. So, be sure to sit at least three feet away from fireplaces and keep your exposure brief.

6. Eating refined sugar

Here is one more reason to curb your sweet tooth. Sugar damages collagen and elastin, youthful proteins that give the skin firmness and elasticity. To keep your skin looking its best, swap sugary candy for fruit, skip the soda, and cut back on processed, packaged foods.

7. Sleeping face-down

Pillow creases may be more than a temporary problem. Sleeping on your face for an extended period of time can cause permanent wrinkles to develop. Train yourself to sleep on your back or try a wrinkle-reducing pillow designed to minimize the amount of compression between the fabric and your skin.

8. Sipping through a straw

The puckering motion you use to drink through a straw is like that of smoking a cigarette and can result in similar consequences. Using a straw etches vertical lines around your mouth that become more pronounced over time. Drink from a cup when possible to prolong a youthful pout.

9. Driving without sunscreen

The sun’s harmful rays actually penetrate the windows of your car? Windshield and window glass block UVB rays so you won’t get burned, the harmful UVA rays still penetrate. Protect your skin by applying SPF 30 or higher onto your face, arms, and especially your hands to prevent wrinkles and spots. UVA rays are the ones that prematurely age the skin and contribute to skin cancer.

10. Squinting at your computer

Staring, frowning, or squinting at a screen for too long can cause an unwanted line between your eyebrows and may lead to crow’s-feet around your eyes. It’s important to regularly visit your optometrist to have your eyes checked and be sure to take a break away from your desk every couple of hours.

We hope these common skin sins helped you learn how to take care of your skin better! Share your skincare tips in the comments at the bottom of this page!

Dr. Kally Papantoniou is a Cosmetic Dermatologist, Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology. She specializes in Injectables, Lasers, Body Contouring, Surgical and Medical Dermatology. Dr. Papantoniou is also a clinical instructor at Mount Sinai Health Center in New York City. She applies expert techniques and the newest technologies to treat her patients. Dr. Papantoniou focuses on providing her patients with the highest level of care, with special interests in natural and healthy alternatives to treatments and disease prevention.

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