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The Simplest Ways to Prevent Too Many Wrinkles

The Simplest Ways to Prevent Too Many Wrinkles

So you think that fine lines and wrinkles are inevitable as you age? This is only partially true. Yes, your skin is going to lose about 10% of its cells every year but there are many lifestyle habits and simple things you can do to prevent too many wrinkles. Here are 15 ways you can do just that.

1. Limit your sun exposure

I always remember an ex-colleague of mine who spent several months a year in Sardinia on holidays. She used to boast about the wonderful beaches and the crystalline water but she was paying a heavy price. She had a wonderful tan but as the years passed, her skin became more wrinkled and leathery and was starting to show age spots.

I noticed the opposite with a friend of mine who always stayed out of the sun. She had wonderfully smooth and pale skin and looked 10 years younger. Is there any scientific basis to back these observations? Look at this CNN report on the scientific findings and also see the dramatic effects of sun exposure on the trucker’s skin. The best solution is to avoid too much sun and use sunscreen which contains either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.

2. Use some home remedies

If you have the time, you can apply some natural ingredients such as pineapple directly to your skin. You have to leave it on for about 10 minutes and then rinse thoroughly. Other remedies consist of tomatoes, green tea, and cucumber.

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3. Get lots of vitamin C

You can get lots of vitamin C by eating loads of fruit. Go for kiwis which have more of this great vitamin than oranges and other citrus fruits. Guava and strawberries are excellent, too. Vitamin C plays a very important role in helping preserve the collagen which is the protein that makes up the connective tissue, not only in skin but in bones, tendons, and muscles. It holds the whole body together, rather like glue.

4. Give up smoking

Did you know that cigarettes contain almost 4,000 different chemicals that damage the precious collagen in your skin? You are going to start losing that lovely, smooth, and firm skin. As if that was not bad enough, nicotine narrows those very fine blood vessels just under the epidermis. That means a reduced supply of oxygen to the skin. The result is faster aging and more wrinkles.

5. Get your 7-8 hours of sleep

One study presented at the Society For Investigative Dermatology meeting in Edinburgh showed that those who only got five hours of sleep had twice as many wrinkles as those who were getting the optimal amount of seven hours or more. It’s not called beauty sleep for nothing!

6. Get your eyes tested

Maybe you have started to squint while reading and you need to start wearing glasses or contact lenses. All this facial movement will help to create wrinkles so it is well worth your while to get your eyes tested.

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7. Ramp up your antioxidants

The antioxidants in many healthy foods are great at keeping the cell-destroying free radicals at bay. Stock up on blueberries, cranberries, cherries, artichokes, and apples. Kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli are the best vegetables for antioxidant content. According to one study at the the Hallym University in the Republic of Korea, the best antioxidant of all for skincare is called ellagic acid. This is found in cranberries, raspberries, and pomegranates.

8. Reduce the amount of sugar you eat

Adding sugar to everything from clotted cream to coffee and tea could mean a gain in weight. It could also cause a rise in your blood sugar which could then lead to diabetes and all sorts of other diseases. With regard to skin, sugar can attach itself to the collagen there. This process is known as glycation. This causes the skin to lose its elasticity and then forms more wrinkles.

9. Maintain your ideal weight

I remember another colleague of mine who was rather overweight. She was very pleased with her rapid weight-loss diet. The only problem was that her skin had lost its smooth appearance and she seemed to have aged 10 years more. The problem with this sort of crash or yo-yo dieting is that skin becomes less elastic and is prone to sagging. The force of gravity completes the job by creating wrinkles.

10. Sleep on a silk pillow case

All the skin beauty sites will tell you to sleep on your back as that prevents the face from lying in one position which will cause wrinkles over time. The best solution is to sleep on your back or change position regularly during the night! If these solutions are impossible for you, the best thing is to invest in a silk pillow case.

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11. Eat more omega-3 fatty acids

These acids are great for preventing skin cells drying up. This is ideal for reducing wrinkles. The best foods with these acids are salmon, mackerel, anchovies, walnuts, and flaxseed.

12. Eat more dark chocolate

You may associate chocolate with spots and acne. But dark chocolate contains flavanols which are another type of antioxidant and will help reduce damage and wrinkling from the sun’s UV rays. This was demonstrated at the European Dermatology conference in London.

13. Don’t wash your face too often

As our skin contains vital oils and moisture, it is important not to wash them all away by using harsh soap on the skin too often. These natural oils are important in preventing the skin from drying up which will lead to wrinkles. Look for a cleanser instead or soap with some moisturizing elements such as olive oil, jojoba oil, or shea butter.

14. Find out about AHAs

AHAs stand for Alpha-hydroxy acids (lactic and citric) and they are great for using as a cleanser because they strip away the top layer of all those dead cells. This is a great way of giving the skin a new look and also helps to reduce all the fine lines and wrinkles. A few experiments have shown that if you use AHAs in higher doses it can actually stimulate collagen production which may lead to firmer and smoother skin.

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15. Use Idebenone

One study has shown that a cousin of the CoQ10 enzyme, known as Idebenone, can help with reducing dryness and help smooth skin. After six weeks of use, subjects found that there was a 30% reduction in wrinkles and fine lines.

Let us know in the comments below what has worked best for you in helping to prevent too many wrinkles.

Featured photo credit: Jennifer having way too much fun/ Frank Kovalchek via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on November 9, 2020

10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

Bad habits expose us to suffering that is entirely avoidable. Unfortunately, breaking bad habits is difficult because they are 100% dependent on our mental and emotional state.

Anything we do that can prove harmful to us is a bad habit – drinking, drugs, smoking, procrastination, poor communication are all examples of bad habits. These habits have negative effects on our physical, mental, and emotional health.

Humans are hardwired to respond to stimuli and to expect a consequence of any action. This is how habits are acquired: the brain expects to be rewarded a certain way under certain circumstances. How you initially responded to certain stimuli is how your brain will always remind you to behave when the same stimuli are experienced.

If you visited the bar close to your office with colleagues every Friday, your brain will learn to send you a signal to stop there even when you are alone and eventually not just on Fridays. It will expect the reward of a drink after work every day, which can potentially lead to a drinking problem.

Kicking negative behavior patterns and steering clear of them requires a lot of willpower, and there are many reasons why breaking bad habits is so difficult.

1. Lack of Awareness or Acceptance

Breaking a bad habit is not possible if the person who has it is not aware that it is a bad one.

Many people will not realize that their communication skills are poor or that their procrastination is affecting them negatively, or even that the drink they had as a nightcap has now increased to three.

Awareness brings acceptance. Unless a person realizes on their own that a habit is bad, or someone manages to convince them of the same, there is very little chance of the habit being kicked.

2. No Motivation

Going through a divorce, not being able to cope with academic pressure, and falling into debt are instances that can bring a profound sense of failure with them. A person going through these times can fall into a cycle of negative thinking where the world is against them and nothing they can do will ever help, so they stop trying altogether.

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This give-up attitude is a bad habit that just keeps coming around. Being in debt could make you feel like you are failing at maintaining your home, family, and life in general.

If you are looking to get out of a rut and feel motivated, take a look at this article: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It)

3. Underlying Psychological Conditions

Psychological conditions such as depression and ADD can make it difficult to start breaking bad habits.

A depressed person may find it difficult to summon the energy to cook a healthy meal, resulting in food being ordered in or consumption of packaged foods. This could lead to a habit that adversely affects health and is difficult to overcome.

A person with ADD may start to clean their house but get distracted soon after, leaving the task incomplete, eventually leading to a state where it is acceptable to live in a house that is untidy and dirty.

The fear of missing out (FOMO) is very real to some people. Obsessively checking their social media and news sources, they may believe that not knowing of something as soon as it is published can be catastrophic to their social standing.

4. Bad Habits Make Us Feel Good

One of the reasons it is difficult to break habits is that a lot of them make us feel good.[1]

We’ve all been there – the craving for a tub of ice cream after a breakup or a casual drag on a joint, never to be repeated until we miss how good it made us feel. We succumb to the craving for the pleasure felt while indulging in it, cementing it as a habit even while we are aware it isn’t good for us.

Overeating is a very common bad habit. Just another pack of chips, a couple of candies, a large soda… none of these are necessary for survival. We want them because they give us comfort. They’re familiar, they taste good, and we don’t even notice when we progress from just one extra slice of pizza to four.

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You can read this article to learn more: We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why?

5. Upward Comparisons

Comparisons are a bad habit that many of us have been exposed to since we were children. Parents might have compared us to siblings, teachers may have compared us to classmates, and bosses could compare us to past and present employees.

The people who have developed the bad habit of comparing themselves to others have been given incorrect yardsticks for measurement from the start.

These people will always find it difficult to break out of this bad habit because there will always be someone who has it better than they do: a better house, better car, better job, higher income and so on.

Research shows that in the age of social media, social comparisons are much easier and can ultimately harm self-esteem if scrolling becomes a bad habit[2].

6. No Alternative

This is a real and valid reason why breaking bad habits is difficult. These habits could fulfill a need that may not be met any other way.

Someone who has physical or psychological limitations, such as a disability or social anxiety, may find it hard to quit obsessive content consumption for better habits.

Alternately, a perfectly healthy person may be unable to quit smoking because alternates are just not working out.

Similarly, a person who bites their nails when anxious may be unable to relieve stress in any other socially accepted manner.

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7. Stress

As mentioned above, anything that stresses us out can lead to adopting and cementing an unhealthy habit.

When a person is stressed about something, it is easy for bad habits to form because the mental resources required to fight them are not available[3].

We often see a person who had previously managed to kick a bad habit fall back into the old ways because they felt their stress couldn’t be managed any other way.

If you need some help reducing stress, check out the following video for some healthy ways to get started:

8. Sense of Failure

People looking to kick bad habits may feel a strong sense of failure because it’s just that difficult.

Dropping a bad habit usually means changes in lifestyle that people may be unwilling to make, or these changes might not be easy to make in spite of the will to make them.

Overeaters need to empty their house of unhealthy food, resist the urge to order in, and not pick up their standard grocery items from the store. Those who drink too much need to avoid the bars or even people who drink often.

If such people slip even once with a glass of wine, or a smoke, or a bag of chips, they tend to be excessively harsh on themselves and feel like failures.

9. The Need to Be All-New

People who are looking to break bad habits feel they need to re-create themselves in order to break themselves of their bad habits, while the truth is the complete opposite.

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These people actually need to go back to who they were before they developed the bad habit and try to create good habits from there.

10. Force of Habit

Humans are creatures of habit, and having familiar, comforting outcomes for daily triggers helps us maintain a sense of balance in our lives.

Consider people who are used to lighting up a cigarette every time they talk on the phone or eating junk food when watching TV. They will always associate a phone call with a puff on the cigarette and screen time with eating.

These habits, though bad, are a source of comfort to them, as is meeting with those people they indulge in these bad habits with.

Final Thoughts

These are the main reasons why breaking bad habits is difficult, but the good news is that the task is not impossible. Breaking habits takes time, and you’ll need to put long-term goals in place to replace a bad habit with a good one.

There are many compassionate, positive and self-loving techniques to kick bad habits. The internet is rich in information regarding bad habits, their effects and how to overcome them, while professional help is always available for those who feel they need it.

More on Breaking Bad Habits

Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] After Skool: Why Do Bad Habits Feel SO GOOD?
[2] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem.
[3] Stanford Medicine: Examining how stress affects good and bad habits

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