People usually associate crow’s feet and laugh lines with getting older. After all, as your skin ages, it loses elasticity. But these physical signs of aging sometimes have nothing to do with aging at all. Other lifestyle and environmental factors can take a toll on your physical appearance. As compiled from Eat This, Not That, here are nine surprising causes of wrinkling.
The sun: It should come as no surprise that the biggest culprit for wrinkles is exposure to the sun. Both UVA and UVB rays lead to premature aging and wrinkles. “The first and most common type [of skin wrinkling] is from chronic sun damage,” Jerome Potozkin, a certified dermatologist, says. “Sun damage results in loss of collagen and elastin resulting in wrinkling of the skin.”
Pollution: You may not think much about the environment that you live in, but it can play a significant impact on those wrinkles and fine lines. “Pollution is another environmental factor – contributing to free radical damage,” explains Maral K Skelsey, dermatologist and Director of the Dermatologic Surgery Center of Washington.
Get Rid Wrinkles and Fine Lines Permanently
A 2010 study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that women who lived in urban settings had more wrinkles and age spots than those living in rural areas over 24 years. If you live in a densely populated city, be sure to wash your face at night.
Lack of sleep: You know getting enough sleep is essential to help you feel your best and can even help you lose weight. But did you know it can also help your skin stay smooth? “Lack of sleep contributes [to wrinkles] because the pH of the skin is altered by not sleeping enough and that skin cells’ ability to remain hydrated,” Skelsey explains. “Additionally, it’s during sleep that toxins are flushed from the body.”
Stress: A busy schedule or personal drama not only takes a toll on your mental well-being; it can affect you physically, too. “Stress increases cortisol levels which will reduce the skin’s ability to hold moisture,” Skelsey says.
“Additionally elevated blood sugar damages the collagen and elastin fibers in the skin. These are the critical support structures that keep skin from sagging and developing wrinkles.”