Things you do every day that cause wrinkles
A fresh rubber band can be stretched once and return to its original size and structure. As you continue to use the rubber band, the band can lose its strength and flexibility, causing it to become thin, dry and fragile. Your skin can be similar.
“As you age, your body loses its ability to produce collagen and elastin, two main proteins that help your skin stay strong and flexible,” says Dr. Janna Kroiss, a family medicine physician at Aurora Health Center in Two Rivers, WI. “Some activities accelerate the breakdown of collagen and elastin, making you more susceptible to wrinkles.”
Wrinkles are a natural part of aging, but many find the first sight of them disheartening. Hydration and protection from sun exposure are key contributions to your skin care routine, but these everyday habits may be taking you a step in the wrong direction:
Not wearing sunscreen
“UV rays from the sun are incredibly damaging to the skin,” says Dr. Kroiss. “In fact, it is responsible for 80% of visible facial aging signs.” Investing in a daily facial moisturizer with at least SPF 15 is one of the best anti-aging preventative measures out there. “Don’t forget to put it on your neck, too,” urges Dr. Kroiss. “The neck skin is often forgotten in skincare routines, but deserves just as much attention as your face.”
Rubbing your face and eyes
“During a long day at work, it is easy to rest your face in your hands, or rub your eyes, and not think twice,” Dr. Kroiss explains. “When you do this, your hand stretches your face into folds, and repetitive behavior can cause permanent creases.”
Sleeping on your stomach
When you sleep on your stomach, a larger portion of your face is squished onto a pillow – not the most relaxing time for your skin tissue. Like resting your face in your hands, your pillow can stretch your skin into unnatural positions and leave wrinkles behind. “If you’re a chronic stomach-sleeper, consider getting a satin or silk pillowcase to slow the effects of aging,” suggests Dr. Kroiss.
If you wear contacts, you are probably guilty of raising your eyebrows when you insert or remove them. The same statement holds true for those who apply mascara. Dr. Kroiss says, “Over time, the repetitive motion of raising your eyebrows can cause wrinkles on your forehead.” Challenge yourself to insert and remove contacts and apply mascara without scrunching your forehead.
Sipping through a straw
Yes, even a sip from a straw can take a toll on your skin. Frequently pursing your lips disturbs the skin around your mouth, leading eventually to wrinkles around your mouth. Dr. Kroiss recommends going sans straw when you can. The same type of wrinkles from using a straw are seen in individuals who smoke.
When you chew gum, you repeatedly use the muscle in your cheeks. If you are an avid gum-chewer, the constant muscle activity causes the collagen to break down – leading to wrinkles in your cheeks and around your mouth.
Looking at electronics
The further you look down at your smartphone or tablet, the more the muscles in your neck must contract. When done on a regular basis, your neck can become tired, sore and develop wrinkles – a phenomenon commonly known as “tech neck.” Instead, lift your phone to eye level to remove the strain on your neck.
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health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.