Even if you have your skincare regimen down to a science, there may be some sneaky things adding wear and tear to your skin without you even knowing it. The good news is, once you’re aware of these hidden causes of aging, you can prevent any damage before it even starts.
1. Sitting in your sunny cubicle all day
Just when you thought you were safe inside, turns out ultraviolet light, specifically UVA, penetrates car windows and most building windows, says Rachel Nazarian, M.D., a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology in New York City. Make sure you apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen even when indoors or in the car, to prevent cumulative damage year-round. Try Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream SPF 30, which isn’t greasy and absorbs quickly, so it’s great for daily use under makeup.
2. Your big-city life
Skin can age faster in city dwellers thanks to a higher concentration of air pollution, which exposes it to free-radical damage, says Dr. Nazarian. Free radicals are harmful molecules in the environment that breakdown collagen and contribute to skin aging. The best way to combat this is to apply an antioxidant-rich moisturizer, which helps neutralize free radical damage. In addition, wash your face in the evening to remove debris from your skin. Use an exfoliating cleanser, such as Olay Regenerist Regenerating Cream Cleanser, which is formulated with anti-aging ingredients and gentle exfoliants to help smooth and regenerate the skin.
3. Binge watching Netflix for an entire day
Skimping on physical activity can promote wrinkles. So if you ever needed an excuse to reactivate your gym membership, here it is. Exercise can help increase collagen production to diminish lines, says Union Square Laser Dermatology founder and medical director Anne Chapas, M.D. Just make sure if you choose to workout outside (especially at the peak of the day), you have on plenty of broad-spectrum sunscreen.
4. Constantly staring down at your phone
All that texting can actually be contributing to saggy neck skin and folds around the neck and jawline. The skin of the neck is very thin and already more prone to aging than other parts of the body, says New York City dermatologist Dendy Engelman, M.D.. Besides cutting back on the tech time, also look for products with amino acids and peptides, such as Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream, which can help improve elasticity and firm skin so it looks more lifted.
5. Leaving the house without your sunnies
Forgetting those shades at home can leave you squinting, says New York City plastic surgeon Dara Liotta, M.D., which is a real workout for the “11” lines between your brows and crow’s feet by your eyes. Side note: The skin around the eyes is 40% thinner than the rest of the skin on the face, says Dr. Engelman. To stay covered, look for oversized sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.
6. Going to bed late because you can’t put that book down
Our skin goes through daily circadian patterns, says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research art Mt. Sinai Hospital’s Department of Dermatology, and sleep is the time for rest and repair for every organ, including your skin. “When you aren’t sleeping, the processes that occur in the evening do not function properly. This can result in dehydration, inflammation, improper cell turnover and even acne breakouts.” Aim for seven to eight hours of good shut-eye a night.
7. Sleeping face down
The position in which you sleep can affect the look of your face, says Dr. Engelman. “I recommend that my patients sleep on their back to avoid compression lines,” she says. When possible, opt for a silk pillowcase, which is gentler on the skin as you sleep.