Most of us do our best to prevent premature aging: We slather on sunscreen, buy expensive anti-aging products, and even indulge in the occasional spa treatment. But there are many lesser-known beauty saboteurs hidden in your daily routine that may be causing more harm than you realize. Here are five common culprits:
- Bathing in hot water
A steamy shower or dip 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.
- 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. Be sure to sit at least 3 feet away from fireplaces and keep your exposure brief.
- Eating refined sugar
Now there’s one more reason to curb your sweet tooth: Sugar damages collagen and elastin, youthful proteins that give the skin its 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.
- 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 like JuveRest®, which minimizes the amount of contact between the fabric and your skin.
- 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.