What Causes Your Skin to Age Prematurely?

No one wants to look in the mirror and see older skin reflected back — especially if your skin ages you. Our cosmetic and general dermatologists at Manhattan Dermatology in New York City help keep your skin looking young with the best in anti-aging care

We also work to educate patients at our Murray Hill and Midtown East offices in Manhattan about skin health and how skin ages. If you’re wondering what makes skin age prematurely, keep reading to learn some of the top causes.  

Not wearing sunscreen

If you’re like most people, you love the feel of the sun on your skin. But even with sunscreen, your skin becomes damaged over time by the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. 

These UV rays break down your skin cells, triggering your body’s healing response. In fact, the sun causes about 80% of the visible signs of aging on your skin.

Over time, your body’s resources run low, leaving you with wrinkles, spots, and other age markers. If you don’t wear sunscreen regularly or use enough sunscreen — even on cloudy days — the damage to your skin speeds up, causing premature aging, or photoaging, of your skin.       

Poor sleep hygiene

Getting enough of the right kind of sleep helps keep your skin healthy and better able to repair itself. On the other hand, poor quality sleep can age your skin. 

Here are a few things you can do to keep your skin from prematurely aging:

For extra help with sleep hygiene, check out these guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.        

Smoking tobacco

Not only is smoking tobacco one of the worst things for your overall health, it’s also bad for your skin. Nicotine causes the blood vessels at the surface of your skin to narrow, slowing the flow of blood to your skin. 

This makes it difficult for your skin to get the nutrients and vitamins it needs to keep your skin looking its best.  

In addition, tobacco contains toxic chemicals that damage your collagen and elastin, important proteins for keeping your skin healthy and younger looking. Plus, the expressions you make while smoking accelerate the appearance of lines around your mouth. 

Eating and drinking the wrong things

What you eat and drink affects the appearance and health of your skin. Processed foods, sugar, too much dairy, too much caffeine, and alcohol damage and prematurely age your skin. 

Drinking plenty of water and eating nutrient-rich foods are what your skin needs. Look for foods high in antioxidants, like blueberries and kale, that help reduce the damage to your cells. 

And avoid or limit alcohol use. Alcohol dehydrates your skin and makes wrinkles and fine lines more noticeable, especially if you have naturally dry skin.  

Skipping the dermatologist

Dermatologists help keep your skin healthy and younger looking by watching for and treating skin conditions and administering youth-promoting treatments. At Manhattan Dermatology, we can protect young skin with medical-grade skin care, sun protection, and treatments, like chemical peels, facials, and dermabrasion. 

Older skin can look young again with treatments that smooth wrinkles, restore firmness and tightness, and stimulate collagen and elastin production. We can also help give you back lost volume with treatments that replenish hyaluronic acid. 

Learn more about skin health and anti-aging care by contacting us at Manhattan Dermatology. You can also book an appointment online now.

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