As we age, our skin cell turnover slows down and takes long to recover. This leaves room for signs of aging like thinner, drier skin, an increase in wrinkles, and other signs of aging to occur.
As the name suggests, premature skin aging starts showing its signs even before old age. Your environment and lifestyle choices can sometimes cause your skin to age prematurely.
Symptoms of premature skin aging
. These include;
· Sun spots; are flat spots on your skin caused by years of sun exposure. They develop on your face, the back of your hands, or your forearms.
· Hair loss; happens when the stem cells that trigger new hair growth in your hair follicles die off. This can be due to hormone changes, your diet, environmental factors, and genetics.
· Gaunt hands; your hands start to appear more veiny, thin, and prone to wrinkles.
· Hyper pigmentation; people develop patchy discolouration on their skin due to sun exposure. Other skin conditions and eczema can also bring about skin discolouration.
· Wrinkled or sagging skin; occurs due to less collagen in our bodies. Collagen is a protein that helps the skin to stay in shape. Dehydration can also lead to getting wrinkles.
· Dry or itchy skin
Causes of premature skin aging
. These include;
· Sun exposure; being exposed to UV light breaks down collagen causing the skin to wrinkle, sag and stretch. It also causes dark spots by increasing melanin production.
· Smoking; harms blood vessels that carry oxygen to the skin. Without enough oxygen, your skin is likely to wrinkle and sag. Smoking damages hair follicles, hence leading to loss of hair.
· Unhealthy diet; eating fast foods, sugary foods, and refined carbohydrates can damage your skin over time.
· Alcohol; excessive alcohol dehydrates the skin and affects the skin oils that help to keep the skin moist.
· Sleep habits; Lack of enough sleep can lead to the appearance of wrinkles on the skin and other skin problems like eye bags, dark circles, and dull skin.
· Stress; it can lead to premature wrinkles due to the elevated cortisol levels, a stress hormone that breaks down collagen and makes your skin cells unable to naturally replenish elastin.
Prevent premature skin aging by;
· Protection from UV rays by wearing sunscreen; use sunscreen of at least SPF 30 and wear it each time you go out in the sun.
· Moisturize frequently; moisturize not only the face but the whole body to keep the skin hydrated. Oils in the moisturizer lock in moisture and prevent water from escaping hence keeping the skin fully hydrated.
· Eat a healthy diet; one that is rich in vitamins to help build skin cells. In your balanced diet, you should incorporate lots of fruits and vegetables in order for the body to get all the nutrients to produce healthy skin cells.
· Stay hydrated; drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water every day to help flash out toxins from the body and to keep the body hydrated.
· Get enough sleep; sleeping is always important when it comes to health. That is why a person should sleep for 7 to 8 hours a day. This gives your skin time to refresh and renew itself.
· Gently cleanse your face; wash your face gently to help remove makeup and other substances without irritating your skin to prevent getting wrinkles. Use a Gentle Cleanser on your skin.
· Get active; that is exercise at least 3 days in a week. Exercises help to improve blood circulation and boost the immune system hence giving the skin a more youthful appearance.
· Cut out smoking and reduce on the amount of alcohol intake to have a healthier looking skin.
· You can reduce stress and minimize its adverse effects on your skin by introducing healthy copying mechanisms into your lifestyle routine like exercising, nature walks, yoga, and meditation.
Changing our environment and lifestyle choices can reduce premature skin aging.