You’ve heard – and prescribed – to all of the anti-aging wisdom out there, from sporting sunscreen when we go to the beach with friends to avoid premature wrinkles to moisturizing your face with the best wrinkle-preventing cream and lotions every night. But even so, it’s hard to totally cancel out all of the elements that might be aging you in everyday life. And sure, you try to prevent the obvious – again, that sunscreen is key to protect from the sun, people – but what if some of the things you do on a regular basis are what’s behind those sudden creases around your eyes? Here are some things that most people tend to forget are actually aging you faster than you think.
Your phone isn’t just cutting into your sleep time when you’re too busy scrolling through your Instagram feed and watching Snapchat stories. According to some studies, looking at your smartphone or iPad is causing damage to your eyesight earlier than you’d typically experience it. While that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should nix your electronics altogether – as if that’s going to happen in this day and age – it does mean that cutting back on electronics whenever you can in favor of other activities (think: reading a book instead of scrolling through Facebook) is essential.
Who doesn’t love happy hour and special deals on their favorite alcoholic beverages between the hours of 4:00 and 7:00? Well, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but one of the side effects of drinking too much alcohol is dehydration, which leads to lower skin elasticity, and plenty of wrinkles as a result. Researchers have also connected the consumption of too many beverages to other age-related illnesses, like cardiovascular disease and dementia, because of the effect they have on your cells. Next time you go to happy hour after work with your coworkers, try not to go too crazy, and be sure to get a few glasses of water in there.
You may think that the stress of rush hour and an hour long trek to and from work every morning is all it takes to age you already, but there may be even more going on during your commute that’s taking a toll on your skin. General tip: maybe keep your windows rolled up next time you’re stuck in traffic on the way to or from work, since the pollution in the air from the truck that you’re stuck behind causes an increase in age spots.
There are enough reasons to get a good night’s sleep every night, but when it comes time to decide between lights out and one more episode of Bloodline on Netflix, here’s one more reason to choose sleep. Researchers have noticed that people who consider themselves behind on their sleep showed far more fine lines, uneven coloring of their skin, and wrinkles than people who got the usual 8 to 10 hours a night. (Guess Bloodline can wait until tomorrow.)
Everyone goes through periods of extreme stress at work, but when you couple it with other problems in your personal life, like money issues or relationship troubles, it starts to take a serious toll. And sure, you might be thinking, “I already know that stress might be to blame for some of my wrinkles,” but as far as aging you goes, there’s a little more that stress is responsible for. Research has shown that stress hormones that get released into the brain can speed up the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, and stress that is particularly related to your career can cause negative changes to your DNA, which can lead to other diseases. All the more reason to keep your stress in check.
It can be hard to change your posture when it’s not looking too hot, but here’s why you should actually pay attention to it and take some time to try and fix it. Forget about neck and back pain – that’s nothing compared to what else bad posture can do to your body. For starters, slouching can cause your spinal cord to weaken. Studies also show that older people with good posture tend to show better cognitive function, while younger people with poor posture have a harder time remembering things. Sitting up straight is suddenly starting to feel a lot more crucial, isn’t it?