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You may be born with the best skin but as you get older, it will start losing its shine and texture. Increasing lines, wrinkles, age spots, and redness are some signs of aging, which is inevitable. But there are a few things that can speed up this process. Fortunately, most of these factors are under your control. So, here are five most common causes of skin damage and how to combat them.
Excess Sun Exposure
The sun is your biggest enemy as it causes irregular texture, wrinkles, pigmentation and dullness. Sunlight gives us vitamin D, but too much of the sun is destructive to the skin. The ultraviolet rays from the sun can penetrate deep into your skin and damage collagen - the protein that holds your skin together in a firm and smooth way. Loss of elasticity and collagen in your skin can lead to development of wrinkles and appearance of age or brown spots.
Excessive sun exposure can also result in hyperpigmentation, painful sunburn and even skin cancer.
How to combat it - Keeping away from the sun is the best way to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays. But since it is not possible all the time, wear a strong sunscreen, hats, and protective sun clothing when you go out in the sun.
Cigarettes and Alcohol
Not just smoking affect your lungs but your skin too. Tobacco deprives the skin of oxygen, making it look pale grey. Lack of oxygen and nutrients can also lead to wrinkles and sagging skin. Smokers also have low skin-healing abilities and are also much more likely to have dehydrated skin. Smoking can lead to a chronic deficiency of vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C, which is required for the production of collagen.
Alcohol can also dehydrate your body, and dehydrated skin can cause immature ageing.
How to combat this enemy Stop smoking and drinking alcohol, you may start with a small step. Prevent dehydration of your skin by drinking plenty of water and using a proper moisturizer. Taking vitamin C and antioxidant supplements may help reduce appearance of wrinkles and stimulate collagen production.
Lack of sleep
If you don't get enoughsleep, it will reflect on your skin. You may notice sallow skin and puffy eyes after a few nights of missed sleep. Chronic sleep deprivation can cause fine lines and dark circles under the eyes.
How to combat it The best way is to identify the trigger - it could be stress, work pressure, or a hectic social life and find ways to deal with it.
Weight gain or weight loss
A drastic weight gain may result in stretch marks while a sudden weight-loss cause sagging skin. Try to maintain a stable weight and focus on losing weight slowly and steadily.
Weather and environment
Dry weather, polluted air, a dusty environment - all of these are harmful to the skin. They can damage skin cells, cause deterioration of the skin's support structures, and decrease collagen production. Air pollutants can disrupt the skin's ability to regulate moisture levels leaving the skin dry and scaly. Loss of moisture can close the pores, and lead to pimples and blackheads. Free radical damage on the other hand may accelerate the ageing process.
Stress reduces the lipid barrier on the skin, which works as a natural moisturizer, resulting in dull skin, fine lines from frowning, and dryness.
If you have dry skin, avoid washing your face often with face wash or soap. Use only water when there's no make-up to be removed. Apply thick moisturizer to keep your skin moist all day. This will help reduce wrinkles caused by dryness. Eating foods rich in antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E can help to block damage caused by free radicals as well as improve fine lines.