Aging of the skin is an ongoing process which usually begins at early thirties. It is usually associated with increased wrinkling, laxity and sagging of the skin. There are two factors that contribute to aging of the skin; intrinsic aging and extrinsic aging. Intrinsic skin aging is largely genetically determined and can’t be controlled. While extrinsic aging may relate to environmental factors and can be controlled, such as exposure to sunlight, smoking, stress, inadequate nutrition and improper hygiene.

It is estimated that more than 80% of facial aging is due to sun exposure. Other factors like smoking, stress and other lifestyle account for 20% of facial aging. So, avoiding these factors may help delay your aging process or avoid premature skin aging. Here, we’ll discuss some of these factors that contribute to premature skin aging and few tips that can help maintain your skin appearance.

1. Excessive Sun Exposure: The sun is the main culprit for around 80% of the premature skin aging. Excessive sun exposure may result in loss of elasticity, increase dryness and roughness, deep wrinkling and irregular pigmentations. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun breaks down collagen and elastic fibre network, thus loosing the tensile and elastic properties of the skin resulting in wrinkle formation. Although application of broad spectrum sunscreen won’t reverse existing damage to your skin, it will sure help prevent further damage and wrinkling and also protect against skin cancer. Always apply sunscreen to protect from the harmful radiation of the sun. For normal skin you can use sunscreen with SPF15 and for more sensitive skin sunscreen with SPF30 can be used as necessary.

2. Smoking: Epidemiological studies suggest that heavy smoking causes premature skin aging. Several toxic components in tobacco are absorbed during smoking that causes the destruction of connective tissue. Smoking also increase collagenase enzyme which result in degradation of collagen. Smoking is sure a curse to your skin. Smoking further constricts your blood vessels, thus, decreasing blood supply to the skin, as a result, depriving skin of the oxygen it needs. So it is obvious that smoking leads to accelerated skin aging. Here are some more effects of cigarette smoking on your skin.

3. Too Much Alcohol: As alcoholic beverages will dehydrate your body, over indulgence may lead to drier and older looking skin. So, if you are looking for beautiful skin while maintaining your overall health, avoid or at-least limit your alcohol intake.

4. Too Little Sleep: Lack of sleep is another factor that can lead to dull complexion and dark circles and puffiness under your eyes. Take enough sleep everyday, most experts suggest 8 hours sleep each night. If you are having difficulty in sleeping, avoid caffeine in the evening.

5. Too Much Stress: Stress is another factor that can accelerate normal aging process. Try to avoid stress as much as possible. Learn some relaxation technique, or do something you feel happy. Get yourself a face or body massage. It will help you relax and improve your blood circulation and delivery of oxygen and nutrients while eliminating the toxin out of your body. If you follow these tips you can prevent premature skin aging.