Five Hidden Threats to Skin’s Youth

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So you’ve bought stock in your favorite anti-aging skin care line, and make sure to wash all your makeup off every night before bed. While that is a good start, New York City dermatologist Dr. Deborah Wattenberg reported to TODAY, that even if you think you are doing all of the right things you may not be doing enough. She went over five hidden threats that could undermine your youthful skin.

Smoking

We already know it’s bad for your lungs, but smoking cigarettes impacts your appearance as well. Nicotine and other chemicals damage skin’s collagen and elastin production, which can lead to wrinkles. The mouth puckering motion used to take a drag can create wrinkles radiating out from lips. Finally, smoking constricts blood vessels, slowing the oxygen flow to skin, which can make complexion lose its dewy glow for a washed out and lackluster appearance.

Wine, Candy and Coffee

Alcohol, caffeine, and the preservatives found in many junk foods have more in common than being a few of your favorite things. They all act as diuretic agents, which trigger the body to release water rather than holding it within your skin. While most adults should drink six to eight glasses of water daily to keep skin hydrated, consuming any of these three items requires even more to prevent skin from becoming dried out.

Lack of Sleep

Logging less than six hours of shut eye a night can put stress on your body, triggering it to release the stress hormone cortisol which can make skin more oily and acne prone, and overall less appealing to the eye.

Harsh Acne Treatments

When skin breaks out, try to resist the urge to over-scrub and pick. It can strip oils from skin, drive bacteria deeper below the surface, and cause generalized irritation. Instead, use gentle cleansers and treat acne spots with products like salicylic acid that will battle the zits without creating more infection, redness or worse.

Sun Damage

Wattenberg recommends applying sunscreen several times a day, especially in the winter when the sun’s rays bounce off of snow and ice, actually increasing the potential damage. Protecting skin from sun damage is one of the most important steps to take in anti-aging skin care.

Source courtesy Today via MSNBC

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