5 Sneaky Ways You Are Making Yourself Look Older Than You Really Are

middle age woman with glasses writing at table

Look Younger and Get Glowing Skin by Avoiding These Daily Habits

We spend hundreds and thousands of dollars to make ourselves look younger, but there are countless daily habits that are working against you and these investments.

To make sure that you are doing everything you can to prevent premature aging and looking older than you are, consider these sneaky daily habits that you may not realize are making you look old.

#1: Indulging Too Often

woman eating cupcake with pink background

Most of us have a reoccurring impulse to indulge in a sweet treat every now and again. It’s almost impossible to avoid - between the school bake drives, office birthdays, and upcoming holidays.

Sugar is known to cause widespread inflammation which can lead to diseases later on in life, but did you know it can also directly affect your appearance? And we’re not just talking about weight!

Sugar molecules initiate a biochemical process which leaves you looking tired, puffy, and wrinkled. So consider now, is that cupcake worth it?

Lifestyle Tips for a More Youthful Appearance:

We’re not advocating that you never allow yourself to indulge in that salted caramel cupcake or your favorite flavor of ice cream. We're not monsters!

But perhaps you can try opting for a healthier version more often. You’d be surprised how effective a sweet fruit can do the trick!

And if you want bonus points, learn about five healthy foods for better skin and wellness from our previous post.

#2: Not Enough Quality Sleep

woman sleeping in bed with head on pillow

Studies show that sleeping less than seven hours each night can shorten your lifespan. Not only that, but less than sufficient sleep will make you look and feel a lot older than you are by robbing you of the mental and physical recharge that your body needs to thrive.

Not enough sleep is also hard on your body, like your vital organs including your brain and heart as well. There are healing and detoxification processes that occur during the sleep process which are vital to having and maintaining a resilient mind and body.

In fact, not only does the amount you sleep affect your appearance of youthfulness, but the quality of your sleep could also be working against you.

If you tend to sleep pressing your face into a pillow, you are causing trauma to your skin, which can make you look older than you are. Over time, the collagen in your skin will break down which can lead to permanent creases in your face due to the impaired circulation.

Lifestyle Tips for a More Youthful Appearance:

Train yourself to sleep on your back. Medical professionals widely recommend this position for optimal health however only 17% of the population sleep on their back.

If you’re a part of the remaining 83% but want to learn to sleep on your back, start with a supportive pillow for both the head and neck; add a second pillow under your knees so your knees are slightly bent which will alleviate pressure from your lower back. For some, adding additional pillows on your sides can be helpful for your shoulders and arms, but can also act as a cocoon to prevent your tendency to roll onto your side (and thus smashing your face!).

If you’re a dedicated side-sleeper, try a silk pillowcase! The silk material can help to minimize friction against your skin which contributes to the unwanted creases and lines.

With the hustle and demands of your daily life, you may not be able to ensure seven hours of sleep every night as much as you may want to. However, there are a few techniques that may help you work toward this goal:

  • Use a sleep monitoring mobile app like Sleep Cycle, or try the Calm app which will even read you a bedtime story
  • Set an alarm for yourself to remind yourself to go to sleep
  • Wear yourself out during the day by getting plenty of physical activity and a balanced diet
  • Invest in a professional-grade, dermatologist-recommended eye cream that will help to restore the delicate skin around the eye area

#3: Crash Dieting

woman sitting on bed with breakfast and book

While a quick fix crash diet before an important event or trip can be tempting to help you hit a goal weight, it’s never a good long-term solution. In fact, it is quite the opposite.

Research has shown that crash diets can actually make you feel older by reducing your energy level, negatively affects your concentration, and can even leave you feeling irritable or depressed.

Additionally, crash diets can cause unwanted wrinkles and sagging skin by not giving your skin enough time to adjust to the sudden weight loss.

Lifestyle Tips for a More Youthful Appearance:

Work toward changing your nutritional habits for the long-term. Try slowly introducing healthier foods and reduce high-sugar and high-fat foods from your daily diet.

One good trick for doing this is to identify one ‘bad-for-you’ food habit that you can swap for one good-for-you habit once every month. Take it slow and steady - says the turtle who won the race.

#4: Drinking Through a Straw

woman at a bar drinking cocktail through a straw

The puckering required to drink through a straw, or even some bottle tops, can lead to fine lines and wrinkles around your mouth.

You already know that smoking is another bad habit, but in this case, because it also causes your muscles to make a similar movement to drinking out of a straw, it also leads to lines and wrinkles around your mouth.

Lifestyle Tips for a More Youthful Appearance:

Top skincare experts and dermatologists often advise those prone to fine lines and wrinkles to avoid straws altogether and switch to a drinking directly from a glass.

If you insist on the ‘straw-life,’ then try relaxing your upper lip while using a straw to prevent those unwanted lines and wrinkles around your mouth that can cause you to look older than you are.

#5: Going Sunglasses-less

young woman sitting at dock looking into sun without sunglasses

The skin around your eyes is some of the thinnest skin and sensitive to bad habits. When you forget your sunglasses, you’re more likely to squint outdoors - and often when you don’t even realize that you're doing it.

Rubbing your eyes can also affect the skin around your eyes by breaking down collagen and elasticity which can lead to wrinkles and broken capillaries.

Lifestyle Tips for a More Youthful Appearance:

Bring your sunglasses everywhere you go; consider stashing an “emergency pair” in your car or purse for the occasions when you walk out the door without your favorite shades.

If you have an itch around your eye, or they’re begging to be rubbed, try a tapping gesture, instead of a rub, which can help circulation and blood flow to the area promoting a more youthful appearance as opposed to causing lines and wrinkles around your eyes.

And if you’ve been leading a sunglasses-less life for a while, or are a chronic eye-rubber, you should invest in a good eye cream.

Bonus #6: Dreaded, Tech Neck

diverse group of woman looking down at smartphones

You, like just about every other human, is now spending way too much time looking at a screen than our bodies should, like even now as you’re reading this post.

By looking downward at a computer, phone, or tablet, not only are you likely to develop “tech neck” which can start with minor stiffness or pain in your neck, tension in your shoulders, and a general ache in your upper body. Tech neck can also cause more serious issues down the road like the loss of strength in your fingers and hands, as well as crepiness and wrinkles in your neck and chest area.

Lifestyle Tips for a More Youthful Appearance:

If you’re often on a computer, consider investing in a standing desk. There are many styles available today, and many even offer the convenience of a hydraulic system that can easily transition from a sitting to a standing position.

You might also consider how you can limit screen time altogether. The latest iOS update to the iPhone offers a “screen time” tracker complete with a downtime scheduler that can help you plan time away from your screen and help you to limit your time spent looking down at a screen.

As early as in your thirties, you may also consider adding a neck cream to your daily skincare regimen. The ALASTIN Skincare Restorative Neck Complex was formulated with TriHex Technology® to address the unique challenges of the delicate skin area under the chin and down through the chest.

A More Vibrant, Youthful You

Picture yourself in 10 or 20 years from now; you want to be vibrant and aging gracefully.

Thankfully aging is an extremely slow and gradual process which means it’s never too late. Start today, you can impact how vibrant you look for the rest of your life.

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Article Reviewed by Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson

Vice President, Marketing

Wendy Johnson brings to Alastin Skincare over 22 years of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and aesthetics industry experience in various sales, training, marketing and thought leader development roles.

After spending 10 years in gastroenterology at Tap Pharmaceuticals and Prometheus Laboratories, with sales and marketing oversight for in-line and pre-launch products, Mrs. Johnson transitioned to an aesthetic career at SkinMedica in 2004. While there, she was responsible for marketing one of the top 2 branded prescription hydroquinones, launching a leading branded low potency steroid, and oversight of the acne franchise line extensions.

In 2010, Wendy joined Merz North America where she developed and managed the Physician Relations department in support of injectable, topical and device business units under Medical Affairs, before transitioning into managing a Regional Aesthetics Marketing team.

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